Thank you for writing this. I really believe that development (anywhere) is about the family and the family structure, not xyz “issues.” The deepest and most sustainable work in the long term takes into account all the factors that affect a family, rather than expecting you can treat a whole community with layered-on handouts. Some handouts may be necessary (like food stamps), but they need to be given in context, along with skills development (such as entrepreneurship, financial education, basic literacy, etc). The HeadStart approach sounds like one of the best I’ve heard of recently.
(I’ve been a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia for 3 years, and spent the first two in a rural village working with families on sustainable agriculture practices, among other things.)