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Hazal Çolak Öz

Hazal Çolak Öz

Senior Data Scientist and Social Policy Researcher

Hazal Colak Oz is a senior data scientist and social policy researcher with 9 years of research experience working on various policy topics ranging from poverty and cash transfer programs to education outcomes of children. Within her team role, she has been an integral part of various project teams, undertaking responsibilities in large-scale evaluations, providing quantitative expertise and conducting micro-level and administrative data analysis on critical issues, as well as conducting ex-ante and ex-post program evaluations.

Hazal has acted as the quantitative expert designing methodological approaches and overseeing junior analysts in various projects across diverse country contexts. Her contributions span locations such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Nigeria and Türkiye working with clients including UNICEF, WFP, the World Bank, IFRC and the European Commission.

She has played pivotal roles in designing and implementing the technical phases for revising the targeting approach of multipurpose cash assistance programs / emergency social safety net (ESSN) in Türkiye, Lebanon and Iraq for UNHCR and IFRC offices. Her work has involved designing innovative targeting approaches and developing machine learning models to predict poverty within the targeted populations of these countries, coupled with targeting error analyses.

Her expertise also spans in crafting and executing methodological approaches as a quantitative expert to measure both monetary and multidimensional poverty. This expertise relates to providing specialized insights for formulating relevant child benefit policies and program frameworks. Hazal excels in evaluating both monetary and multidimensional aspects, allowing for the design of tailored social assistance programs that meet the specific needs of the vulnerable population. Within this realm, she has been actively engaged in several studies in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Nigeria, and Turkey for UNICEF country offices.

Hazal also leads the design and continuous enhancement of interactive web applications known as the Interactive Social Policy Simulator (ISPS) at Development Analytics, facilitating user-friendly and informative policy simulation tools for policy makers.

Hazal received her first master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, focusing on comparative welfare system analysis and cross-national variations in major social policy areas. Subsequently, she earned her second master's in Data Science and Society at Tilburg University. She is currently a PhD fellow at the Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University focusing on simulating the impact of climate change on poverty in Malawi and Nigeria.

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