All of the research that the Network conducts or funds must address at least one of the following six aims.
The Nahrein Network fosters the sustainable development of history, heritage and the humanities in post-conflict Iraq and its neighbours. We have six clearly defined aims, each linked to one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals:
1. To better understand the current situation
Why, and how, have local experts and audiences been excluded from the production and consumption of knowledge about the past of Iraq and its neighbours? We aim to develop a fuller historical and political understanding of this problem.
- See UN SDG 10: Reduce inequalities between and within countries
2. To raise the profile of local expertise
We aim to support Iraq humanities academics and heritage professionals to engage with regional and global academic communities, as producers of research for international consumption.
- See UN SDG 17: Strengthen partnerships for sustainable development
3. To improve the job prospects of the region's youth
We aim to improve employability and leadership potential for humanities graduates from Iraqi universities.
- See UN SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
4. To help heritage organisations better serve local needs
We aim to enable Iraqi museums, archives, cultural heritage sites, and registered NGOs to contribute to, and diversify, local tourism and knowledge economies.
- See UN SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
5. To help post-conflict healing and reconciliation
We aim to develop the role of Iraqi history and heritage in repairing past injustices, and in building inclusive communities and a fairer, more cohesive society.
- See UN SDG 16: Promote peace, justice and strong institutions
6. To address Iraq's climate emergency
We aim to foster an integrated, holistic approach to heritage and the environment, in order to mitigate against the effects of impending natural disaster.
- See UN SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
These aims are carefully directed at improving the economic prospects and social welfare of the five social groups who are most vulnerable to being 'left behind' in Iraq. In relation to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the Network aims to tackle:
- improved employability for young humanities graduates (SDG 4: Quality Education; SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth);
- improved inclusion and representation of women and minorities in education, society and the economy (SDG 5: Gender Equality; SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities);
- increased local tourism and knowledge economies around cultural heritage sites (SDG 14: Life Below Water; SDG 15: Life on Land);
- better social cohesion in war-damaged communities (SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions);
- increased resilience to the threat posed by rapid climate change in Iraq (SDG 13: Climate action)