With support from the USAID/Nigeria mission, LIFT II has reached an advanced stage of planning for provision of Technical Assistance (TA) in Rivers State of Nigeria. LIFT TA will be provided to Strengthening Integrated Service Delivery for HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS), the biggest FHI360-implemented project in Nigeria, and will complement TA being provided already by the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III (FANTA) project.
LIFT II Regional Technical Advisor, Samuel Mayinoti, travelled to Nigeria in October for high-level discussions and planning meetings with SIDHAS and FANTA leadership in Abuja and Port Harcourt. The objectives of the trip were to learn more about the context, structures and processes of SIDHAS activities in Rivers State, and to identify specific areas where LIFT would add value through TA. This trip built upon a prior trip by the LIFT II Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor in July/August 2016.
A framework for collaboration with SIDHAS and FANTA in Rivers State has been developed, with input from the SIDHAS and FANTA leadership in both Abuja and Rivers State. This framework will strengthen referral networks and optimize robust M&E systems in use by SIDHAS in Rivers State. With experience gained over the past several years supporting effective referral networks that facilitate the linkage of PLHIV, OVC and vulnerable households to Economic Strengthening, Livelihoods and Food Security services, LIFT is ready to share its resources and expertise to add value to the work of SIDHAS and FANTA in Nigeria. LIFT TA will target referral data tracking, monitoring and management. As feasible, given available resources, LIFT will also advise SIDHAS should they decide to expand the number of referral network service providers for stronger clinic-to-community linkages.
LIFT II and our partners have already begun to expand services in and around Port Harcourt. There are six facilities offering referral services in the area with more planned over the course of the next 12 months.