Would you be surprised to know that environmental organizations such as World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy work with family planning organizations? Or that a reproductive health service organization such as Marie Stopes International collaborates with a marine conservation organization? Across multiple sectors, organizations are becoming aware of the relationships between human health, population dynamics, and the environment, and are designing collaborative programs and projects to address the linkages. Population, health, and environment (PHE) projects are unique in their aim to both meet the reproductive health needs of a community while also developing environmentally sustainable livelihoods through natural resource management and biodiversity conservation.
While the idea that family planning can help strengthen environmental conservation efforts is not new, this approach has gained traction as countries and international organizations work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of the SDGs depend on developing sustainable livelihoods; promoting viable consumption, production, and natural resource management; and reducing the human impacts of climate change. By integrating family planning/reproductive health and primary healthcare with environmental sustainability, PHE projects help meet people’s basic health needs so that they are able to prioritize their livelihoods as well as natural resource management.
With this recognition in mind, under the PACE Project, PRB recently updated three resources designed for practitioners and advocates new to PHE and those who wish to expand their knowledge.
- PHE Global Health E-Learning Course—This course is a perfect introduction to the core components of PHE. The course uses accessible, compelling language to guide the learner from the core principles of PHE to program design and advocacy. PRB redesigned and updated the original course (which was posted in 2007) to include new modules on policy, advocacy, and communication; scale up of PHE programs; the SDGs; and information on how PHE can address climate change adaptation and mitigation. The course is designed to engage the learner through vivid examples and case studies from around the world that demonstrate the principles presented in the course. It is hosted by K4Health on the Global Health eLearning Center.
- PHE Toolkit—The PHE Toolkit is an excellent resource for anyone interested in PHE, no matter their background. However, it is particularly useful for practitioners, program managers, advocates, policymakers, educators, and donors in any sector. The PACE Project curated, updated, and redesigned the previous PHE Toolkit (last updated in 2013), in order to provide better resources for PHE implementation, policy communication, and advocacy in countries around the world. The toolkit offers classic and recent research, materials from field-based projects, and resources for policy advocacy and communication. It is also designed to evolve, and users can suggest key resources. It is hosted by K4Health on their toolkit platform.
- PHE Activity Map—This map identifies every field-based PHE project around the world, as well as funders and organizations focused on policy/advocacy research and learning. The map allows users to see what has already been accomplished in the growing PHE field and learn about the key players. Each organization or activity is represented by a marker that gives more details about the work being done, timeframe, and thematic areas. Users can filter search results and get information about projects that are already completed. Past projects are labeled in purple, and current projects are green.
We hope these resources help strengthen the understanding and value of PHE projects in the international development community and foster greater collaboration and conversation about working across sectors to achieve common goals.