PHEEC's profile

Population: Family Planning (Birth Spacing, limiting births, emergency contraception, adolescent sexual and Reproductive Health, etc.)

Health: HIV/AIDS, ARI Prevention, water and sanitation, malaria prevention, primary health care, child survival, etc.

Environment: Environmental conservation, natural resources management (NRM).

Fisheries management, forest management and governance, conservation of endangered species, etc.

Population, Health and Environment (PHE) projects acknowledge and address the complex connections between humans, their health, and their environment. PHE operates with the assumption that people, their health, and the environment are interrelated and interdependent; changes in the number, state, and/or distribution of any of the above affects the others; human needs, their livelihood and a healthy environment are linked by chains of cause and effect.

» The key objective of PHE projects is to simultaneously improve access to health services while also helping communities manage their natural resources in ways that improve their health and livelihoods and conserve the critical ecosystems they depend upon.” (Environmental Health project, 2008)

The underlying philosophy is fundamentally one of integration and multi-sectoral partnerships. This approach can be applied to achieve a range of development goals beyond family planning and conservation. Program areas using the PHE approach have included disaster mitigation, gender mainstreaming, HIV/AIDS programming, food security promotion, security and governance, social entrepreneurship, environmental health promotion, and economic development.

PHE initiatives are cost efficient, generate added value and can create synergies not found in vertical programs and projects. In general PHE,

» Strengthens family planning efforts, particularly in remote underserved communities.

» It creates greater access to men for communicating family planning messages and improving male involvement in family planning decisions.

» It creates greater access to youth especially young men who are traditionally out of reach for family planning program.

» Increases credit access and labor participation by women in economic development activities, which influences gender norms and capacity for decision-making.

» Increases benefits to environment and conservation programs due to increased community support and buy-in as basic needs are met.

» Serves as an entry point for the family planning and conservation by addressing community priorities such as clean water and health services.

» Contributes to better management and conservation of natural resources and eases population pressures on local ecosystems.

» Improves, diversifies and creates opportunities for sustainable livelihoods by reducing community morbidity and mortality and dependence on finite natural resources.

» Can improve access to water and sanitation

» Demonstrated cost-effectiveness

» Solid platform for future programs

» A broadened audience base

» New channels for information on the benefits of smaller healthier families and protected environments.

» Is an effective way for environmental organizations to build goodwill in communities by responding to their needs in a holistic fashion.

» PHE Programs as described on the Environmental Health Project Website Include:

» Sustainable agriculture for improved child nutrition and food security,
» Community credit groups or community health insurance schemes,
» Community-based distribution of family planning commodities
» Malaria prevention through bio-environmental controls and promotion of insecticide-treated bednets,
» Reduction of indoor air pollution and logging through promotion of fuel-efficient stoves,
» Improved access to safe water for household use
» Improved access to appropriate latrines and promotion of other hygiene behaviors
» Improved management of protected areas