Options Magazine, Winter 2023: As IIASA Connect brings together the global systems analysis community, it also acts as a hub for regional communities to connect and engage.

Tyseer Aboulnasr, Chair of the IIASA Committee for Egypt, shares how the recently established North Africa Applied Systems Analysis Center (NAASAC) has benefited from including their community of diploma participants on this versatile platform.

Egypt has been an IIASA member for over 15 years and recognizes the value this membership provides to its professional community interested in evidence-based decision making. We recently established NAASAC in collaboration with IIASA to spread and strengthen this culture of decision making based on evidence-based systems thinking. Our goal is to create a community of professionals in the field; a community that shares experiences nationally and is well connected, both regionally and internationally, to enable impactful policymaking.

As a starting point, we established a graduate diploma targeting mid-level government officials. IIASA Connect provides a home for this “community seed” allowing our graduates and experts to come together and utilize this space as an interactive hub to showcase our work, connect to other networks, and share and receive relevant updates.

Being a member of IIASA Connect and hosting an IIASA Connect Feature has, for example, allowed us to share our experience with other IIASA member organizations interested in establishing regional systems analysis centers, while also providing valuable input to fine tune our own strategy.

In addition, one of our graduates, Mai Awad, published a blog about her experiences in NAASAC’s Diploma Program through this platform and participated as a speaker in the IIASA Connect Coffee Talk on Science Communication – Science to Policy. This was a great opportunity for her to connect internationally with people in the same field. We understand that it takes time to build a national community deeply rooted in an international setting, and we are confident that IIASA Connect can help us achieve this.

By Tyseer Aboulnasr