Our Programs


I. Research Program

The unit has become a leading source of evidence-based research and knowledge on Arab Social Responsibility, filling a knowledge gap left by the lack of proper documentation and analysis for the region.

Through careful planning and screening, the research activities and programs of the unit respond to the challenges and issues facing this sector all while building a solid infrastructure for its continued growth in parallel.


The efforts of our research arm consist of:

  • Providing a regional platform that encourages interaction between scholarly analysis and the experiences of practitioners, the Takaful Annual Conference. Based on the call for papers and the best paper selection by an interdisciplinary refereeing committee, vetted research papers are published annually through the Takaful Conference Proceedings Volume. Due to its growing visibility, Takaful has become an important regional platform for foundations, civil society organizations, the private sector, scholars, young researchers and policymakers to exchange knowledge and experiences that advance policy and practice.

  • Developing original mapping studies and surveys on innovations and interventions of the institutionalized social investment and giving sector.

  • Endorsing policy discussions papers that present comparative research and address current or foreseen policy issues by providing recommendations to the policy debate and key stakeholders. Books, in-depth research and case studies have significantly influenced the discourse by disseminating applied research, showcasing successful models and providing practical advice from leading practitioners in the field on effective, socially responsible practices and trends.

  • Holding policy roundtables, workshops and conferences to create awareness and stimulate policy debate. These roundtables also serve as a platform for the emergence and growth of a community of practice for foundations, social entrepreneurs, philanthropy and civic engagement scholars and young researchers in the region.


The unit also aims to engage AUC students from all schools and departments to actively engage in its research activities. If you are interested to apply for an internship kindly contact us through this email: gcresearch@aucegypt.edu


II. Capacity Development Program

The program’s activities aim to increase philanthropists’ efficiency and effectiveness in dispensing their funds and managing their operations. The program achieves the later by:

  • Providing training based on identifying the market needs of civic society and filling the skills gap by providing the needed tools

  • Contributing to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility through providing technical assistance in formulating comprehensive CSR programs and supporting in its implementation.


III. Youth Leadership Program

A better future in the region is dependent on younger generations becoming leaders and professionals that exhibit determination, creativity and responsibility to solve emerging
economic and social challenges. The center’s Youth Civic Engagement program prepares university students and fresh graduates, from all Egyptian governorates, by providing them with
capacity-building initiatives, mentorship, leadership programs and fellowships.


  • The fellowship is a chance to provide active civically engaged youth an enriched experienced and a deep understanding of the nonprofit sector within the context of their own community and country. The fellowship falls under the Lazord Foundation which is dedicated to supporting the design, implementation, and development of experiential and educational programs for young professionals in the Mediterranean region.


    • Internship
    • Capacity Development
    • Mentoring
    • International Exposure


  • Ma’an Arab University Alliance is a regional platform working in collaboration with global Talloires Network. It aims to bring together universities in Arab countries with the collective goal of encouraging and enhancing civic engagement implementation in higher education and supporting the exchange of best practices. The secretariat of Ma’an Alliance is currently hosted by the John D. Gerhart Center.


    • Research
    • Capacity Development
    • Online Courses
    • National and Regional Competitions

Community Based Initiatives

  • ​​​​​​KHATWA is a youth civic engagement program that gives Egyptian youth the knowledge and skills to actively and positively participate in the development of their communities.
    In practice, KHATWA is:


    • A ten-month program where participants work together to develop ideas for initiatives in their communities and learn how to bring these ideas to life.
    • A platform that connects participants to a network of support including mentors and trainers as well as financial and technical resources to help participants realize and develop their initiatives.
    • The program is part of the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg program and is jointly implemented in Egypt by Gerhart Center at the American University in Cairo and MitOst organization.
  • In collaboration with Life Makers Foundation, the project is 5 month in length, which aims to enhance the urban development of Helwan slums by launching a youth
    competition for 30 students from Helwan University. Students will be trained on how to develop innovative community-based initiatives, which will be implemented
    in Kafer El Elu and Arab Rashed.


    • Capacity Development
    • Seed Funds
    • Mentorship
    • Best Practice Competition
  • In Partnership with USIP, the project selects 30 Egyptian youth age 20-27, to attend training sessions on project management, leadership, team building, problem-solving and using open source technology in social innovation. The program also provides micro-awards to groups implementing joint- projects focusing on youth empowerment and social inclusion.

Blended Learning

  • The program aims to engage a cohort of 100 university students in an online course as well as in-person exchange sessions that focus on providing knowledge and concepts in
    the area of conflict resolution and peaceful thinking. The purpose of the program is to better equip the Egyptian Youth to think strategically and critically, to use effective
    approaches to peacebuilding within their communities, and to resolve disputes in their surroundings through non-violent means in their daily attitude and their lifestyle.