Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

The 3rd International Workshop on Applications of ICTs in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture

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The 3rd International Workshop on Applications of ICTs in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture was successfully held in Amman, Jordan, from 31st May to 1st June 2016 at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), which is the largest applied research institution of the country. The third of the series, the workshop was jointly organized by the COMSATS; Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Inter-Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) in cooperation with RSS.

The series of workshops aims at strengthening the capacity of software and application developers, researchers and students involved in designing practical applications addressing development problems in the areas of education, health and agriculture from the common Member States of the partner organizations. The objective is to understand as well as to possibly help develop ICT applications and policies conducive for improving governance structures in thematic areas of the workshop. The first event of the series was held in Islamabad (December 2014), while the second was held in Rabat (November 2015).

The institutions and organizations represented during the workshop included among others: RSS, Jordan; Al-Quds University, Palestine; COMSATS Secretariat, Pakistan; ISESCO, Morocco; COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan; INIT, Pakistan; Mohammadia School of Engineering (EMI), Rabat, Morocco; Pay Attention Programme, Jordan; Alhodhud, Jordan; Princess Sumaya University of Technology, Jordan; Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China; Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization, Tanzania; Agricultural Research Centre, Egypt; Yarmouk University, Jordan; Electronic Health Solutions, Jordan; Seneca Associates and NatHealth, Jordan.

The inaugural session of the event was held on May 31, 2016 and was presided over by Mr. Daher Thabet, Director ICTs, RSS, while prominent participants included Dr. Bilal Zaka, Director, CIIT-Virtual Campus and Representative INIT, Mr. Abdul Majid Qureshi, Research Scholar, COMSATS Secretariat, Dr. Ismail AbdelHamid, Programme Specialist, ISESCO and Engr. Nael Elmulki, Jordan National Officer, UNESCWA. Around 60 subject specialists and experts from Morocco, Pakistan, Tanzania, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine also participated in the inaugural function.

The technical proceedings of the workshop, spread over six sessions, comprised of 22 talks, case studies, and keynote lectures that introduced innovative applications being developed by students, researchers and government institutions for improving governance related problems in the areas of Health, Education and Agriculture. First two sessions of the first day focused on the theme of ICT applications in Education, and the third session focused on ICT applications in Agriculture, while three sessions on second day covered talks under the theme of ICT applications in Healthcare. Several case studies of actual software developed and employed in educational Institutions and healthcare settings were shared, while some speakers presented applications with profitable and social models of marketing. Key problems were highlighted in the adoption of these applications by Public institutions. It was felt during the discussions, which followed the presentations, that a favorable regulatory environment and patronage of public institutions is vital to the adoption of many existing applications and for encouraging the continuous development of these applications upon use.

Participants thanked COMSATS, ISESCO and INIT for creating a platform for allowing researchers to present their work for peer review and bringing it to Jordan. A need for greater awareness regarding the merits of certain ICT applications was stressed, particularly in the Healthcare sector as well as the need for addressing awareness of IP issues among software developers was also asserted.

Mr. Daher Thabet, Director ICTs, RSS presided over the closing ceremony of the event held on June 1, 2016. In his closing remarks, he opined that the developing countries need to strengthen their capacity to indigenously develop software applications to address local problems. Dr. Ismail AbdelHamid in his vote of thanks appreciated the strenuous efforts of the partner organizations for making the event successful and lauded the hospitality of the host institution. He encouraged the participants to give their feedback to further improve the outcomes of the future events. Certificates were presented/awarded to the participants during the closing ceremony.

Upcoming Events

Dec
3
Tue
2019
International Workshop on Learning about Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges, Gebze, Turkey.
Dec 3 – Dec 5 all-day

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1. Background and rationale
Since the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the achievement of their targets has become a high priority. However, full awareness about the SDGs and the associated Global Challenges at the level of young scientists and researchers is often inadequate. Their role in contributing towards fostering scientific knowledge, technology and innovation is crucial for finding solutions to the sustainability issues. A workshop is being organized aimed at early-career researchers to deepen their understanding of the SDGs.

2. Introduction
In order to raise awareness on SDGs and the associated challenges faced by humanity globally, and to build capacity of young scientists and researchers in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other countries lagging in science and technology, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), in collaboration with the TWAS Regional Partner for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific, and COMSATS’ Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), are organizing an international workshop titled ‘Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges’. The workshop will be hosted by TUBITAK, at Gebze, Turkey, on 3 – 5 December 2019.

This activity will be within the pursuits of COMSATS and TWAS. COMSATS Centres of Excellence are reservoirs of scientific research capabilities and expertise in diverse fields. Their contribution in enhancing the capacity of COMSATS’ member countries especially the LDCs and countries on the verge of developing ST for SDGs is a strong manifestation of south-south cooperation and commitment to sustainability. The offer of TUBITAK, the COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Turkey, to host the workshop is deeply appreciated.

3. Focus and Possible Topics
If SDGs are to bring about transformative changes in the socio-economic and socio-technical systems, it is imperative to promote active links and dialogue among different actors, disciplines and knowledge holders. This would enable better understanding of the challenges confronted by humanity and possible progress toward their solutions. It is important for all stakeholders to imagine SDGs as a whole, interlinked and interactive process and systems. Hence the overarching aim of the workshop is to provide an overview and training on the concept of sustainable development; the rationale of SDGs; importance of targets set as benchmarks for monitoring the progress of the implementation processes; and on the planetary boundaries. This is expected to provide a useful backdrop to more focused deliberations on three crucial topics: climate, energy and biodiversity. Though these are covered under most of the Goals, the specific ones could be identified as: Goal 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

4. Structure of Workshop
The structure of the workshop is based on presentations by international experts in the fields identified, which will be followed by interactive sessions. The idea is to engage with the participants and involve them in brainstorming on key issues. The handouts and possible reading material will be provided. The participants will be expected to suggest their views on the solutions specific to their countries/regions.

5. Targeted Individuals
The focus of the workshop is on the LDCs and S&T Lagging countries, especially those that are members of TWAS and COMSATS. Young affiliates & scientists holding PhD (graduated at least 3 years ago), belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries, and the host country are encouraged to participate in the event.

6. Financial Support
Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries (https://twas.org/66-countries). The local hospitality will be provided to the foreign participants by TUBITAK, Turkey.

7. Application Procedure
The candidates are required to submit their CVs, duly filled-in application forms (enclosed), expression of interest (up to 500 words), passport copy, and nomination/recommendation letters at the following email addresses: regionaloffices@twas.org; farhan@comsats.org on or before 18th September 2019.

8. For further information, please contact:

TWAS
Dr. Max Paoli
Programme Coordinator, TWAS, Trieste, Italy
Tel: +39 040 2240-327
Fax: +39 040 224559
E-mail: mpaoli@twas.org

COMSATS
Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes),
COMSATS Headquarters, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92 51 9214515-7
Fax: +92 51 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

TUBITAK
Dr. Orkun Hasekioglu
TUBITAK,
Ankara, Turkey
Email: orkun.hasekioglu@tubitak.gov.tr

Mar
2
Mon
2020
The 23rd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, ICCBS, Karachi, Pakistan
Mar 2 – Mar 4 all-day

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