ARDD-Legal Aid is a local NGO that began by providing legal aid to all with a focus on the poorer and more marginalized groups in Jordan. Through the legal aid provided ARDD-Legal Aid was given a glimpse into the gaps that existed amongst overall services provided to such people and it became clear that in order to provide a holistic service to our beneficiaries it had to expand. Thus six new units were established focusing on political participation, capacity building and gender justice. Part of this expansion includes the Research Unit which will be dedicated to engaging highly qualified researchers from diverse backgrounds to look deeply into the main areas concerning the country, region and the beneficiaries with the aim of deepening our own understanding, increasing awareness amongst stakeholders and the wider community. It will be the beginning of more published material from within the country itself to add to the discourse occurring on a global level with the aim of empowering the voices of the subjects of research themselves.
The main purpose of the unit is to enhance programming and ensure quality program development. The aim is to develop evidence based programming, where the research should call for the projects and not vice versa.
As a local NGO that is an implementing partner for many large INGOs, ARDD-Legal Aid has the privilege to work closely with beneficiaries and provide services on both a macro and micro level. It is able to engage with beneficiaries through the various departments to see what gaps must be addressed and is thus given a unique insight into the needs on the ground. ARDD-Legal Aid through its current programs and beneficiaries is sitting on a plethora of information, but through the Research Unit this knowledge will now be captured and used for future quality programs.
The overall aim of the unit is to understand the problems of the community then analyze the issues and recommend solutions to then be implemented through our various projects and programs.
The research produced from this unit will be directed towards the following persons:
The resources to be used for the Research Unit will be both primary and secondary. The primary resources will be from within ARDD-Legal Aid itself. The information and data collected from the beneficiaries, projects and programs, information collected from work on the ground is in the process of being collated into an archive to be utilized by the research unit.
The secondary resources will complement the primary resources used, and include scholarly articles, journals, books, and papers written by experts in the field. The secondary research data base will be accessible through our various partners including universities regionally and internationally as well as policy and research centers that ARDD-Legal Aid is in partnership with.
The research unit will include a variety of researchers. The unit has begun with the recruitment of university students or graduates from abroad who are interested in ARDD-Legal Aid’s areas of work. They are often sent by their universities or are in Jordan through research programs such as Fulbright, and most of them already have an area of interest for which ARDD-Legal Aid comes in and helps enable their research by providing the researchers with a space, resources and access to information. In return ARDD-Legal Aid is able to utilize their findings in conjunction with its programmatic expertise to gain a deeper understanding of the prevalent issues in the area.
The unit also has partnerships with research institutions such as the UNRWA research field work project and most recently the Fafo Research Foundation. Through these institutes ARDD-Legal Aid is able to bring in leading researchers to the various departments within the organization, where both parties are able to benefit from the research conducted. Ultimately such collaboration demonstrates that the unit is there as a process of sharing information.
All published documents should add value to the programs, projects and overall pursuit of the ARDD-Legal Aid mandate. Thus far the types of documents to be published include but are not limited to: technical notes, policy briefs, articles, training materials, and papers. Where necessary, publications will be subject to peer review to ensure quality.