A graduate of the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), is working to improve access to education in areas facing critical humanitarian challenges, through a highly selective UN fellowship programme at the Centre for Humanitarian Data at The Hague.

Abdulaziz Al Homaid

Abdulaziz Al Homaid, who earned a Master of Science in Data Science and Engineering degree from HBKU, was awarded a prestigious fellowship by Education Above All (EAA) in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Centre for Humanitarian Data. He is one of only four candidates selected to the 2018 Data Fellows programme from more than 700 international applicants.

For two months, during June and July, the fellows were based in The Hague, Netherlands, and were tasked with designing and delivering projects targeting education data challenges. These include data science, data storytelling, predictive analytics and user experience research.

The OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data was established to provide those involved in humanitarian response with access to the crucial data needed to make responsible and informed decisions during crises.

Al Homaid was assigned to focus on data science, and he set out to gain a deeper understanding of the various types of education data most widely gathered and used in different crisis scenarios. Al Homaid chose to focus his data research on Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen – where complex emergency scenarios often arise.

Speaking about the project, Al Homaid, said that he aim to carry out an extensive research using generated data to reshape a structured format and develop a ‘meta-dataset’ on education in emergency situations, which could be used to analyse its completeness for specific indicators. An example would be to identify a missing indicator within one country that is existent in the other, so it could provide a roadmap for the centre and its partners to help fill the gap.

This EAA-OCHA Fellowship has opened up so many avenues and enabled me to work with an organisation such as the UN. The invaluable experience I’ve gained will definitely contribute to my future academic and career prospects.’

Al Homaid’s current responsibilities as a research associate at the QCRI Social Computing department include adapting state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to two sectors; public health informatics for healthy living, and in urban dynamics. His current project involves building a machine-learning model that recommends an ideal daily lifestyle routine for individuals, based on their health data.

As a graduate of HBKU, Al Homaid joins a growing number of alumni who are set to become Qatar’s next generation of leaders in their chosen fields. Check out this link to find out more about his work. For updates and more information about HBKU, visit hbku.edu.qa.