Read about Nibal Idlbi

Nibal Idlbi
Chief of Innovation
UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia


What brought you to a career in technology at the United Nations?

My education and my career were in the domain of technology before joining the United Nations. I had my engineering degree and Ph.D. in computer science, and I worked as a research engineer in the private sector, an assistant professor at the University, and then I joined the government as deputy Minister in the Ministry of Communication and Technology. I joined the UN in 2004 to work on technology for development and more specifically in the development of the information and knowledge society. Then, my focus was on Innovation policy for social and economic development. Although I am still involved in these two wide areas, I am currently working on digital transformation and digital and open government with a focus on the Arab region.


What has been your favorite IT project at the United Nations and what was your technical contribution?

As I joined the UNESCWA since more than 18 years, during this period, I had the chance to work on various domains related to advancing knowledge society in the Arab region. In this wide domain, I focused on the development of a legal and regulatory framework for the information society, the development of digital Arabic content, building trust in cyberspace, digital applications for social and economic development, innovation policy for sustainable development and digital & open government for the 2030 Development Agenda. My main contributions were to support the formulation of national and regional policies and strategies, building common understanding among all stakeholders about the way forward and roadmaps, identifying challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies for accelerating the achievement of SDGs, and raising awareness of decision-makers about the impact of technology for sustainable development.


What advice would you give women interested in pursuing a field in technology?

Technology is instrumental for sustainable development and a very interesting field as it is continuously advancing, changing, and progressing. Additionally, there are enormous opportunities offered by technology for advancing various sectors. This makes it a very attractive sector for one’s career. I advise women to pursue their education, training and learning to pursue their career in technology and its applications.