ArabBrains MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:20:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ministry of Interior deploys Cisco Collaboration Solution Across its UAE Operations Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:20:12 +0000 .

Cisco and Ministry of Interior (MoI) sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive technology innovation, enable MoI to stay at the forefront of technological updates and harness latest trends.

Collaboration deployment one of the largest in the UAE; delivers communication efficiencies, higher flexibilityand increased reach across MoI departments at reduced costs.

Dubai, UAE – October 20, 2016: Cisco and the UAE Ministry of Interior (MoI) today announced the commencement of the third and final stage of deployment of the Cisco Prime Collaboration which will connect all of the Ministry’s employees across the seven Emirates. The substantial deployment forms part of the MoI’s efforts to contribute to the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda aim for the UAE to be the safest place in the world by leveraging the power of technology and innovation.

At GITEX Technology Week 2016, the MoI and Cisco also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strategic cooperation which focuses on technology innovation to enable the Ministry to stay at the forefront of technological updates and to harness new trends. The MoU also covers the provision of training and continuous education opportunities to MoI employees on Cisco’s latest technologies to support the advancement of productivity and career development.

When complete, the MoI collaboration deployment will enable different departments and sections within the Ministry and across its offices and facilities in the UAE to collaborate more efficiently, and with lower operating expenses. The project was initiated nearly two years ago to gradually migrate from the current legacy PBX IP phone system to a next generation platform.

“We are playing our part by contributing to the vision of making the UAE one of the safest and greatest countries in the world by 2021 and ensuring the UAE government is a leader when it comes to excellence and innovation. The UAE Ministry of Interior places great emphasis on using world class infrastructure and technology to provide efficient and transparent government services around the clock to exceed the expectation of citizens and residents and improve the quality of life in the country,” said Brigadier Engineer Hussain Ahmad Al Harithi, Director-General of Electronics and Telecommunications Services at the Ministry of Interior. “We constantly strive to adopt the latest developments in smart technology and partnerships with technology leaders allow us to benefit from advanced solutions to make efficient use of the city’s resources and to deliver on our mission of achieving the highest standards in the areas of security, emergency preparedness and reliability of police services and road safety.”

The MoI has offices hosting thousands of users that makes communications challenging, costly and complicated. In order to mitigate these challenges, MoI evaluated several technology providers in the area of Collaboration, selecting Cisco following multi-vendor performance tests for its compelling and concise holistic approach to the Ministry’s current and future needs.

“Cisco is honored to be working closely with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior to deliver its connectivity and communication objectives on this significant project, making the MoI our largest collaboration reference in the UAE,” said Shukri Eid, Managing Director – East Region, Cisco Middle East. “With the implementation of Cisco Prime Collaboration, we are delivering a simplified, unified management of collaboration networks that helps MoI move away from a previous distributed model that was costly and difficult to manage to a centralized, simple to manage architecture. The adoption of such advanced technology delivers a significantly reduced total cost of ownership and ensures the Ministry is a forerunner in embracing technology and digital transformation.”

The Cisco solution will enable MoI employees to connect to their regular meetings with external government entities and individuals directly through video conferencing thus reducing delays, enhancing communications and making business decisions faster. The Cisco solution to MoI converges voice, video, and data collaboration around a shared IP-based infrastructure, which simplifies making calls, sending messages, or joining audio or video conferences.

Cisco Prime Collaboration will also give MoI the benefit of rapid provisioning of users and services, while giving Ministry the capability of real-time monitoring of the entire Cisco Unified Communications system, substantially increasing productivity and lowering operating expenses. The solution also provides key performance indicators enabling MoI to analyze trends for capacity planning, resource optimization, and quality of service to further improve the overall collaboration experience.

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Qatar Development Bank sponsors participation of Qatari entrepreneurs at 36th GITEX Technology Week exhibition Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:13:43 +0000 Finance African Brains WikimediaIn the interest of regionally advancing local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is sponsoring local entrepreneurs, currently incubated at Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) at the 36th GITEX Technology Week 2016 conference and exhibition. The expo is currently taking place at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This year’s 36th GITEX Technology Week conference and exhibition spans over a course of five days, from 16 to October 20. It is amongst one of the world’s largest events that draws together tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, exhibitors and investors from information and communications technology (ICT) sectors globally. The conference presents participants with an opportunity to network with specialized international companies, share information and keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of science and technology.

QDB’s decision to sponsor SMEs incubated at QBIC is consistent with the development agency’s strategy to open business prospects for local entrepreneurs and globally expand the outreach of Qatari businesses. Furthermore, by promoting the incubated businesses abroad, QDB seeks to expand the knowledge base of local technology companies, attain first-hand knowledge of the competition in the global tech market and contribute to a knowledge-based diversified economy.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said: “By sponsoring local companies abroad, we, at QDB, seek to contribute to the achievement of the national vision of the State of Qatar. By sponsoring our SMEs in large conventions like 36th GITEX Technology Week, we seek to motivate local entrepreneurs and support their growth as they engage with other creative technology companies abroad, broaden their professional networks and build a quality of technological services that is on par with top international standards.”

He added: “QDB is interested in participating in all local, regional and international events that support the growth of SMEs. It is our firm belief that events such as these empower our local companies by equipping them with the leverage of international exposure – the successes of other software and technology companies abroad serve as a positive example to Qatari tech-based SMEs.”

Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in this prominent and distinguished convention. Technology is a huge part of our everyday life and plays a main role in the success of any startup. Addressing the role of women in technology is crucial to the development of the tech scene in the region, especially since the participation of women in the workforce has increased significantly over the last few years alone. By supporting the expansion of women’s roles in the tech and entrepreneurship industry, it could have an immediate and positive effect on the private sector, as well as enhance the perception of women in the tech industry.”

She added: “I’m proud that four of QBIC’s very own startups are present at this convention, and with the continued support from QDB, we were able to showcase our incubatees’ innovations locally as well as regionally. I’m positive that more of QBIC’s successful startups will be taking part in GITEX in the upcoming years.”

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Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development announces Winners for Health and Food Security Categories Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:10:06 +0000 al-sumaitThe winners of the Kuwait-sponsored, Al-Sumait 2015 Health Award and 2016 Food Security Award have been announced by the prestigious Board of Trustees at a meeting in Kuwait City.

Today’s Board of Trustees meeting of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development ( honored ground-breaking research on tackling childhood malaria and addressing undernourishment through Africa, which both impact the lives of ten millions of children across the continent.

The Board awarded the 2015 Al-Sumait Prize for Health to Professor Kevin Marsh, from the University of Oxford and African Academy of Sciences, Kenya, for his sustained efforts to control and eradicate malaria, which impacts the health of tens of millions of African children.

The 2016 Al-Sumait Prize for Food Security honored two organizations The Sweet Potato for Nutrition Team International Potato Centre, Peru, in advancing the contribution of sweet potato to African farmers and households to address Vitamin A deficiency, one of the most pernicious forms of undernourishment, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, for its work in improving the yields and nutritional quality of major staple food crops, such as cassava, banana and maize.

Al-Sumait’s Board is chaired by H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other board members include Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Abdulatif Alhamad, Director General and Chairman of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Mr Tareq Al-Mutawa, Executive Member of the Board of Public Gathering Charity Committee and others.

Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), which administers the awards, said the Board of Trustees is ‘proud to award the prizes to all three recipients who have made major contributions to improving the lives of millions of people throughout Africa.

Each of the winners represent innovative, exciting initiatives being done to address the challenges facing Africa.

“We are deeply humbled by the efforts demonstrated by Al-Sumait prize laureates in the pursuit of scientific discoveries to meet the challenges of disease, nutrition, food production and climate change,” he said. He added all the laureates were in the frontline of Africa’s challenges, yet have succeeded despite limited resources.

Al-Sumait Prizes honor individuals or institutions who help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa through their sustained research and or innovative projects that result in major impact on the lives and welfare of the people of Africa especially the poor and underprivileged. The awards were instigated on the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait.

With each award worth one million dollars and a gold medal, Al-Sumait awards are administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and a Board of Trustees who oversee the selection of the recipients. The awards acknowledge the work of the late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti doctor who dedicated his life to addressing the development challenges confronting Africa and established the Direct Aid humanitarian organization.

The winning laureates will receive their awards from the Amir of the State of Kuwait and the President of Equatorial Guinea during a ceremony at the Fourth Arab African Summit in Equatorial Guinea on November 22, 2016.

“Each of the winners represent innovative, exciting initiatives being done to address the challenges facing Africa,” said Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin.

For more information, please visit and

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Masdar unveils new licences for clean-tech at GITEX Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:04:21 +0000 masdar cityAdditional licensing categories will empower UAE start-ups to bring their innovative ideas in clean technology and sustainability to market.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, is introducing new licences to encourage entrepreneurs to set up within the City’s business free zone. The announcement coincides with the 36th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) taking place in Dubai from October 16-20.

Masdar City’s full suite of free zone and investment services targeting the Middle East & North Africa’s clean-tech industry will be promoted throughout GITEX Technology Week at a dedicated exhibition stand.

“Masdar City is nurturing the region’s first dedicated clean-tech cluster anchored by a research institute specialising in advanced energy and sustainable technologies,” said Mohammed Al Fardan, Director of the Masdar City Free Zone. “These additional business benefits will further incentivise local start-ups and encourage more UAE national entrepreneurs to enter the private sector, while at the same supporting the City’s overall mandate to connect education with R&D and business with investment.”

The distinct business benefits of the new free zone licences for individuals that qualify include:

  • Permission for individuals to register as businesses at the Masdar City free zone besides companies and subsidiary branches
  • Minimum share capital requirements waived
  • Lower free zone registration charges
  • Lower charges to lease single-desk office space known as ‘hot desks’
  • Standard requirement to provide a bank or employee guarantee when issuing a UAE residence visa waived
  • Direct access to tenant and client networking events at Masdar City, as well as access to a dedicated business community portal

Existing free zone benefits include 100% foreign ownership, exemption from corporate and personal income taxes, and 0% import tariffs, as well as access to R&D partnerships through the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

The free zone also offers a ‘One-Stop Shop’ service handling paperwork such as government registrations, and Emirates I.D and visa processing on site.

Masdar City aims to grow its tenant base nearly four-fold by 2020, and to increase the net leasable area within its free zone by around a third every year by that time. Today, more than 400 companies from six continents operate from the City, from start-ups to multinationals including Siemens, Lockheed Martin, GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Schneider Electric.

Today around 5,000 people work at Masdar City, a figure expected to exceed 15,000 within the next three years. Earlier this year, the head office of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) relocated to the development with more than 700 full-time, and 550 staff of Etihad Airways also moved there. Masdar City also hosts the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first international government organisation to have its headquarters in the Middle East.

New office space at Masdar City includes the Accelerator 1 building offering 5,000 square metres of Gross Floor Area that will be handed over early next year.

The Accelerator 1 is part of the R&D cluster making up the second phase of Masdar City’s expansion comprising residential apartments and a premium school within walking distance of the Masdar Institute and around a dozen on-site pilot research projects.

“As both a free zone and an investment zone, Masdar City offers flexibility and scalability to prospective tenants and investors, catering to micro businesses and large-scale corporations alike,” added Mohammed Al Fardan. “Our latest initiative further strengthens Masdar City’s appeal to future clean energy entrepreneurs, and to the growing cadré of business-minded UAE nationals graduating from the Masdar Institute. GITEX Technology Week is an ideal platform to promote Masdar City’s highly competitive services to the region’s emerging clean-tech business community.”

This year’s GITEX Technology Week in Dubai takes place on the theme ‘Reimagining Realities’.

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Afriland First Bank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) have signed an agreement to create an Islamic Window in Ivory Coast Wed, 19 Oct 2016 05:15:45 +0000 icdThe cooperation reflects ICD’s ambition to promote Islamic Finance in its member countries, and support its growing presence and activities in Africa

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (, the private sector arm of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, in partnership with Afriland First Bank Ivory Coast (, a Pan-African full service bank, have signed agreement in which both parties will cooperate to establish an Islamic Window in Ivory Coast.

The cooperation reflects ICD’s ambition to promote Islamic Finance in its member countries, and support its growing presence and activities in Africa. In the process, both parties intend to offer technical and advisory support to successfully structure and implement an Islamic Window.

Cooperating with Afriland First Bankwill give us the opportunity to sit our presence in plain where the demand is always increasing and where ICD is needed the most.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, CEO and Managing Director of ICD, and Mr. Olivier Dadjeu Kengne, CEO and Managing Director of Afriland First Bank Ivory Coast.

Mr. Khalid Al Aboodi expressed his strong support for the partnership stating: “I am extremely pleased to have this framework of collaboration with our partner. Cooperating with Afriland First Bankwill give us the opportunity to sit our presence in plain where the demand is always increasing and where ICD is needed the most given its reputation and expertise in the Islamic Finance.”

Mr. Olivier Dadjeu Kengne said: “Afriland First Bank Côte d’Ivoire is an African Bank which always works with the respect of African traditions and communities. We aim at developing enough closeness with people and local communities so that we can respond at the best to any of their solicitations. To sum it up, we are open, flexible and adaptable to ensure the success of our clients.

Thus, the partnership with ICD appeared like a self-evidence to diversify the bank’s activities and meet the needs of some of its customers, particularly to a large Muslim community which is actively involved in trades. So by this partnership we propose another financial system, an alternative model of financing, different from conventional finance which matches the values and principles of Islam.”

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MENA businesses will have to re-invent their IT strategies to survive in a digital economy, say Equinix experts Wed, 19 Oct 2016 03:55:56 +0000 equinixEquinix introduces ‘Interconnection Oriented Architecture™’ at GITEX to help companies migrate to the Cloud.

Dubai, UAE – Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, is showcasing solutions that can help MENA businesses digitally transform, at GITEX Technology Week, from 16th until the 20th of October.

As we enter the Interconnected Era, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are facing new challenges. With businesses becoming increasingly interdependent and cloud-enabled, they need more reliable, secure and instantaneous connectivity to clouds, networks and other enterprises to compete. At the same time, they are facing more users with more devices, needing increased amounts of data in more places across further distances and locations.

At GITEX Technology Week, Equinix is discussing Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA) framework, with a step-by-step playbook on how to redefine the edge and architect a digital platform.

Jeroen Schlosser, Managing Director, Equinix MENA will share his expertise on the topic while participating in a panel discussion on ‘Exponential Demand on Infrastructure ― The Cloud Future’ on 20th October at 12 pm as part of the GITEX Tech Talks session.

According to a report by Accenture, the Middle East region is ideally positioned to take advantage of this new era of digital transformation. Research conducted by the company and the World Economic Forum predicts that digital activities will have an impact of $14 trillion dollars on global GDP by 2030, and that countries that want to take a share in that growth of GDP will need to take a number of important steps to ensure they can participate in digital economies.

In the Middle East, the combination of the high penetration of mobile devices and the readiness of the population to adopt new technology, and the vision from government leaders and companies are all factors that will position the region to make the most of digital transformation. Initiatives such as the Dubai Open Data law would also be an important part of the digital transformation efforts, says Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture.

“The digital economy is changing the nature of business world-wide and in particular in the MENA region, which is taking a ‘digital–first’ approach across all vertical markets, forcing IT to broadly transform. What businesses requires is a re-architecture of the IT platform, to be able to react in real time and adapt quickly to change, while securely connecting employees, partners and customers within a digital ecosystem,” said Jeroen Schlosser, Managing Director, Equinix MENA.

“We propose that topology, technology and design all favor building a digital business solution using colocation-based, programmable networking, which we will call ‘data center interconnect fabric,’ allowing dynamic interconnection between enterprise peers, cloud providers, communications providers and a growing marketplace of service providers. Through the assistance of an Interconnection Oriented Architecture – an innovative approach connecting people, locations, Equinix can make this reinvention possible. Also, as home of the interconnected cloud, with over 30 cloud service providers in its Dubai data center, Equinix can simplify migration of MENA enterprises to the cloud,” added Schlosser.

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“Cyber security should not be an afterthought for an organisation, it should be at the heart of the thought itself” – Osman Sultan Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:42:32 +0000 dudu’s third cyber security conference, sponsored by partner-sponsor Huawei, and presenting sponsors Cisco, HP, IBM, Oracle, Nokia, and others, welcomed 12 regional and international speakers to discuss the global importance of cyber security and its relevance in the UAE.

Dubai, UAE – du’s highly anticipated Cyber Security Conference, which was held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai on October 9, 2016, proved to be a resounding success as luminaries from across the globe shared their knowledge and experience about the threats posed by cyber security, and the opportunities this opened for the development of future technologies. Eminent international speakers raised key issues including Cognitive Security, Security for 5G, Internet of Things, Cloud Security, and Security in the Digital Economy during the event.

Distinguished speakers from partner sponsor Huawei, Mr. David Francis and Professor Yale Li, took the opportunity to discuss the importance of international collaboration and the future of cyber security in the cloud. Huawei’s Chief Security Officer for Europe, Mr. David Francis, said during the conference: “The most pressing challenge we have at the moment is the lack of international alignment and international sharing. As far as cyber security is concerned, we [Huawei] have very much been promoting the need to work collaboratively together.”

“It is our collective responsibility to build security measures into our technologies, and particularly our cloud technologies to account for my prediction that the size of data, the number of IoT devices, and machine intelligent level will double approximately every two years,” added Professor Yale Li, Global Chief Strategist at Huawei.

Osman Sultan, du’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the proliferation of the internet in our lives and its effects on cyber security: “The digital transformation is the defining factor of our age today. Think about it – everything that needs to be done, we are now doing remotely and online. As such, cyber security should not be an afterthought for an organisation, it should be at the heart of the thought itself. Cyber security is a collective responsibility – it has no boundaries or borders and it is the responsibility of us all.”

Key note speaker, Governor Tom Ridge, the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security defined resilience as the readiness to quickly identify, contain, and resolve a breach in order to ensure business continuity, to limit disruption, and to recover from a cyber security attack. While his main point of discussion was risk management, other speakers including Mr. Chris Esemplare, Global Vice President and General Manager of IBM Security Services; Mr. Giuseppe Targia, Vice President of Applications and Analytics Security for Nokia; and Naji Ukaily, Cisco’s Cyber Security Expert discussed security in its various forms. Oracle Fellow, Mr. Patrick McLaughlin and Mr. Lorenzo Gonzales, Hewlett Packard Enterprises’ Chief Technologist delved into new technologies including data and the cloud.
The conclusive panel discussion at the du Cyber Security Conference centered around the pertinent topic of smart cities, particularly addressing the cyber security challenges posed by the high connectivity and network requirements of smart cities. du’s Senior Vice President of Managed Services & Smart City, Marwan Bindalmook moderated the panel discussion, and Mr. Wesam Lootah, CEO at Dubai Smart Government Establishment, Governor Tom Ridge, Mr. David Francis from Huawei and Mr. Carlos Domingo – du’s Chief New Business and Innovation Officer formed the panel.

This year, the event once again hosted the popular hackathon with the aim of encouraging youth participation in the cyber security arena by encouraging Ethical Hacking. The event provided a safe learning environment for young hackers to test their skills and challenge them in a competitive environment. Khalifa University students emerged triumphant and were awarded the AED20,000 prize.

The du Cyber Security Conference promoted the sharing of information about the latest developments in cyber security, including information security risks, threats, vulnerabilities and safeguards. During its last two editions, Cyber Security Conference hosted a group of local, regional and global keynote speakers representing leading names in various key sectors. Main topics discussed varied from ‘Drone Hacking’ to ‘Envisioning Smart City Security Challenges’ and ‘Security Strategies for 2020’ among others.

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WiFi UAE expands its footprint in Abu Dhabi ­­­­­with its latest roll out at Marina Mall Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:07:44 +0000 wifi-uaedu enables visitors to browse the internet or connect on social media with seamless WiFi connectivity.

Dubai – Accessing internet applications just got easier for enthusiastic shoppers in Abu Dhabi with the new rollout of WiFi UAE at Marina Mall. Now you can experience more than just the thrill of shopping – update your social media with pictures or send a quick email to your family and friends all while walking around the mall. Marina Mall visitors have access to seamless, secure, and safe connectivity to the Internet through the choice of either free or premium WiFi. By logging on to WiFi UAE using a UAE mobile, shoppers can choose between the two options – for Internet access to browse, chat, and social applications.

“This is another important step for us to show our support to the UAE smart government by committing ourselves to providing Internet across the country,” said Jihad Tayara, Vice President Business Development and Partnerships, du said. “Staying connected has become an important part of our everyday lives, and so we are providing visitors a seamless, safe connectivity so that they can find and share information and experiences without worry. Our offering of this service to Marina Mall visitors is a step further in expanding our growing footprint in Abu Dhabi.”

“We are in the business of bringing people together to enjoy our mall-wide shopping, dining and entertainment activities, and our new collaboration with du enables us to extend this by bringing even more people together through connectivity. We are pleased to be working with du, and look forward to seeing just how improved connectivity is spreading happiness and enhancing our visitor’s lives,” said Wafa Habbar, Marketing and Events coordinator, Abu Dhabi Marina Mall.

By the end of this year, WiFi UAE expects to enable WiFi connectivity to more than 300 locations. The service offers users two types of Internet connection; Wifi UAE, a free WiFi service with high speed access to government websites and WiFi UAE Premium, an affordable paid service that allows users unrestricted upload and download speed. Any WiFi enabled device can access the free and premium WiFi service.

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A step towards better science for education policy Tue, 18 Oct 2016 03:35:56 +0000 sci-ed
Copyright: Atul Loke / Panos

By SciDev.Net – Connie St Louis

Evidence-based policy. It’s one of those phrases that has become ubiquitous. But what exactly does it mean? And perhaps more importantly, where is that evidence coming from, and can it be trusted as a basis for formulating policy?

The NGO The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has been wrestling with such questions in the field of education, and its most recent study ‘The impact of education programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries’ was launched last week (September 27) at the What Works summit in London, UK.

The researchers synthesised evidence from 216 studies, reaching 16 million children across 52 low- and middle-income countries. They say there are no ‘magic bullets’ to ensure high-quality education for all, but there are lessons to be learned for improving future education programmes — about how cash gifts can boost school attendance, for example.

Because the systematic review process was a central element of this study, much of the meeting focussed on its methodology.
“We applied study inclusion criteria based on scientific research to make sure we captured studies with designs that minimise bias. So we excluded the most problematic studies.”

Birte Snilstveit, 3ie Peering in from the outside, it occurred to me that the total of 216 research projects seems a big enough number to examine and to perhaps be statistically significant. But how did the researchers assess this? And what about the wide variation in the methodologies used in many of the studies assessed?

Then there’s the dark side of science, including social science: the lack of transparency in data and methodology, for example, or a culture of publication bias that favours positive results over negative ones, or the poor use of statistics in the analysis of results. Oh and not forgetting to mention the lack of reproducibility of huge swathes of research.

How did 3ie evaluation specialist Birte Snilstveit, navigate the problems in the systematic review when, as she noted at the launch, some of the primary data is flawed?

“We tried to do the best we could with the data we have,” she said. “We applied study inclusion criteria based on scientific research to make sure we captured studies with designs that minimise bias. So we excluded the most problematic studies.“

This seems reasonable enough, but doesn’t go far enough. A more promising if small step for making educational research studies more robust is 3ie’s launch of a registry covering both randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries.

This was modelled on medicine’s All Trials project campaign, which has met a great favourable response. Its aim is to have all medical research projects pre-registered before any analysis takes place to prevent them going ‘missing in action’ if they produce negative results.

Snilstveit called for more funding for high-quality studies on the effects of education programmes. “Such studies should target substantive gaps: promising interventions, innovations, areas where effects are unknown, geographical contexts where there is a lack of evidence — for example, west and north Africa, Middle East, large, populous countries like Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia,” she said.

She added to the list studies that incorporate equity, target the hardest to reach children, report on intervention costs and allow for cost-effectiveness analysis.

Uptake of the registry has been low, with only 91 studies registered so far. But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

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Free registration in the 9th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:46:28 +0000 H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Upon the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum

End of October is the deadline for submitting abstracts to be presented as posters

United Arab Emirates, Dubai – Upon the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance, Chairman of Dubai Health Authority, and the Patron of Hamdan Medical Award, the on-line registration in the 9th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences is currently going on free of charge, through the website of the conference

The conference which is organized by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences from 14 until December 16 at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, discusses Gastroenterology with a focus on Liver, Pancreatic and Colon diseases.

Abdullah bin Souqat, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hamdan Medical Award, said that the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum regarding the free registration in the conference assures the tireless and generous support of His Highness for science and scientists, as he believes in their value, alongside with the scientific research, as basis for a better future for nations.

“The directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan supports the award’s efforts towards achieving the objectives of such an important conference, by facilitating the participation of the largest possible segments of specialist doctors and scientists from inside and outside the country, who will receive accredited CME hours from the UAE official institutions”, he said.

On the other hand, the Scientific Committee of the 9th Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences, headed by Hassib Narchi, Professor of Pediatrics and Consultant Pediatrician Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, specified the end of the current month of October as the deadline for the submission of abstracts to be presented in the conference as posters.

Currently, the on-line posters submission process is going on. Submitted abstracts should be related to a theme from Gastroenterology, Liver, Pancreatic or Colon diseases. The submitted papers will be evaluated by the scientific committee members in order to select one in each topic to receive the best poster award.

The Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences is biennially organized by Hamdan Medical Award, in conjunction with the award ceremony to honor the winners of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences in each term.

The conference is a unique opportunity to meet with the pioneer scientists and researchers, especially since it is held with the participation of constellation of distinguished scientists from all over the world, including the winners of the Grand Hamdan International Award and the Hamdan International award for Medical Research Excellence.

The members of the scientific Committee of the 9th edition of the Dubai International Conference for Medical Sciences includes Prof. Thomas Adrian from College of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University, Prof. Salah Gariballa from College of Medicine & Health Sciences, UAE University, Dr. Adnan Abuhammour, a member of the Board of Dubai Health Care City Authority, and Dr. Azzam Kayasseh, Specialist Hepato, Gastroenterologist and Digestive Endoscopist.

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