Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Voices

Ethiopia village elder

Shek Kasim Kurke, a village elder and religious leader in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, poses for a picture.



Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) is a development approach that focuses on the relationship between human health and environmental health. Integrated PHE programs improve primary health care services, particularly family planning and reproductive health, while also helping communities conserve biodiversity, manage natural resources, and develop sustainable livelihoods. Some countries--such as Ethiopia, Madagascar, and the Philippines--have done extensive work in PHE policy and programming, and have powerful stories to tell. Capturing and sharing these stories provides a strong advocacy tool for the PHE approach and complements research and evaluation data.

Fara Rakotoarison midwife in Madagascar

Fara Rakotoarison a midwife with Centre Valbio traveling health clinic Antaralava village in Ranomafana, Madagascar.© 2017 David Alexander/Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Courtesy of Photoshare

Storytelling for PHE: Approaches in Ethiopia, Madagascar, and the Philippines

K4Health facilitated a series of 2 to 3-day in-country trainings entitled “Storytelling as a Knowledge Management Tool for Population, Health, and Environment Advocacy” to USAID missions and local partners. Altogether, over 80 PHE implementers and practitioners, representing 64 diverse organizations from health, environment, and conservation sectors in Ethiopia, Madagascar, and the Philippines, took part. Through this training, participants were introduced to the potential of knowledge management to improve their PHE work. Participants were also provided with information and skills they can use to develop effective stories for PHE advocacy.

Volunteer health worker interviewed in Philippines

A volunteer health worker is interviewed for Family Planning Voices in Ubay, Bohol, Philippines. She has been a volunteer health worker for 30 years and treats 90 households throughout the barangay (district)​. Photographer: Gerald James Cabal


In addition, K4Health engaged USAID missions, as well as in-country partners (the PHE Ethiopia Consortium, Blue Ventures Madagascar, the Madagascar PHE Network, and PATH Foundation Philippines Inc.) to capture and tell powerful stories as part of a special “PHE Voices” series on Family Planning Voices . Altogether, K4Health photographed and interviewed more than 70 PHE stakeholders, including policymakers, implementers, and beneficiaries. These PHE-specific stories, many touching on themes of gender, adolescence, resiliency, and integrative approaches, are published on the Family Planning Voices Tumblr site and FP2020/K4Health social media channels with a PHE-specific hashtag (#PHEVoices). K4Health has also published country-specific pieces (see below).