Institute of Community & Public Health

The Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) was established first as a unit in 1978, then as a department in 1982, and was recognized as an Institute by the University’s Board of Trustees in 1998.

Its development responded to the Palestinian community's urgent needs for independent and informed research, planning, health human resource development, and local model building of health care services.

The Institute's theoretical foundations are based on the social and political determinants of health; on understanding health and disease in context and as phenomena that takes shape over the life course; and on the necessity of inter-sectoral collaboration and community participation in the promotion of population's health.  The Institute's approach to public health is multidisciplinary, drawing on classical public health specialties, and on other fields such as sociology, economics, political science, history, education, and psychology.  Its activities entail working with the health, education, environment, social services, early childhood and planning sectors among others.

The Institute of Community and Public Health contributes to the protection and improvement of Palestinian health in Palestine and the diaspora through research, education, capacity strengthening and support for evidence-based policy formulation. Addressing the political, social, biological, and environmental determinants of health, the Institute contributes to the development of effective strategies for health promotion, disease prevention and health services development based on community   participation, inter-sectoral collaboration, equity, and justice. 

The Institute’s activities include the following areas:

  • Research (including policy and operational/ intervention research and needs assessments): Research topics are identified based on an understanding of context, priorities and need. The institute is divided into the following specialized units that conduct and supervise research: Child Health, Epidemiology, Health System Management, Psychosocial and Mental Health, and Women’s Health.
  • Teaching: ICPH offers a Master's degree in Community and Public Health (MPH).  This program aims to develop and help prepare human resources to work in health-related sectors.
  • Training: Training programs are based on evidence generated from the field and geared towards upgrading the concepts, skills and practices of those working in health-related sectors.  Training focuses on problem solving and gradual structural and process changes to allow for problem solving and the implementation of relevant and appropriate public health practices.
  • Advocacy and policy-level activities: Faculty and researchers are engaged in advocating certain approaches to policymaking and planning through working closely with various local and international organizations, and utilizing scientific evidence generated through research.
  • LPHA: ICPH houses the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance’s (LPHA) Secretariat. The LPHA comprises a collaboration of Palestinian, regional and international researchers, committed to the highest scientific standards in describing, analyzing and evaluating the health and health care of Palestinians, in order to contribute to the international scientific literature and to develop local evidence-based policies and practices. Activities include: developing measurement and other scientific methods that are culture-specific; increasing capacity for research; encouraging advocacy based on science; and promoting academic collaboration within the occupied Palestinian Territory, across the region, and the globe.

The Institute’s Resource Center is housed in the same building where ICPH is located on the University’s campus, and shares space with the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod’s Institute of International Studies and the Center for Development Studies’ Resource Centers. It serves the University’s graduate and undergraduate students, ICPH and other University researchers as well as researchers and health professionals from the community. The Center's acquisitions include more than 8000 titles and 12 scientific and semi-scientific journals, specialized in the various disciplines of Community and Public Health.