Research Themes|Poverty and Social Policies
The overall purpose of this thematic theme is to advocate for social policy reforms emphasizing alleviation of poverty, and to engage in such reforms through supporting policy designs and programs’ implementations. Three of the other four thematic areas (Gender and Women’s Empowerment, Health Inequities and Policy Implications, Agricultural and Rural Development) are cross-cutting with the poverty focus as many of their activities and products tend to focus on disadvantaged poor social groups (particularly poor women and those living in squatter areas and working in agriculture).
SRC poverty-related work can be described in two types of activities. One is in collaboration with government units and lead actors. The second covers other types of research efforts.
Faculty members at the SRC have been engaged in work that seeks to address the chronic problems of poverty and deprivation in Egypt and to enable policy and program interventions that can alleviate hardship and realize healthy, equitable and dignified development trajectories. Significant poverty interventions require a broad coalition of partners and also requires a constant field presence. The SRC work on poverty has enjoined international partners ( UNDP, Ford Foundation, Unicef, IPC-Brazil, African Development Bank) and local partners in government (Ministry of Social Solidarity, Ministry of Planning, National Council for Women) and in civil society. This work began in earnest with SRC participation in authoring a chapter and undertaking the survey research for the Egypt Human Development Report on pro-poor growth in 2005. It continued until 2013 when Egypt began to formally adopt new social protection programs. Throughout this decade the research, training, policy advice, and dissemination on poverty and social policy have continued
Four SRC grants link directly with the Ministry of Social Solidarity Commitment to adopt and implement national poverty alleviation policies. Key work within these includes a pilot intervention of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in an urban area in Egypt. Two grants focused on poverty in urban areas, particularly in the Cairo governorate and its squatter areas. Two other grants included components focusing on the critical and strategic needs of poor women and one addressed illiteracy eradication of women. Most of these projects were carried out, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Manpower and Migration, the Ministry of Planning, the National Council for Women and the General Authority for Illiteracy Eradication.
Earlier, a number of grants within the thematic direction on “Agriculture and Rural Development” were mainly concerned with rural poverty and in particular the situation of small poor women farmers under the liberalization of the agricultural sector mainly the reforms of land and water market in MENA region. The group worked on two proposals for the purpose of constitutionalizing the Right to Food and Food Sovereignty. The Group presented the proposals to the Committee on Rights and Freedoms of the Constitutional Assembly and the proposals were adopted. Thanks to this work, these rights are now enshrined in article 79 of the Egyptian Constitution. It is worth mentioning that now Egypt has become the first Arab country to constitutionalize Food Sovereignty.
In addition to SRC activities performed within grants, a great deal of outreach and public service efforts related to poverty is performed by many members of SRC in their personal capacity. The efforts of the collaboration with governmental bodies have focused on supporting the design of policies and program implementations as well as evaluation of impacts of initiatives and monitoring of overall progress.
For a list of projects carried out (1990-2013) by SRC on Poverty and Social Policies, click here.
For a list of some publications and outcomes of SRC Poverty and Social Policies related projects, click here.