“I have tried, like many of my colleagues, to apply for a job outside Yemen. However, it is almost impossible for a Yemeni citizen to be accepted, not due to a lack of experience or qualifications, but simply hailing from a country embroiled in war.”
War has been an ongoing cruel reality for many Yemenis like Ebrahim since 2015. According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
, the war has left over 22 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian or protection assistance, over 8 million at risk of starvation, and 16 million with a lack of access to safe water and sanitation.
Despite the early struggles, Ebrahim Al-Towayti managed to find employment as an Information Management Officer (IMO) working as part of the iMMAP team responsible for supporting emergency responders in his native Yemen.
Ebrahim is responsible for several tasks, including capacity building to humanitarian cluster members and leaders, facilitating mobile data collection and data management, generating statistical reports among other things. It’s a long list of crucial tasks for any individual, but for someone living and stationed in Yemen - it’s even more challenging.
“The internet would go down and we’d struggle to keep the electricity up, so I’d be forced to stay at the office till 7 or 8 pm,” recalls Ebrahim. “Another issue is that we receive many requests on data analysis or map production.”
Collecting and processing data in an accurate way with high-level analysis leads to producing very informative products. This, in turn, provides a clear sight to clusters and organizations to mobilize their efforts to target the population that is the most in need of aid.
In spite of the obstacles, Ebrahim managed to create several important products in over two years. One is an automation tool that processes a number of steps with great ease and with little intervention from a staff member to deliver an information product.
The automation tool significantly reduces production time of lengthy tasks such as map generation and data analysis and avoids human errors, which are all critical in emergency contexts.
“Collecting and processing data in an accurate way with high-level analysis leads to producing very informative products,” asserts Ebrahim. “This, in turn, provides a clear sight to clusters and organizations to mobilize their efforts to target the population that is the most in need of aid.”
Ebrahim’s tools and products have proven so effective that even the iMMAP team involved in Syria are looking to adopt the tool. With the automation tool, the Syria team will manage to integrate data management tools with current data collection forms for dynamic dashboard templates among other information products.
Living in the middle of a war, surrounded by devastation and division, Ebrahim has delivered and continues to deliver valuable products and tools. He is an embodiment of resoluteness and determination that has long resonated with people mired in cruel and harsh realities.
In Yemen, iMMAP provides information management and coordination assistance to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), cluster/sector leads, NGOs, and United Nations agencies. iMMAP’s support includes building the information management capacity of humanitarian actors, the provisions of short-term secondments, standardization of information management tools and processes and the development of a web-based reporting platform. The team has produced 1500 maps since 2016.