On January 16th and 17th, 2019, the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis held its fifth ”Policy Paper Writing” training program, which took place in Rabat at the Ibis Hotel in Agdal. The training program brought together high-level participants from all over Morocco, namely university professors, journalists, and eminent researchers. For this event, MIPA invited Dr. Isabelle Werenfels, Senior Fellow of SWP’s (leading German think-tank) Middle East and Africa department. Dr. Mohammed Masbah, Director of MIPA, started the training program with an introductory presentation in Arabic on the intricacies and techniques of writing a policy paper. A second presentation was later delivered by Dr. Werenfels, in which she described the writing process of policy papers within SWP, and gave valuable advice and strategies on how to write a policy paper while taking into account the audience and style. Participants subsequently presented brief summaries of their policy papers, and Dr. Werenfels provided comments and remarks on each. The first day concluded with a presentation by Dr. Rachid Aourraz, a leading economist and senior fellow at the MIPA institute, in which he outlined the writing methods he adopted to craft his policy paper on the liberalization of the dirham, and described the long refinement process his work went through before being published, highlighting MIPA’s methodology of writing policy papers.
During the second day of the training program, MIPA invited distinguished guests to thoroughly explain the writing process of policy papers, and discuss their current relevance to policymaking. Two representatives of the EU delegation in Morocco were invited to share their experience with policy papers and the structure that these must respect in order for them to be solidly useful for European policymakers in the country. Later that day, Youness Meskine, Editor-in-Chief of the Akhbar-Al-Youm along with a PJD parliamentarian were invited to talk about their use of policy papers in their areas of work, and discuss the newly established link between policy papers or policy briefs and the work of an MP in general, emphasizing the effective work accomplished by the MIPA in teaching writing techniques of policy papers, which are becoming increasingly valuable elements in the work of policymakers and parliamentarians alike.
The training concluded with roundtable workshops in which participants worked together in groups. They were asked to choose a topic of current importance, generate ideas and arguments about it, and draw up a scheme for a policy paper that they would present at the end of the exercise. Dr. Werenfels provided input and feedback on each presentation, helping participants to better define their angle of analysis and identify the research approach that best suits their chosen topic.
At the end of the training program, each participant received a participation certificate. Participants then engaged in a discussion to network, share their thoughts on the program, and discuss opportunities for possible collaboration.
MIPA was amply satisfied with the quality and intensiveness of the training and encouragingly invited the participants to submit their proposals and craft policy papers that are in compliance with the writing guidelines addressed during the training program. These can potentially be published on the MIPA’s website after being meticulously reviewed and edited by the MIPA’s team.