Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)
Nihal Said

Nihal Said

Nihal Said

Adolescents and Youth Programme Analyst, United Nations Population Fund, Egypt Country Office

Nihal Said, from Cairo, Egypt is a statistician by training and currently works as the Adolescents and Youth Programme Analyst at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Egypt Country Office. Said recently concluded her UNV assignment with the MENA Regional Bureau of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) on humanitarian affairs. She volunteers with humanitarian organizations in Egypt such as the Egyptian Red Crescent and UN MGCY. In addition, Said is the MENA Regional Focal Point for the Habitat III preparations for youth and is actively involved in youth engagement in the World Humanitarian Summit process as well as humanitarian, peace and security. Said obtained her M.A from Ohio University’s Communication and Development Studies Program and her B.A in Statistics from Cairo University.  Her research interests include media and audience research, communication/ICT for development/humanitarian action, humanitarian effectiveness, and gender and youth issues. In 2013, motivated by the social change movements in Egypt, Said conducted research on the use of communication tools in fighting sexual harassment in Egypt.

Said has experience with mixed methods research on primary and secondary data, and with social media as a tool to inform humanitarian response. In 2013, Said worked on mapping Communication for Development strategies of relevance to polio eradiation in Chad. This experience motivated her to study the role of communication tools and culture for public health issues in emergency settings. In 2014, she studied the role of communications and culture in responding to Orphans and Vulnerable Children and HIV/AIDS transmission in Botswana. Working at the regional office for OCHA Middle East, Said conducted research for: a) informing the discussions on reforming the humanitarian sector for the World Humanitarian Summit and; b) advocating for humanitarian needs. In this role, she conducted FGDs with Syrian refugees and youth volunteers both online and in person to gather insights on the Syria response in Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen. In addition, Said facilitated consultations with civil society, media, and government to raise recommendations to the WHS.

Most recently, Said worked with Microsoft on developing software that would analyze social media and big data to inform the humanitarian response planning in Libya where access is challenging. She is currently mapping the efforts of young Egyptians and Syrians working for peace and combating extremism. 


  1. Nihal Said. Gender and Social Activism against Street Sexual Harassment in Egypt. Scholar Forum: The Journal of the Open Society Scholarship Programs, Spring 2015, Number 17, pp 3-5
  2. Focus Group Discussions with Affected Communities in Egypt Main Findings. World Humanitarian Summit, Regional Consultation, Middle East and North Africa, March 2015
  3. Final Report: Regional Consultation for the Middle East and North Africa. World Humanitarian Summit, Jordan 3-5 March, 2015
  4. Middle East & North Africa: Crises in Focus - An Overview of Humanitarian Needs in the Region. OCHA Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa