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NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility

The Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF) sought to identify key challenges in the delivery of quality, accessible, equitable and accountable health services in fragile settings and determine effective strategies to address these.

Of particular concern were health conditions that require continuity of care to ensure appropriate response; the unit thus focused particularly on the treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and addressing mental health and psychosocial support needs.

The work of the unit was also characterised by:

(1) a commitment to a ‘systems for health’ analysis, recognising the wide range of dynamic influences on provision of, and access to, healthcare;

(2) strong engagement with policymakers early in the research process to ensure our research was coherent with national and global policy agendas and thus conducive for research uptake;

(3) deep contextual analysis in the fragile settings in which we focused (principally Lebanon, Sierra Leone and El Salvador); and

(4) a focus on methodological and conceptual innovation supporting rigourous research and analysis in the face of the significant challenges of fragile settings.

The work was structured with respect to six major workpackages: