Posted on February 27, 2019

The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), today concluded its two-day research forum ‘Family Wellbeing: Towards Evidence-Based Family Policies,’ which was held Qatar National Convention Centre.

Over the course of the event, experts, policy makers, service providers, and representatives from leading organizations in Qatarexamined contextual challenges facing the development and implementation of related policies,highlighted local, regional, and international best practices, and proposed realistic and effective policy options and program interventions. In line of DIFI’s efforts to ensure that family issues are a key priority for policymakers in Qatar, the first day of the event focused on ‘The Wellbeing of Families Living with Autism’, while the second day of the event concentrated on ‘Work-Family Balance’.

Dr. Sharifa Al Emadi, Executive Director, DIFI, said: “Our first topic was ‘The Wellbeing of Families living with Autism’ in Qatar, where we discussed the key quantitative and qualitative evidence provided by DIFI’s recent study on the subject that examined various challenges and obstacles. DIFI will continue to supportthe Qatar National Autism Plan to address the needs of children with autism and their families, andwork to improve their lives by addressing their needs in areas such as raising awareness, receiving early diagnosis, and accessing treatment and education."

“Our second day examined a DIFI study that addressed existing work-family balance policies in Qatar and included a proposal featuring various options that aim to facilitate better reconciliation of work responsibilities and family commitments.”

The first day opened with a session titled ‘Families and National Policies on Autism’, moderated by Dr. Sharifa Al-Emadi, which was followed by two panels – ‘Service Providers and Families Living with Autism’ and ‘Avenues of Support for Families Living with Autism’. The day was attended by representatives from  the Ministry of Education and Higher Education; the Ministry of Public Health; Kuwait Center for Autism;Primary Health CareCorporation;Rumailah Hospital; Hamad Medical Corporation;QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine- Qatar;QF’s Pre-University Education school, Renad Academy; and ShafallahCenter.

The second day of the forum featured discussions titled ‘Research and Policy Debate on Leave Policies’, ‘Contribution of Child Care Arrangements to Work-Family Balance’, and ‘Research and Policy Debate on Flexible Working Arrangements’. The day brought together representatives from Qatar University; the Ministry of Justice; Brookings Doha Center; the Permanent Population Committee; and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

DIFI is a global policy and advocacy institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families through research and promote evidence-based polices at a national, regional, and international level. The institute has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.