In Their Words: Bauchi State Capacity Strengthening Focuses on Demand Generation
The Challenge Initiative strengthens capacity and improves the skills of stakeholders in 10 supported Nigerian states to implement family planning activities. This transfer of skills ensures sustainability of family planning interventions long after the Initiative’s support ends. The following family planning stakeholders in Bauchi State expressed what this skills transfer meant for them.
Aminu Sambo, the Health Educator in Tafawa Balewa LGA of Bauchi State and a member of the Bauchi State SBCC Committee was trained by the Initiative on effective demand generation messages and materials development for better health outcomes.
“This TCI has wonderful strategies of implementation, if every organization works the way TCI does, by now our local structure would have been able to implement successfully. TCI is the only organization that has brought together all the health educators in the State to give them orientation on their demand generation strategy since I have been working as LGA Health Educator.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand what some organizations are doing in terms of social mobilization, with TCI everything is clear. As a health educator I am supposed to know how to develop IEC materials, but I didn’t know until TCI built our capacity on materials development. Now I know all the processes involved and I can successfully and confidently develop messages and materials to reach my people without any support.”
Aminu acknowledged that the Initiative would be relevant to all the other LGAs in the State.
“I wish TCI can support the state more to scale up this wonderful model to other LGAs across the state.
The Initiative also trained drama groups in Bauchi State so they can use their platforms to disseminate family planning messages. Significant changes have occurred since the Initiative worked with the drama groups. Danlami Adamu is the CEO of Yanke-Yanke Productions, one of the drama groups trained.
“Coming in contact with TCI in Bauchi is the best thing that has happened to me and our production company so far this year. The technical advice and support I got from TCI, I know how much it would have cost me if it were to be paid. Their sustainability plan they introduced me to as a drama group is fantastic and realistic.
After I met with TCI, I had to go back to my drawing board and look at my proposals and re-strategize again and I came up with that particular program Da Haihuwa Tara Yuyuyu Gara Guda Daya kwakkwara meaning, better have one healthy child than have many that will not be healthy. The inauguration of the program was a huge success and TCI was behind me all through the planning and execution of the Inauguration.”
“With TCI’s advice, we have decided to produce a magazine to specifically target policymakers on issues associated with family planning at the grassroots level. We selected two communities each from five LGAs, to stage drama and open conversation about family planning in the public sphere.
Adamu also recognized the impact of the Initiative’s capacity strengthening on sustainability.
“I will advise TCI to continue with this kind of technical support and orientation inform of train and retrain to make sure the changes are forever. I was lucky to have met with TCI and my approaches to things have changed.”
The Initiative is stimulating a change in mindset among social mobilizers in Bauchi State. This change has resulted in ownership of family planning activities and will lead to sustained family planning interventions in the state. One of the social mobilizers, Lawiza Hamza Musa of Ningi LGA, attributed her mindset change to the training she received from the Initiative on social mobilization skills.
“The training by TCI was different from all other NGOs I have worked with. They made us understand that it is not all about money, that we were working for our communities. When we were asked to stop working because there were no funds, I told my friends that, I know the people I have helped to have access to family planning and are living very happily, I can’t just stop because of money.”
Lawiza expressed satisfaction and willingness to encourage others to do the same.
“I feel satisfied that I am bringing positive change to people’s lives by helping them with the information they need, I wish more people will see this as helping their communities by acting on the information.