In 2016, the nucleus of Serageldin Institute for Multidisciplinary Advanced Research “SIMAR” was initiated, where the mission was to conduct quantitative analysis and modeling in different multidisciplinary areas. The multidisciplinary research undertaken at SIMAR was meant to reach meaningful diagnosis and policy prescriptions across various sectors, to include poverty, education, health, quality of measurement, food security, democracy, climate change, population, attitude surveys, and household analysis, …etc.

The Institute is composed of qualified researchers experienced in all quantitative techniques including econometrics, statistics, modelling, data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning,…etc.

 

Areas of Interest and Publications

Over the past three years, SIMAR has embarked on several projects developing quantitative analysis and modeling in different multidisciplinary areas, focusing on five tracks so far:

  • Modelling the impact of the climate change on agriculture crop mix in Egypt, with a focus on sea level rise. Many studies have been conducted by the team in this area, in collaboration with various local and international partners. In July 2017, SIMAR has published its 1st technical paper tackling this topic, entitled “Modelling the Optimal Cropping Pattern to 2030 under different Climate Change Scenarios: A Study on Egypt”. Then, the paperwas accepted and published in the “African Journal for Agricultural and Resource Economics” in September 2018. Possible studies can be conducted to include the seasons and regions in the model, followed by addition of sea level rise effect. Furthermore, the Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models -using the GAMS- can be applied to estimate and predict the impact of climate change and sea level rise on the Egyptian economy.

  • Examining the impact of democracy on the economic growth in Egypt during the period 1970 - 2015. In addition, the direction of the causality relationship between the two variables in Egypt is investigated. SIMAR has published its 2nd technical paper entitled “The Effect of Electoral Democracy on Economic Growth in Egypt 1970 - 2015”. Later on, the study was published in the “Afro Asian Journal of Social Sciences” in 2018. For future work, it would be very beneficial to include other measures or indices that capture other institutional aspects and components of democracy, as well as using panel data with many countries over time.

  • Analyzing the indirect effect of democracy on economic growth in 17 MENA countries over the period from 1990 to 2015. SIMAR has published its 3rd paper titled “The Indirect Effect of Democracy on Economic Growth in The MENA Region (1990 - 2015)”. It was presented and published firstly in the “International Academic Conference on Management, Economics and Marketing”, The Czech Institute of Academic Education- Vienna- Austria from 6 - 8 July 2018. Thereafter, it is published in the “Economies Journal” in November 2018. For further work, the relationship between democracy and economic growth can be investigated in different groups of countries and for different periods. Moreover, the indirect effect of democracy on economic growth can be estimated using other significant channels of influence, especially inflation, corruption and political instability as well as rule of law measures.

  • Sentiment analysis on social media (Twitter and Facebook) is using big data analytics techniques studying the opinion of the public on Egyptian products. It was presented in the international conference entitled “Applying Quantitative Analysis to Development Issues Conference”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 18th and 19th of February 2018.

  • Recognizing and understanding the roots of poverty, its elements and determinants in Egypt to come up with policy recommendations that help eradicate poverty and ameliorate welfare. SIMAR has published its 4th research paper titled “Household Poverty in Egypt: Poverty Profile, Econometric Modeling and Policy Simulations” in The “AUC International Conference for Research on African Challenges” in December, 2019. The paper is submitted for publication also in “Routledge African Studies Series”. Further analysis can be undertaken regarding gender dimension of poverty in Egypt in addition to using different poverty measures. Additionally, inequality is an important issue that can be studied.

  • Data Cleansing using the Artificial intelligence and machine learning. In collaboration with ERF and CAPMAS, Labor Force Survey (LFS) Data is applied to develop AI tools of cleansing data. SIMAR obtained the LFS for Egypt from CAPMAS before cleansing and the same datasets for the same period from ERF after cleansing. Then, we attempted to extract the error detection rules that were used to identify and repair errors within the datasets, and rewrite them in a format that can be used in the machine learning process in order to automate the data cleansing process, which is usually very time consuming when performed manually by data scientists. The extraction of the error detection rules was performed by SIMAR team to be integrated in the machine learning process using HOLOCLEAN software.

  • Estimating the private rate of return to education in Egypt and identifying the main pre-market and in-market determinants of earnings over many years of analysis from 2008 to 2018. In addition to examining, the potential effects of education and various unobserved factors such as ability and social skills on earnings. The study proposed title is “Microeconomic Analysis of Private Returns to Education in Egypt: 2008-2018”. Currently, the 5th paper of SIMAR is in the final revision phase to be submitted to the publishing department for language revision. Meanwhile, a set of relevant top ranked journal will investigated to be targeted for publication.

     

Collaborations and Partnerships

SIMAR has established many collaborations and partnerships, both locally and internationally as follows:

  • Collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where some of their models have been used in SIMAR studies in the area of crop mix model.

  • Collaboration with the National Water Research Institute, which have provided SIMAR with data and information, which has greatly helped our researchers in climate change studies.

  • Collaboration with the CAPMAS, which provided SIMAR with a great amount of data, in both hard and digital format, that has greatly helped us in all our conducted studies.

  • A joint research partnership with the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has been developed in areas of mutual interest including, water modeling, crowd sourcing and big data.

  • Collaboration with the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in the area of data cleansing, we have signed MOU with the ERF in 2019 for this purpose and other research purposes.

  • Collaboration with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) institute, in University of Gothenburg Sweden in order to apply quantitative analysis on their data to serve our purpose.

  • Collaboration with the waterloo university, Ontario, Canada in the area of data cleansing.

  • Collaboration with the Free University of Berlin, Germany. In 2018, Bibliotheca Alexandrina signs cooperation protocol with the Free University of Berlin (MOU) involves cooperation in research (SIMAR) and teaching (FU Berlin training plus Bibliotheca Alexandrina summer school for German and Egyptian students).