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"Knowledge from the region, for the region"

About Us

The West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute is a non-profit policy think tank based in Amman, Jordan.

Operating under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, the Institute works to promote a transition to evidence-based policy and programming to combat the development and humanitarian challenges facing West Asia and North Africa.

The WANA Institute aspires to be a trusted source of knowledge, evidence and opinion, and to provide a forum for open debate for leading researchers and policy-makers in the region.

We undertake research, host conferences and conduct training workshops in the areas of social justice, sustainable development and human security. We believe these three areas represent both the most pressing issues facing our region and the greatest opportunity for our work to create vital impact.

For a detailed overview of our work and strategy, please have a look at the WANA Institute's Operational Strategy.


How We Work

The WANA Institute achieves its goals by undertaking four key activities:

1. Building a regional knowledge base
The WANA Institute produces progressive, inter-disciplinary research on social and development priorities and disseminates this across civil society, government and policy groups. We believe that policy must be driven by evidence rather than politics to reduce the depth of challenge facing the region.

2. Providing a multi-stakeholder platform for debate
Through regular conferences and events, the WANA Institute brings together diverse stakeholders to engage in non-politicised and evidence-based discussions around critical development challenges.

3. Developing regional knowledge networks and communities of practice
The WANA Institute provides a permanent platform for idea sharing, dialogue and networking. Our website and other training resources act as portal for learning and development to assist development stakeholders do what they do better.

4. Generating greater capacity for evidence uptake
Providing knowledge and facilitating debate is insufficient to generate impact. The WANA Institute works with change-makers to modify how policy is designed and create the conditions required to transform evidence into action.


Mission and Goals

Our mission is to empower the people of West Asia and North Africa with the tools, evidence and platform needed to secure social justice, safeguard human security and promote a green economy.

We believe that the challenges of the region can only be solved through:

  • An authentic, evidence-driven knowledge base
  • A stronger compact between government, civil society, business and academic groups
  • Cooperative, regional approaches

We have four goals that will allow us to achieve this mission:



Our History

The WANA Institute was founded in 2009 as the West Asia–North Africa Forum. Concerned by the strength, pace and inclusiveness of development in the WANA region, His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal initiated a platform where unlikely partnerships could form.

Between 2009 and 2014, with the generous support of its founding partner, the Nippon Foundation, the WANA Forum ran annual conferences aimed at developing mechanisms to promote good governance, raise living standards and protect the environment. The purpose was to tackle global issues that could not be solved by one country alone.

The WANA Forum’s first five years amassed critical lessons regarding the potential for regional thinking, cooperation and problem solving. It became clear, however, that transitioning such thinking into tangible action and results required an augmented strategy.

In 2014, the organisation was re-launched as the WANA Institute. Rather than a series of events, the WANA Institute is a process providing knowledge, tools and opportunities for partnership and policy development throughout the year.

Still intent to deliver on its promise of enhanced regional collaboration, the WANA Institute now focuses on producing high-quality, innovative research combined with training programmes and conferences that benefit civil society and other key stakeholders.

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