Purposes of Integration

“Integration is not a cure for inadequate resources.”   – WHO Technical Brief No. 1, May 2008

Integration is more of an art than science, and not all goals will be suitable for every individual integration plan.  Goals should address the specific communities’ needs and reflect the core values of the organization(s) involved with the integration planning.  Propose this question:  What do you intend your integrated services or programs to achieve?  Below are several purposes of integration:

  • Address the community’s core needs [i]
  • Construct a positive working relationship with community members [i]
  • Value and build upon locally available resources while developing and pooling together local expertise [i]
  • Foster NGO and government capacity while securing political commitment [i]
  • Optimize potential impact of program and/or services
  • Strengthen cross-sectoral coordination by forming key strategic partnerships and creating or strengthening communication channels [i]
  • Develop cross-training  cross-supervision
  • Promote the documentation and sharing of existing strategies [i]
  • Empower the community through transfer of knowledge and skills
  • Raise awareness of significant issues and change policies
  • Increase efficiency by reducing fragmentation and eliminating redundancy [i]
  • Merge funding by implementing cost-effective strategies
  • Leverage efforts and/or resources
  • Reach expanded target audiences [i]
  • Promote continuity of care when merging health services