An international collaborative working on religion within health and community systems
Seeking to strengthen evidence on the functioning of religiously-inspired health institutions and communities within their contextualized health systems, especially in development settings
Our work includes:
- Facilitating interdisciplinary research on the intersection between religion, public health and development
- A focus on health systems and policy
- Building capacity in research-practitioners, especially in development contexts
- Multi-sectoral networking
- Development and dissemination of research materials and tools
- Research and evaluation of key projects and initiatives
IRHAP functions as an open international collaborative – loosely linking colleagues working to build evidence on the interface of religion and health systems research and practice.
IRHAP also directly coordinates and conducts research and post-graduate training out of the Health Policy and Systems Division within the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town.
IRHAP understands 'religion' to be inclusive of the broad range of faiths and cultures through which people interpret health and healing - including mainstream religious traditions, as well as traditional and alternative practices.
We do not promote or prescribe to any particular tradition - and the mapping of religious health assets is conducted with a full understanding of the often harmful influence of religious practices and interpretations on health.
However we hold a shared belief that in many development contexts, religion remains important to health and health systems - and therefore needs to be understood better through interdisciplinary research and collaborative practice.