Online Program

Population, health, and environment (PHE) movement in Ethiopia: Integrated interventions to improve equity and increase climate change resilience in rural communities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Samuel Donovan, MSPH, Department of International Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Lianne Gonsalves, MSPH Candidate, Department of International Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Peter Winch, MD, MPH, International Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
As Ethiopia develops, climate change creates obstacles to development that reach beyond the environment sector: recurrent cycles of drought and famine affect the health and livelihoods of millions who depend on subsistence farming. Ethiopia's rapid population growth exacerbates this situation, increasing natural resource degradation. The Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) approach offers a multi-sectoral strategy for addressing Ethiopia's development challenges. By promoting integration across sectors, PHE aims to improve the health and livelihoods of populations while simultaneously promoting environmental rehabilitation and conservation. Qualitative case studies were developed for two community-based organizations that are currently implementing PHE interventions, as well as for the PHE Ethiopia Consortium, a coordinating body for Ethiopian PHE organizations. Findings revealed several innovative integration strategies: local health, agriculture, and education workers address cross-sectoral issues through joint community outreach; PHE peer educators deliver integrated messaging promoting family planning and natural resource management; and farmers diversify crops and planting strategies to increase climate change resilience. Women's empowerment is a common theme across interventions, which increase gender equity by providing women with income generating activities. Youth are also valued stakeholders, disseminating integrated messages to their families and communities. At the national level, the PHE Ethiopia Consortium promotes integration between federal ministries, advocates for the PHE approach at national and international levels, and facilitates experience sharing between member organizations. Climate change disproportionately affects rural communities in developing countries. The PHE approach presents a promising model for promoting equity by improving human and environmental health outcomes in Ethiopia.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define Population, Health, and Environment interventions in the context of Ethiopia. Discuss the importance of cross-sectoral integration in implementation of community-based development initiatives. Describe the societal benefits of women and youth involvement in these intervention.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was one of two researchers responsible for designing and coordinating the study described in the submitted abstract. I spent six months in Ethiopia, focusing principally on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.