ExpandNet has been collaborating with the BMGF-funded Technical Support Unit (TSU) project led by Dr. Sada Danmusa who directs the Nigerian NGOs Development Outcomes and Support (DOS) Center and Mid-Space. The TSU project is strengthening the family planning (FP) capacity of state level government leaders to take ownership and more effectively manage the family planning program. The project has utilized various mechanisms to strengthen these leaders’ capacity to use data to set priorities, manage implementation and adapt innovations and best practices for continuous improvement of FP outcomes. One of those mechanisms, the Transparency, Advocacy and Capacity building (TRAC) platform normally supports periodic meetings to build the skills of state leaders from Nigeria’s geo-political zones to use data for decision making and disparity analysis in family planning performance. These efforts combined with other interventions at the federal and state level, have generated new commitments to improve family planning and reproductive health outcomes.
In the current phase the project has worked in two of the six zones of Nigeria. Over the next three years the plan is to scale up the TRAC platform to cover the remaining four geopolitical zones, and thereby all Nigerian states. However, the COVID-19 epidemic is bringing many new challenges as the team cope’s with sustaining activities and planning the next phase of scale up. The ExpandNet Secretariat team discussed with Dr Sada his plans and how he expects to deal with the crisis. To read Dr. Sada’s response to some key questions about how their work is adjusting effectively, click here.
The AcQual Project “Improving Access and Quality of Family Planning Services” tested an innovative approach involving nursing students to provide community-based distribution of family planning services (Approche Apprenants Distributeurs à base communautaire). This was carried out in alignment with ongoing reforms on utilizing a competence-based training within the nursing school program. ExpandNet member Dr. Alexis Ntabona facilitated the efforts to scale up this approach, under the leadership of the 6th Directorate of the Ministry of Health. Results from a recent monitoring exercise assessing the progress indicate that the initiative is widely accepted and supported by all stakeholders, including the nursing schools’ management teams, teachers, students’ parent associations, and family planning clients. However, the results show that the intervention requires mid-course corrections to consolidate its integration within the nursing school system.
Global Implementation Conference 2019: Implementation for Impact
September 15-17, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland
Meeting Link: https://gic.globalimplementation.org
ExpandNet members from the US and Uganda will be jointly delivering a Master Class entitled “Scaling up complex improvement in low-income settings” that will highlight the HoPE-LVB project’s experience with scaling up the population, health and environment approach in East Africa. The session will illustrate the use of a systematic approach to the implementation and scale up of complex, community-based approaches in low-income settings and to ensure their sustainable expansion to regional and national levels. ExpandNet Secretariat member Laura Ghiron will also moderate a panel on sustainability and scale up during the main conference program and participate in a plenary panel distilling key learning from the conference proceedings.
ExpandNet and Pathfinder International co-convened an experience-sharing meeting focused on the application of systematic approaches to scale up in Nigeria in September 2018. Presenters included senior leaders from the Federal Ministry of Health (MOH), the Center for Communications Programs of Johns Hopkins University, Mid-Space (a Nigerian NGO), Pathfinder and the State MOH from Cross River State. The Cross River State panel discussed the experience with implementing ExpandNet/WHO’s nine-step strategy development process in scaling up community health extension workers ability to provide contraceptive implants, under the 2015 national task shifting/task sharing policy. A webinar describing this experience is available here.
The quarterly resource team meeting of the Evidence to Action Project-led Community of Practice on Systematic Approaches to Scale up gave special focus to the issue of sustainability in scale up. Dr. Eric Sarriot of Save the Children, who has written extensively on sustainability of health programs, gave a presentation which is available via this link.
ExpandNet members collaborated with the PERFORM2Scale project led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine on a panel discussion highlighting lessons learned about scale up at the fifth Global Health Systems Research Symposium held in Liverpool, England in October 2018. Presentations on the experience in three sister projects implemented in Vietnam, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda was followed by a lively discussion among the panelists and the audience. A video of the panel is available here.
ExpandNet members are supporting the ongoing NURHI II Midterm Learning Evaluation participating on the core team led by Family Planning Country Action Process Evaluation (FP CAPE), which is based at the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The NURHI II project has been scaling up a package of family planning interventions shown to increase demand, availability, and contraceptive use in three states in Nigeria.
As you may have noticed, ExpandNet has a newly updated, more user-friendly website that provides more information about the network and activities, and easier access to ExpandNet’s collection of practical guidance documents to support scaling up. The scaling-up bibliography is also being expanded to provide references (many of them linked) to a wider range of publications relevant to the field of scale up. We would appreciate your comments and feedback on the new website using the “Contact Us” link.