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NURHI Advocacy: Building a Supportive Environment for Family Planning in Urban Nigeria

In 2009, when the NURHI Project began, Nigeria already had excellent policies and strategic plans to guide reproductive health and family planning programming.  In fact, one objective of the Integrated Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Strategy was a 50% increase in contraceptive prevalence by 2012.  Unfortunately, the government provided little indication of how it would fund achievement of this ambitious goal.   While there were a few national working groups focused on policy implementation at the national level, only limited attention was given to family planning at state and local levels.  Consequently, the family planning program was largely funded by external donors, the health system paid little attention to family planning, and many media journalists and local leaders were vocally opposed to family.

In a bid to ensure access to and support for family planning services for the urban poor, NURHI undertook advocacy initiatives primarily at the state and LGA levels.  Three years later, state and LGA governments have committed increased budgetary support for family planning, media reporting is more pro-family planning, and leaders are more vocally supportive of family planning nationally and in the four first phase NURHI cities of Ibadan, Ilorin, Abuja, and Kaduna.  NURHI partnered with four key organizations to design and implement its advocacy agenda: the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Advocacy Nigeria, Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS), and the Futures Institute.   NURHI constituted and works with Advocacy Core Groups in each city, and the National Family Planning Action Group (FPAG) at national level.

This page shares the step-by-step process NURHI used to strengthen support for family planning services in the four Nigerian cities of Abuja, Kaduna, Ilorin and Ibadan between 2010 and 2013. In 2013, NURHI began implementing similar efforts in scale-up cities, Benin City and Zaria.