Making ‘Healthy People, Healthy Environment’: A Look Inside Integrated Development

March 28, 2013 • Family Planning, Daily Email Recap

Making ‘Healthy People, Healthy Environment’: A Look Inside Integrated Development

“We need dynamic approaches. We can’t just keep going with the single sector approach and hoping that a conservation project will do really more than it’s intended to do,” said ECSP’s Multimedia Editor Sean Peoples in an interview with Dialogue at the Wilson Center. “These people are living integrated lives. How can we have integrated solutions for them?”

In the recently launched short film, Healthy People, Healthy Environment: Integrated Development in Tanzania, Peoples and director of photography Michael T. Miller profiled a series of integrated population, health, and environment (PHE) projects run by the BALANCED Project and support by USAID.

The film focuses on three women from Tanzania’s Pangani and Bagamoyo districts: Rukia, Mahija, and Fidea. The women have benefited greatly from an integrated – rather than single sector – approach to development. Clean-burning cookstoves use less firewood, reduce local deforestation, and allow the women to sell bread too. Improved access to contraception and knowledge about how to use it allows them to decide when and if they want more children. Education about natural resource management allows them to choose more sustainable livelihoods, like seaweed farming as opposed to dynamite fishing. And gender workshops, combined with this knowledge, gives them a stronger voice in community affairs.

Peoples sees these women as the cornerstone of the integrated approach. To be sustainable, he said, development programs need “strong, dynamic people” who can buy into the approach and “take their experiences and speak the praises of why integration matters and why it works for them.”

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