Water Engineering and Development Centre
Managers of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes normally acknowledge that people need to behave in a hygienic manner to protect water supplies and ensure that sanitation facilities are used properly. However, promoting hygienic behaviour differs from the construction of infrastructure, with indicators of progress being less concrete. This means campaigns need to be planned and carried out in a suitable manner.
A number of studies have suggested that the impact of hygiene practices on sanitation-related disease could be as great as that of the actual provision of sanitation facilities. Effective hygiene promotion is widely believed to be one of the most valuable tools we have to change people’s behaviour, which in turn can protect them from diarrhoeal diseases. It can also be a helpful way to encourage participation and empower communities. Despite the acceptance of its importance, hygiene promotion is often given far less emphasis than traditional water supply and sanitation activities in development settings. This guide is designed to help address this issue.