COUNTRY OVERVIEW AND PROJECT BACKGROUND
When HCP was active in Nicaragua from 2003-2004, the population was approximately 5.49 million with an annual population growth rate of 2.4 percent. (Gender, Health, and Development in the Americas 2003, Population Reference Bureau.) Nicaragua had a relatively young population in 2001 – about 40 percent were younger than 15 years of age – which was beginning to show signs of decrease in fertility. In 1998, the Total Fertility Rate was 3.6, but only three years later, it was down to 3.2. An increase in the use of modern contraceptives contributed to this decline in fertility. Approximately 66.1 percent of women used modern contraceptives in 2001, which was an increase of almost 9% from the preceding three years (2001 Demographic Health Survey).
HCP had four areas of collaboration with USAID Nicaragua’s Office of Human Investment: 1) technical assistance and training to Ministry of Health (MOH) in strategic health communication; 2) improving the public’s health through participation and transparency (bridges between health and democracy); 3) contributing to reduce adolescent pregnancy; and 4) fostering collaboration between MOH and Ministry of Education to improve adolescent and child health (advocacy for intersectoral approach to health).
In addition, HCP also worked with USAID Nicaragua’s Office of Democratic Initiatives to support the Government of Nicaragua in finding new and effective ways to strengthen democracy. HCP contributed to strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to operate in a transparent manner and, thereby, drive the democratic agenda forward in the country. It also developed a strategic communication program to encourage citizen participation and community involvement.
- Reducing the Information Gap between Health Authorities and Citizens
- Strengthening Health Communication Capacity in the MOH
- Fostering the Alliance for Health through an Intersectoral Approach
- Strengthening Civil Society Participation to Enhance Social Development
- Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy
- Understanding and Preventing Trafficking of People
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