The Bartlett


UCL Institute for Global Prosperity launches new research centre with ESRC

20 April 2017

Professor Henrietta Moore, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity Director, has launched a new research centre with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to improve the prosperity of Lebanon.

RELIEF centre

The RELIEF (Refugees, Education, Learning, Information Technology, and Entrepreneurship for the Future) Centre is one of two five year projects that form part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion UK Government investment to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

The other centre is CPAID (The Centre for Public Authority and International Development) and will be led by Professor Tim Allen at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

The RELIEF centre’s research will focus on how we can measure prosperity and growth in a country that is experiencing such a massive displacement of people, moving beyond indices like GDP to include measures of well-being, health, employment and education.

The centre will examine how Syrian refugees can work alongside their host Lebanese communities to design more resilient and better quality living environments. It will also look at how new technologies can be used to deliver affordable education to both refugees and Lebanese citizens, equipping people with the skills and capacities for managing conflict, and improving their environments and well-being.

In addition, the centre will conduct research into how Syrian cities, institutions and communities can be rebuilt and strengthened once the current conflict is over.

Professor Henrietta Moore says "63.5 million people around the world are currently forcibly displaced from their homes presenting a huge challenge for global prosperity."

"Lebanon is host to over a million refugees and is at the epicentre of this crisis of displacement. The RELIEF Centre will explore how to make countries like Lebanon and Syria more prosperous, and improve the life of all in the face of such mass displacement".

"Prosperity isn't just about improving GDP, you also need to fight inequality, promote social cohesion, and provide education, health, and decent employment. Giving people hope for the future."

"My hope is that the RELIEF Centre will ultimately improve the quality of people's lives through a programme of research, education and civic engagement that develops a vision of future prosperity for Lebanon."

Chief Executive of the ESRC Professor Jane Elliott says:

"Improving the lives and prosperity of the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations is a global challenge, especially in the face of war, conflict and mass displacement of persons."

"It is vital that development agencies have the best evidence to hand when deciding how to direct their efforts. These two centres will bring together world leading experts from a diverse range of academic fields and across a range of countries. Their research will help us understand the needs of the most vulnerable communities, and how we can best meet them."

For more information, visit the ESRC website.