Population, Health, and Environment

Men in a boat fishing

The Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) approach to community development aims to simultaneously improve access and equity to primary health care services, particularly family planning and reproductive health, while also helping communities conserve biodiversity, manage natural resources, and develop sustainable livelihoods.

PHE often goes the “last mile” by extending services beyond existing government and private health care clinics and hospitals to extremely remote communities. In addition to improving health and conservation outcomes, the integrated PHE approach may support people to become more resilient and better able to adapt to climate change. Today, the number of organizations implementing PHE projects is increasing, and interest in this approach continues to grow among stakeholders and decisionmakers at the local, national, regional, and international level.

This course will introduce learners to the fundamentals of the PHE approach including PHE relationships, the benefits of integration, program considerations, the PHE policy and advocacy landscape, and how the PHE approach can contribute to global development priorities, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Family Planning 2020 in an efficient and effective way. Learners will also benefit from case examples showcasing these concepts in current and recent PHE projects around the world. 


At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and describe the PHE approach
  • Recognize the benefits of PHE programming (for invididual sectors and value-added indicators)
  • Understand the PHE policy and practice landscape
  • Identify opportunities for PHE integration at the policy and programmatic levels


Thank you to Kathleen Mogelgaard, who authored the first edition of this course back in November 2007, and thank you to those who reviewed that course: Kristen Patterson/SanteNet Fianarantsoa, Mary Riley/USAID, Fred Rosensweig/TRG Inc., Jim Shelton/USAID, and Scott Tobias/ARD Inc. The Spanish and French versions of the course were published in Janurary 2018.

The course authors and course manager of this updated version would like to thank the following individuals for their helpful insights into the development of this course:

  • Clive Mutunga, USAID
  • Peggy D'Adamo, USAID
  • Heidi Worley, PRB
  • Charlotte Feldman-Jacobs, PRB




  • 2 hours


  • Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Course Authors: 

  • Kristen P. Patterson, PRB

  • Smita Gaith, PRB

Course Managers: 

  • Amy Lee, CCP

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