Do changes in hygiene behaviour last, and if so, what makes them last? What do the answers to these questions mean for our hygiene programmes? These are the main questions the hygiene behaviour research project intended to address. The research was funded by the European Commission under its INCO-programme (as part of the research framework programme) and by the Dutch Department for Development Cooperation.
Overview - Hygiene Behaviour
Do changes in hygiene behaviour last, and if so, what makes them last? What do the answers to these questions mean for our hygiene programmes? These are the main questions the hygiene behaviour research project intends to address.
Eight project partners from Asia, Africa and Europe work together since 2000 to develop and implement the research, which has a variety of specific objectives. Overall, it aims to:
Gain insights into the conditions under which men and women can and will make lasting changes in their hygiene behaviour. This information is vital to help ensure water supply and sanitation programmes are as effective as possible and their effect is sustained in the longer term.
Increase the available knowledge about what makes hygiene promotion effective by contributing to the sharing of experiences of existing hygiene promotion programmes and to the development of an appropriate research methodology.
Different partners adopted various approaches to this research. The team from India, for example, examined whether mass hygiene promotion activities have a measurable and lasting impact on latrine use and latrine cleanliness. The team from Ghana wanted to find out whether it is true that if there was a project intervention in a school, safe water is available to the students. The tools developed include questionnaires, demonstration protocols and observation checklists.
Interesting findings are beginning to emerge from this research, which will present significant challenges to hygiene promotion professionals as well as policy makers. Details of these early findings can be found in the three issues of the Hygiene Behaviour Newsletter. More publications will follow. For further information, contact the research coordinator Eveline Bolt
The hygiene behaviour project was funded by the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation.
The WELL Resource Centre Network is a project dealing with water, sanitation and environmental health. The Network provides access to information on these subjects through a variety of services and activities.