center development services

Health Management and Research

The CDS Health Management and Research (HMR) program has two affiliates, social science and medical science. The earliest project under this program, initiated in 1990, was titled 'Applied Knowledge in Health and Social Science' and extended over a decade. This project was succeeded by the 2001-2006 winner of the AGFUND prize for most pioneer projects: 'Improving Nursing Career for Women in Upper Egypt: the Use of Media, and Communication Campaigns to Change Attitudes'. In 2007, the health program presented its current three-phase project titled 'Sexuality, Reproductive Health, and Adolescents in Egyptian Society", scheduled to end in 2013. The HMR program's philosophy and thus the philosophy behind these landmark projects is 'health problems stem from multiple social, economic, cultural, and psychological causes and cannot, therefore, be resolved by medical science alone'

The program's approach is thus inter- and multi-disciplinary seeking to bridge the gap between social science and health, the gap that we regard as an obstacle to the effective promotion of health in a region where resources are scarce and the deep-rooted culture and traditions are powerful determinants of prevalent attitudes and behaviors. In any particular project, CDS combines research activities, to produce understanding and knowledge on how and what role social factors play in the attitude and behavior of various population groups towards specific health related issues, with the applications and dissemination of this knowledge This usually happens in the form of capacity building of health care organizations, health care service providers, and CSOs particularly in relation with health planning and communication, reproductive health, nursing, and the improvement of the quality of health service delivery.

Amid these self initiated projects, CDS implemented and supported many projects to assist other organizations plan and carry out their health-oriented programs, still you find the health-social science intersection permeates all of them.

The Program's main thematic areas are:

  • Action Research, a cross-cutting theme characterized by creating opportunities for innovative research projects in particular to generate knowledge and develop understanding of the attitude and behavior of various population groups toward health-related issues.
  • Enhancing Health Care Service Delivery, focuses on working with health care organizations and health care professionals to built their capacity to provide better quality services and to enhance their status and careers as health care professionals.
  • Health Planning, supports CSOs, NGOs and government agencies in assessing and mapping of specific health issues, facilitating planning, and guiding implementation of health interventions.

The program is carried out in close relation with diverse urban, peri-urban, and rural communities in Egypt as well as various countries around the region.

The HMR program also works with vulnerable groups such as children, women, youth and with most at risk populations and people living with HIV/AIDS. Following are some of the landmark projects of CDS in the Health Management and Research program.


Program theme:Action Research
+ Sexuality, Reproductive Health, and Adolescents in Egyptian Society - phase 3 , Ford Foundation
This Ford Foundation financed program started in 2007 and currently entered in its third phase. The aim of this program is to promote positive knowledge, attitudes and behavior towards sexuality and reproductive health issues among youth aged 12-18 with the ultimate aim of improving their quality of health and wellbeing.

The first phase of the project was exploratory to learn about perceptions of adolescents regarding the concept of sexuality, and use the lessons learnt to train a selected group of adolescents and social workers.

65 adolescents (14-16 years old) were trained to serve as champions of communication with their peers, and 28 social workers in four NGOs were trained to promote learning of young men and women based on their expressed needs and interests.
A documentary film, "Sex Talk", was produced to reflect on different socio-cultural perceptions.

The aim of the second Phase was to expand the outreach of the project to a greater number of youth. In the second phase the project collaborated with 14 NGOs across Egypt to formulate a training curriculum based on the needs of older children and adolescents. New media in the form of Facebook (Fadfadet Shabab) and other media channels ( Horyetna internet radio station) were used to reach out to youth.

The third phase of this project is focusing on advocacy of the right of youth to access sexuality and reproductive health information and dissemination of information gained throughout the earlier two phases. (2011-2013)

+ Behavioral and Biological Surveillance Survey on AIDS, Ministry of Health
In collaboration with Family Health International, CDS conducted a national survey on AIDS for Egypt's Ministry of Health, focusing on 'Most at Risk Populations' (MARPs) specifically 'Men who have Sex with Men' (MSM), 'Female Sex Workers' (FSWs), 'Injecting Drug Users' (IDUs), and street children who are exposed to risky behaviors through their lives on the street.

The survey's objectives included investigation into the level of knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS within MARPs and the practices and behavior amongst MARPs that increase the risk of HIV transmission. The data collected during the survey provided a database of information to raise the awareness of MARPs with regards to HIV/AIDS; and the data gathered was and is used to work on the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and keeping Egypt a low prevalence country.
Please find the publication of the research result in our publication list (2010-2011)

+ Poultry Breeders' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) to Bird-to-Bird Transmission of Avian Flu, USAID
This research was undertaken by CDS under the "Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response", a USAID-funded project with Egypt's government. It aimed at providing sound information to enlighten the designing, planning, and implementation of future Avian Influenza interventions.

The main objective of the research was to estimate the extent of interactions between humans and poultry, understand practices in poultry handling among villagers, and devise appropriate mass media, interpersonal communication and social mobilization campaigns to reach the desired objectives.

This research served as the means to bridge the noted gap of understanding of the perceptions of rural farmers regarding AI, Avian Influenza H5N1 virus. The research utilized two types of assessment, qualitative and quantitative, and was carried out in seven different regions representative of Egypt where poultry breeders were targeted. (2009-2010)

+ Applied Knowledge in Social Science and Health, Ford Foundation
CDS implemented a program to bridge the gap between health and the social science in the Middle East. The regional "Social Science and Health Forum" was an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences amongst academics and practitioners from across the region. The program was implemented in three phases.

The first phase focused on enhancing the capacity of 12 NGOs in the use of qualitative research methodologies in exploring issues such as people's awareness of their health care rights, the level of trust of health care institutions and service providers and the inequality of access to health care for the poor.

In the second phase the program focused on examining the interplay between social life and health/illness in relation to senior citizens and street children. The senior citizens' research addressed the question of how social life circumstances and needs are addressed by the health and social care institutions and service providers and the findings were used to draw recommendations for Egypt's government in 1999. The results of the research on street children were used to formulate two papers presented at the American University in Cairo and at the Social Science and Health Forum held in Jordan. The third phase of the program focused on information dissemination to consolidate and share the knowledge learned during the earlier 2 phases.

A number of conferences were held for this purpose, the most important was the "Gender and Medical Ethics in Health Care: A look at the current situation in the Arab World" conference in 1998 that involved more than 100 physicians and health practitioners. (1996-2000)

Program theme:Enhancing Health Care Service Delivery
+ HIV-Related Legal Services and Rights in the Middle East and North Africa Region, International Development Law Organization
CDS began a partnership with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in 2011 to collaborate with its Health Law Program in order to improve the rights and legal services provided to people living with HIV.

The center also collaborates with IDLO on several regional and interregional meetings, which foster greater understanding of issues surrounding HIV and the law.

These meetings include the regional consultation held in Cairo in April which was jointly organized by CDS and IDLO, and the international consultation, which was held in Rome, Italy in July 2011.

A third regional consultation meeting will be organized by CDS in Cairo in February 2012. The IDLO program is funded by Ford Foundation and OPEC Fund for International Development. (2011-2012)

+ Improving Nursing Career for Women in Upper Egypt: the Use of Media, and Communication Campaigns to Change Attitudes', Egyptian Sawiris Foundation for Social Development [AGFUND most Pioneer Project worldwide in 2004
This four year project was financed by the Egyptian Sawiris Foundation for Social Development. The project created jobs for an estimated number of 600 young girls in the nursing sector while working in-parallel to improve education systems in 15 nursing schools and related management practices in 25 hospitals.

CDS implemented this program in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Qena and Aswan Governors, Faculty of nursing in Assuit, and Sawiris Foundation. CDS worked with local NGOs to correct the prevalent misconceptions and image of nurses in Upper Egypt. CDS trained Female Health visitors to manage a three stage communication program in the community aiming to reverse the stereotypes that revolve around nurses. In order to provide support for the work of the NGOs, and to increase the scope and effectiveness of the information campaign, the project worked with the local media, in particular Upper Egypt's TV channel eight, providing it with material and guests to broadcast through its different shows. A short play that exposed the image problem of nursing and the stereotypes that revolve around it was produced to further enhance the communication program. (2003-2008)

+ A Guide to Safe Blood, Family Health International
In cooperation with the Family Health International, National Blood Transfusion Services and the Egypt Ministry of Health a communication training guide for the blood bank staff such as doctors, technicians and nurses was produced. The aim of this guide was to enhance the communication skills of blood bank staff and improve the interaction between the blood banks and donors throughout Egypt to increase the number of voluntary non remunerated blood donors . CDS conducted a "Training of Trainers" course for a selected group among the Blood Bank's workers, who in turn, trained around 30 workers in five governorates on how to use the communication guide. (2002)

+ Enhancing Family Planning Counseling Services and Training
The project was conducted in association with Johns Hopkins University with the aim to enhance family planning services in a selected pilot governorate and specifically increase the number of female contraception users. An extensive training program was implemented to improve the quality of family planning counseling services with a particular emphasis on encouraging meaningful, informed choices on the part of female users relative to the methods of contraception to be used. The training involved a selected counseling methodology called 'GATHER', working specifically to improve interpersonal communication skills to increase the effectiveness of communication between the service users at various governorate levels and the family planning service providers (medical personnel including physicians and nurses, Ministry of Information personnel, religious leaders, community leaders, and policy/decision-makers). The training was based on a comprehensive training needs assessment and the project team translated adapted GATHER cue cards and observation checklists to local context and development new materials and teaching aids. (1992-1994)

Program theme:Health planning
+ Building Common Grounds Project, Ford Foundation
The BGC project was initiated by the Ford Foundation to advance joint learning, based on appropriate knowledge and analysis in several project areas, two of which are 'Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Education' and ' addressing and protecting the rights of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)'.

CDS conducted a mapping exercise of the Reproductive Health and Sexual Education Curricula for Youth with the aim to analyze the contents of available training guides, find commonalities and differences in approaches and content, and highlight the most effective and creative teaching techniques used in them.

CDS also conducted a mapping exercise of three Youth Friendly Clinics (YFC), run by three different organizations throughout Egypt. The purpose of this exercise was to enhance the quality of services for current and future clinics through information sharing and exchange of experiences and lessons learned.

A report on the study has been completed, titled 'Reaching Out to Youth in Egypt: A Study of Selected Youth Friendly Services' will be published at the end of 2011. In January 2011, stakeholders in the field of HIV convened for a workshop organized by CDS titled "Towards the enhancement of future collaboration between health and rights organizations in the field of HIV/AIDS", as part of the second component of this project. The workshop was attended by representatives of civil society organizations, human rights organizations, advocacy groups, research institutions, service providers, capacity-building institutions working with people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key populations. The goal of the meeting was to explore opportunities of collaboration between human rights organizations and the organizations which provide health-related services in the field of HIV/AIDS. The ideas raised during the workshop opened the small taskforce to work on implementation of the joint action ideas. (2011)

+ Task Force for Combating Female Genital Mutilation
CDS has been an active member in the Anti FGM Task Force since its beginnings in 1997. CDS, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Health, developed a guide on FGM covering different aspects of reproductive health including: the reaction of the Egyptian family to their first child, the difference noticed in this reaction according to the sex of the new born, how this reaction affects the psychological growth of the child; the different types and degrees of FGM, early marriage and the negative impacts on maternal and child health, and menopausal symptoms in both women and men.

NGOs and health care providers throughout the country have tested the guide in an attempt to create a more comprehensive guide tailored to the needs of the categories who will use it. CDS conducted 40 seminars targeting illiterate women in suburban areas to raise awareness regarding the issue of FGM. (1997-2006)

+ Improving Basic Health Care, Water and Environmental Sanitation Services for the Displaced in New Dar El-Salaam El- Rabwa, Sudan Packard Foundation and Population Council
CDS implemented this two-phase project, financed by the Packard Foundation and Population Council, in Khartoum, Sudan, The goal was to improve maternal and child health, enhance livelihoods, and improve environmental conditions in a community of displaced Sudanese on the outskirts of Khartoum. During the first phase, CDS worked with residents to build a model private health clinic, provide credit facilities for income generating activities, and study water and environmental issues.

In the second phase, the project focused on sustainability for the health center (based on fees for services), provision of potable water, school improvement, and credit funds for income-generating projects. (2003-2006)
+ Collaborative Planning, Planning Assistance
In association with Planning Assistance, the collaborative planning exercise took place in Being Suef and El-Minnya governorates in Egypt. The planning was conducted with NGOs involved in providing health services, staff from the National Council of Population and Development, and a governorate-level partner directing and supervising health care service provision. The collaborators identified, obtained and reviewed information from a wide variety of sources relevant to the reproductive health status in the geographic region of their concern, the service delivery systems, as well as the problems, needs, and challenges at the local level.

The collected data and analysis was then used as an input for their planning with an emphasis on coordinated effort, complementary roles among the different stakeholders, and elimination of duplication of efforts. They participated in the finalization of a collective plan and designed the tools for a continuous information update. (2000)