American University of Beirut’s EMPACT Digital Skills Training

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Solutions Presenters

Rabih Shibli
Rabih Shibli is the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), which builds bridges between the university, external partners, and communities in order to facilitate change in marginalized landscapes and provide opportunities for transformative education. He has conceptualized and implemented developmental projects and authored publications reflecting the process of bridging developmental planning and experiential learning.

Currently, Shibli is the principle investigator for six projects tackling the Syrian refugee crisis: (a) Ghata: Bringing Education to Informal Tented Settlements, (b) Digital Skills Training Program, (c) Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access , (d) EdTech Curriculum for refugee children, (e) Science Education: A Key to University Access for Refugee Girls, and (f) Safe and Sound school-based psychosocial support.

Under his leadership, the AUB-CCECS was awarded the Most Civically Engaged University Campus in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) by Ma'an Alliance 2015, the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship from Tufts University 2016, SXSW Learn by Design Honorary Award 2018, it is shortlisted for the WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) Award 2018, and is the recipient of the Dr. Fritz Redlich Global Mental Health and Human Rights Award (2018).

Sarah Kouzi, MPH
Sarah Kouzi is the Project Manager, Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, AUB. She has more than twenty years of experience in the development field and worked at a wide spectrum of bodies such as the UN, public sector, private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations both local and international. Her current and previous roles, between 2004 and present, have gained her extensive experience in the development sector as well as the relief and recovery sectors. Her experience ranges from establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation unit to developing Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanisms to rolling out Gender minimum standards. In her current role as Digital Skills Training Project Manager at the American University of Beirut, she is responsible for economically empowering vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian youth through the digital economy. Kouzi holds a Master of Public Health degree from AUB.

American University of Beirut’s EMPACT Digital Skills Training (DST) program is a modular curriculum which spans 12 weeks and equips low-income youth with transferable digital skills, English, soft skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset. The curriculum covers basic to advanced digital skills, English language in face-to-face and online formats, and soft skills for career readiness, freelancing, and entrepreneurship.

Following graduation, dedicated staff connect program participants to opportunities for further education and training, internships, and employment.

Each training cycle includes 90 hours of Digital Skills and 54 hours of English with soft skills built into the curricula, and provided during additional workshops on “open lab” days. AUB Computer Science faculty members design and update the curriculum in line with new practices and labor market needs. New students start with the Basic Digital Skills, covering all aspects of computer literacy. Each center has a fully functional and internet-connected computer lab equipped with 80 computers each.

The EMPACT Digital Skills training has equipped Syrian refugees and Lebanese youth from marginalized communities with the capacities needed for the growing online economy and remote work while promoting social, educational, and economic inclusion.

Following graduation, dedicated staff connect program participants to opportunities for further education and training, internships, and employment.

Location: Lebanon, with a parallel program in Iraq supported by the United Nations World Food Program, and plans to expand the reach across the Middle East, North and East Africa.

www.aub.edu.lb/ccecs/srrp/Pages/AUB-WFP-Tech-for-Food-Program-Digital-Skills-Training.aspx

Note: American University of Beirut’s Digital Skills Training (DST) program is based on EMPACT program from WFP and it is a modular curriculum which spans 12 weeks and equips low-income youth with transferable digital skills, English, soft skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset. The curriculum covers basic to advanced digital skills, English language in face-to-face and online formats, and soft skills for career readiness, freelancing, and entrepreneurship.