The international Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in a joint effort with the Egyptian Scientific Research and Technology has launched the Northern African Applied Systems Analysis Centre (NAASAC) in a colorful ceremony graced by Khaled Abdel Ghafaar, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Acting Minister of Health and Population . The center is expected to be significant in driving the culture of applied systems analysis and evidence-based decision-making in Egypt. It will be made out of a consortium of research centers, government think tanks, and regional representatives.
During the ceremony, the minister expressed the significance of NAASAC as Egypt moves towards another period of comprehensive development, particularly in perceiving the interconnections between various framework parts, distinguishing where change could have the best effect and understanding the effect of the loops made by these interconnections and what they mean for system change, both positively and negatively.
NAASAC will run a series of awareness workshops online as well as in academic institutions and government ministries, explaining what system thinking is, how applied system analysis can be used to manage and change in complex national systems, and the critical role it plays in informing policy decisions through scenarios and models developed to verify the impact of different policies on overall system behavior.
The centre will create, identify, and promote research and capacity building opportunities with IIASA and other relevant research institutions in areas of interest. Connections will also be established to engage relevant researchers and decision makers through collaboration on existing projects or joint applications to third party funders for new projects.
NAASAC will be governed by a board made up of a representative from each partner institution. The board of directors will be critical to driving the direction of research, consultation, and capacity building. This board is supported by a technical committee made up of a number of experts from various disciplines to initiate research proposals and consultations, as well as a capacity building and awareness committee.
Photo courtesy / IIASA
Article by Virginia Wanjiru