Through its previous research, the International Labor Organization (ILO) had determined that women employed by private schools and universities in Irbid, a governorate in northern Jordan, earn substantially less than their male colleagues. As this conflicts with several core ILO principles, the organization recently hired Amman-based consultant Raghda Quandour, MA ’03, to help with step two: analyze why this wage gap exists, and propose ways to close it.
“The whole purpose [of this contract] is to provide the ILO and the Jordanian National Commission for Women with solutions,” said Quandour, who started the work in mid-2016. “There are a lot of components that we have to study.”
As frequently is the case in her consulting work, Quandour places the techniques and theories of conflict analysis that she studied at CJP at the center of her approach.
“How can I handle the problem of pay equity if I don’t [understand it]?” she said. “Thinking about how these organizations deal with conflict is very
Quandour recalls an organizational development class at CJP, co-taught by Ruth Zimmerman, MA ’02, and David Brubaker as one of her primary influences. Among Quandour’s other recent consulting jobs have been researching the juvenile justice system in the region for the International Development Law Organization, as well as an evaluation of educational programs for Syrian refugees in Jordan on behalf of RAND and UNICEF.
Over the past several years, Quandour has also felt CJP’s influence as she’s begun to lead trainings on peacebuilding and organizational development. Her first experience doing so was in 2014, when she assisted and translated for Brubaker, who was leading a several-day organizational development training for a group of Jordanian NGOs. On the final day of the training, Brubaker asked Quandour to lead the training herself.
“David’s presence and moral support during this last session gave me much needed confidence, which led to [other opportunities],” she said.
From January to May of 2015, working for the NGO Caritas, Quandour designed and provided a conflict resolution training for around 1,200 people, most of them Syrian refugees. She has also trained Jordanian NGO staff on managing organizational conflict and change.
“What I studied [at CJP] is very much a part of how I live my life,” said Quandour. “[It influences] how I do everything I do – subconsciously, consciously, you name it.”