Faith-Based Advocacy

One of the key ideational factors for the uptake and continued use of contraceptives is religious belief. Nigeria is a religious country. Thus, recognising the crucial role of religious leaders as potential advocates for a program that benefits women and children is a key success factor of the NURHI project. NURHI 1 established active and vibrant interfaith forums in its intervention cities. These groups of faith-based Christian and Islamic clerics, who have become family planning champions, serve as voices for family planning in their community and engage with fellow religious leaders to support and speak in favour of it.

Recognising the strategic role and importance of religious leadership, NURHI 1 established active and vibrant interfaith forums in its intervention cities. These interfaith forums engendered dialogues with religious leaders in each city to build consensus and promote men’s involvement. In the second phase, these faith-based clerics continue their engagements and capacity-building efforts as family planning champions and transformational leaders who increasingly lead faith-based advocacy for family planning among other religious leaders.

Notable achievements in engaging with religious leaders include the production, launch and widespread dissemination of the English and Hausa translations of the Christian Perspectives on Reproductive Health and Family Planning in Nigeria (with a sermon note included), and the English, Yoruba, Hausa and Arabic translations of the Islamic Perspectives of Reproductive Health and Child Birth Spacing in Nigeria (with a sermon note included) as strategic tools and guides for faith-based advocacy.

In October 2017, NURHI 2 collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Interfaith Mediation Center in Kaduna and the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning to convene the first ever interfaith key learnings meeting. This meeting brought together religious leaders from both the Christian and Islamic faiths to share their experiences as champions of family planning and childbirth spacing. A notable outcome of the event was the consensus that the efforts of religious leaders to promote family planning have the potential to save lives.

Click here to read more on building interfaith alliances for family planning and childbirth spacing in Nigeria.

Introduction

The advocacy thematic area of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) complements service delivery and demand generation efforts to ensure an environment where policy makers, religious and traditional leaders and the media are very supportive of family planning.

Advocacy Kits and Policy Briefs

The NURHI 2 advocacy approach creates an enabling environment for family planning through improved policy actions and favourable dialogue from the community, religious leaders and media. This approach complements service delivery and demand generation efforts by ensuring increased uptake of high-quality family planning services.

Strategic Stakeholder Engagements

The NURHI 2 advocacy strategy and efforts are geared towards achieving increased support for family planning from key stakeholders at the federal, state and local government levels, as well as in the community. To achieve this, a plan was developed to continue engaging and educating stakeholders (including political, traditional and religious leaders) and encouraging them to use their influence in support of family planning. NURHI 2 focuses on practical, results-oriented advocacy at the national, state and local government levels to facilitate a positive policy environment in Lagos, Kaduna and Oyo States, as well as at the national level of discourse.

Media-based Advocacy

The NURHI 2 advocacy approach creates an enabling environment for family planning through improved policy actions and favourable dialogue from the community, religious leaders and media. This approach complements service delivery and demand generation efforts by ensuring increased uptake of high-quality family planning services.

Advocacy Core Groups

The NURHI 2 advocacy approach creates an enabling environment for family planning through improved policy actions and favourable dialogue from the community, religious leaders and media. This approach complements service delivery and demand generation efforts by ensuring increased uptake of high-quality family planning services.


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