Zeinab Cherri

2019 Winner

Position: Women Deliver Young Leader
Organization: Women Deliver

Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Master in Public Health in Disasters from Universidad de Oviedo and Universite Catholique de Louvain

Additional Degrees and Certifications:

Member of Women Deliver Humanitarian Advisory Committee — 2018 to present
Women Deliver Young Leader — 2018 to present
Registered Dietitian in the US — 2016 to present
BSc. in Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program from the American University of Beirut — 2014

Youth Program Certificates:
Women Deliver Digital University: SRHR online course with a solid foundation of advocacy, project management, and issue-based knowledge — 2019
Third Youth Leadership Workshop on Global Citizenship Education in South Korea: Fully funded workshop by UNESCO APCEIU to build the capacities of young leaders around the world to achieve target 4.7 of SDGs — 2017
Middle East Partnership Initiative Student Leaders Program Capstone Seminar: Fully funded seminar; invited to provide a workshop for seminar participants entitled Refugee Leader – A Twisted Exercise — 2017
Turk Arab Youth Congress in Istanbul: Fully funded congress to build capacities of youth in humanitarian affairs — 2014
MEPI SLP Alumni Conference in Morocco: Fully funded conference to enhance leadership skills and further develop community outreach project plans — 2014
MEPI SLP: an intensive fully funded 6-week exchange program in the U.S. to develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society — 2013

Family Planning Speaking Opportunities:
Invited by IAWG and FP2020 to speak in the session “Designing emergency response with the adolescent girl in mind” in the Women Deliver conference — 2019
Invited by IBP initiative and Women Deliver to moderate a session on Preparedness Strategies for FP/SRH services in humanitarian settings in the IBP Regional Meeting in Istanbul — 2019

Online Course Certificates:
Writing in the Sciences; Stanford University; Coursera — 2018
Statistical Reasoning for Public Health 2: Regression Methods; Johns Hopkins University; Coursera — 2018
Statistical Reasoning for Public Health 1: Estimation, Inference, & Interpretation Johns Hopkins University; Coursera — 2018
Complex Humanitarian Emergencies; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative — 2017
MISP for Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations; The Women’s Refugee Commission — 2016
Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis; Johns Hopkins University — 2016
Building a Better Response; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative — 2015
The Challenges of Global Health; Duke University; Coursera — 2015
An Introduction to Global Health; University of Copenhagen; Coursera – Jan. 2015
Understanding Research Methods; University of London; Coursera — 2015
Health Literacy and Communication for Health Professionals; University of Nebraska; Coursera — 2014
Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Coursera — 2014
Awards Received:
Women Deliver Young Leader
Awarding Organization:
Women Deliver
Date Awarded:
January 18, 2018
Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Master in Public Health in Disasters
Awarding Organization:
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union
Date Awarded:
March 23, 2015
MEPI Student Leaders Program
Awarding Organization:
US Department of State
Date Awarded:
April 1, 2013

“Zeinab Cherri is a Women Deliver Young Leader and a member of WD Humanitarian Committee. She studied a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Disasters on the Erasmus Mundus Joint Scholarship at Universidad de Oviedo and Université Catholique de Louvain”

Marcy Hersh, Sr Manager, Humanitarian Advocacy at Women Deliver

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As a practicum student fellow at International Medical Corps Lebanon, I contributed to the assessment for sexual and reproductive health of Syrian refugee women. The objective of the study was to assess women’s contraceptive needs and behavior to improve the services provided. I conducted eleven focus group discussions in informal tented settlements and primary health care clinics in areas where Syrian refugees reside. I worked with my academic advisers to publish the study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study has been cited 10 times so far and is used as a reference for sexual and reproductive health of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Aware of the challenges Syrian women face in Lebanon, I aimed at producing evidence-based research to provide them with better family planning services, I intended to help them make informed decisions about their bodies. Learning that they dropped out of school due to marriage and pregnancy, I later worked on a study to decrease the high school drop out rate of adolescent girls.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

During my Master’s, I was the only student in the UCL track to pursue a potential internship. I seized the opportunity with IMC and independently researched SRHR of Syrian refugee women in Lebanon; I decided to assess barriers to contraception. I contributed to the FGD guide, I conducted, transcribed, and analyzed all the FGDs, I analyzed the data, and I wrote a report to IMC. Later, with my supervisors, I published the results of the study. I also met all my thesis deadlines.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? 

I will seize the opportunity to further build my capacity- networking, policy analysis and evidence-based advocacy- to deliver better research outputs on family planning in humanitarian settings. As such, I would use the grant to continue my research on sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings. I would like to conduct a qualitative study on barriers and misconceptions that prevent Syrian refugee men living in Lebanon from using condoms.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work: