Read the latest news about MannionDaniels, our Projects and our Clients

Nnenna Ike, MannionDaniels’ Behaviour Change Communication Specialist, spoke at the MSH Anniversary Event in Abuja, Nigeria.

The event was held to celebrate the work on health system strengthening and community health interventions carried out by a variety of partners in Nigeria.

Nenna Ike MSH Talk

Nnenna’s talk focused on how to promote behaviour change in the community.  Based on MannionDaniels’ experience with the PATHS2 programme in Nigeria, we identified three key strategies:

  1. Inclusion:  If we want people to adopt healthy household behaviours, we have to involve some otherwise ignored informal players in the health sector such as traditional healers, traditional birth attendants and other key influencers in the community. They can feel intimidated by BCC that promotes early care-seeking because it threatens their livelihood.  We have brought them into the program as partners – rather than rivals – by taking their advice, by integrating their responses, and then by linking them to health facilities.  When they have a positive attitude towards health facilities, they promote early care-seeking to their clients.  This has increased the acceptance and utilisation of health facilities.

  3. Acceptability:  Different states in Nigeria have different cultures.  When trying to improve the adoption of healthy household behaviours, we need to work respectfully and sensitively within those cultures and existing traditional structures.  This includes considering the language; in the North, we communicate the intervention in Hausa but have some PhD students in Bayero state University translating it into Arabic to make it more widely accessible.  In the South, messages have been translated into Yoruba and Igbo languages. We even have products in Pidgin English and Egun language (predominant in western Nigeria).  It also involves considering the cultural norms around men and women – for example, in the North, men and women meet separately, whilst in the South they can meet together for community meetings. Also, we incorporate BCC activities into to existing structures like the ‘August meetings’ and the women fellowships or pregnant women support groups in churches and mosques in the southern states.

  5. Involving men: Men are the main decision-makers when it comes to maternal and reproductive health – so they are a very important group to promote early care-seeking to.  The volunteers in the Northern States we work in are largely men, they act as drivers, blood donors and manage the communal purse dedicated to obstetric emergencies.  In the South, there are male leaders in churches who are given responsibilities, for examples they pray with the women in the pregnancy support groups in churches; and women who go to health facilities with their husbands get a special mention by the health providers.

MSH Anniversary Event Nigeria group talk


InternationalWomensDay-landscape rsz

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2016 we are delighted to highlight the work of four grantees supported by UK Aid Direct and AmplifyChange.

UK aid logo

UK Aid Direct is DFID’s central funding mechanism for awarding grants to small and medium sized UK and International Civil Society Organisations working to reduce poverty overseas and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Meet our UK Aid Direct grantees:

mothers2mothers work towards ending paediatric HIV transmission by training a network of Mentor Mothers to provide health and social care to other HIV-positive mothers, supporting them to protect their babies from infection and keep themselves and their families healthy.

DAPP Malawi work with women-only farmers clubs and agricultural co-operatives to create opportunites for long-term rural employment and provide access to new technologies and training for their members.


AmplifyChange is a multi-donor fund that supports civil society advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Meet our AmplifyChange grantees:

Association for the Promotion of Women (AVAF) are a Cameroon-based advocacy group promoting the human rights of lesbians in Cameroon and to challenge human right violations and stigma that lesbians encounter in the country.

Rede de Defesa dos Direitos Sexuais e Reprodutivos (DSR) is a network of Mozambican health , gender justice and legal NGOs working to strengthen SRHR across the country.



UK aid logoChikhwawa district is one of the poorest districts in Malawi with more than three quarters of its population living below a dollar a day. The district suffers from drought but is also prone to floods during the rainy season.  This means the area sees massive food insecurity, environmental degradation and most households struggle to make ends meet. Women in the district are often marginalised despite playing a key role in securing food and supporting their families.

Funded by UK Aid Direct over 3 years, this project, implemented by Development Aid from People to People, (DAPP Malawi), has played a key role in bolstering the resilience of 5,250 marginalised women farmers and their families after the worst floods in the Chikhwawa’s history.

Women farmers were mobilised through the creation of 105 women-only farmers clubs and agricultural cooperatives. The cooperatives played an important part in supporting their members by creating long-term rural employment and offering women farmers better access to new technologies and training, as well as improving access to essential markets. Women have been able to increase their production, sell at a profit and engage in contract farming.

EsteryMukhova DAPP Malawi

Estery Mukhova, a beneficiary of the project and member of her local village savings and loan association, explains that the DAPP Malawi farmer’s cooperative has enabled women to establish leading roles within the community:

As a woman, the DAPP Farmers’ Club activities have enabled me to realise my ability in contributing towards the economy of my household[…] The activities at my club created a platform for women to discuss various business opportunities, to learn and be inspired by other women who are doing well in various entrepreneurship activities including farming. This has influenced change in my community, I and a number of my club members have been elected to various development committees as men now see us as equal contributors towards the advancement of communities”.

Mary Kositalaa DAPP Malawi

Mary Kositala was one of the first members to join the cooperative in her area and discussed the benefits the project has brought her family:

Over the last two years, I have increased my manure production which has resulted in increased harvests.  My family’s nutritional status has improved due to the additional crops which I am now growing which include groundnuts, sweet potatoes and beans. I prepare meals using a number of recipes we learnt during the cooking demonstrations at my club and also provide my family with fresh vegetables from our back yard garden“.


UK Aid Direct M2MMalawi is one of the world’s least developed and most densely populated countries, with a population approaching 17 million.  An estimated 10% of the country’s adults between the ages of 15 and 49 are living with HIV and the majority of them are women.

Support from DFID’s UK Aid Direct global fund, aimed at supporting civil society organisations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, has enabled mothers2mothers (m2m) to create an extensive footprint in Malawi, where an estimated 560,000 women aged 15 and over are living with HIV. The essential health education and support that Mentor Mothers provide is critical to helping women cope with the shock and stress of learning that they are HIV-positive and are being put on a lifelong ARV treatment in a single visit to the health facility. Mentor Mothers continue to provide support to the women in the years that follow in order to help them stay on treatment, minimize the risk of transmission, and make healthy choices for their families.

mothers2mothers Malawi UK Aid Direct Mentor Mothers

Catherine Kassam, PMTCT Coordinator at the Malawi Ministry of Health, discussed the importance of Mentor Mothers and the role they play in creating a generation free from HIV:

mothers2mothers Catherine Kassam Malawi Ministry of Health PMTCT coordinator Malawi“The first time I heard about the mothers2mothers model, I was thinking maybe it would be a challenge. I thought the women [Mentor Mothers] would not be open enough to disclose their status. But after the training, I found them very open so that other women [clients] could cope. Mentor Mothers have helped a lot to assist other mothers to disclose their status, and we are seeing men getting involved in PMTCT. All facilities should have Mentor Mothers so that we can catch every community. And everyone in the community should know the importance of being tested. Those who are HIV-positive should start taking their ARVs, so that we can have a generation free of HIV.”

mothers2mothers UK Aid Direct Malawi Mentor Mothers


Grantee: mothers2mothers

Project title: Improving access to HIV prevention and support services for 243,949 women and children in five countries of East and Southern Africa

Location: Malawi


Watch Peter Yaro, Executive Director of BasicNeeds Ghana, take part in a panel discussion for Al Jazeera, titled ‘Is Mental Health Care Being Neglected?’ here.

Peter Yaro Al Jazeera Mental Health


BasicNeeds Ghana is currently working to enhance the mental health of 15,000 pregnant women and mothers.  This will be achieved through strengthening existing health services in Ghana to anticipate the specific mental health needs of pregnant women and mothers, alongside efforts towards income generation for vulnerable individuals. Work with individuals and communities will promote positive behaviours to reduce stigma and discrimination in relation to mental ill health through various communications strategies, whilst service users will be better organised to advocate for quality maternal mental health services.

The approach to this project is based on BasicNeeds’ existing model of work for Mental Health in Development. This model uses a combination of meaningful work and community support, as well as access to appropriate treatment, to improve lives.  The model is specifically adapted in this project through using the Stepped care for maternal mental health approach that was piloted in the Western Cape Province of South Africa (Honikamn, van Heyningen, Field, Baron, Tomlinson, 2012).

BasicNeeds International Ghana webpage

BasicNeeds Ghana website

Project name: Enhancing maternal mental health and livelihoods of vulnerable pregnant women and mothers and their children to realise maternal and child health in Ghana

Location: Upper West Region, Upper East Region, Northern Region, Brong-Ahafo Region, Greater Accra Region

Start date: 15 October 2015

End Date: 14 October 2018