What is PHE?

Population, Health and Environment (PHE) is an integrated community-based approach to development. PHE projects acknowledge and address the complex connections between families, their health, and their environment. Learn more by downloading PAI’s PHE brief.

Why integrate PHE?

  • People do not lead their lives in silos. A family living in a small agricultural
    village often faces unsustainable fishing, poor agricultural production, and lack of
    land. These challenges are compounded by a growing number of families
    and dwindling resources. After a day collecting the food and water needed for daily life, women have little time or energy to devote to seeking health services for themselves or their children. The programs that reach these communities should be integrated and address their multiple needs simultaneously.
  • PHE is cost-effective. Research in the Philippines found that the integrated model out-performs single-sector population, adolescent health, or environment programs.
  • Reach new audiences. With integrated messaging, programs are able to recruit a greater number of men to family planning efforts and more women and adolescents to conservation efforts.
  • Make large-scale impact. Integrated programs and services benefit individuals, but they also reap benefits at national, regional, and international levels.


PHE Policy Recommendations

  • Expand support by non-health sectors. Research shows that conservation programs benefit from providing family planning interventions in tandem with their work.
  • Strengthen the evidence base and reach new audiences. The limited studies on the benefits of this programming to new audiences in order to effectively and strategically build and replicate PHE globally. Research should be prioritized and invested in to ensuring best practices are documented.
  • Scale-up PHE programs. PHE programs have been inherently small-scale, fulfilling the needs of communities in the world’s most remote and biodiverse regions. As we look forward, it is critical for PHE efforts to focus on building capacity of national governments to address this work.