NURHI Phase 1 (2009 – 2015)
Phase 1 of NURHI was implemented in six cities (Federal Capital Territory, Ibadan, Ilorin, Kaduna, Benin and Zaria). According to the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, it contributed to significant increases in contraceptive prevalence in these cities.
NURHI 2 advocacy efforts complemented service delivery and demand generation activities by fuelling supportive policy actions and favourable dialogue from the media and government, community, and religious leaders.
NURHI 2 trained advocacy stakeholders in each State to develop State-specific family planning advocacy plans using the SMART stepwise guide developed by Advance Family Planning. Stakeholders in Lagos, Kaduna, and Oyo states used this process to design, execute, and evaluate context-specific family planning advocacy plans.
NURHI 2 Advocacy Plans in Kaduna State
In 2016, Kaduna State prepared a State Family Planning Advocacy Brief that revealed a promising landscape for family planning. The State Ministry of Health was developing a partner and interventions coordination dashboard, and Kaduna’s Primary Health Care Under One Roof strategy for integrating reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health services was gaining momentum. The State had also drafted a Costed Implementation Plan for Family Planning and was implementing the Saving One Million Lives integrated reproductive, child health, and nutrition initiative.
Based on this assessment, stakeholders in Kaduna developed a family planning advocacy plan to achieve and sustain full political commitment and policy actions for family planning. The plan called for close collaboration with the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, the Primary Health Care Under One Roof strategy, and key stakeholders.
It aimed to ramp up positive family planning dialogue among religious and community leaders and to ensure adequate deployment and retention of skilled providers for a minimum of three years in each health facility. Further efforts focused on elevating acceptance of family planning among the public and their leaders through media advocacy.
NURHI 2 Advocacy Plans in Lagos State
In 2016, NURHI 2 partnered with stakeholders in Lagos State to prepare a Family Planning Advocacy Brief that showed some support for family planning and a number of areas in need of policy strengthening. Childbirth spacing and family planning were well accepted within the context of reducing maternal mortality, and stakeholders recognised its importance. Lagos State had recently developed a costed family planning implementation plan. Despite these positive trends, there was a need for improved funding, staffing, infrastructure, and availability of essential commodities to support good quality family planning services. In addition, few religious and cultural leaders spoke publicly in support of family planning
Based on this assessment, the Lagos Family Planning Advocacy Plans focused on improving funding for family planning services, and increasing supportive dialogue about family planning by the media and government, religious, and cultural leaders.
NURHI 2 Advocacy Plans in Oyo
In 2016, Oyo State prepared a family planning advocacy brief that identified a number of critical issues and challenges to family planning. Though NURHI Phase 1 recorded some significant advocacy achievements, critical issues militating against family planning programs and services still existed, including poor funding at State and LGA levels, overly centralized decisions concerning resource allocation, a new budget framework that did not include a line for family planning, inadequate human resources to deliver quality services and weak infrastructure, supplies and logistics systems.
Oyo State advocacy plans aimed to encourage policy and opinion leaders to make public statements in support of family planning and increased funding for family planning at State and LGA levels. The plan called for a separate budget line for family planning, and the release and appropriate use of funds allocated to family planning.
The plan also supported enactment of the Reproductive Health/Family Planning Bill which was pending in 2016; and encouraged the State government to review its policy on embargo and employment of Nurses Midwives. To meet these goals, the Advocacy Core Group and NURHI 2 conducted systematic consultations and engagements with policy and law makers at State and LGA levels, media advocacy, engaged religious and cultural leaders and the media, and tracked family planning budget allocation and spending.