The Center seeks to support multi-disciplinary research to inform public health programs and policies in Lebanon, the region, and internationally. The CRPH was founded at FHS in 2002 and during its first decade, the Center led a multi-disciplinary research program on topics including reproductive health, childbirth, youth, tobacco control, and mental health. Today, it builds on this work and seeks to expand to new areas, and strengthen comparative research in the Arab region and beyond.
In addition to fostering inter-disciplinary research through seminars and conferences that bring expertise in methodologies and approaches from other disciplines to FHS, CRPH continues to move forward a cross-disciplinary research agenda. This builds on already established collaborations with economists, social scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and physicians to conduct research focusing on the social and structural determinants of health, and on intervention research to inform regional public health practice and policy.
How we achieve it
Several approaches have been established to facilitate this agenda, and continue to form the foundations of the center:
Measuring health and socioeconomic determinants
CRPH brings together the conceptual and analytic tools needed for the design and analysis of household surveys which integrate socio-economic data alongside health data. CRPH holds data from surveys that were conducted with key development and humanitarian partners (UNRWA, UNHCR), in addition to large regional datasets from international organizations (WFP, DHS/MICS, Gallup, UNICEF). These include datasets about refugee populations in the Middle East including representative samples of Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. The results of analyses conducted by researchers at CRPH are shared with key stakeholders, including ministries, development and humanitarian agencies, and have informed programs and policies.
Regional Research Reviews: Comparative assessments across the Arab region
Based on a systematic protocol, CRPH synthesizes evidence on issues of public health importance to the Arab region. Designed to complement other efforts to produce regional level statistics, these syntheses focus on the social determinants and the social context of health. Such evidence is particularly relevant to account for regional specificities in the implementation of interventions, and highlights regional research gaps and leverage points for public health intervention.
Innovative digital methods: Collaborations to address public health challenges
CRPH hosts the Arab digital public health initiative; a platform to facilitate collaborations between public health researchers and practitioners and technologists in designing solutions to public health challenges in the Arab world. The center has introduced digital data collection tools into all research studies, is exploring data mining and gaming applications to public health data and conducts research on novel participatory design methods in health service delivery and health promotion.
Communicating research results and linking to programs and policy
The center works closely with relevant program and policy stakeholders to ensure that research findings are communicated and to inform its research agenda. It has close links with program implementers (UN agencies, NGOs) and ministries and works with the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) center and the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) to ensure policy and programmatic uptake of its research findings.
Supporting research at FHS, AUB, the region and beyond
CRPH researchers collaborate with colleagues at FHS, at other AUB faculties, and in the Arab region, by formulating multi-disciplinary projects, developing innovative approaches to data collection and analyses, and facilitating the sharing of research results. CRPH also supports research and teaching at the Faculty of Health Sciences and other faculties, by providing practica sites, supervising theses, teaching, and mentoring.