TF-SDG3 Projects Final Evaluation by Implementing POs – FOCONE

Participating Organization: Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth (FOCONE)

Name of person filling out evaluation: Kingsley Ozegbe

Country & Region: Nigeria, Africa.

Project: Talc Double Standards

Project Objective: To raise awareness about some harmful substances in J&J talc product to elicit public demand and government action to remove their cosmetic products from sales in Nigeria.

Timeframe: Four Months – October 2020 to January 2021.


  1. Were the objectives of the project communicated to you in an understandable way?
    • Yes
  1. What were the main highlights of the project?
  • We raised public awareness through fliers, physical visitation to medical facilities; media conference with traditional/online media and radio talk-shows to acquaint the public that some J&J talc powder and cosmetics in sales contains asbestos.
  • We informed rights holders that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer cautioned that talc that contains asbestos is classified as “carcinogenic to humans”, and there is no safe level of asbestos.
  • We wrote relevant State and Federal ministries, department, agencies and legislative arms to inform them about global developments around J&J talc powder and cosmetics products, thus, requested that they should remove of the products from Nigerian market to protect the public from harms.
  • We wrote to J&J cosmetics to remove their talc cosmetic products from the Nigerian market because they are harmful to all humans. We held that if these products are not safe for American consumers, then, it cannot be safe for others irrespective of their countries, race and location.
  • We identified alternative products to talc powder and cosmetics and relayed same to the public to guide their consumption.
  1. What were the main challenges of the project?
  • We could not gain immediate attention of federal legislatures because they were more concerned with yuletide celebration and vacations.
  • Budgetary constraints. It was only 1 ministry that replied out of the 26 MDA and legislative committees that received FOCONE Demand letters. We could not engage in follow up advocacies due to lack of funds.
  • The frequency of media campaign was very low, so, we could not instill more understanding amongst listeners.
  • Prior to the commencement of this project, 2 key federal government agencies that regulate product standards and consumption in Nigeria had cleared J&J product to be safe, so, the company relied on this to posit that their products is safe despite global concerns.
  1. Were there any unintended outcomes? (negative or positive)
  • Some media organisation suspected that we may be working for other competitors of J&J cosmetics.
  1. Did you meet or exceed your objectives for the project, including communications/media objectives, or were you unable to achieve your objectives? Please explain.
  • We met the planned objectives as follows
  • We gained media attention through the media conference. After the event, 6 media organisations published the issues while 2 radio stations relayed news about the event.
  • We interacted with some duty bearers directly when we delivered our demand letters to them.
  • We reached over 1,000 women directly in hospitals and engaged a number of them in one-on-one discussions after the event.
  • Edo State Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues wrote to FOCONE to acknowledge receipt of the demand letter and affirmed their resolve to validate the information from a regulatory agency – Nation Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC).
  • The Head of South-South Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission affirmed to take action despite that its Director-General granted media interview where he spoke in favour of J&J powder talc and cosmetics.
  1. Did you have the right materials? If not, what materials/guidance (including materials related to communications/media) would be helpful to have in the future?
  • We printed IEC materials and distributed to the public. However, short documentary that shows the proximity of talc and asbestos mining; and campaigns videos against J&J or other talc will reinforce understanding and public actions.
  1. Was communication with your Regional Coordinator easy and helpful?
  • Yes, he was very supportive. He ensured that we are doing the right things and provided links for materials where necessary.
  1. Was communication with the Project Expert easy and helpful (if you spoke to them directly)?
  1. What do you think should be done differently if the project is replicated for other organizations in the future?
  • The budget should be increased to enable them to engage in follow-up activities
  • The project period should not be less than 1 year to accommodate project adjustment due to emerging issues and risks.

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