Medical Brain Drain in Egypt
Sama Elmahdy and Hadeel Hamoud

The emigration of medical professionals, or “medical brain drain”, from resource scarce and immense need to areas of resource abundance and greater opportunity is an ongoing phenomenon that has increased as more doctors leave Egypt. The Egyptian parliament’s Health Committee concluded that the deficit in doctors in some government hospitals in remote areas and cities in Egypt is about 50% and 34% respectively. Doctors receive their medical degree in Egypt and leave to specialize and practice elsewhere. A complex set of decisions and relationships drive “medical brain drain” and can reflect systemic push-pull factors such as deteriorating working conditions, collapse of wages, increasing rate of assaults on medical personnel, and personal opportunities. This qualitative study aims to investigate physicians’ brain drain, including the mitigating factors, retention strategies, and the effect of COVID-19 on both the causes and effects of brain drain.

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and COVID-19 in Yemen
Samantha Wind and Nora Benmamoun

This project aims to generate a comprehensive profile of humanitarian operations in Yemen with a specific focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will examine data published by the World Health Organization, the Yemen WASH cluster, the REACH Initiative, and other relevant groups and organizations to identify trends in the distribution of humanitarian WASH aid throughout Yemen prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic for the sake of comparison. These trends may range from the temporal, geographic, and cross-organization variation in WASH interventions employed (eg. water trucking, water distribution points, hygiene kits) as well as the variation in investment into these interventions; the temporal and geographic variation in key indicators that gauge communities’ need for WASH services; the price of materials in the WASH Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), a list of commodities that cover “the basic needs of the most vulnerable people who require immediate lifesaving assistance;” and more.

In addition examining WASH in Yemen from a macroscopic lens, the project will also develop a comparative analysis of different organizations’ approach to delivering WASH-related services amid the coronavirus pandemic. By interviewing and surveying representatives from different organizations operating in Yemen, the project will aim to determine the nature and extent of these organizations’ humanitarian WASH activities, the decision-making processes that these organizations employ to determine how to allocate limited resources, the challenges their organization has faced during the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of these challenges on the organizations’ operations, how these organizations have responded to these challenges, and lessons that can be learned from their experience delivering humanitarian relief during the pandemic.