It is well known that IRFED mission proposed the establishment of the Institute of Social Sciences during the era of President Fouad Shehab in the late 1950s. The Institute played a fundamental role in the development planning of Lebanon through the studies, surveys and opinion polls carried out in accordance with its academic programs and research center existing since its establishment. It is also known that the war in Lebanon has reduced the capabilities of this Institute limiting its role to an academic and educational framework and paralyzed its research center, which is the main engine for re-linking the Institute with the functions for which it was established.
Within two years of assuming the duties of the Deanship, we have taken on our academic and research responsibilities in a manner that activates the Institute’s abilities and contributes to the dynamism of its development.
We have completed the shift towards the BMD system and created a number of new professional disciplines, which are unique to the Institute and are provided at the national level, in addition to the research disciplines that the Institute has been providing.
We have activated the Research Center of the Deanship through the opening of research laboratories. Today, we seek to develop research hubs for each laboratory in order to see knowledge in subjects and disciplines for which the Institute becomes an important scientific reference.
In this context, we have sought local and international partnerships with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNESCO and the Hariri Foundation to produce scientific reports directly related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. We are also determined to continue this participatory approach, whether at the research level or even at the level of ongoing conferences, seminars and workshops.
The Institute also works in collaboration with the academic staff to develop the research system of both the professional and research masters, through several workshops organized during this year, and through the issuance of a series of student manuals as a guide to write the professional and research theses.
The development of the Institute is not limited to the academic levels only. In fact, the Institute's journal is now undergoing a restructuring with a view to developing its publication standards, in order to maintain the high scientific level of the publications in the fields of sociology.
We hold great hopes that the participation of our Institute becomes essential in the process of statistical data entry as a reliable element in building policies and strategies, whether in the development of our Institute or even the Lebanese University as a whole. We will also endeavor to develop the quantitative research contributions produced by the Institute to serve this development trend at the national level.