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Building Capacity on Ageing Research in the MENA region

In July 2019, Professor Shereen Hussein visited the United Nations’ Institute on Ageing INIA to discuss implications of population ageing in the Middle East and North Africa region and understand potential collaboration to build relevant research and practice capacity in the region.  Professor Marvin Formosa, Director of INIA, discussed the Institute’s priorities and highlighted previous work and links within the region. One role of INIA is to empower and build the capacity of low and middle-income countries to face the challenges posed by population ageing in the most effective ways. The Institute provides multi-disciplinary education and training in specific areas related to ageing, while also acts as a catalyst for knowledge exchange on issues about ageing welfare.

Professor Hussein held a series of discussions around the potential role of INIA in facilitating building capacity and raising awareness in the region. INIA actively engages in the region and runs regular workshops and training activities specific to gerontology and ageing aspects. The Institute provides multi-disciplinary education and training annually in the following areas: Social Gerontology, Health Promotion and Policy Formulation. 

Professors Hussein and Formosa discussed potential future collaboration opportunities both about building capacity and research partnership. They identified several possible topics and areas of engagement for future development. These included supporting the development of long-term care practice in general long-term care support and more specifically, to dementia and palliative care. They identified building research capacity through dedicated methodology and research design training initiatives as critical activities for the region. They discussed the importance of designing and orienting activities within an understanding of the cultural, geographical and socio-economic context of the region. 


This activity received funding from the University of Kent, GCRF Partnership Fund in 2019 and was led by Professor Shereen Hussein.

A more extended version of this blog is published here.

Founder and Director
Shereen Hussein is a Health and Social Care Policy professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom.
Shereen Founded the MENARAH Network in 2019, through an initial grant from the Global Challenge Research Fund, UKRI. She is a medical demographer with expertise in ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care systems. Shereen regularly collaborates with the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank in policy and research focused on ageing in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
Shereen received her undergraduate degree in statistics and a postgraduate degree in computer science at Cairo University. She completed an MSc in medical demography at the London School of Hygiene and a PhD in quantitative demography and population studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom.

Director of the United Nations International Institute on Ageing, Malta

Marvin Formosa PhD is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Gerontology and Dementia Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. He holds the posts of Chairperson of the National Commission for Active Ageing (Malta), Rector’s Delegate for the University of the Third Age (Malta), and Director of the International Institute on Ageing United Nations – Malta (INIA). Prof. Formosa published widely in the field of ageing studies, and recent publications included Active and healthy ageing: Gerontological and geriatric inquiries (2018), and The University of the Third Age and active ageing: European and Asian-Pacific perspectives (2019).

He is Country Team Leader (Malta) of the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), sits as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries, and his academic interests include older adult learning, Universities of the Third Age, social class dynamics, feminist gerontology, and critical gerontology.