MEED President: Data Revolution is Aimed at Promoting Regional Development

Interviews 02:10 PM - 2023-11-17
 Amanj Shahid Shawkat, President of the Board of MEED Foundation. PUKMEDIA

Amanj Shahid Shawkat, President of the Board of MEED Foundation.

Qubad Talabani Kurdistan Region

In an interview with PUKMEDIA, Amanj Shahid Shawkat, Chairman of the Board of MEED Foundation, stated, "Data dependency is ubiquitous across all sectors and domains, as it plays a critical role in facilitating task execution." However, a significant challenge arises from the long-standing lack of access to reliable and high-quality data. During this time, the MEED Foundation was founded to promote regional development."

Read the interview below.

What does the Data Revolution with Smart Solutions initiative mean for the development of the Kurdistan Region?

Amanj Shahid Shawkat: 
"Data dependency is widespread across all sectors and domains, as it plays a critical role in task accomplishment." However, a fundamental issue stems from a long-standing lack of access to reliable and high-quality data. The MEED Foundation was founded to promote regional development. 

The foundation focuses on creating programs that strive to provide the best possible services to key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. Data collection proved to be difficult in all sectors from the start of this undertaking. The presence of this gap has been known for some time, but no serious attempts to close it have been implemented. As a result, we took a strategic approach, converting the given data into a complete project targeted at resolving the current problem. 

The project, which is appropriately titled the "Data Revolution Initiative," was created to address the prevalent problem of inadequate data accessibility throughout the country. With the aid of Qubad Talabani's office, we have begun efforts to explore techniques for capturing data and making it easily accessible to those who require it. Another goal of the project is to improve human potential, ensuring that the present generation has a thorough awareness of modern challenges."

Where do economic stability and growth fit into this project?

Amanj Shahid Shawkat: 
"An economy's failure can be attributed to ineffective decision-making." Data is essential for making smart judgments. Otherwise, judgments may be affected by the preferences and perspectives of certain individuals, depending on human will rather than scientific facts. It is also possible that a person has the intelligence to make a smart decision but lacks the resources to back it up scientifically. Nonetheless, by utilizing the necessary facts, they may support their position, leading to increased economic stability."

What does the Data Revolution Initiative offer in terms of coordination between the public and private sectors?

Amanj Shahid Shawkat: 
"The majority of data or information is primarily in the custody of governmental entities, which seek to exert control over such data." However, in developed nations, data is available to both the private and public sectors. Nonetheless, it is the government's job to protect individual rights and personal information, whereas the private sector may participate in activities that are outside the scope of the government. The government can guide, enable, and encourage individuals and organizations to obtain important data, with the understanding that the data would ultimately be shared with the government."

How will citizens be involved in this project? What if they find a problem?

Amanj Shahid Shawkat: 
"When data is collected, as is common in the world, you must solicit citizen input to enrich your data." This study takes two approaches: one based on numerical data and the other on statements or surveys. This will improve the data analysis process and allow for better-informed judgments."

In addition to the Data Revolution Initiative by Qubad Talabani, two other projects were announced. What are their benefits for the youth?

Amanj Shahid Shawkat: 
"The Data Revolution is the first step in this process, followed by Smart Suli, a portal to classify problems that are published on the portal, and then young people are called to propose solutions to the problem, which are then evaluated." This will make it easier for young people to submit suggestions."

On November 14, 2023, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Qubad Talabani announced the Data Revolution Initiative at the start of the 1st MEED Conference, which is an initiative that, in addition to gathering data and information, identifies issues and attempts to find scientifically sound solutions. Young people and the broader public can also assist in identifying solutions.


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