and economic events from the Arab Middle East are prominently reported,
but it is well to keep in mind a few distributional factors when
considering the Foundation's program there. The region is relatively united by language and religions, but
capita income. Three of the
world's 25 neediest countries, Yemen, South Yemen, and the Sudan,
neighbor the world's most wealthy;
resources. Egypt, Lebanon
and Jordan have relatively abundant trained manpower, but little mineral
wealth, whereas the opposite is true of the oil states;
systems and ideologies. Left
to right, feudal to socialist, tribal to peasant-based systems, all
exist under the Arab tent.
this paper we are departing from the Foundation's usual categories of
agriculture, population, education, etc., in order to consider the
development process from another angle. One can view development as the process of change in the way
people make their living, the way they organize themselves in a society,
the way family members relate to one another, and the way individuals
view the world. These four
dimensions of modernization--the technological, the structural, the
familial and the individual -- replace the traditional categories as the
framework for the discussion.
foreign aid programs concern themselves almost exclusively with the
second dimension -- the structural. The technology is borrowed, or imported, and the domain of family
relationships and individual values and beliefs is thought to be out of
bounds. We are re-examining
our assumptions concerning the transference of technology and the
importance of individual and family change, but in this paper we have
selected illustrative program activities in only two of the areas.
have chosen to describe some of the recent changes in our approach to
work in the structural area, particularly in management and the social
sciences, and to outline the explorations we are making in the area of
individual modernization. Three
additional aspects of our program are also discussed: our work in the
oil-producing states of the Peninsula, our relationship to other sources
of funds, and our current use of staff.
principal omission from the paper is a thorough discussion of the Arid
Lands Agricultural Development program (ALAD), which would warrant a
substantial portion of any full description of our work in the Middle
East. It is our largest project in terms of staff and budget and it
is doing important work in the often-neglected area of the adaptation of
technology to the agroclimatic conditions of the region. ALAD does not receive its due in this discussion because it is
soon scheduled to become the nucleus of a new international agricultural
research center and part of the Consultative Group system. This successful pattern of development work is already very
familiar to the Committee.
of Structures and Systems
distinguish between past and current strategies for the modernization of
structures and systems of society, it may be helpful to outline first
the style of this work that characterized the Foundation's program until
familiar pattern of work generally involved grants for equipment and
operating expenses, coupled with expatriate technical assistance and
scholarships for training future staff of the institutions abroad. Substantial efforts were made to develop institutes of public
administration in several countries, university- based management
programs at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the American
University in Cairo (AUC), faculties of agriculture, science and
economics in Syria and Jordan, a science education center at AUB, and a
language teaching center at AUC. Overseas
scholarships averaged $300,000 a year in support of these projects.
transfer of administrative techniques.
The largest program of this type was an eight-year,
one-hundred man-year administrative reform project in Saudi Arabia,
which the Saudis mostly financed. Other
examples are classification and pay projects in Lebanon and Jordan and a
tax administration project in Lebanon.
Strengthening disciplinary competence.
Post-doctoral research competence was bolstered through a
regional social science awards program and grants in the general field
of population to AUC and AUB.
current strategy, which has emerged gradually over the past three or
four years, is based on a different perception of development priorities
in the Arab world. A number
of modern institutions which we and others have helped build are able to
function without additional outside support, and a substantial core of
well-trained Arabs can be found in most of the vital disciplines. Many of these institutions and individuals are not, however, as
useful to Arab society as they were intended to be or as they would like
to be. They remain in a real sense alien from Arab society even
after they have ceased to be dependent on foreign funds or personnel. We now see our task in the social sciences and management fields
as one of relating modern skills to Arab problems, rather than one of
creating more skills and new institutions.
symptoms of this alienation are widespread. Most Arab universities in the more populous and relatively
advanced parts of the Arab world are forced by student numbers to be
primarily teaching institutions. Salaries
are low and research little rewarded, so scholars supplement income by
moonlighting. There is also
little demand for research on the part of policy-makers, who see scant
relevance to their work in what scholars typically write. They are generally right, because scholars trained abroad must
combine creativity with solid data collection to make their knowledge
useful to Arab society.
lack of demand for research is compounded by the absence of senior
research leadership. Older
scholars have either lost their research competence through disuse or
have emigrated to institutions in which their skills are more valued,
such as western universities, U.N. agencies or the wealthy governments
of the Peninsula.
gloomy picture of the research environment is not unlike the situation
in the administrative field. The
transfer of management techniques implies a transfer of values, not
always understood at the time a project is initiated, and these values
are sometimes unacceptable when they become manifest. Classification and pay systems, for example, work poorly in
conditions where appointments and promotions are a vital and legitimate
element in the distribution of political rewards. Similarly, the machinery of tax administration can be much
improved through training and reorganization, but it cannot be
effectively deployed unless the principle of equality under the law is
accepted. Training programs
for middle level management sometimes succeed in improving the skills
and perceptions of their trainees, but it is then discovered that the
trainees become frustrated and discouraged when they return to the
institutions from which they have been sent.
above paragraphs may be somewhat overdrawn, but they illustrate the
general phenomena to which our program seeks to respond, namely that the
substantial pool of well-trained Arab intellectual manpower is, for
institutional and cultural reasons, inadequately addressing the problems
of modernizing Arab society.
first assumption is that for modern education, the social sciences, and
management skills to become part of Arab culture, their usefulness must
be demonstrated in relation to specific Arab problems. Only then will the network of institutional incentives evolve
which will enable modern skills to be rewarded appropriately and used
effectively. We recognize that the question is not simply to awaken
policy-makers and administrators to the wonders of the social sciences
and modern management; a process of adaptation of these intellectual
tools is also required.
principal tactics used in this connection are the following:
Broaden the use of the
institutions we have helped to build.
most successful institution-building efforts were in the field of
education. We are seeking
to enhance the value of the Science and Mathematics Education Center (SDAEC)
at AUB and the English Language Institute (ELI) at AUC by financing
technical assistance contracts that enable them to advise governments in
the region on curriculum revision, textbook production, and teacher
training, in their respective fields. This tends to broaden the outlook of the scholars working in
these centers and at the same time to provide competent Arabic-speaking
advisory assistance to the ministries of education in Lebanon, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia and the Sudan, and to the University of Aleppo, where SMEC
and ELI have worked. The
Institute of Statistical Studies and Research at Cairo University is
also contributing computer time and analytical skills to environmental
research projects in Egypt.
Focused research grants
with close staff participation.
of seeking to strengthen scholarship per
se, we have made a number of
research awards carefully focused on specific problems. Often, Foundation staff members or consultants provide senior
research leadership by directly engaging in research design and
sometimes by participating in the research itself. Examples include:
research. Jeswald Salacuse
led seminars on law and development in Lebanon and Egypt, which led to
research projects on municipal law and the social effects of the land
reform law. In the Sudan,
Salacuse is participating in research into customary law, the current
phase of a law project that began with Foundation support in 1960.
Jordan, three economic research projects have been designed by staff of
the Royal Scientific Society and the University of Jordan, with the
active participation of Jared Hazleton and Carl Gotsch.
economics research projects are underway or under discussion at the
University of Khartoum, the Jordan Valley Commission, the University of
Alexandria, the American University of Beirut, and the Institute of
National Planning in Egypt. Carl
Gotsch is much involved in all cases.
initiatives were responsible for environmental research projects on the
Egyptian coastal desert ecosystem and the quality of the Nile, but
Foundation staff and consultants played a major role in the final
research design, and Wayne Willey is playing an active professional role
in the execution of the projects.
possible, we seek to work not only with the researcher but
with the logical user of the research results. In Lebanon, for example, government agencies and scientists
from the various universities were invited to participate in the design
of an environmental program before the Foundation shared in its
financing through the National Council for Scientific Research. In Egypt, by working directly with the Ministry of Agriculture
and the Ministry of Planning we hope to create a climate receptive to
the results of research on the economics of the irrigated farming
Management programs related
to product or service.
has in a real sense become a dimension of other projects or programs in
which the Foundation is involved, rather than a separate activity. In Saudi Arabia, for example, the Foundation's work with the
Ministry of Education involves improving management information systems
of the Ministry, and at the same time strengthening the educational
content of the Ministry’s work by improving its access to outside
expertise. In Egypt, an essential element of the foreign investment
program is the organizational work of the foreign investment secretariat
undertaken by Delwin Roy and a local consultant. The economic analysis and advice contributed by Henry Bruton and
Robert Armstrong would be of little use if the organization charged with
attracting and handling foreign investment was incapable of the task.
Mapping regional research
frontiers and enhancing professionalism through regional conferences and
among social scientists in the Arab world have been so haphazard that
there is little sense of priority among the many issues the social
sciences could be employed to examine. In 1974, with Foundation support, a major conference in
Alexandria of regional sociologists, psychologists and anthropologists
began to examine questions of regional significance. Workshops on specific problems and topics are planned, and a
social science association is in the process of being formed. In agricultural economics, a month-long workshop on research
techniques for dealing with the economics of irrigated farming systems
will be sponsored by the Foundation at AUB next summer. This type of activity over time will, it is hoped, help to
establish standards for Arab social science research and foster a sense
of professionalism among participants.
Shifts in focus on
growth is an immediate threat to Egyptian society, and a cloud on the
horizon elsewhere. Previous
work in Egypt in reproductive biological research and in support of the
national population program is proceeding at reduced levels, but new
attention is being devoted to fertility motivation. Ruminations on motivation have led to an enhanced appreciation of
the importance of changing individual attitudes and beliefs in the
one thinks of development in terms of the changes in individual behavior
which modern life demands, attitudes, values and beliefs come into focus
as key variables. Affected
are underlying elements of human personality such as time perspective,
the ability to defer gratification and thus to plan and save, the sense
of individual responsibility, the notion that human potential can
consciously be raised, the ability to accommodate ambiguity and change,
and the domain of rationality as distinct from the supernatural. A subset of attitudes and beliefs surrounding the child may also
offer the key to fertility motivation.
is known that attitudes, beliefs and values change in response to modern
education and employment in factories. The introduction of improved agricultural technology also
produces demonstrable changes in the world view of peasants. If modern education and modern employment were in sight for all
people in the underdeveloped world, one might be content to let
attitudes, beliefs and values change in their wake. Unfortunately, economic, environmental and fertility realities
make that prospect remote. The
question the Middle East office seeks to examine is whether acceptable
methods can be found to speed up the process of individual modernization.
If so, productivity gains and lower fertility may more
readily be achieved.
is no question about the possibility
of affecting attitudes and values by direct action. Missionaries, leaving aside their religious purposes, notably
advanced the cultural levels in many of the communities with which they
worked around the world. They
achieved this through individual modernization primarily, rather than
through improved technology or social structure. The Maoist Chinese have been as diligent in altering individual
attitudes and beliefs as in changing technology or structure. Our conviction is that it is possible to accelerate individual
modernization without reliance on unacceptable ideologies.
of the critical variables involved are implanted in the individual
during early childhood. Thereafter
they become more difficult to change. Consequently, we began our exploration of the field by supporting
a UNICEF research project on the child rearing beliefs and practices of
Omani women in two remote villages. The mothers proved not surprisingly to be very concerned about
the prevailing high levels of infant mortality, but many of their
actions to protect offspring were designed to ward off the evil eye and
appease the djinn. Similarly,
superstition and custom ruled their dietary and sanitation practices.
is difficult to see how improved technology or modern schools, hospitals
and agricultural extension services can much benefit these rural Omanis
without coming directly to grips with underlying attitudes, beliefs and
values. On the other hand,
the gains that can be made at the individual or community level are
limited unless technological advances in their means of production are
also available. We do not
suggest that individual modernization alone is enough to bring about
having only recently emerged from 25 years of almost complete seclusion,
is an extreme case, not typical of the Arab world or most other
developing areas. Even in
Lebanon, however, Edwin Terry Prothro's study in the 1960's of child
rearing revealed practices much more suited to raising children for
traditional, than for modern, life. Again with UNICEF, the Foundation has supported the compilation
and publication of an Arabic guidebook of maternal health and child
care, written by a Sunni Muslim Lebanese woman who canvassed local
medical, nutritional and behavioral authorities in compiling her work.
It is being published this month.
social attitudes inhibit access to the childrearing environment of the
home in some Arab areas and cost factors lead us to consider mass media
for reaching mothers and young children. With rising income levels, television is spreading
rapidly. At this writing, a team from Children's Television Workshop is in
the Gulf states, at the invitation of those governments, examining the
possibility of co-producing educational children's programs in
element of individual modernization in the Arab world is the child's
operational command of written Arabic. Arabic poses a special problem because the written and normally
spoken codes differ substantially. This is a delicate and religiously sensitive area, but despite
occasional missteps, we are continuing to probe the field.
survey of experimentation and innovation in teaching written Arabic
should be completed next month by Matta Akrawi, a respected Arab scholar
who serves as consultant to the Foundation. Also, research into the problems encountered by a child in
learning the written code, by psycholinguists VVayne and Sonia Aller, is
underway at AUB.
beginnings have also been made in the popularization of science. Jamal Manassah, a young physicist from AUB, serving as
part-time consultant to the Foundation, is working to improve the
content of materials used by science clubs in Egypt and Lebanon.
enough is known about individual modernization and how it happens. We have suggested elsewhere that the Foundation examine the
field carefully for opportunities to increase understanding of the
phenomenon. In the Middle
East two research ideas are being examined which, if feasible, may make
a small contribution to our understanding:
After 20 or more years of relative affluence from oil production,
Kuwait has a full array of modern social services. Through a combination of demographic and psychological research
techniques we hope to learn why the crude fertility rate of native
Kuwaitis is still around 46 per 1000. Our hypothesis is that, acquiring wealth the way they did,
the Kuwaitis have not undergone the changes in underlying attitudes,
values and beliefs that normally occur in the development process of
gradually increasing productivity.
In the Sudan, we hope to examine the relationship between changes
in childrearing and fertility and the length of time farmers have been
engaged in irrigated agriculture. The
Gezira scheme is two generations old and more recent schemes of 15, 10
and one year’s duration offer an interesting research opportunity. It is anticipated that if changes can be identified and charted,
the process of attitudinal change in the newer schemes can be
section of the paper has a length disproportionate to our investment in
individual modernization activities. It is an area where we believe we are breaking new ground and
hence may warrant somewhat greater elucidation than other program fields.
paragraphs deal with several aspects of the Middle East office’s style
of operation that may be of particular interest to the Committee.
to the October War, when the oil states were wealthy but not titanic,
the Foundation had engaged in only one major project in the Peninsula,
the Saudi-financed administrative reform program that terminated in
modest entry into the Gulf began in 1973, when a manpower specialist and
a consultant on administrative reform were assigned to Bahrain on a
shared cost basis. James
Socknat on manpower had a regional mandate so his salary was paid by the
Foundation, but Fred Bent in administration and subsequently William
Snavely in economics had three quarters of their costs borne by the
March 1974 we agreed to a Saudi request for the services of Wesley
Edwards as advisor to the Ministry of Education, and asked him to serve
in a representational capacity in Riyadh as well. In order to ensure that he was his own man, we decided against
seeking a shared-cost arrangement. He has come to believe that that decision was important.
are now faced with a decision as to whether to post a man in the Gulf
with the dual specialist-representative assignment that is working well
in Riyadh and Khartoum. The
Prime Minister of Bahrain, pleased with Socknat and Bent, suggested that
the Foundation should have an office in the Gulf, and offered to share
in its cost if the site were Bahrain. Bolstered by the Riyadh experience, we are currently inclined to
be positive about the idea and to select Kuwait as the site for the
The importance of the peninsular states to the world economy has
put a premium on their orderly development. The Foundation staff, with wide experience and contacts,
effectively serve as disinterested advisors and honest brokers for
Western non-profit institutions.
the course of a year Edwards has helped to create linkages between the
Saudi Ministry of Education and the following institutions: AUB in
science education and principal training; Indiana University in
audio-visual planning; the Center for Applied Linguistics in English
language; Florida State University and the University of Maryland in
science and mathematics education; the Educational Testing Service in
testing; and the Educational Products Information Exchange in
educational equipment specifications. In addition, assistance has been provided to the Vice Rector,
Dean of Libraries and the Deputy Dean of Education of the University of
Riyadh in visiting U. S. institutions to discuss the possibility of
cooperation. Beyond the
brokerage role, Edwards and other members of the professional staff have
provided consulting assistance to the government in the fields of
manpower planning, management and education.
the Gulf, many of the sheikhdoms could benefit from the sort of
brokerage we are doing in Riyadh. Kuwait,
while more sophisticated, has expressed a need for better links with U.
S. higher education, links of the sort we can help forge. The current ad hoc fashion in which American universities are
approaching the oil states is not entirely healthy for either side. We plan to explore ways to foster a more coherent dialogue
between American and Arab educators whether we move further in the Gulf
The Foundation's experience in the foreign aid field may prove
useful to Arab philanthropy. Arab aid-giving to date has impressive dimensions but is not
easy to document. Kuwait is
reported to give away 6% of its GNP, and it has by far the most
professional methods for handling aid. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) is modeled
on the IBRD and its work has been relatively isolated from political
pressures. Kuwait took the
lead in establishing the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (AFSED)
two years ago. So far APSED
has made only a few loans of the sort the KFAED makes, but its charter
calls for work in the social and educational fields as well.
for support of educational and scientific research are vitally needed. In addition to research, there is need for library development,
translations of scholarly works and the stimulation of children's book
production, all of which could be facilitated by Arab foundations or
special funds. The field
holds promise for fruitful Ford Foundation efforts, and a beginning has
Kuwait is a
development laboratory. The
opportunity Kuwait presents for learning about the development process
is in some ways unparalleled. It
is a country with good statistical services and a full panoply of modern
services. It remains under-developed in some important senses, and
offers a chance to examine the importance of individual and family
modernization because the technological and structural constraints have
economic questions are also raised by the sheikhdoms, many of which can
look forward to oil wealth for only one or two generations. Serious thinking about what these states should do now to
prepare for life without mineral wealth has only begun. It is a task we would like to share.
Duaij, head of the Kuwait Planning Board, regrets the lack of
middle-distance research into economic and social questions in Kuwait. He has welcomed an association with the
Foundation. Similarly, the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University
is keen to cooperate with the Foundation on research and other matters. Negotiations are proceeding.
with Other Funds
limitations prohibit a full discussion of our pattern of interaction
with domestic divisions of the Foundation, U.N. agencies, the IDRC and
U.S. Government (PL 480), but a chart will be available at the Committee
meeting showing the extent we are currently "leveraging" funds.
staff list of the Middle East office must include local consultants and
perennial foreign consultants in addition to full-time professionals, in
order to show the full scope of the regional network of professionals on
whom our program depends.
pattern of staff interaction is difficult to describe briefly. Each geographical representative -- Bunker for Egypt, Salacuse
for the Sudan, Edwards for Saudi Arabia, Olson for Syria and Jordan --
becomes an entrepreneur seeking to attract the professional attentions
of substantive specialists to program tasks in his area. But this also happens with substantive
staff. Delwin Roy has enlisted the cooperation of Benedict in
sociology, Gotsch in agricultural economics and Salacuse in law in
furthering his work with the Institute of National Planning and the
investment program in Egypt.
once clear distinctions between management staff and program staff have
thus begun to blur. Several
characteristics of the Middle East program tend to raise the management
share of our budget -- geographical dispersion, numerous small grant
actions, labor-intensive style -- but these are precisely the factors
believe, permit us to increase
our effectiveness in the region despite declining budgets.