Development occurs in a complex ecology with an interplay of environmental, socio-economic, cultural, and genetic factors. A mono-linear development approach, managing each problem as independent of others, fails to take advantage of the true synergy among contributing factors in the search for causes and solutions. Furthermore, the lack of tools to communicate about these linkages with communities has limited their abilities to bring about positive change. A four-country initiative supported by Canada’s IDRC in Mexico, Costa Rica, Uganda, and Nepal sought to develop indicators for progress toward eco-system well-being, stimulate and focus dialogue, and advance practical skills in eco-system awareness and mobilisation.
In the United States, CIET’s work with El Puente focused on Community Health and Environment (CHE), in part with a youth group who call themselves the “CHE Activists”.
CIET’s work on dengue, in Nicaragua has concentrated on community control of environments that foster the spread of the disease.