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Using innovation to address HIV, AIDS, and environment links: intervention case studies from Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Malawi


This article presents three cross-cutting intervention case studies that address HIV, AIDS, and natural resources management in an integrated manner through innovative programming in Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Malawi. In Zimbabwe, a religious-based non-governmental group and two community organizations work together to build skills of HIV- and AIDS-vulnerable children in rural areas to meet dietary and income needs, while using natural resources sustainably. In Uganda, various government agencies and NGO actors work together to improve the food security of HIV-affected households at the national, district, sub-district, and village levels. Finally, in Malawi, a conservation organization incorporates HIV and AIDS awareness and programming into its operations and projects. Each case study presents pioneering approaches to simultaneously addressing the pressures on conservation initiatives, food security/agricultural production, income generation/livelihoods, and social and health care systems. They also provide lessons for expanding interventions and partnerships.

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Fig. 1


  1. We make use of the term “HIV/AIDS” throughout this article to remain consistent within this special issue. Still, we acknowledge the distinction between HIV and AIDS, as well as the recent transition in terminology reflecting such distinction.

  2. We would like to acknowledge Nancy Thorwardson of the Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder for her assistance with the production of this map.

  3. The Farmer Field School is a form of adult education, which evolved from the concept that farmers learn optimally from field observation and experimentation (van den Berg 2004).

  4. Articles on FFS methodology are available at:

  5. Details can be found in Alumira and Sihoma-Moyo (2005).

  6. These are common first names. In this case, these are the actual first names of program participants who have consented to our using their first names for information sharing purposes.

  7. Food security is defined as household having experienced a period of food shortage within the last year which lasted 2 months or longer (Ravnborg et al. 2004).

  8. The PAFOSE model draws on ideas from the literature on policy diffusion and organizational change. See Brown and Duguid (1991) and Weick (1999).

  9. PAFOSE worked with farmer groups formed under the DANIDA Household Agricultural Support Program (HASP) between 1998 and 2004, which targeted the most vulnerable farming households, including female, widow, and orphan headed—resulting in inclusion of many HIV/AIDS-affected households. See Coon et al. (2007).

  10. Converted at 2000 exchange rate of €1 = US$0.89534.

  11. Converted at 2004 exchange rate of €1 = US$1,19420.

  12. An illustration is also provided by De Motts in this special issue as she explores the integration of HIV/AIDS concerns within conservation efforts in Namibia (De Motts 2008).


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Correspondence to Roger-Mark De Souza.

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Roger-Mark De Souza—Formerly with the Population Reference Bureau.

Katharine Coon—Formerly with the International Center for Research on Women.

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De Souza, RM., Heinrich, G., Senefeld, S. et al. Using innovation to address HIV, AIDS, and environment links: intervention case studies from Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Malawi. Popul Environ 29, 219 (2008).

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  • AIDS
  • Africa
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Food security
  • Gender
  • Health
  • HIV
  • Integrated project
  • Integrated development
  • Land tenure
  • Livelihood
  • Malawi
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe