Fafo’s health-related research focuses on social dimensions of ill-health including inequity, vulnerability, coping strategies and adaptation. Our aim is to promote high quality research and evaluations to improve health and achieve equity in health. We have a particular focus on marginalized populations which includes populations in conflict and fragile settings.
As key drivers of socioeconomic development, strategies for promoting, protecting and supporting optimal health have gained increasing global attention in the past decade. Health is an integral part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the UN, and achieving equity in health requires both a state responsibility and global collective action. Socio-economic inequalities translate into inequalities in access to food, health services, and other public services. This leads to socioeconomic differences in various health outcomes, such as disease, undernutrition and premature death. In fragile situations, health may deteriorate both because of direct casualties from conflict or disaster and indirectly due to breakdown of service provision.
Fafo’s areas of public health research expertise include: mortality estimations; women and child health, and nutrition especially food insecurity and infant feeding practices. Health modules are integral parts of Fafo’s living conditions surveys as well as research related to conflict, disaster and environmental adaptation. A key aspect of our work in these areas is to develop indicators and measurement methods for correctly assessing changes in health and nutrition.