A Recipe for Data-Driven Innovation in MENA

“Building capacity and creating local successful scalable models are key priorities in which synergy can help optimise the process. Visualising success helps raise awareness in a nicely summarised fashion.” Read more insights from Palestinian independant researcher and data scientist Abed Khooli.

The pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Image by Abed Khooli, February 2016. Used with permission.
The pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Image by Abed Khooli, February 2016. Used with permission.

The data driven innovation week that took place in Cairo, Egypt (Feb. 18 – 23, 2016) is the first of its kind covering the MENA region with participants from the region and partners who showed interest and commitment to its data driven development through capacity building, innovation and entrepreneurship.

After presenting the results of a background study on data science in the region and listening to interventions and discussions from various stakeholders, I put – in a comment – a brief recipe for the data-driven innovation in the MENA region, also tweeted under the #ddiMENA hashtag:

Here’s an elaboration on the components:

  • Prioritise: priorities are the main foundation in the innovation process in a developmental context, which is a key concern in MENA. You can’t build a pyramid top down!
  • Localise: the region shares similar challenges, priorities and opportunities. The cultural and demographics aspects are common but there are local contexts even at the country level when details are considered. While global thinking is necessary, local action is the way of action.
  • Optimise: to create an impact and work at scale under strained resources and increased needs, data can be used to empower operational excellence and efficiency in selecting the right interventions in the right places at the right time.
  • Synergise: sharing raw data (anonymized if sensitive), knowledge and other resources will benefit all parties and help speed up the process by complementing skills and bridging gaps. Synergy is created amongst all stakeholders, sectors and major players.
  • Visualise: people have to see it to believe it and awareness must be raised to communicate the importance of data to achieve or surpass the developmental goals (SDGs).
  • Summarise: talk is cheap, actions count. We have to walk the walk before we talk the talk. Let successful business models tell the story but make sure they are communicated well to all stakeholders.

Building capacity and creating local successful scalable models are key priorities in which synergy can help optimise the process. Visualising success helps raise awareness in a nicely summarised fashion.


This is an excerpt from Abed Khooli‘s original post, “A Recipe for Data-Driven Innovation in MENA”. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission.

 
Posted on: February 29, 2016, by : rayna