Models to integrate environment, livestock production and health in rural Ethiopia

2011-2012 E²SHI Seed Grant

Research Team 

Peter Winch (Principal Investigator), Director, Social & Behavioral Interventions Program
Professor, Department of International Health, School of Public Health
Contact Peter Winch

Ben ZaitchikAssociate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, School of Arts & Sciences

Ariel Greenberg, Research Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory

Caitlin Kennedy, Associate Professor, Department of International Health, School of Public Health

Student Researchers
  • Julia DeBruicker Valliant, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, School of Public Health
  • Kristina Solawetz, Department of International Health, School of Public Health
  • Rachel Chase, Department of International Health, School of Public Health
  • Tsega Gebreyesus, Department of International Health, School of Public Health
 

In rural areas of low-income countries, owning livestock helps the family navigate a landscape of food, revenue and security. Livestock serves as a store of wealth, collateral for credit, and an essential safety net during times of crisis. Traditional grazing practices may mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases, and decrease soil erosion and food insecurity. Well-managed grazing may stem desertification and raise the resiliency of an ecosystem. 

Dr. Peter Winch and his team examined land use practices in agropastoralist Ethiopia, as they related to outcomes concerning public health and food security.  The project involved:

  1. Examining models for integrating environment, livestock production and health in Primary Health Care (PHC) programs for pastoral populations in low-income countries.
  2. Working with study sites and local collaborators in rural Ethiopia for conducting research on integrated PHC programs.
  3. Identifying methodologies for estimating the effectiveness of these programs in reducing food insecurity and promoting health.
  4. Securing support to further develop a cross-divisional research program on environment, livestock production and health in rural parts of low-income countries.

The collaborative nature of this project brought together a team of specialist from the Schools of Public Health and Arts and Sciences, the Applied Physics Laboratory, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ethiopia to address the wide range of areas covered in this research project.
 

Resources:

Yavinksy, R., Lamere, C., Patterson, K.P., Bremner, J. (2015). The Impact of Population, Health, and Environment Projects: A Synthesis of Evidence. Working Paper. Washington, DC: Population Council, The Evidence Project.

Worku, M. (2007). The Missing Links: Poverty, Population, and the Environment in Ethiopia. Focus on Population, Environment, and Security, Issue 14.

Publications:

Gonsalves, L., Donovan, S.E., Ryan, V., and Winch, P.J. (2015). Integrating Population, Health, and Environment Programs with Contraceptive Distribution in Rural Ethiopia: A Qualitative Case StudyStudies in Family Planning, 46: 41-54.
 
Children overseeing cattle  grazing in rural Ethiopia. Photo credit: Henry Trotter

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
— Daniel Patrick Moynihan