Dr Rita Giacaman is a professor of public health at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, occupied Palestinian territory. As founder of the Institute, she served as a committee member for the establishment of the Women’s Studies Institute at Birzeit University in 1993. As a researcher/practitioner, Dr Giacaman was part of the 1980’s Palestinian social action, which led to the development of the Palestinian primary health care model. In the 1990s, she participated in building the Palestinian community based disability rehabilitation network.
She has chronicled the effects of Israeli military occupation on the life and health of Palestinians under occupation. Since 2000, she has been focusing on the impact of chronic war-like conditions and exposure to violence on the health and wellbeing of Palestinians, with an emphasis on psychosocial health among adolescents and young people and the development of measures to assess health and wellbeing in conditions of protracted violence. She has published extensively locally and internationally.