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The African Religious Health Assets Programme was established in 2002 when a working group met at the Carter Center in Atlanta USA (hosted by the Interfaith Health Program), to consider a proposal for a global religious health assets initiative. The initiative recognized the lack of evidence at the intersection of religion and public health - especially in development contexts. ARHAP was launched in December 2002, at a meeting in Geneva, with the administrative hub located in South Africa.

Network activities from 2002-2011 included the development of interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks and research tools, ongoing literature review and documentary support, network building and collaborative support, support of student research and capacity development, and a focus on and development of shared 'language' and transdisciplinary platforms
Primary Research
Several primary research projects have been conducted – seeking to answer specific questions raised from international donors or from within the collaborative network (see the Research page for more detail and downloads):

  • Case study research on religious health assets for HIV/AIDS in Lesotho and Zambia (2004-2005)
  • Evaluation study of the Moravian Masangane Project in the Eastern Cape of South Africa (2005-2006) - supported by the Vesper Society
  • Executive session or leadership engagement research in Eastern Cape, South Africa (2007)
  • Continued RHA mapping and mapping support in various sites: e.g. Memphis, Atlanta, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya
  • Mapping of RHAs in communities in Lesotho and Zambia (2006-2008) - supported by the World Health Organisation
  • Landscaping of faith-based health services in sub-Saharan Africa (2007-2008) - supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • A study on collaboration between religious entities and their collaborative stakeholders (donors, governments and interfaith bodies) in Malawi, Kenya and the DRC (2007-2008) - supported by Tearfund and UNAIDS
  • A study on Catholic provision of sexual and reproductive health services in Malawi, Cameroon and Ghana (2013-2015) - supported by CORDAID
  • A historical study on the integration of faith-based health services in the national health system of Ghana (2015-2018) - supported by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO 

Core Support Partners and Funders
ARHAP and IRHAP have operated with the generous core and in-kind support from the following institutions (see the Institutions page for more):

  • The University of Cape Town (in-kind and core support 2004-current)
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health (core support 2013-2014)
  • Methodist le Bonheur Health Care (core support 2012)
  • The University of KwaZulu Natal (in-kind and core support 2004-2010)
  • The University of the Witwatersrand (in-kind and core support 2004-2008)
  • The Interfaith Health Program, Emory University (in-kind and core support 2004-2008)
  • The Medical Research Council of South Africa (core support 2004-2005)