ULI Unit
Project Title Abstract
HARNESSING THE ECONOMIC POWER OF DATA IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Abstract:

The American University in Cairo in partnership with Birzeit University in Palestine, with the support of IDRC, have implemented a research project titled “Harnessing the Economic Power of Data in the Middle East and North Africa”. The project aimed at exploring the potential of new and innovative approaches to improve data collection, management, and usability - particularly in areas that could enhance entrepreneurship and youth employment in the region.

The research consortium worked on three interrelated sets of research components:

  1. Background research.
  2. Case studies design and development.
  3. Curricula development and capacity building for datapreneurs: (Capacity Building Modules and Basic School Data Literacy LOBs).

 

Capacity Building Modules:

You can also view the material on GitHub: https://github.com/Abdel-Razzak/DSF

You can also view the material on GitHub: https://github.com/Abdel-Razzak/ADS

 

 

 

Basic School Data Literacy LOBs

LOBs 1: ارتباط ذو معنى

LOBs 2: البرمجة والتحليل الاستكشافي

LOBs 3: القاتل الخفي

LOBs 4: القنبلة الديموغرافية

LOBs 5: المسافات تبعدنا والارقام تجمعنا

LOBs 6: زيت وقهوة

LOBs 7: عندما تحكم الارقام

LOBs 8: قطرات الحياة

LOBs 9: مندل في العين

 

Harnessing the Economic Power of Data

Harnessing the Economic Power of Data in the Middle East and North Africa

Most of the countries in the MENA region face similar challenges and share the same set of characteristics, limitations and opportunities.
Among other development enablers, data products and services can become major economic drivers. Data collection, storage, exchange, processing and operationalization are now much easier and less expensive. Massive amounts and formats of data can be obtained or generated from user behavior and data sensors leading to the Big Data phenomenon.

The promise of big data is limitless.Through data analytics, we can gain exceptional customer insights, products and services innovation, better decision making, improved productivity and performance, better research and development (leading to commercialization and economic growth), better health care, innovative social services, optimized infrastructure and enhanced security and safety.

Data Science is the field dedicated to analyzing and manipulating raw data to derive insights and build data products. Data scientists combine interdisciplinary knowledge especially math, statistics and programming in addition to soft skills and relevant technologies to be able to extract, clean, visualize and analyze data, build and test models and deploy predictive solutions.

Universities and training institutions and online MOOCs provide various levels of data science education. Programs range from individual courses to PhDs. The best ones combine core competencies, soft skills and practical experience in partnership with industry leaders.

Major industry leaders like Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and Google offer cloud-­‐based flexible platforms to help both startups and enterprises realize the data analytics potential. There are open source platforms and tools in addition to niche providers that fit other scenarios.

In the MENA region, big data analytics and data science as a field are not mainstream yet. There is growing awareness, some use cases and a few entrepreneurships. Data science education is also at its infancy and other enablers (like research, open data sets and business culture) are inadequate. However, there is both potential in various areas ranging from agriculture to tourism and energy industry. Talents can also be qualified with minimum effort if graduates of close fields are trained.

We recommend an immediate call to action by different stakeholders including governments, industries, educational institutions, professionals and civil society. Awareness, education and training, partnerships, established metrics and contextual adoption are key success factors. There are readily available tools, resources and platforms that fit all scenarios, so no need to reinvent the wheel or wait until it is too late.

Download Full Report (3 MB)

FIFA-CIES

Development and teaching of a professional program in sport management. The training material includes modules related to the FIFA / CIES program of sport management like Communication, Event Management, Finance, Law, Management and Marketing.

Ford Foundation-LIN

Production and deployment of learner centric e-enabled curricula in 18 social sciences courses at three higher education institutions (BZU, Bethlehem and Al Quds Universities). The participatory model is expected to be adopted in other departments and universities.

FAO-IFAD

Curriculum development and training to promote gender mainstreaming in IFAD projects in the Near East and North Africa region. The project includes a needs assessment phase to determine training plans and content, the development of e-enabled training material in topics like gender analysis, gender sensitive budgets, women's rights and report writing.
Training delivery for both project staff and training of trainers in curriculum development is another component where participants are expected to develop their own training materials with the help of the CCE unit for learning innovation.

 

Diploma Projects

Several accredited professional diplomas have been designed and some are in the process. The main objective was to meet specific needs in the community and to apply best practices and use ICT in the training delivery. The currently accredited diplomas with enrollment are:
1. Design and delivery of e-enabled curricula: targets both university professors and school teachers. The program covers several models including the planning and design of e-content, activities, evaluation and communication in an e-enabled learning environment.
2. NGO Management: capacity building for middle and upper management cadres in local NGOs with focus on development and the role of NGOs, organizational development, project cycle management, networking and fund-raising, financial and human resource management.
3. SME Diploma: capacity building for young entrepreneurs in business development and investment. Topics include management skills, strategic management, human resources management, marketing, financial management, quality control and production process management.

Psycho-Social Unit
Project Title Abstract
MoSA-Child Protection Network

Piloting the child protection system established in 2008 in Ramallah and Jenin in three more districts: Hebron, Bethlehem and Nablus including needs assessment and work plans. The project is in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Consultancy Unit
Project Title Abstract
Schultz III -ABSF

Implementation of the Social Microenterprise Initiative in Palestine in cooperation with Arthur B. Shultz Foundation. CCE identifies qualifying small business candidates with sound business plans and disburses loans up to $10000 to acquire or upgrade production equipment. Loans are paid back in kind with products or services offered to disadvantaged people.