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.
Digital media, particularly social media, are viable tools to reach and connect with more people. In Nigeria, social media platforms are gradually becoming the go-to sources for information. According to a report by Statista, a global business data collection and analytical site, Nigeria has had between 15 and 20 million active users of the internet so far in 2019. Over 70% of these Nigerians access information online via their mobile phones.
To improve the visibility of NURHI 2, the Get It Together media campaign aims to achieve the project’s objective of making family planning and childbirth spacing a social norm in Nigeria. There was a need for more publicity around content, advocacy, activities, events and programs using social media. To that end, the Get It Together website, social media pages and YouTube channel were analysed to ensure the website and social media pages are as up to date as possible. Some gaps were identified, including periods of downtime without posts and inadequate content planning.
To mitigate these issues, a social media strategy was developed to deploy a suite of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn), mobile phone and information, communication and technology platforms to provide accurate life and family planning information, to promote community-based activities like outreach services and social mobilisation events and to refer men and women—including young people—to family planning options and services.
This detailed approach was designed to improve distribution and promotion of family planning and childbirth spacing content on social media, boost engagement and direct traffic to the Get It Together online platforms. It also entailed data collection to measure content effectiveness for better reach..
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.
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.
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