1. Training small groups of persons is more productive than having large numbers in trainings such as this (training of researchers). One training for about 180 researchers was considered but reason prevailed and it was decided to organize state level training. It paid off;
  2. There are young persons who are more enlightened on SRHR than we can imagine. Some are relatively straight-forward when discussing sexual issues and do so with a certain level of commendable maturity;
  3. To enjoy the benefit derivable in administering questionnaires/interviews, on sexual and reproductive health, a researcher needs to exercise patience in explaining questions in a manner that respondents can relate to;
  4. Experience on the part of researchers showed the need to be courageous, composed and bold when approaching prospective respondents and getting them to engage fluidly on the sensitive issues involved in the discussions;
  5. Sufficient time should be given for subsequent training(s) for researchers; one day is too short for preparation for such a detailed research;
  6. In carrying out FGDs, participants are more relaxed and disposed to discuss SRHR issues, if the questions are not personalised;
  7. To get full access and cooperation of law enforcement agents like Police in a research project, obtaining clearance from the Commissioner or Inspector General makes access easy;
  8. Negative cultural perception of the people concerning discussions on sexuality must be borne in mind by researchers and ingenious ways to navigate around it must be found;
  9. Avoidance of sexual and reproductive health discussions by the respondents in the rural areas requires expertise of the researcher to elicit information from them;
  10. Men will be more relaxed to discuss SRHR issues with fellow men. The men felt embarrassed that women were interviewing them on sex related issues. Therefore, gender should be considered in research interviews/data collection especially on sensitive issues like sexuality;
  11. Getting a written and signed approval from Commissioner of Police is the easiest way of accessing the Police Divisions in the state and getting them to cooperate with researchers or any developmental work;
  12. Team work brings good result and quick delivery; effective communication, willingness to accept correction and mistakes among team members lead to more effective team work;
  13. Information sharing among the team is a vital key to success;
  14. Improving the economic status of people in the rural communities will improve their access to health services and information;
  15. When assured of their confidentiality, survivors of violence are more open to share their experiences on GBV and SRHR;
  16. Identifying and using community mobilisers in mobilizing respondents is helpful as their involvement and presence make the respondents feel more relaxed and comfortable;
  17. Politicising policy change/legal reform process in the direction of the ruling political party, which usually has the majority in the membership of the legislative house or lawmakers attracts their sympathy and support;
  18. Engaging in legislative advocacy during election period can be futile but it can also be used to advantage by using the demand as a bargaining chip for election or re-election of the serving legislators or lawmakers;
  19. Networking and partnering with relevant organisations and institutions like the traditional rulers, the media, and legislative staff facilitates policy/legislative advocacy – it is essential for understanding the workings of the legislature and the minds of the legislators towards adopting practicable strategy of engagement;
  20. Maintaining relationships with stakeholders creates further openings and opportunities for more definite future engagement;
  21. A multi-stakeholder platform of advocacy creates greater participation and synergy;
  22. Empowering the traditional leaders, community groups and beneficiaries in general to directly demand for policy change or legal reform from the authorities including their representatives is a potential strategy for converting antagonists and increasing support the support base for the course;
  23. Keeping communication lines open with partners and stakeholders contributes to sustained interest and support for an agenda;
  24. The internal dynamics within the legislative chambers are critical to the survival or otherwise of policy change or legal reform. It is important to study and understand the political climate before making a choice on who makes intervention in favour of your course. The intervention in any proposed policy or law by any legislator who is presumed ‘enemy’ or ‘hated’ is a passport to the opposition to kill the idea;
  25. Exercising patience and being persistence with the understanding that policy change or legislative advocacy is a slow process pays off;
  26. Policy change or legislative advocacy is a dynamic process and the variables impacting on any such project keep changing;
  27. The need to get the policy makers and key staff of the government and legislative house involved in defining and determining the strategies and directions in policy change or legal reform;
  28. Society has a veiled resistance to gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment which can only be seen when a structural and legal environment is sought to institutionalise gender equality. The concept of “Equality” for both men and women has been revealed to be a quietly acknowledged threat to patriarchal structures;
  29. Sustaining public discussion on an issue and providing information and knowledge around it drives and facilitates change