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 family planning, social mobilisation is used to generate demand for products and services through community-based activities, such as neighbourhood campaigns, community dialogues and key life events. In NURHI 2, programming for young persons is intentional, with discussions around life planning and reproductive health.These activities promote family planning discussions at the community level and direct potential clients to health facilities for more information on family planning and uptake of modern family planning methods. All mobilisation activities focus on making family planning information available and bringing the services closer to the community members, even in hard-to-reach areas.
Neighbourhood Campaigns: During neighbourhood campaigns, mobilisers move from door to door talking about the benefits of family planning and referring people to access family planning services at nearby facilities. If an outreach is planned, mobilisers will inform the community about the free family planning services available at selected health facilities.
Community Dialogues: In NURHI 2, community dialogues bring people together at a central location to watch and discuss excerpts from family planning radio and TV products. These dialogues provide opportunities for community members to interact and share experiences with social mobilisers and family planning service providers within the community.
Key life events: Mobilisers identify events in their communities, such as weddings, naming ceremonies and graduations, where they talk with guests about the benefits of modern family planning. The celebrants also receive branded Get It Together campaign gift items.Activities and materials for each state are developed and implemented based on state-specific nuances and sensitivities. NURHI 2 includes development of a how-to-guide to provide guidance for implementing an effective social mobilisation strategy to increase contraceptive use.
The aim of NURHI 2 was to scale up the proven to work models of phase 1 and institutionalize them into existing structures within the systems NURHI collaborates. To promote sustainability of its social mobilization activities and the integration of family planning messages across Nigeria, NURHI 2 provided technical assistance to the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to develop its first Social Mobilization Guidelines to serve as a manual to staff and stakeholders on the processes of social mobilization and how various key messages are integrated.
SOCIAL MOBILIZATION TOOLS
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.
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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