Communication & Collaboration
NIFAA’s key areas of expertise lie in its social behavior change communication, improving demand for proven health interventions and increasing care-seeking behavior. NIFAA has demonstrated capacity to reach people, especially the most vulnerable and underserved population, in every community. Additionally, advocacy by NIFAA’s high level board to coordinate with the Nigerian Government at the national and state level increases NIFAA's reach.
One of NIFAA’s operating principles is partnering with technical experts. For example, in malaria, NIFAA partnered with the DC-based Center for Interfaith Action (CIFA). Through CIFA, NIFAA also liaised with faith-based international organizations such as CRS, World Vision, AJWS, and Religions for Peace. Many of these ties continue. Within Nigeria, NIFAA coordinates with the Ministry of Health as well as local and international NGOs.
Mission and Vision
NIFAA’s mission is to train and empower Nigerian faith leaders to be at the forefront in the fight against poverty and disease, and to carry out advocacy regarding poverty reduction and disease control and eradication.
NIFAA’s vision is that the power and influence of faith leaders and the faith community can significantly enhance demand generation for proven health interventions, improving health outcomes in Nigeria, particularly among children. NIFAA’s community-led model, by definition leverages existing platforms for public health messaging and interventions. Faith-based engagement offers rich layers of infrastructure rooted at the community level, extending nationally through the mosque and church systems. Health messaging can be weaved into sermons and existing faith-based community activities. Influential Faith leaders and cadres of faith community health mobilizers can thus serve as high impact agents of social mobilization and care-seeking behaviours, while creating remarkable efficiency for donors and national governments.
It cannot be denied that Nigeria is on the front lines of an emerging confrontation between extremist, violent, minority actors and the larger Nigerian society, which is multi-religious, tolerant, and committed to social cohesion. In the face of the Boko Haram fundamentalist movement, NIFAA stands as a beacon and rallying point for religious leaders at all levels to demonstrate shared responsibility for the health and wellbeing of every Nigerian. A stronger and more effective NIFAA is a counterweight to terrorism.
A NIFAA capable of carrying out high quality programs is an organization that will contribute mightily to Nigeria’s peace and stability, even as it directly addresses the country’s health challenges. Currently, NIFAA represents the one and only opportunity for Muslim and Christian leaders to come together publicly and privately to denounce violence that separates communities and embrace a shared commitment to helping communities regardless of their religion. NIFAA’s national visibility and profile helps unite the majority of Nigerians who support unity, and the organization’s grass roots network helps people work together at the local level.