Improving AYSRH Programming through Peer-to-Peer Supervision in Plateau State, Nigeria
Contributors: Winifred Kwaknat, Aisha Waziri and Dorcas Akila
With coaching support from The Challenge Initiative (TCI), the Plateau state government in Nigeria is linking youth to reproductive health information and improving their access to contraceptive services across five TCI-supported local government areas (LGAs). Three youth-focused civil society organizations (CSOs) – Flame of Hope (FLOH), Aids Care Education and Training (ACET), and Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) – based in Plateau state are working with the state government to drive demand for modern family planning services. Because they are based in the community, the CSOs’ mobilizers can easily identify hotspots to reach adolescents and youth.
A peer-to-peer supervision system has been established between the CSOs and the family planning team at the LGA level, which includes health educators and reproductive health (RH) coordinators. Through the peer-to-peer supervision system, the CSOs provide feedback to the family planning team on issues, such as commodity availability and provider bias. In turn, the family planning team oversees the efforts of the CSOs in the communities and provides feedback on completed referrals and opportunities for more coordinated community mobilization activities in step with service delivery efforts.
The collaboration between the two groups began when Plateau state – with support from TCI – held a start-up meeting for the CSOs and the LGA-level family planning team. Following the start-up meeting, the two groups developed a system for providing feedback to each other on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) interventions while supporting each other to execute AYSRH activities as outlined in their work plans. The activities of the two groups are coordinated by the state adolescent desk officer, who has been coached by TCI on the implementation, management and monitoring of the proven AYSRH interventions in TCI University.
To sustain the gains made through this collaboration, TCI has continued to provide coaching support to the state to adopt peer supervision as a cost-effective means of ensuring accountability and provision of quality AYSRH programming and services. This collaborative relationship has strengthened the delivery of quality technical assistance by both parties and helps to address several technical challenges, such as service provider bias to offer family planning services to young people due to their age or marital status, high service fees and service accessibility issues.
Peer-to-peer supervision between the CSOs and the LGA family planning team has yielded remarkable results, including:
- Increased capacity to coordinate and provide feedback to service providers
- Improved quality and impact of community-based mobilization
- Improved capacity of the LGA family planning team to conduct quality supportive supervision
- A symbiotic collaborative learning relationship through experience sharing
Lynda Chunwang, the Jos South LGA RH coordinator said:
We’ve never had the opportunity to work with any CSO in FP service delivery before. Thanks to TCI, we are enjoying a good working relationship, which is really helping to increase access to contraceptives amongst adolescents and youth.”
Similarly, Samson Abayomi Orokola, the program officer at ACET Nigeria, shared why this newfound relationship is so important:
There is a cordial relationship between the CSO and LGA Team. We serve as motivation to each other, knowing well that when one achieves, everyone achieves.”
The peer-to-peer supervision has most significantly impacted the LGA family planning team’s ability to address service providers negative attitudes towards serving adolescents and youth because they are provided with firsthand experiences shared by the CSOs.