Doha: Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Public Policy (CPP) hosted this year’s Academic Network for Development Dialogue (ANDD) Conference, in collaboration with Qatar University (QU), Al-Quds University (AQU) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA). Held May 15 at HBKU’s Minaretein building, the conference attracted academics and practitioners for robust discourse concerning the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With the theme "Sustainable Development Goals Unpacked: Ethics, Policies, and Culture," the conference paid particular attention to the ethical, policy, and cultural dimensions of the SDGs as well as fostering knowledge exchange, dialogue, and capacity building among participants. Proceedings commenced with opening remarks by Dr. Leslie A. Pal, Founding Dean, CPP, and Dr. Elham Kateeb, Associate Professor of Dental Public Health, Al-Quds University. This was followed by a keynote speech by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Jassim Al Thani, Former Minister of Economy and Trade, State of Qatar.

This year’s ANDD Conference also included a series of panel discussions on the interplay between ethics, policy, culture and the SDGs. Each session featured moderators and panelists collaborative partners, including Al-Quds University, Qatar University, and the UN House, as well as academic institutions from across the Gulf region. The conference concluded with a student competition awards and certificate ceremony moderated by Dr. Pal. 

In her closing remarks, Prof. Mariam Al-Maadeed, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Qatar University, and ANDD’s first chair and founding member, expressed her pride in the ANDD’s impactful achievements and contributions to sustainable development across the region. She also highlighted the release of the First Edition of the ANDD Paper Series, published by QU Press, as well as the ANDD Online Master Class Course on Research Fundamentals, which witnessed the registration of more than 2300 participants.

The conference was preceded by a two-day interactive workshop on 13-14 May, designed to discuss the 12 shortlisted papers for the second edition of the ANDD Research Paper Series on promoting human wellbeing and strengthening capabilities to accelerate sustainable development in the Arab region. The Paper Series initiative seeks to bring together students, researchers, and early-career UN staff, under the guidance of experts in the field, to discuss different aspects of this topic.

One of the main aims of the perfection workshop is to assist the authors of the shortlisted papers to participate in a series of discussions of their papers with experts, in terms of their ideas and solutions.

Speaking after the conclusion of the ANDD Conference, Dr. Evren Tok, Associate Dean, CPP, said: “We were undoubtedly honored to bring this year’s conference to HBKU. Doing so reflects the CPP’s consistent ability to gather experts from across the region and further afield to discuss a wealth of issues shaping public policy discourse. We do this without losing sight of our commitment to educating and nurturing future generations of public professionals, many of whom are already engaged in the research and studies concerning the SDGs and related topics.”

The CPP conducts cutting edge research on policy challenges facing Qatar, the region, and the world. It aims to be one of the leading public policy schools in the region and the world, acting as a bridge and hub for innovative policy solutions across a range of issues.

About Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Innovating Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience, innovative ecosystem, and unique partnerships. HBKU delivers multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs through its colleges, and provides opportunities for research and scholarship through its institutes and centers. For more information about HBKU, visit

About ANDD

The Academic Network for Development Dialogue (ANDD) aims at creating synergy and strengthening the cooperation and dialogue between the United Nations (UN) and Academia. It acts as a think tank in the region to influence the UN's work and the global dialogue on policy options to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The ANDD was established as a partnership between universities and educational institutions regionally and worldwide with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) supported by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and Qatar University (QU).

The network supports knowledge exchange between the UN and the Academia in the Arab region. It focuses on dialogue, and facilitates collaboration between two schools of thought (the academic and non-academic), being an example to start cooperation and share knowledge.