The lack of regional networking in the Middle East regarding Adult Learning and Education (ALE) was the main challenge that DVV International recognize since they started working in the region in 2010. In 2013 DVV International in the Middle East started a series of regional activities to tackle this issue, and to bring with its partner International Council of Adult Education (ICAE) active networks working in the field of ALE and Lifelong Learning together and encourage the exchange of experiencing and cooperation.
To emphasis the role of education for social change, IALLA was brought to the Arab world in 2013 for the first time, and Arab participants about 30 young educators were invited in September 2013 for two weeks with international institutions, strategies, and campaigns, as well as with lobbying instruments.
IALLA 2013 & 2014 were the launchpad for greater cooperation from and with education providers in the Arab world. The Arab Network for Literacy and Adult Education (ANLAE), the Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA), the Arab Network for Human Rights Education (ANHRE), as well as the Arab Network for Popular Education (ANPE) came closely by the end and made plans were to work closely to explore opportunities for cooperation.
Four networks from the Arab region has taken further steps and were invited to a regional event called "The Seminar" which was held in 2016 by DVV International in cooperation with ICAE to reflect on the failures of adult education in the current world, and more specifically, in the Arab World. It was an invitation to read the reality of adult education and its consequences on developmental processes; culturally, educationally, and economically.
In 2015, and after successful cooperation between the four networks ( Arab Network for Literacy and Adult Education (ANLAE), Egypt; Arab Network for Popular Education (ANPE), Lebanon; Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA); and the Arab Network for Civic Education (ANHRE), Jordan.) which were referred to as 4As with the support of DVV International decided to organize an annual event called the Arab Academy which is a series of conferences and workshops on the topic of participatory learning in the Arab world. continuum analysis and reflection initiated by the 4As include steered exchange among the participants, E-Learning webinars, collection of resources, networking possibilities.
The Arab Academy was has been also organized in 2017, 2018, and 2019 by the 4As and with the support of DVV International. The success of the Arab Academy led to the strong cooperation between the 4As, and initiated the idea of establishing an institution to host the Arab Academy and other regional activities for sustaining its impact in the future.