Research Focus

Research Focus

The ReSEP Health group views health as the outcome of a complex dynamic driven by the choices of individual decision makers. Our research relies on sophisticated statistical analysis to consider a wide spectrum of individual-level, social and system factors that affect health decisions, services and outcomes. Our research is distinguished by its width of scope and the related deeply-rooted commitment to an encompassing and interdisciplinary perspective.

We consider health services as a complicated human interaction between provider and client factors. On the client side, we are concerned primarily with obstacles to healthy and responsible choices by individuals, which may include factors as diverse as social norms, insurance and travel distance, as well as complicated life circumstances. On the provider side, we examine the factors motivating the choices made by nurses, doctors and other professionals within clinics or hospitals.

Clients are responsible for their own health and therefore the needs and preferences of clients are at the centre of the health system, with providers viewed as important enablers and facilitators of information, advice and treatment. Consequently, responsiveness and adaptation are viewed as key aspects of any well-designed well-functioning health facility.

Our team shares an interest in understanding and measuring the quality of care delivered in both primary care facilities and hospitals. This is intellectually challenging, but also arguably one of the most important research areas to ensure improved care and better functioning and more accountable health systems.

To facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue, we invite a diverse set of researchers, practitioners and clinical experts to annual workshops to consider and discuss specific health policy concerns.

In many respects our analytical comparative advantage is in terms of experience and expertise with the analysis of survey data. Related to this, we host statistical master-classes in Stata twice a year, which we often open to outside researchers to share our learning and help to invest in building analytical capacity within health research in South Africa.