(December 2006) For more than a decade, development practitioners and communitites in Fianarantsoa province, Madagascar, have been involved in community-based projects that link family planning, health, and environment efforts. Since the early 1990s, a range of approaches that combine family planning and/or health interventions with environment and rural development activities have been implemented throughout Fianarantsoa province, making it one of the richest centers of such programming in Madagascar and the world.

This policy brief explores the evolution of cross-sectoral approaches and projects in Fianarantsoa, outlines ongoing challenges to effective project implementation, and highlights opportunities for strengtening and expanding collaboration. It is based on a review of published literature and project documents, and interviews with over 20 practitioners, technical advisers, and funders in Madagascar and the United States.

Fianarantsoa is among the poorest of Madagascar’s six provinces and has the second-highest number of people. But rich ecological diversity is in the province, which also contains some of the country’s most popular national parks.

This brief was written by Kathleen Mogelgaard and Kristen Patterson. Mogelgaard was a population, health, and environment fellow with the Population Reference Bureau. Patterson is the population and environment program officer for SanteNet Fianarantsoa.