From The Field: An interview with Ahmed Gabr, Senior M&E Specialist for SIMPLE, Egypt

What is your position at QED? 
I am the Senior M&E Specialist with USAID’s $24.5 million Services to Improve Performance Management, Enhance Learning and Evaluation (SIMPLE) project in Cairo, Egypt. As a QED Group staff member on the project, I collaborate with USAID to support monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL).

What are some of your responsibilities?
I work on project activity evaluations, data quality assessments (DQAs), conduct survey research, collect and analyze data, and manage reporting. With support from QED’s Washington, D.C. based staff, my team and I respond to USAID’s requests within the project’s scope of work. I mainly manage evaluations and assessments of project activities. Most recently, under SIMPLE, I completed a midterm evaluation of the Work Improvement and Skill Enhancement (WISE), Needs Assessment study for USAID capacity building planning and the assessment of Needs of Persons with Disability in Egyptian Public Universities, and Regional Technical Colleges.

As an Egyptian and a more experienced team member on SIMPLE, I provide a nuanced understanding of the local context for our chief of party and other non-Egyptian, mostly American, staff, particularly in regard to working through Egyptian officials for field access, seeking permissions from various ministries, and conducting important meetings.

What motivates you to do your job at QED and what is it that you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy research work and evaluations. I am an engineer and have an analytical mind. Analysis and management are my passion and therefore, I really enjoy working for SIMPLE. I look at SIMPLE as a school for MEL, and through this project, we provide our knowledge, participate in the learning process, and help other implementing partners in Egypt. I often get opportunities to participate in MEL conferences and symposia at the American University in Cairo.

What is it that you like the most about QED?
I really appreciate the fact that QED staff at the HQ constantly supports us.

Tell us more about yourself…
I am an engineer by education and have also worked for the military. I studied at the Military Engineering College and the American University in Cairo for undergraduate and graduate studies, respectively. I hold diplomas in management and statistics from Cairo University.

What’s your favorite destination in the world?
I love to travel! Apart from Cairo, two of my favorite cities in the world are Vancouver, Canada, and Amman, Jordan. These are beautiful! I also enjoy the beaches in Egypt.

What are your favorite activities or interests?
I go to the gym regularly. When I was younger, I would jog and play squash every day! I love eating and cooking Egyptian food and head out to eat street food very often.