DiSTO Kuwait


The “From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes” study in Kuwait, DiSTO Kuwait, consists in the adaptation, validation and implementation of the DiSTO project in Kuwait. This research project aims to adapt the DiSTO methodology to a Kuwaiti context, including developing an Arabic version of its key scales. A special emphasis will be the methodological challenges of adapting such global tools to local conditions within a Middle Eastern country. The long-term ambition is to collect national-level data using these modified tools which can

then inform local academic and policy discussions, while also contributing data from Kuwait to larger evaluations of global media conditions and social changes.

This is achieved via:

  • A visiting fellowship collaboration with the London School of Economics and Political Science during which the DiSTO measurement tools will be adapted and translated (including back translation) for testing and validating in Kuwait.
  • Cognitive interviews and focus groups with selected respondents to determine the applicability and understanding of the primary questionnaire and to collect vital qualitative data showing cultural specificities of engagement with digital media.
  • Two waves of survey pilot testing.


The LSE visiting fellowship for Fahed Al-Sumait is granted by the LSE Kuwait Programme funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Research team


Fahed Al-Sumait is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Department Chair at the Gulf University for Science and Technology, where he has also served as an Advisor to the Vice President of Academic Services in the capacity of Interim Dean for Student Affairs.  He has been granted the LSE visiting fellowship for the DiSTO project for the year 2017 to 2018 and will come to the LSE to work on the project with Ellen Helsper and Rebecca Eynon (at the Oxford Internet Institute).

Fahed was previously a Fulbright-Hays fellow for his research into contested discourses on Arab democratization and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Middle East Institute in the National University of Singapore. Dr. Al-Sumait is also a founding member of and web administrator for the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies through the Middle East Studies Association. Dr. Al-Sumait has been awarded numerous research grants, funds, and awards.