FWA Coaching Activities Lead to Improvements in Family Planning Service Delivery and Demand Generation
A recent data review in Francophone West Africa revealed that The Challenge Initiative’s (TCI) coaching activities focused on strengthening family planning service delivery and the local health systems are beginning to show some positive changes.
In Ziguinchor, Senegal, the data showed 1,036 providers at 66 health facilities – including three private ones – received coaching on the following TCI proven approaches: Systematic Identification of Family Planning Client Needs (ISBC), special family planning days, adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH), and home visits with household mapping. In Benin, 241 providers at 48 facilities in UCOZ – including one private facility – received coaching on ISBC and special family planning days while 70 providers at four facilities in Abomey-Calavi received coaching on ISBC and special family planning days.
These coaching activities led to an overall improvement in the referral system as well as more systematic documentation of client exposure and recruitment in family planning registers.
The ISBC coaching sessions in Ziguinchor and UCOZ showed that it was relatively easy to train providers on ISBC, improve the use of checklists, and systematically complete referral forms and enter referred patients into family planning registers.
Because of coaching in Ziguinchor, six head nurses are now working with the health facility management committee and the women’s association in the commune (municipality) to mobilize financial resources. Those resources are needed to map households in their area to allow them to identify priority family planning groups, such as nursing mothers and young married women ages 15-24 with one child.
The city of Niamey in Niger is now deploying service delivery and community-level coaches and will provide technical assistance to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Koudougou and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to help train local coaches there.
Meanwhile, TCI held a master coaches training workshop with 10 religious leaders from both Muslim and Christian faiths to strengthen community-level demand-creation activities. The religious leaders will work to engage other religious leaders to change social norms around family planning and AYSRH.
At the community level, priority themes include intergenerational dialogue on sexuality, responsible parenting and women’s agency. The meeting also helped enhance collaboration between TCI and religious leaders across all five TCI Francophone West Africa countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Senegal).
“This is the first time such coaching sessions have been held for religious leaders. What we are learning is a strengths-based approach that helps build capacity and communicating effectively through change rather than focusing on what has always been done before,” said one of the participants.