Effective hygiene promotion works – right?

Sanitation Updates

Many people, especially children, are still becoming ill and even dying due to unsafe hygienic behaviour. Good behaviour – using a hygienic toilet, washing hands with soap, safely managing drinking water – are typical behaviours resulting from effective water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes.

Effective hygiene programmes, what does that mean? How is effectiveness translated into hygiene programmes in the WASH sector? Are there key principles that all programmes should practice if they want to be effective? What is known to work in all circumstances?

Let’s try to identify on what grounds the sector calls a programme effective. To find out what important players in the field of hygiene promotion say, we did a quick scan of ten review papers of hygiene promotion programmes by seven leading sector organisations: the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, WaterAid, UNICEF, WHO, WSP, the Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council and our own…

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