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Which participatory learning techniques and educational games could I use for our hygiene promotion campaign to promote better hygienic practices among kids and adults?

William Berbon
Knowledge Point


This is a question that I've been asked in the field so I wanted to share it with everyone on KnowledgePoint

1 Answer

William Berbon
Knowledge Point

You name it! Your hygiene promotion activities need to be fun, participatory and to answer to people needs and expectations. In one hand people should understand by themselves – through participatory activities – the links between hygiene and health; and in another hand, you need to use adapted communication techniques – inspired by marketing, and making it “social marketing” – to push the people to change their behaviour.

Identifying risk practices

Firstly you need to understand the epidemiological data through different kind of assessments in order to understand the causes of these diseases and identify the risk practices – which you’ll target during your hygiene promotion campaigns. Here follows some assessments that could be organized prior to the planning of hygiene promotion activities – you’ll plan and organize these activities function of the time and resources available:

  • Interviews: such as Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey; Individual or Household interviews; Focus Groups Discussions; etc.

  • Transect walk: accompanied by community members, walk through the community following a more or less straight line, and identify possible risk practices for example in household yards (i.e. uncovered water storage) or around WASH facilities (i.e. no fence around the water point). Discuss it with your guides.

  • Mapping exercise: community members draw a map of their village or neighbourhood on the ground (using materials such as stones, leaves) or on a flip chart, representing any relevant features (i.e. settlements, roads, flooded area, WASH facilities). This exercise could be combined to others ones (such as transect walk, interviews) to identify risk practices and possible solutions.

  • Sanitary survey: you design a questionnaire focussed on a specific issue (i.e. water point) to identify the risk practices and contamination risks.

  • Ranking and scoring, Pocket charts and Sanitation ladders: on a simple matrix, community members indicate their preferences – anonymously or not – regarding any kind of WASH related topics.

Hygiene promotion key messages

The activities listed above help you to identify the key messages that the hygiene promotion needs to spread. However, during emergency response, when the living conditions are degraded and that access to WASH facilities is compromised the 3 key messages are:

  • Wash your hands with soap at critical times;

  • Drink and protect potable water;

  • Use and maintain toilet.

You have to make sure that the required WASH facilities are available, accessible and maintained in order to put in practice these hygienic practices.

Then, as explained above, the situation needs to be evaluated to make sure that we spread the right messages the right way and that people don’t be ashamed.

For example, in Syria (urban and rural), where the level of education is very high and people used to have correct hygiene practices, the sudden collapse of the living conditions increased the risks of WASH related diseases, and many affected people were exposed to ‘forgotten’ diseases, including the leishmaniosis spread by the sand fly. Thus, even if the hygiene promotion key messages were known, it had to be reminded especially amongst children.

Another example is in Mongolia (urban and ... (more)