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Throughout 2020, the concurrent crises of the global pandemic, economic downturn, heightened focus on inequalities, and escalating impacts of climate change have reinforced the urgency for more integrated responses as part of systems change solutions. The nature of these crises demands attention to ideas that provide solutions at the intersections of environment, health, and development and that improve outcomes in all these areas. Public and private funders have embraced the broader concept of systems change for over a decade, but funding practices still lag far behind in intersectional and holistic funding solutions to advance a sustainable future.
This publication provides an update on our 2018 report, The Philanthropic Funding Landscape for Integrating Health and Environment. Since then, there has been an increase in messaging to address the complexity and inter-connectedness of the problems we collectively seek to solve. However, the findings of this report point towards a persistent gap between language and practice. Too many entrenched norms and approaches in funding still lean towards the comfort and perceived clarity of single-sector solutions.
We call on for funders to see these global challenges with a new and improved intersectional lens – and more importantly – to fund intersectional solutions. In it, we outline eight practical actions that funders can take to move towards more integrated forms of cross-sectoral funding in the areas of environment, health, and development.