Campus & Community

Eleven new fellows focus on population, development

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Eleven new fellows will join the Center for Population and Development Studies for the 2003-04 academic year. The three fellowship programs include the David E. Bell Fellowship in Population and Development, the Saltonstall Population Innovation Fund, and the Mortimer Spiegelman Fellowship Fund.

The David E. Bell Fellows, together with brief biographies and their proposed fields of study, are as follows:

Fauzia E. Ahmed, a resident scholar in the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, comes to the center with 25 years of experience with development programs and policies for low-income families in a variety of countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand, and her native Bangladesh. During her fellowship, she will write a book based on her recent doctoral dissertation, “Low-Income Progressive Men: Microcredit, Gender Empowerment, and the Redefinition of Manhood in Rural Bangladesh.”

Jesica Gómez-Jauregui Abdó; is a health economist and Ph.D. candidate in public health, and an associate researcher in health systems with the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico. During her fellowship she will prepare an evaluation of the equity and fairness of reproductive health policies in Mexico. One of Gómez’s recent collaborative research projects at INSP was with Tufts University and the Colombian government, “Evaluation of the Equity and Fairness of Health System Reform in Mexico and Colombia.”

Roland Pongou is a social science mathematician and demographer from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Institut de Démographie, Belgium. He received his M.Sc. in social science mathematics and his B.S. in pure mathematics from the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon. Pongou’s fellowship research will examine the sociocultural and economic determinants of nutritional health of children under the age of 3 in Cameroon.

Ilavenil Ramiah holds a Ph.D. in economic sociology and international political economy from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and an M.Sc. in international relations from the London School of Economics. As a Bell Fellow, Ramiah will analyze the development of the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP) in Botswana. The study will seek lessons about public-private partnerships in public health and the strategies for addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Xiaoming Sun, M.D., is director and associate professor at the Research Institute of Population and Health, Nanjing College for Population Program Management in the People’s Republic of China. A medical doctor with nearly 20 years of experience in population research, Sun plans to use his fellowship to prepare an in-depth evaluation of the interaction between China’s reproductive health and family planning services since China’s commitment to the Cairo Conference. His work will identify how China’s target-oriented population programs could shift orientation toward service-delivery within the restrictive framework of the national population policy.

The Saltonstall Population Innovation Fund has awarded fellowships to four graduate students for academic year 2003-04. This year’s recipients are as follows:

Solange Baptiste will be performing a qualitative study on the broad sociocultural context in which high-risk sexual behavior occurs for a population of Tanzanian women who work in bars and hotels. She will participate in a study designing HIV interventions for vulnerable populations.

James Habyarimana will conduct research on his project “Estimating the impact of schooling on fertility in Zambia: Evidence using the political economy of education provision in the pre- and postindependence eras.” The study will estimate the impact of women’s schooling on fertility.

Tisha Mitsunaga plans to work with ACHAP in Botswana to create a set of impact indicators to be used in monitoring and evaluating the national anti-retroviral therapy program.

Arjumand Siddiqi proposes to carry out an international comparison of schooling and social capital in relation to children’s health outcomes.

The Mortimer Spiegelman Fellowship Fund supports innovative graduate work in the field of demography and population studies. This year’s recipients are as follows:

Elizabeth Oliveras will explore the use of safe and unsafe abortion services in Accra, Ghana, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her study will incorporate demographic, public health, and anthropological research methods into a system that will be useful in applied fieldwork.

Rebecca Thornton is interested in studying the effect that ethnic diversity has on the spread of HIV. Her hypothesis is that the more ethnically or linguistically diverse a community, the slower the rate of transmission of the virus.