Recording Available of WSSCC/3ie Webinar: What are the Most Effective Ways to Promote Handwashing and Sanitation Behaviour Change?

Date: 29th November 2017

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Highlights:

  • In its second webinar of 2017, WSSCC promoted a Systematic Review developed in partnership with International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), ‘Promoting handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries: a mixed-method systematic review’
  • The review investigates various sanitation and hygiene behaviour change approaches to identify what has been most effective, and why?
  • This forms part of WSSCC’s  Evidence Programme for Sanitation and Hygiene(EPSH)

WSSCC & 3ie: a complementary partnership

The Evidence Programme on Sanitation and Hygiene (EPSH) stems from a strategic partnership between WSSCC and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). Formed in 2014, the partnership features two equally committed parties with vast expertise. As a global membership organization, WSSCC embodies the values of collective spirit and solidarity, encouraging collaboration across the board and bringing diverse voices together, while exercising leadership. By funding rigorous impact evaluations and systematic reviews and by making evidence accessible and useful to policymakers and practitioners, 3ie and WSSCC are helping to improve the lives of people living in poverty.  Watch a video about EPSH.


As part of its Global Handwashing Day celebrations, on October 24 WSSCC hosted a webinar to promote the findings of a systematic review conducted with 3ie, Promoting handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries: a mixed-method systematic review.

Lead Researcher Emmy de Buck, Manager at the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, and WSSCC’s Chaitali Chattopadhyay engaged with an audience virtually, discussing the study’s methodology, the different approaches to influencing hygiene behaviour, main findings and nuances. Over 200 people registered for the webinar. Participants included WASH practitioners from a wide variety of organizations, some of whom remarked that the webinar significantly improved their knowledge of the topic.

The highlights include:

  • Interventions to promote sanitation and handwashing behaviour change include community-based approaches, social marketing, messaging and theory-based approaches. These may be provided alongside financing, such as loans
  • A combination of different promotional approaches is required, tailored to the particular implementation context. One size does not fit all
  • Community-based approaches may be effective in changing handwashing and sanitation behaviour. Working in a community-based way is probably effective in reducing open defecation
  • Social marketing approaches in combined handwashing and sanitation programmes probably improve latrine use and reduce open defecation
  • Sanitation and hygiene messaging probably improves handwashing in the short term, but has no impact on open defecation behaviour or safe faeces disposal
  • Further research is needed on theory-based approaches using elements of psychosocial theory
  • Interpersonal communication and use of incentives might be promising promotional elements

Watch the webinar:

The team fielded questions from the global audience, for example:

How can a school make Open Defecation Free approaches sustainable after an intervention project has ended? (Mozambique)
From the quantitative studies in our review we can only provide a more general conclusion,  that only community-based approaches may improve latrine use, safe faeces disposal and open defecation at a longer- term (defined as more than 12 months after the end of the project). The following factors might be important when aiming a sustained effect on sanitation outcomes in a school setting:
– Involve the parents of the children with information and cooperation
– Encourage children to disseminate their WASH knowledge to their parents
– If you are using sanitation & hygiene messaging as the promotional approach, use short, culturally appropriate messages, include reminders and take into account illiteracy as a potential problem

Do you have recommendations for common indicators to use to measure long-term effectiveness across methodologies?
Currently we cannot make recommendations on common indicators to measure long-term effectiveness. More research is needed on ‘measurement through observations versus self-reported outcomes’, and a discussion from within the WASH sector is needed to commonly define “handwashing” and different sanitation outcomes. See this poster www.slideshare.net/secret/In9uIGFmwFgZJX

Read the policy brief

Read the report summary

Read the full report

Join the LinkedIn group,  Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries, which provides a space for sanitation and hygiene professionals to share knowledge and learning.  The webinar Q&As are posted here.

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