The establishment of Foundation Year Programmes in five states in northern Nigeria (Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Yobe and Zamfara) enabled young women from rural areas to improve their education qualifications and empower them for entry into the Health Training Institutions. This helped to increase the number of potential candidates for professional health training courses, thereby supporting state governments in addressing the shortage of health workers.
One of the challenges faced by the Women for Health (W4H) programme was the low level of educational attainment among young women from rural communities in the five northern Nigerian states targeted by the programme. Poor existing educational provision and other challenges, such as restrictions on women’s mobility and deep-seated expectations around appropriate gender roles, necessitated the establishment of Foundation Year Programmes in each state.
This guide offers practical advice based on the lessons learned by W4H in engaging with stakeholders in each state, including how to garner community support. It explores the two different types of course offered on the Foundation Year Programme to widen access to health training and describes the technical aspects of designing the FYP, establishing systems and structures, recruiting and admitting students, monitoring progress and institutionalizing the FYP for sustainability.
This guide is aimed at project and programme staff, development partners and non-government organisations, and is useful to anyone working to close a gender gap in service provision through the establishment of a Foundation Year Programme.