AusAid has announced it will spend $850,000 on a health-care behaviour study in East Timor, involving UNSW researchers.

The research project, to be conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health, will be undertaken by UNSW Global and academics from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine in collaboration with teams from two local Timorese organisations: the National Statistics Directorate and Fundasaun Alola.

"The goal of the research is to better understand health-seeking behaviour and health-service utilisation among the population of East Timor," said one of the researchers, Professor Anthony Zwi. "This will feed into health sector planning by assisting government and other development partners to better understand community views and preferences and to facilitate increased use of appropriate services."

A second major objective of the research is to enhance Timorese capacity to inform policy and practice with evidence.