ERF’s research agenda has been carefully designed according to its policy-relevance. While topics are largely economics-related, in a number of areas, cross-disciplinary research is proving crucial to successful policy formulation, thereby shifting the focus toward integrated programs that incorporate such fields as institutional economics, political economy, demography, and sociology.
A representative menu of ERF research interests includes topics which fall under the headings of :
*Macroeconomic management and the role of the state;
*Trade, regional integration, and EU-Med Partnership Agreements;
*Financial sector performance, globalization, and FDI;
*Labor markets, human resource development, population and poverty;
.Research Fellows approach the ERF secretariat with ideas for research initiatives and projects, for which funding is required. ERF staff work with the Research Fellows to develop the project, both in terms of its scientific content, administrative arrangements and budget. ERF then approaches potential donors
Once funding has been obtained for the project, the ERF secretariat administers the grant on behalf of the Research Fellow(s) concerned, and takes responsibility for reporting to the donors on the activities undertaken and expenditures incurred under the grant.
Alternatively, the ERF secretariat develops research initiatives or receives funds from different resources to engage its research community in these projects.
ERF supports and promotes research dissemination through various communication channels. ERF disseminates the key results of research to a wide audience in the research, business and the policy community through its events, publications, and its website.
The ERF Annual Conference is a highly visible conference that concentrates on issues relevant to economic policy in the region. The conference relies both on commissioned and submitted papers. To promote region-wide and international interactions, economists from different parts of the region and from outside the region are invited to participate.
ERF also organizes roundtable discussions, workshops, and seminars for its Research Fellows to meet with other members under the umbrella of a given project in order to discuss and research results.
ERF research is disseminated through the following publications:
*The Working Paper Series disseminates research-in-progress to promote constructive debate and peer review.
*The Research Report Series presents the outcome of completed research work either sponsored by or administered through different ERF research competitions.
*The Forum Newsletter is a major research digest and communications channel published quarterly in both English and Arabic. It offers succinct articles by specialists, digests of ERF and other topical research, and short reviews of relevant new books.
*Volumes appear regularly on all ERF-sponsored workshops and conferences. These are produced either in-house or in association with major international publishers and cover material useful to researchers, academia, and development specialists.
*The Regional Indicators Report known as Economic Trends in the MENA Region provides a forecast of trends, sectoral development, and the business climate. It is published regularly, with contributions from the ERF network of specialists and ERF staff.