Health Policy Project

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


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Advocacy for Family Planning: Understanding the Budget Process in Two Nigerian States, Cross River and Zamfara
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Author(s): Donald Dickerson and Aliyu Aminu Ahmed

Primary Language: English

Date: 10/28/2013


For several decades, civil society organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria have been advocating for increased resources for reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) services and commodities. Many people assume that once policymakers make a public commitment to provide funding for a specific purpose, the funds are assured. However, such a commitment is only the first step in securing budgetary allocation. The necessary steps include formal approval for the budgetary allocation, inclusion of the funds in the approved budget, release of the funds for the program, and expenditure of the funds intended.

CSOs can play a key role in ensuring that public funds are used for the intended purpose and actually reach the intended beneficiaries. To do so, they need to understand the budgetary process and the role of nongovernmental stakeholders in the process. The inner workings of the state-level budget process in Nigeria are not well understood, and there is little documentation of the process to provide guidance.

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. In doing so, several entry points emerged for CSOs to make a difference in FP/RH funding; the key tasks identified include

  • Advocate for increased funds for FP/RH programs and commodities
  • Ensure that adequate funds are budgeted, obligated, and released in a timely manner
  • Track state-level budget expenditures, especially funds actually expended for FP/RH services and commodities
  • Hold policymakers and program managers accountable for the effective use of public funds

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Advocacy    Civil Society Engagement    Equity    Family Planning/Reproductive Health (FP/RH)    Governance, Stewardship & Accountability (GS&A)    Health Financing    Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)    Non-Government/Community Service Org. (NGO/CSO)    Parliamentarians    Policy    Report    Nigeria  
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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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