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Abt Showcases Lessons Applied to Nigerian Family Planning Programming

Over the course of two weeks, the SHOPS Plus family planning team in Nigeria hosted five “pause and reflect” events in four cities, bringing together over 1,100 stakeholders. The stakeholders included family planning providers, trainers, USAID, implementing partners, and officials from both the national and state governments.

At the start of its family planning program three years ago, the Abt-led, USAID-funded SHOPS Plus adopted a learning cycle approach in which the program implementers periodically came together to reflect on, discuss, and learn from successes and challenges. Abt invited our government counterparts, other implementing partners working on similar activites, our trainers, and the providers we had trained to share and learn from successes and collaboratively address challenges. Throughout the program’s implementation, the team used its accumulated experience to make decisions, identify areas for improvement, solve problems, and adapt to the needs of the beneficiaries: the providers.

Lessons from the pause and reflect activities helped SHOPS Plus select three new activities that supported family planning training: follow up meetings after completion of the training program, supportive supervision visits, and audio job aids. Abt found that offering providers these additional supports after training enabled them to retain and improve their skills.

But SHOPS Plus did more than develop purely clinical skills. Its training approach and post-training activities addressed gender and provider bias, which helped providers improve the way they deliver family planning methods, and increased women’s access to family planning. As a result of the program’s innovative approach to addressing provider attitudes as well as skills, its 931 trained providers counselled over 350,000 women and enabled access to modern contraceptive methods for over 130,000 new users.

Cecilia Awak feature story quote

After the training, the men are now involved. Before they were not. Because now they are involved as clients, as supportive partners, as agents of change in the community.
Mrs. Cecilia Awak
Private sector nurse midwife and Pause and Reflect participant

Learn more about SHOPS Plus activities in Nigeria.

Read more about Provider Quality.

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