Hygiene Promotion in South Asia; Progress, Challenges and Emerging Issues

Andy Peal
1 February 2010

South Asia (with the exception of Afghanistan) is showing an ongoing ‘general improvement’ in terms of both child mortality and adult mortality. In the period since 1990 the regional under-five mortality rate has decreased by 39% (from 124 to 76 probable deaths by age 5 per 1,000 live births) and the adult mortality rate has decreased by 24% (from 320 to 244 probable deaths between 15 to 60 years per 1,000 population). This is an encouraging sign for the hygiene sector, but much improvement is still needed.

This paper gives an overview of hygiene and behavior change approaches and experiences in the sector and describes the hygiene and behaviour change approaches used in South Asia. Hygiene practitioners in South Asia face an array of challenges in implementing programmes and projects. This paper describes some of these challenges, the appropriate measures and actions that have been taken to meet them, and lessons learnt in the process. Drawing from the 17 papers submitted by practitioners, this paper presents important emerging issues for discussion at the workshop. These include how to increase hygiene’s profile on the political agenda; how to scale up hygiene approaches, projects and programmes; how to verify and demonstrate that hygiene promotion is costeffective; how to convert high levels of hygiene-knowledge into practice; the importance of menstrual hygiene management; and the benefits of and opportunities for linkage to other sectors. In conclusion, the paper identifies a shortlist of easy to replicate ‘common elements of success’ derived from hygiene promotion programmes.

The paper was presented at the Hygiene Practitioners Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 2010.

About the author

The author is an independent consultant.

About the publisher

BRAC is a Bangladesh-based NGO working to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. BRAC currently runs a large-scale WASH programme in many rural areas.

The International Water and Sanitation Center (IRC) facilitates the sharing, promotion and use of knowledge so that governments, professionals and organizations can better support poor men, women and children in developing countries to obtain water and sanitation services they will use and maintain.

WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. In 26 countries in Africa, Asia and Pacific region, and at the global level, they work with partners and influence decision makers to maximize impact.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organization that works to achieve sustainable water supply and sanitation for all people, through enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals.

Last updated: Wed, 03/02/2011 - 13:28