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Publication Guidelines

The Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis welcomes contributions from interested researchers. Papers should be original, in-depth analyses of current policy matters that take Morocco their case study and focus on one of the following topics:

  • Political and democratic transformation;
  • Political parties and constitutional institutions;
  • Institutional reforms (such Security Sector Reform, Justice Reform, etc.) and administrative modernization;
  • Economic reform;
  • New social and protest movements;
  • Islamist movements.

Papers should be written and submitted according to the following criteria:

  • Papers must be limited to a specific and well defined problem.
  • Papers should present a clear and well-supported argument.
  • Papers should be written in plain, concise and coherent language.
  • Papers should use footnotes for references;
  • Papers should be written either in English or Arabic.
  • Accepted papers are translated by the Institute from the language in which they are originally written (either Arabic or English) to the other working language of the Institute and the paper is published in both languages.
  • Papers should be submitted in word format.
  • Papers go through reviewing and an editing process according to MIPA’s internal regulations.

Please note the following:

  • We accept only original papers which are not previously published elsewhere.
  • Contributors receive an honorarium after the publication of their paper.

We welcome four types of publications:

  1. Policy Briefs

Policy briefs are short analytical documents which provide an analysis of a specific policy problem. They also make the case for choosing a specific course of action to deal with the discused problem as well attempt to convince the audience and stakeholder to adopt the suggested course of actions.

Policy analysis briefs should be written and submitted according to the following criteria:

  • They should be short analytical documents around 2000 words.
  • They should deal with a current policy problem that is relevant to Morocco.
  • They should highlight the different perspectives on the discussed problem.
  • They must be written in plain language and avoid academic and specialized jargon.
  • They must document the different sources used in the form of footnotes.
  1. Reports

Reports present the description, monitoring and tracking of events on a given phenomenon over a specified period of time (usually two years) and must meet the following requirements:

  • They should fall between 8000 4000 words. In exceptional cases, the Institute accepts longer reports.
  • The phenomenon that is subject of discussion in the report should be specific in time and place.
  • The observed facts relating to the discussed phenomenon should be presented in a chronological order.
  • The report should have an analytical dimension, not just a review of events.
  • The used sources and references must be documented in the form of footnotes.
  1. Research papers

This third type of papers is relatively longer and aim at researching an issue that is relevant to the Moroccan context (society, politics, religion and culture, etc.). Research papers must meet the following criteria:

  • They should be around 5000 words.
  • They should be divided into clear axes or sections and subsections.
  • They should include an executive summary and key words.
  • They should be rich in sources and references that must be documented in the form of footnotes.
  • They should be divided into clear axes or sections and subsections.
  1. Policy Papers

These are relatively long papers whose aim is the study of a political issue that falls within the research interests of the Institute. Research papers must meet the following conditions:

  • They should fall between 4000 and 2000 words.
  • They should address a policy issue or have a policy impact.
  • They should be authentic and characterized by novelty and quality.
  • They should be divided into clear axes or sections and subsections.
  • They should include an executive summary and key words.
  • They should be rich in sources and references that must be documented in the form of footnotes.

Publication Procedures

The Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis adopts an internal methodology for the publication of papers. All submitted papers are subject to internal arbitration and are sent to the researcher for making the proposed modifications. Once the paper is accepted, it will be published on the Institute’s website in both English and Arabic.

Those wishing to publish with the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis should send a summary and outline of their proposed paper as well as their curriculum vitae to the Institute’s email: contact@mipa.institute

Once the paper is approved, authors will be asked to submit the full paper in addition to the following:

  • A short bio notes of the researcher, highlighting their education and/or professional background as well as a list of their publications;
  • A recent photo of the researcher to be published along with the paper;

For any other inquiries concerning the publication procedure, please do not hesitate to get in touch at contact@mipa.institute


Guide to preparing policy papers


Policy papers are analytical articles that seek to describe and analyze the issues and problems arising from public policies and monitor the consequences of these policies on society. Policy analysis papers provide basic information, options and alternatives for dealing with these problems as well as recommendations to decision-makers and direct and indirect stakeholders in the formulation of public decisions (the government, the parliament, political parties and public opinion). Based on this, the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis has developed a special methodology at the level of publishing and marketing the research papers it produces. This guide includes a set of standards and conditions in writing and editing, which require all researchers involved in preparing papers at the Institute to adhere to and adopt them as determinants and guiding models in writing papers.


I- Goals

Before writing a policy analysis paper, the researcher should ask four basic questions:

  • Why am I writing on this topic?
  • What is the target audience?
  • What is the main message/issue of the article?
  • What impact can this issue have?

1- Why this topic?

Before beginning the process of writing a policy paper, it is necessary for the researcher to be aware of the nature of the problem that he aims to address; especially the following things:

  • First: The problem addressed should be timely, including the urgent challenges it poses to public policies, or emerging problems related to these policies.
  • Second: It should be specific and precise, and that the scope of the problem is not too wide, so that the recommendations and alternatives presented are understandable and applicable.
  • Third: The subject of the paper should be original, in the sense that it is not an exhaustive subject that has already been addressed in other mediums and platforms.

            2- Define the audience

The more specific and precise the scope of the topic is, the easier it is to identify the target audience of the topic, and the easier it is to provide viable solutions and alternatives.

The audience identification methodology is based on the following elements:

  • First: Stakeholders are among the alternatives to be proposed to solve a problem related to a particular public policy, that is, decision-makers, and all those involved in political decision-making on the one hand, and the beneficiaries/affected by this policy on the other hand.
  • Second: It must be taken into account that the target audience is not all specialists, so the researcher should, to a large extent, simplify the problem posed.

 3- The message / arguments

It is important for the article to have one basic issue that seeks to be  dismantled, by highlighting its political, economic and social boundaries, and the different directions proposed to address this problem. Therefore, in the argumentative section, a number of formalities are required:

  • First: To address an issue that falls within the country’s public policies, and that captures the attention of decision-makers.
  • Second: To highlight the seriousness and currentness of the topic to be addressed in the paper.
  • Third: It must be ensured that the scope of the puzzle is accurate and limited. The more limited the scope of the problem to be addressed, the easier it is to evaluate and frame the areas of its analysis.

4- What is the effect of the paper?

In addition to the necessity of defining what the paper aims for, and scrutinizing the audience to which it is directed, the researcher must be keen to realize the impact that may result from the completion of his/her paper. Preparing a policy paper without the researcher taking into consideration the path that the alternatives and recommendations presented may take, renders the paper useless.

Therefore, the policy analysis paper assumes that the researcher measures the needs and interests of the decision maker in the issue he wants to address, so that he can adjust the directions of his paper and the basic information that it must include.

This requires an awareness of the problem importance presented for analysis and the ability to solve it by adopting changes at the level of public policies. If the problem at hand cannot be resolved through the intervention of institutions producing public policies, the paper will not be able to provide decision-makers with viable alternatives and solutions.

II- Writing Stage

The writing stage, in turn, requires a set of necessary conditions and regulations, which are, respectively:

  • Brainstorming to get as many ideas as possible on the topic.
  • Gathering evidence, data, and arguments to support the analysis of the topic.
  • Finally, classifying the evidence presented and formulating the paper.

            1- Brainstorming

The purpose of the brainstorming process in preparing policy papers is to generate as many ideas as possible about the problem to be analyzed, through a set of previous readings or the researcher’s professional and field experience, or through their careful tracking of public affairs events. This process helps to generate unconventional ideas and to create multiple ways to approach the topic at hand.

The brainstorming process entails adopting critical thinking to any predetermined theoretical or methodological framework, and welcoming all ideas presented, no matter how diverse.

At this level of preparing the paper, it does not require any final classification of the data, nor the establishment of a standard for its quality or accuracy. Rather, what is required is to generate the largest number of ideas about the topic to be addressed. The researcher can also benefit from the results of previous research for the purpose of developing them.

            2- Collecting evidence

The process of collecting evidence and data is among the essential procedures for preparing policy papers, through which the main ideas are identified and the judgments and positions to be used in the analysis process are selected. Given the central role that data and evidence play in formulating recommendations and suggesting policy alternatives, a set of methodological criteria is required in the compilation process.

  • First: Before selecting the evidence to be used in the analysis process, the researcher must check whether the information mentioned in the paper is necessary and essential in developing the arguments. The paper must strike a balance between the positions it suggests, and the statements that are based on it to strengthen its arguments.
  • Second: The researcher must be certain of the data and information from their original sources. These data must be credible, so that the paper achieves its goal in proposing policy alternatives.
  • Third: From the sources that the researcher can rely on in order to collect his data:
  • Interviews with the relevant actors
  • Official positions of government institutions and decision-makers.
  • Official reports and statements.
  • Credible reports of NGOs (local and international).
  • Academic research and studies.
  • Opinion polls and press reports.


III- The method of analysis and editing

The first thing that is required in the process of editing and drafting policy papers, is sticking to a coherent, easy-to-understand and readable language. Avoiding loose words and phrases that lead to more than one connotation, in addition to relying on a balanced structure between the elements of the paper, represented mainly in the title, presentation, and abstracts.

It should also take into account the size of the paper, which should not exceed 2000-2500 words.

            1- Title

The headings that are adopted in policy analysis papers should meet the following:

  • The title should be short and attractive to the audience concerned with the paper.
  • Adopting short and non-combined phrases (maximum ten words).
  • Clarity is required, and the topic and arguments adopted by the researcher in the paper should be simplified and focused at the same time.
  • In the process of choosing a title, ambiguous phrases, complex allusions, and punctuation should be avoided.

2- Executive summary 

The policy paper is required to have an executive summary of no more than 100 words, and this summary contains the paper’s puzzle, main conclusions, in a focused and simple form.

The executive summary is adopted in the publishing process, as it represents the reader’s gateway to the article, so it is supposed to be attractive in order to help the reader clarify the contents of the paper and continue reading it.

            3- Introduction: Building the arguments

The introduction process is the most important component of drafting policy papers. It acquaints the reader with the seriousness of the subject to be addressed, the extent of the authenticity of his ideas, the validity of his conclusions, as well as the degree of benefit from his conclusions.

For this, the researcher must present the most important ideas in the introduction, through two paragraphs that are focused to avoid generalities, narratives and exaggeration. It goes straight towards including the article with the nature of the problem raised in the paper, and highlighting the facts and conclusions that have been reached. This approach helps maintain the reader’s attention and enables them to have a comprehensive understanding of the paper.

The introduction assumes to answer a major question: When, how and why this problem/is happening now? And how can it be understood?

Answering this question requires the following analytical elements:

  • Presenting the problem that the paper addresses.
  • Defining the main actors.
  • Provide the reader with basic information on the topic.
  • Avoid going into details.
  • Avoid familiar phrases in academic studies such as “This paper is trying to address….”

            4- Analysis: Dismantle the issue

The main text forms the centerpiece and core of the paper. This requires the formulation and arrangement of evidence, and the formulation of arguments in accordance with the proposed recommendations.

Hence, the researcher has to envisage a set of formal conditions: realism, clarity, and smoothness in the narration of ideas and data, so that the analysis does not lose contact with the recipient.

In addition, the policy paper focuses on the actors. That is, it is not concerned with the legal or historical aspects of the phenomenon, but with the main actors involved in making and influencing the policies under study. Hence, it is important for the researcher to present the attitudes and behaviors of the main actors and their stakes, as well as the interactions that take place between the actors with different positions.

This is in addition to avoiding repetition and loose phrases that carry more than one meaning. In addition to adopting sub-headings while maintaining the unity of the subject, and good disposal between paragraph and paragraph. Here, attention should be paid to the importance of adopting short sentences, because they help to convey useful ideas in a brief and effective manner.

The argument for the conclusions and ideas framing the paper should be clear enough to be explained quickly to non-specialists. If the situation appears otherwise, the researcher must re-evaluate the logic of his argument.

5- Conclusion

In general, the conclusion looks towards the future. It either ends in the form of a question or an outlook for the future, or includes recommendations. Among the requirements of the process of formulating recommendations is that they should be consistent with the arguments and evidence on which the researcher relied on in his/her analysis. It must be realistic and feasible, so that the decision-maker can benefit from it, and so that the paper achieves its goal.