In the middle from left to right - Sara Werth, USAID Nigeria Deputy Mission Director; Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Director Health Promotion Federal Ministry of Health; Laura Reichenbach, Breakthrough Research Project Director Population Council Washington; Representatives of Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara state governments, at the Breakthrough Research dissemination event in Abuja

Key findings of USAID’s behaviour change research activity in Nigeria

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In the middle from left to right – Sara Werth, USAID Nigeria Deputy Mission Director; Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Director Health Promotion Federal Ministry of Health; Laura Reichenbach, Breakthrough Research Project Director Population Council Washington; Representatives of Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara state governments, at the Breakthrough Research dissemination event in Abuja
 
 

 The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the successful completion of its five-year social behaviour change research activity titled Breakthrough Research Nigeria on April 27.

According to a statement by the agency on Tuesday, a day was devoted to disseminating best practices and lessons learned on factors that influence the adoption and practice of health behaviours, which can help inform national and state level health policies and interventions that seek to increase demand for health services.

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Breakthrough Research is USAID’s global flagship social and behavioural change (SBC) research and evaluation project.

  Implemented in Nigeria since 2019, Breakthrough Research Nigeria (BR-Nigeria) made significant contributions to shaping the implementation and adaptation of USAID-funded SBC interventions in the country.

USAID’s BR-Nigeria implemented a suite of research and evaluation studies using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to respond to SBC questions on program-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.  The studies addressed a range of behaviours such as: antenatal care attendance, use of child spacing methods, use of insecticide treated nets, and infant breastfeeding in Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.

The studies examined behavioural trends among a consistent sample of approximately 3,000 women with children under the age of two, and their spouses, within wards targeted for SBC program intervention in 2019, 2021, and 2022.

  The studies found that using an integrated behaviour change approach improved prompt treatment for fever, the uptake of malaria tests, and an increase in treatment adherence. 

Overall, the research found that across study states, women were greatly influenced by men when making choices about seeking care and treatment for their sick children.  The research study results will shape the on-going primary health care implementation at the work plan level and shape future SBC research.

USAID’s BR-Nigeria also implemented three other qualitative studies, including a community capacity strengthening study, public sector capacity strengthening study, and advocacy core group assessment study. 

BR-Nigeria developed more than 30 knowledge products including program research and policy briefs, peer-reviewed journal articles and publications, blog posts, and infographics – Breakthrough Action + Research 

“We are proud that the Breakthrough Research activity generated valuable insights that will continue to influence programs and investments on new-born and child health, nutrition, family planning, reproductive health, and malaria in Nigeria,” said Sara Werth, USAID/Nigeria Deputy Mission Director in her opening remarks.

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