Bi-Weekly News Review

Every two weeks, we will be posting relevant articles from news sources pertaining to Pathways ME research. We are especially interested in the cross-section of gender and poverty, social welfare, legal reforms, empowerment, and public policy. For further information about our research areas, visit Here are several articles written in the past two months about CCTs, demographic trends in the Middle East, and the neurological implications of poverty.

The Economist, 12 Feb 2009,Quid Pro Quo: Anti-poverty programmes“.

“Quid Pro Quo” highlights the international popularity and undisputed efficacy of conditional cash transfer programs in improving school attendance and clinical visits for poor families. However, CCTs might not have an effect on school performance and nutrition overall.

*Note: Pathways’ Dr.  Hania Sholkamy and her team are coordinating Egypt’s first CCT pilot and will base their conditions on improving gender awareness, health, and education.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Patrick Clawson, March 2009, Demography in the Middle East: Population Growth Slowing, Women’s Situation Unresolved“.

“Demography in the Middle East” discusses the challenges the Middle East faces as it transitions to a period of lower fertility rates and grapples with an impending social security dilemma. Because of a massive population boom between the 1960s-80s, many countries in the Middle East are experiencing a job crisis for unemployed youth and will face an even bigger issue of caring for the elderly in the coming decades. These trends could negatively impact women’s ability to find jobs out of school, but it could also be a saving grace for governments if women are able to earn money to support the growing population of retirees.

The Economist, 2 Apr 2009,I am just a poor boy though my story’s seldom told“. 

“I am just a poor boy…” describes the research findings of two Cornell University doctors from a study on poverty-induced stress and memory function during childhood and how these strains may be transmitted through generations. Based on previous scientific reports, the doctors found that children living in poverty had a lower capacity to store information short-term. They determined this was caused entirely by stress suggesting the continuation of poverty into adulthood increases the chances of stress damage to subsequent generations.

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