The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in Oman
Overview of MEPI
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), located within the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, is a unique program designed to engage directly with and invest in the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). MEPI works to create vibrant partnerships with citizens to foster the development of pluralistic, participatory, and prosperous societies throughout the MENA region. To do this, MEPI partners with local, regional, and international non-governmental organizations (NGO), the private sector, academic institutions, and governments. More information about MEPI can be found at: http://mepi.state.gov/, and US Embassy- Muscat at MEPI-OMAN@state.gov, and information on MEPI Exchange Programs can be found at: http://mepi.state.gov/opportunities/mepi-exchange-programs/.
Information on MEPI's Regional Office in Abu Dhabi can be found at: abudhabi.mepi.state.gov.
Examples of Past and Current MEPI Programs and Supported NGOs in Oman:
High School Journalism Education: This MEPI-funded project aims to equip high school students in Oman with a foundation in journalism. As a part of the project’s activities, high school teachers receive training in journalism and journalist mentors offer training and guidance to the students. The project is administered by the U.S.-based NGO International Education and Resource Network (iEARN-USA), in partnership with the Academy for Educational Development (AED), Northwestern University, the International Center for Journalists, and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
Partnership Schools Program (PSP): PSP-Oman activities focused on the development of child-centered classroom teaching methodologies (CCCM), curriculum development, and educational management skills training. The project also focused on targeted interventions designed to ensure that Omani partners are capable of the sustained growth and replication of the school reforms demonstrated to date. Successes under this project include the development and testing of new “life skills” curricula for secondary school Grades 11 and 12, as well as the development of a professional staff at the Omani Ministry of Education to draft and review curricula and text books. PSP has been implemented in Oman by Creative Associates International, Inc. (CAII) since 2005, working in close partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sultan Qaboos University staff.
Parliamentary Strengthening and Women’s Empowerment with the International Republican Institute: This project promotes more active involvement by women, civil society, and representative institutions in support of reform through training to implement successful public awareness and advocacy efforts. IRI also provides policy development and constituent relations training to legislators and staff in Oman’s Majlis a’Shura.
Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP): In partnership with the U.S Department of Commerce, the CLDP project will provide technical assistance in order to improve legislative and regulatory frameworks and environments to do business throughout the MENA region. CLDP will also provide technical assistance to help Oman build capacity to improve the business environment, laws, and regulations called for in their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
Women’s Environmental Education and Women’s Empowerment: The project implemented by the Environmental Society of Oman (ESO) aimed to raise Omani women’s awareness of environmental issues and empower them to identify local environmental problems in their respective regions of Oman. Additionally, the project promoted Omani women’s participation in the decision making process and set a precedent of the public interacting with their elected officials as the women then conveyed their recommendations on environmental issues to the elected members of the Omani Majlis a’Shura.
Na’amal - We Work - Omani NGO Capacity Building: Through this project, Tawasul (Global Connections Center), provides training and tools to Omani NGOs to help them perform more effectively. The aim of this project is to build the capacity of Omani NGOs in underserved areas by offering training in the needed subjects of administration and management, resource development, and communications.
Practical Judicial Guide: With the assistance of Oman-based experts, Omani law school professors completed development of a Guide on Labor Law issues in Oman for judges, lawyers, workers, businessmen, and all interested parties. This first-of-its-kind “benchbook” was developed as part of a MEPI local grant and is now being used as a reference source at Sultan Qaboos University Law School. The benchbook is the result of more than a year of planning and cooperation among MEPI, the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, and the legal and judicial sectors in Oman, and will serve as a practical reference for judges, lawyers, businessmen, and workers in Oman.
Applications due by February 25, 2013
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