Research

The Division is involved in wide-ranging research that attempts to understand and analyse the complex relationships between the social and behavioural sciences and public health. There are five main research areas in the Division:

1.      Men, Masculinities and Health

2.      Health Governance and Activism

3.      HIV and TB Treatment and Prevention Programmes

4.      Qualitative Evidence Synthesis (QES) in Global Health Policy

5.      New Pedagogies for Community Health Research

Men, Masculinities and Health

One of the Division’s key research areas involves work on men, masculinities and health, in particular with respect to HIV, gender-based violence and gender transformation initiatives. Previous and ongoing research projects have focused on men’s experiences in HIV support groups, issues of men’s use of and access to health services, gender and the community organisation of care, and the role of human rights discourses in HIV/AIDS treatment choices. 

Health Governance and Activism

Research in the Division also explores health governance, health activism and human rights. Previous and ongoing projects have examined the People’s Health Movement’s ‘Right to Health’ campaign, sanitation and health activism in Khayelitsha with the Social Justice Coalition, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and health pluralism in the context of local politics, and the Learning Network for Health and Human Rights Project (part of the Health and Human Rights Programme in UCT’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine).

HIV and TB Prevention and Treatment Programmes

Much of the research work in the Division has been focused on understanding and supporting the development of longer-term HIV and TB prevention and treatment programmes in South Africa.  Previous and ongoing projects in this area include research with community health workers (CHWs) on CHW policy development, training and expectations, the use of CHWs in PMTCT interventions, patient experiences of lay health work, and the impact of CHWs on health citizenship, nurse-initiated ART, second-line treatment failure in ART patients, and policy transfer of molecular TB diagnostics in South Africa.

Qualitative Evidence Synthesis (QES) in Global Health Policy

Qualitative evidence synthesis is a growing strength in the Division.  There are two streams of this work.  The first involves developing new methods for conducting these kinds of reviews and translating their findings, as well as carrying out QES on specific topics such as CHW motivation, health systems barriers and enablers to maternal ART, and task shifting in midwifery programmes.  The second stream involves ethnographic work to document and better understand the growing recognition of QES in global health policymaking as a new form of global knowledge production and knowledge politics.

New Pedagogies for Community Health Research

Finally, the Division has an emerging research interest in developing and evaluating new pedagogies for community health research.  In particular, we are interested in pedagogical research that assesses field-based approaches to experiential learning for community health research methods. 

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