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Introducing People-Planet Connection

A Co-Created Knowledge Solution for the Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) Community

Today, as we mark the celebration of Earth Day around the world, we are pleased to announce the launch of People-Planet Connection. This new learning and collaborative space has been co-created by and for global development professionals who are interested in the intersections between human population, health, and the environment.

Co-Creation: What Brought Us Here?

Knowledge management co-creation workshop

Members of the PHE Policy and Practice group convened in Washington, DC for a Knowledge SUCCESS co-creation workshop in February 2020. Photo credit: Knowledge SUCCESS.

In early 2020, Knowledge SUCCESS kicked off the process of co-creating a solution to strengthen the sharing and exchange of Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) knowledge across a global community. In a co-creation process, individuals who have a stake in the development of a new tool, product, or service are invited to participate in a step-by-step process to ensure that the solution meets their needs—considering the strengths, barriers, and opportunities of the current situation. (Learn more about co-creation.)

Knowledge SUCCESS conducted three workshops with participants who work in PHE and cross-sectoral programming—one workshop each in the United States, East Africa, and Asia. We found many common themes across participants from all three regions related to difficulties locating and using resources that are relevant in their work.

First, when they can’t find PHE resources, this challenge is typically caused by:

  • General lack of PHE resources available online
  • No central website for information, resources, and tools for PHE
  • Not enough time to visit multiple websites to find necessary resources

Second, once they find resources, there is a perceived gap in quality and validity and a general scarcity of evidence-based programmatic information with clear and strong data. Participants shared several reasons for this gap, including:

  • Difficulties in coordination and partnership among integrated programs and sectors to collect evidence and data
  • Short PHE program life cycles, which impose time constraints on building the evidence base
  • No peer review process to authenticate information

Of the six brainstormed solutions (or “prototypes”) in our co-creation workshops, three involved an online platform that provides visitors with a robust repository of PHE resources and a space to have virtual interactions with others working in similar programs. We combined the ideas from these three prototypes to create a solution that could be used by PHE partners around the globe.

Launching Today: People-Planet Connection

People-Planet Connection grew out of these common themes and challenges, to be a learning and collaborative space for global development professionals working at the conjunctions between human population, health, and the environment. People-Planet Connection encompasses Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) as well as the broader Population, Environment, and Development (PED) field. Newcomers and experts alike will find helpful information about these cross-sectoral approaches on our new platform.

Key features of People-Planet Connection include:

Preview of the People-Planet Connection homepage

Preview of the People-Planet Connection homepage

  • At launch, a collection of more than 250 PHE- and PED-related resources published by dozens of projects and organizations working across the world, allowing an individual to potentially make one website visit and access many valuable resources for their programs.
  • A People-Planet Connection discussion forum with organized discussions on trending priority topics, as well as an open space to ask questions, discuss resources, and connect with others doing similar cross-sectoral work across the world.
  • An interactive quiz to assist PHE/PED newcomers in identifying key resources for their knowledge and programmatic needs.
  • Connections to other existing PHE/PED tools and events, including a newsletter, activity map, and calendar, with all links in one central place for quick access.

Contribute to the Success of People-Planet Connection

An image from People-Planet Connection: Women in Madagascar

Knowledge SUCCESS values the active engagement of the PHE/PED community to keep People-Planet Connection vibrant and updated with the most current knowledge and experiences related to policy, research, and implementation of cross-sectoral programs. PHE/PED champions can help the site grow and thrive by:

  • Submit newly published PHE/PED resources through the site’s submission form for potential inclusion on the site, helping to make the most current evidence available to your PHE colleagues.
  • Contribute to the discussions occurring in the discussion forum, contributing to a network of PHE knowledge sharing across the globe.
People-Planet Connection featured image
Elizabeth Tully

Program Officer II

Elizabeth (Liz) Tully is a Program Officer II at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. She supports knowledge and program management efforts and partnership collaborations, in addition to developing print and digital content, including interactive experiences and animated videos. Her interests include family planning/reproductive health, the integration of population, health, and the environment, and distilling and communicating information in new and exciting formats. Liz holds a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from West Virginia University and has been working in knowledge management for family planning since 2009.

Sarah V. Harlan

Partnerships Team Lead, Knowledge SUCCESS

Sarah V. Harlan, MPH, has been a champion of global reproductive health and family planning for nearly two decades. She is currently the partnerships team lead for the Knowledge SUCCESS Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. Her particular technical interests include Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) and increasing access to longer-acting contraceptive methods. She is a co-founder of the Family Planning Voices storytelling initiative and a co-author of several how-to guides, including Building Better Programs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Knowledge Management in Global Health.

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