Phase 2 of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI 2) is unique in its project implementation approach of leading with demand. This approach is built on the premise that as demand for family planning increases, supply will rise to meet demand. To achieve this increase in demand, NURHI 2 uses an integrated communication strategy that employs a combination of social mobilisation, media campaigns and entertainment education. This demand generation strategy was designed using what worked in NURHI 1 cities to address the emerging needs of its audiences in NURHI 2. The strategy triggers dialogue about family planning at the community and household levels, normalises family planning use, prompts couple discussion, corrects misinformation and dispels fears surrounding contraceptive use and refers men and women for family planning services.
The NURHI 2 demand generation approach employs the Theory of Ideation to influence behaviour change. Ideation is the concept that people’s actions are strongly influenced by their beliefs, ideas and feelings (ideational factors) and that a change in these beliefs can influence behaviours, including contraceptive use. Research and studies of NURHI intervention sites identified that this demand generation campaign should focus on the following four key audiences:
1. Female non-users who intend to use modern contraceptives
2. Male partners and spouses of non-users
3. Service providers
4. Women who use traditional family planning methods (primarily rhythm and withdrawal)
With these priority audiences in mind, the following five key interventions have been deployed to create awareness and generate demand for family planning:
Expanding access in NURHI 2 focuses on using proven and new strategies to improve access to a wide range of modern contraceptive methods. The ultimate goal is to reach every woman in need to provide high-quality family planning services and a wide range of modern contraceptive options.
Social mobilisation has been used over the years at different times to increase awareness of social issues and promote change at the community level. Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of social mobilisation in improving health-seeking behaviours.
In creating awareness and demand for family planning and childbirth spacing methods among men and women, NURHI 2 uses social and behavioural change communication through its demand generation strategy. To achieve this, NURHI 2 uses five key interventions in activities focusing on specific priority audiences (intenders, traditional users, men and service providers). One of these interventions involves the deployment of digital media.
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