Project Description

"Social Protection in Egypt: Mitigating the Socio-economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulnerable Employment" is an interdisciplinary research project based at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and funded by the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Research and Innovation Initiative at AUC.

The aim of the project is the production of empirically based policy-oriented knowledge with regards to possible and potential changes in social protection policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt. The impact the pandemic has on the global, regional and national economies will persist for some time even after it is over. What seems to be a global recession, unparalleled since the time of the Great Depression, has hit Egypt and the Arab region more generally through lower oil prices, curbed tourism and low investment inflows.

These challenges in the short to medium-term require policy and institutional changes. Moreover, the pandemic and the measures taken to counter it provide a ripe context to address some of the deep-seated and long-term problems in relevant policy areas like public health and prevention and health care provision, job security, social protection and gendered interventions.

social, economic and political factors are associated with welfare outcomes. It describes the interconnected factors that determine risk and vulnerability. It mostly focuses on social determinants and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. More importantly, it suggest paths for the future.

The project thus highlights the impact of the crisis on vulnerable employees and their households who have been hit the hardest by the crises and assesses the efficacy of some of the policy interventions adopted in Egypt in light of COVID-19. It proposes policy interventions on the short, medium and long-term to ensure that the country is sustained by a robust social protection system.

The project brought together a team of 15 researchers as principal and co-principal investigators, research fellows and senior researchers from the fields of public health, development economics, political economy, labor sociology, gender studies and development anthropology. The idea behind this task force was to capitalize on already existing expertise, research findings, databases and theoretical framings in order to generate analysis and recommendations to improve social protection schemes in Egypt. These findings could be used to inform public debate, government decision-making and engage with epistemic communities of experts and academics.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dina Makram-Ebeid Assistant Professor of Sociology, Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology (SEA) Department, The American University in Cairo (AUC).

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Amr Adly (Assistant Professor, Political Science Department, The American University in Cairo (AUC)); Dr. Samer Atallah ( Associate Professor, Economics Department, The American University in Cairo (AUC)); Dr. Hania Sholkamy (Associate Professor of Anthropology, The Social Research Centre (SRC), The American University in Cairo (AUC)); Dr. Nadine Sika (Associate Professor, Political Science Department, The American University in Cairo (AUC))

Research Fellows and Senior Researchers: Dr. Chahir Zaki (Associate Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University); Ms. Amira Othman (Research Assistant, The American University in Cairo (AUC)); Dr. Alaa Ghannam (Right to Health Program Director at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)); Mr. Ayman Sabae (Right to Health Researcher, at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), and CEO of Shamseya for Innovative Community Healthcare Solutions); Dr. Hind Ahmed Zaki (Assistant Professor of Political Sciences, University of Connecticut); Ms. Diana Magdy (Gender Researcher and Expert); Ms. Heba Khalil (PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Mr. Kareem Megahed (Economic Researcher and contributor with Social Justice Platform)


Submissions from 2021


Healthcare Protection Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons towards the Implementation of the New Egyptian Universal Health Insurance Law, Alaa Ghannam and Ayman Sebae


Employment Security in Egypt in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rethinking Policies and Practices, Heba M. Khalil and Kareem Megahed


After COVID-19: Mitigating Domestic Gender-based Violence in Egypt in Times of Emergency, Diana Magdy and Hind Ahmed Zaki


Executive Summary- Social Protection in Egypt: Mitigating the Socio-Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulnerable Employment, Dina Makram-Ebeid, Amr Adly, Nadine Sika, Hania M Sholkamy, and Samer Atallah


On Mainstreaming Social Thinking in Macroeconomic Policies, Amira Othman, Hania Sholkamy, and Chahir Zaki