Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Health and wellbeing research – global public health

With support from the UK government Global Challenges Research Fund, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has worked on 17 projects to help address complex global development challenges and improve quality of life in low and middle income countries.

£26 million
2016 to 2020
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The scope and what we're doing

There have been 17 Sustainable Health and Wellbeing projects supported by AHRC that have benefited a range of official development assistance recipient countries, including India, Ghana, Uganda, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and Bangladesh.

This work has addressed issues from improving local healthcare in rural communities, to tackling the cultural and social barriers to healthcare treatment, and using the arts to develop culturally appropriate healthcare education.

Why we're doing it

One of the key Global Health Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) challenge areas is sustainable health and wellbeing, which maps on to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing).

Some projects also have relevance to other UN goals such as Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

Opportunities, support and resources available

In 2016, the UK government announced a £1.5 billion fund to address complex global development challenges and improve quality of life for people living in low and middle income countries. Called the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the fund supports work that tackles the issues highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Case studies

SOLACE: stories of public health through local art-based community engagement

SOLACE brings together researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines (anthropology, public health, psychology, community engagement, management studies, primary care, documentary theatre and rural health), artists, policymakers and health professionals.

Idioms of distress, resilience and wellbeing: enhancing understanding about mental health in multilingual contexts

The Idioms of Distress project worked in Ghana, Gaza, Uganda and Zimbabwe – and with newly arrived refugees in Scotland – looking at native languages and how they express feelings of distress, resilience and wellbeing. Arts and humanities perspectives were applied to translating the idioms with greater sensitivity to the place and context that they originated from, raising awareness of and sensitivity to multilingual and cross-cultural working in health perspectives.

Last updated: 27 July 2023

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