Co-creating Solutions to Improve MNCH+N Outcomes in Northern Nigeria
The maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition (MNCH+N) indices in Northern Nigeria are arguably one of the poorest in the world and need creative solutions to adequately address local challenges. To do this, USAID funded Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria project set out to identify opportunities to co-design solutions with stakeholders that contribute to these indices. In this way, radical solutions can be co-created and owned by the people who are most affected.
Using human-centered design (HCD), which is a set of joint learning and collaborative approaches, helped us to; understand the current MNCH+N landscape, develop a shared vision, demonstrate value of collaboration and openness in program design, establish a feedback mechanism for adaptive management, and provide an evidence base for scalability.
Through the HCD approach, which included literature reviews, in-depth interviews, workshops, and direct observation, we jointly identified 10 major insights and over 200 actionable ideas to improve MNCH+N outcomes in Northern Nigeria with these stakeholders. Six out of these ideas were also jointly prioritized for co-development, testing, monitoring, evaluation, and learning for scalability.
This collaborative approach has helped to kick-start a journey to self-reliance for Nigeria as it did not only foster ownership of the solutions but also helped to demonstrate the value of collaboration and learning to the government stakeholders, who are currently adapting the HCD approach into the country's family planning scale-up blueprint.