Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project ended in 2016. Work continued under Health Policy Plus (HP+) until 2022.





Nigeria’s high rates of maternal, child, and infant mortality present a massive challenge to policymakers and stakeholders at all levels of Nigerian society. These problems are related to the challenges of high fertility and a low modern contraceptive prevalence rate, which can lead to unintended pregnancies, births spaced too close together, and high-risk births.

In response, Nigerian policymakers at the federal and state levels have become increasingly motivated to renew the commitment to lower maternal and child mortality. Support for family planning (FP) and maternal and child health is being discussed openly at the federal level, and the Health Policy Project (HPP) is helping to strengthen the capacity of Nigerian institutions to deal with these issues.

What We Do

HPP’s overall program objective in Nigeria is to strengthen the country’s national and subnational policy, advocacy, and governance for strategic, equitable, and sustainable health programming. To achieve this goal, HPP engages Nigerian stakeholders to increase their capacity to advocate for greater financial and political support for FP, reproductive health (RH), and maternal and child health programs, and to effectively manage existing financial resources for health programs.

To achieve the overall objective, there are two program components:

Strengthen the Capacity of Stakeholders to Advocate for Greater Resources

The HPP program aims to strengthen Nigerian stakeholders’ capacity to advocate for greater resources for FP/RH programs. HPP is collaborating with government, civil society, and development partner stakeholders to develop a comprehensive family planning and communications strategy. By organizing, mapping, and prioritizing advocacy initiatives, Nigerians will be able to streamline the collective effort to secure new federal and state funding to expand access to FP commodities and services.

Stakeholders also receive training on how to employ various evidence-based advocacy tools, including RAPID, the FP and MDG analysis, and the GAP Tool. By promoting greater resources and expanded access to services, HPP will help stakeholders improve the health of women, children, and infants in Nigeria.

Strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme

Recently, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has begun to incorporate family planning services into its various benefits packages. Presentations by the USAID | Health Policy Initiative—predecessor to the Health Policy Project—and a broad advocacy push culminated in the first-ever National Family Planning Conference. As a result, the Office of the Presidency for Millennium Development Goals and the NHIS determined that including cost-effective health interventions such as family planning would better help them to reach their goals.

The HPP program in Nigeria will leverage this momentum achieved in FP advocacy by providing technical assistance to increase the capacity of the NHIS to gather and analyze data for more effective planning, advocacy, and program monitoring and evaluation. In turn, this will improve their ability to define, cost, and implement additional changes to NHIS benefits, as well as become better advocates in securing additional funding and resources to improve people’s health in Nigeria.

Recent Progress and Achievements

  • The National Health Insurance Scheme included family planning services in the benefits packages of both the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) and the MDG/Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Project in 2011
  • HPP collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Health to pilot the new FP GAP Tool

Publications and Resources

Nigeria’s 2004 National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development: Implementation Assessment Report
Continuing demographic trends—coupled with emerging national priorities and new international development frameworks—created the need to assess the implementation of Nigeria’s 2004 Policy on Population for Sustainable Development. Results from this USAID-funded Health Policy Project assessment are intended to guide the formulation of a revised policy and the approaches needed to realize its goals and objectives.

Nigeria RAPID: The Change We Seek—Adamawa State (booklet)
Using Resources for the Awareness of Population Impacts on Development (RAPID), this booklet highlights the impact of the state’s low contraceptive use and high population growth on its development prospects, principally its ability to provide education, health, nutrition and employment to all its citizens.

Nigeria RAPID: The Change We Seek—Adamawa State (brief)
Using the Resources for the Awareness of Population Impacts on Development (RAPID) model, this brief highlights how smaller families would relieve pressure on the provision of primary education and public health services, and alleviate food insecurity as well as unemployment in Adamawa state by 2050.

Expand Community-based Distribution of Injectable Contraceptives in Nigeria: A Call to Action
These evidence-based advocacy materials, based on Spectrum projections, were produced under the Health Policy Project by the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria to support national-and state-level advocacy efforts aimed at increasing access to family planning.

Advocacy for Family Planning: Understanding the Budget Process in Two Nigerian States, Cross River and Zamfara
To help CSOs in Nigeria understand and actively participate in the budget process, the Health Policy Project conducted an assessment to identify the differences between theory and practice in state-level budgeting.?

Nigeria RAPID Population and Development: How Fertility Affects Development
This RAPID uses RAPID projections to highlight the impact of Nigeria’s population growth on national development and its ability to provide education, health, and nutrition to all its citizens. Includes downloadable brief, presentation, and poster.

Scaling Up National Health Insurance in Nigeria: Learning from Case Studies of India, Colombia, and Thailand
Case studies of the experience of three countries—Colombia, India, and Thailand—as they developed government policies as a strategy to achieve universal health coverage.

Nigeria RAPID Population and Development: Why Fertility Affects Health
This package of materials uses RAPID projections to highlight the large unmet need for family planning in Nigeria and its impact on maternal and child health. Includes downloadable brief, infographic, and presentation.

Presentation: The Demographic Dividend: A Window of Opportunity for the Next Generation
The presentation reviews current demographic indicators for Nigeria, highlighting comparisons with other countries that have opened the window of opportunity and achieved the dividend, as well as presents some of the policy investments required now and in the future.

Quantifying and Analyzing Health Equity
 This presentation explains how to measure poverty and inequality, how to display poverty data to illustrate inequities in health status and use of health services, and, finally, how to understand and address common data challenges.

Improving Financial Access to Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services for the Poor in Nigeria
In November 2011 in Nigeria, a landmark national conference, "Improving Financial Access to Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Services for the Poor in Nigeria," was held. These publications highlight the need for advocacy and policy change, innovation in the design and implementation of health financing schemes, strengthening of the social health insurance scheme, and collaboration with private sector health providers.


HPP Nigeria Celebrates Five Years of Progress in Family Planning
On July 23, 2015, the USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP)/Nigeria convened a half-day knowledge-sharing forum entitled, “Evidence for Family Planning: Strengthening Advocacy, Decision Making, and Accountability in Nigeria.” Celebrating five years of work, the forum served as an opportunity to highlight partner accomplishments in evidence creation and use, and to articulate a way forward for family planning (FP) policy, programs, and funding in Nigeria. More than 70 FP stakeholders attended the forum.

Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria Launches the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale-Up Plan)
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health launched the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale-Up Plan), 2014–2018 at the Third Family Planning Conference, held in Abuja from November 26– 28, 2014.The goal of the Blueprint is to raise the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) among married women from 15 percent to 36 percent, thereby averting 1.6 million unintended pregnancies, as well as 400,000 infant and 700,000 child deaths, by the year 2018. 

Health Policy Project at the Nigeria Family Planning Conference
On November 27-December 1, 2012, the 2nd National Family Planning Conference was held in Abuja, Nigeria. HPP was actively involved in planning and supporting the conference, and made several presentations.


HPP collaborates with a range of in-country and international partners in Nigeria, including:

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The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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