Three years ago today, a diverse group of health and environmental actors came together and decided to establish… the Madagascar PHE Network! These actors recognised the value of cross-sector collaboration for increasing access to health services and strengthening community-based natural resource management in Madagascar’s biodiversity hotspots, and wanted to create a platform through which they could connect and share experiences around this holistic way of working.

Building on a rich history of PHE efforts in Madagascar, the network has set out to increase the capacity of health and environmental organisations to implement collaborative PHE initiatives by facilitating new cross-sector partnerships, organising training workshops and learning exchange visits, and producing technical resources and practical community outreach tools. When the network was established on July 31st 2014, there were just three active PHE partnerships in Madagascar, reaching around 40,000 people. Today, there are some 25 PHE partnerships active or in development, reaching over 135,000 people.

Network priorities over the coming three years include continuing to support the growth and quality of collaborative PHE initiatives across Madagascar, collating and communicating nationwide PHE results (both quantitative and qualitative) and effective practices, and engaging with policy makers and funders to create an enabling institutional environment for further PHE uptake. A strategic consultation with all PHE network members is allowing us to refine our vision and establish a number of working groups to advance priority initiatives, while a knowledge management portal to be launched soon will facilitate the sharing of learning alongside face-to-face workshops and exchanges.

Looking back over the last three years, we’re so proud of what PHE network members have achieved together: courageously bridging traditional divides between the health and environmental sectors to effectively improve the well-being of Madagascar’s people and ecosystems. Now we’re looking forward to continued progress over the next three years and beyond, as we hope this PHE movement will become a global leadership example: advancing sustainable development, gender equality, reproductive rights and climate change resilience while conserving some of the world’s most important biodiversity.

The #PHEMada3 campaign can be found on Twitter.