Integral Human Development
Integral Human Development (IHD) is a central component of the CRS agency strategy and the work CRS does with its partners. The concept, founded in Catholic social teaching, affirms that human development cannot be reduced or separated into component parts. Rather, personal wellbeing can only be achieved in the context of just and peaceful relationships and a thriving environment. It is the sustained growth that everyone has the right to enjoy. IHD promotes the good of every person and the whole person; it is cultural, economic, political, social and spiritual.
CRS developed the IHD conceptual framework in 2003, building on the Sustainable Livelihoods and Livelihood Security frameworks that had been developed by the Department for International Development (DfID) and CARE, respectively.
CRS is about bringing a vision to life, and the IHD concept provides the basis for our vision. The agency’s mission is to serve the poorest and most vulnerable. The IHD conceptual framework is a visual diagram that helps us to understand more clearly the world of the poor, including their strengths and their needs, in order to guide programming. The framework helps to analyze complex situations, to organize information and analyze relationships between people’s livelihood strategies and the context in which they pursue these strategies. It uses people’s strengths as a starting point and helps identify linkages between structures and systems at the macro- and micro-levels, as well as the interactions among them. It is useful in both emergency and development contexts.
One important aspect of IHD focuses on addressing gender concerns – particularly in relation to girls – to allow them to thrive in their environments. Click here to learn more about effective programming to empower adolescent girls.