Project Factsheet
Tools for » Nigeria Spotlight Programme
Project ID:00112286Description:Nigeria Spotlight Programme
Spotlight Initiative Fund
Start Date *: 19 Sep 2018
End Date*: 31 Dec 2022
Country: Nigeria Project Status: On Going
  Participating Organization:   Multiple

Programme Description

Nigeria is one of the world’s fastest growing countries in terms of population, but gender inequality remains a large problem. Nigeria is the country with the largest number of child brides in Africa, with 23 million girls and women married as children and 43 per cent of girls currently married before age 18. The country also accounts for the third highest number of women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation at a 25 per cent prevalence rate. Nigeria ranks 118th out of 134 countries on the Gender Equality Index.


The Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria will address the linkages between sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices with sexual and reproductive health and rights. The focus will be on preventing and addressing the root causes of gender-based violence and harmful practices and ensuring access to inclusive, timely, and quality services for victims and survivors. The most vulnerable women and girls, who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, will be specifically targeted and included in all phases of the programme.


Number of beneficiaries: 1,506,600 (direct) | 29,585,214 (indirect)

Recipient UN organizations: UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women, UNESCO and UNFPA


Spotlight Country Programme Focal Point at the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office: Hadiza Aminu Dorayi; Email: Ernest Mutanga; Email:


The total investment from the EU for Phase I (2019 – 2020) is USD 35,714,286 and is distributed according to the following;

  •   Policies and legislation (outcome 1):The Violence against Persons Prohibition Act and the Child Rights Act guarantee the safety of women and girls by setting the legal age for marriage at 18 and prohibiting female genital mutilation. However, many women and girls are unable to claim their rights, mainly due to the low ratification rate on state level and poor implementation. Spotlight will identify gaps and strengthen the legal and policy frameworks at federal and state levels, for example, by advocating and increasing capacities of key stakeholders (parliamentarians, government agencies, justice system) for the adoption and implementation of the abovementioned laws and other relevant policies. Human rights institutions will be supported to better monitor and report on violence against women and girls, HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Institutions (outcome 2): The prevention and response on sexual gender-based violence, harmful practices and sexual and reproductive health and rights remains weak at federal, state and community levels and lack a national coordination mechanism. Spotlight will build capacities of relevant institutions to ensure effective coordination between key sectors and support institutions to plan, fund and deliver evidence-based programmes.
  • Prevention and social norms (outcome 3): Spotlight aims to change social norms and behaviors at community, individual and family levels advocating with political and religious leaders to engage them as positive influencers and champions of non-violence. To ensure sustainability and to break generational transfer of negative norms, Spotlight will target men and boys and work with youth in schools. Spotlight will engage with the media for creative advocacy, capturing local language and context to create public awareness and change negative norms.
  • Services (outcome 4): To reach those furthest behind, the programme will strengthen and expand one-stop centres that address the comprehensive needs of survivors at local level. Spotlight will develop the capacities of justice sector personnel to ensure timely provision of gender sensitive investigations and prosecutions and ensure that victims are provided with legal support. This includes replicating mobile and fast-track courts. The programme will also establish specialized women and children protection desks in police stations staffed by officers who are trained to receive reports from victims/survivors.
  • Data (outcome 5): Spotlight will strengthen and modernize the collection, analysis and usage of data related to violence against women, harmful practices and sexual and reproductive health and rights, by building capacities of the national statistics bureau and health facilities. The data will be used to inform laws, decision-making, policies and ensure that programming is focused on actual needs. Spotlight will also establish a gender-based violence database that will harmonize various data sets across Nigeria, improve joint analysis and fill existing data gaps
  • Women’s Movement and Civil Society (outcome 6): Spotlight will leverage existing women’s rights groups and associations, youth groups and CSOs to strengthen their leadership and voice on the national stage and enhance their capacities for public engagement, programme implementation and monitoring. To build bridges across ages and regions, the programme will have mentoring for older and younger women, build synergies with rural women’s associations, facilitate partnerships between women’s rights organizations and other working to address violence against women and girls, including the justice sector, private sector and men and boys’ networks.


Through an Innovating as One approach, elements of joint programmatic and operational innovation will be integrated across Spotlight and be a key element in driving collaboration. Innovation will allow partners to test new initiatives and approaches that are “business unusual” and scale-up and replicate effective solutions that work.

Programmatic innovation:

  • Embrace data innovation; Spotlight will explore new forms and sources of data such as mobile, radio and citizen-generated data and will test the value of open data for real-time monitoring. Example: capture radio data on informal marriages prevalence not reported through traditional channels.
  • Improve services through user-centric approaches such as design-thinking and crowdsourcing and explore approaches to better include those furthest behind. Example: co-design service delivery and use U-report to generate ideas. U-report an SMS-based mobile platform designed for young people to have their voices heard on issues that affect them.
  • Foster networks for social mobilization and engage the wider public around specific issues or to act as agents of change.  Examples: Influencers call for the provision of services to survivors; peer-to-peer approaches to promote access to prevention and response centres; targeting private sector to put in place internal measures to prevent GBV.
  • Leverage data and behavioural insights to better diagnose issues and design evidence-based communication and advocacy interventions aiming to nudge behaviors. Example: Communication campaign based on behavioural insights encouraging victims to report incidents.

Operational Innovation:

  • Streamlined operations; Spotlight will streamline business operations and processes across agencies to enable entities to work more effectively together by using emerging ICT tools to fast-track procurement, hackathons for business processes, etc.  
  • Digital platforms: the programme will leverage digital platforms to improve transparency, accountability and online monitoring and reporting, one example is UN Info which is an online platform for planning, monitoring and reporting.  
  • Alternative funding sources: Spotlight will test methods to develop financing channels beyond international and public institutions such as domestic and private sources, e.g. peer-to-peer finance. 


Spotlight Job Postings and Consultancies:

No ongoing postings.  


Spotlight Calls for Proposals for Implementing Partners:

No ongoing calls.


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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Nigeria or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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