Research-Based Campaign Messaging is Critical for Sustaining Handwashing Behavior Change

Using data from formative research to focus messaging on mothers’ aspirations for their children and fine-tuning activities based on feedback from the field and household survey data have been key to developing and implementing a handwashing with soap behavior change program in Vietnam.

A new Learning Note, Vietnam: A Handwashing Behavior Change Journey for the Caretakers’ Program published by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), describes the steps that were taken to design, implement, and monitor the program to aid program managers in developing other handwashing and hygiene promotion efforts.

Working closely with the Woman’s Union, the program’s activities in Vietnam reached 540 communes in 10 provinces. The project also trained more than 15,000 community motivators who reached more than 1.76 million women through interpersonal communications activities. As the Learning Note reports, these activities evolved over time based on information from the monitoring systems.

“As the target audiences move beyond knowledge to intention to handwash with soap, behavior change messages must also be modified,” the report found, adding that as the project progressed, opportunities arose to “fine-tune the interpersonal communications activities based on feedback from the field and from the household monitoring data.”

WSP has worked with local and national governments to implement the Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project in four countries: Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Learning Notes on the behavior change journey in Peru, Senegal, and Tanzania are also available (see Related Content below).

For more information on the Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project in Vietnam, please contact Nga Kim Nguyen at wsp@worldbank.org.

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