After more than a year of trying to help find the more than 270 Nigerian girls that were taken by the terrorist group Boko Haram, aid from the U.S. government is increasingly devoted to bringing political and anti-corruption reforms to Nigeria — a sign that the U.S. sees these internal reforms as critical to ensuring the girls can return home.

When the militants kidnapped more than 270 students from a Chibok boarding school in April of 2014, the White House embraced the Twitter push to #BringBackOurGirls," culminating with First Lady Michelle Obama posting a picture of herself holding a sign with that slogan.

The U.S. is still working with Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, and is flying surveillance missions and providing other expertise to help directly track the group.

But on Monday, the White House made it clear that Nigeria's internal reforms are also a big piece of the puzzle. When asked about the ongoing effort to find the girls, White House spokesman Josh Earnest stressed that Nigerian security forces need to be mindful of their behavior while carrying out raids against Boko Haram.

"The United States is committed to working with the Nigerian government to help them counter those disruptive terrorist activities," Earnest said shortly after President Obama met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House. "It is also going to require the Nigerian government to improve their own human rights record as well, to make sure even that even as they're carrying out counter terrorism raids, and other security operations, that they're mindful of the basic human rights of their people," he added.

Obama himself acknowledged that the U.S. and Nigeria are talking about a broad range of issues aimed at reforming the country.

"[W]e very much look forward to talking about security issues, how we can cooperate on counterterrorism," Obama said. "We're looking forward to discussing how we can be helpful in addressing some of the corruption issues that have held Nigeria back."

The White House suspended military training to Nigeria's forces over human rights concerns during the administration of Buhari's predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, but is now resuming that training.

Earnest added that the U.S. "can play a role" in helping Nigerian forces by providing intelligence and supporting the government as it helps the communities terrorized by Boko Haram and making sure that they are "first protecting the basic human rights" of the Nigerian people.

Aside from these internal reforms, the U.S. is still giving direct aid to Nigeria as it tries to hunt down members of the group, and the missing girls.

"We dispatched a multidisciplinary team to our embassy in Abuja to advise the Nigerians on how to secure the safe recovery of these kidnapped young women," Grant Harris, the National Security Council's senior director for Africa, said on Friday.

The team "provided expertise in investigations and hostage negotiations, strategic communications, intelligence, victim assistance, and the like," Harris said, adding that the group "is still active as a part of our embassy personnel in Abuja." The U.S. also flies intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance flights to help find the girls, he said.

The Nigerian military has found and released some kidnapped women, to whom the U.S. has provided "psychosocial services" and facilitated "their reintegration into their communities." And because the girls were targeted for seeking an education, the Obama administration launched the Let Girls Learn initiative, Harris said.

It's "about raising awareness and an effort to connect people around the world with simple and specific opportunities to contribute and to volunteer and to raise their voices in support of girls' education," he said.

On the security front, the administration has gone beyond Nigeria to help the broader region fight Boko Haram, most recently by giving the "Lake Chad Basin member states" $34 million for "training and equipping … it's multi-faceted — advice, information, logistic support," Harris said. And the U.S. gave $5 million to the multi-national regional task force combatting the terrorist group.