Sustaining Behavior Change Interventions: Enabling Environment for Handwashing with Soap in Peru

A new endline report discusses how Peru’s enabling environment for handwashing with soap has progressed since 2007.  The research, conducted by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), indicates that the enabling environment has been strengthened at both national and regional levels. In addition, efforts to integrate and institutionalize handwashing with soap behavior change into national, regional, and local policies related to health and nutrition, education, water, and sanitation have largely been achieved.

Among other findings and recommendations:

  • Although some uncertainties exist with regard to possible political and social changes in the country, handwashing with soap interventions will likely continue to be implemented at a large scale in many regions.
  • Several activities have helped strengthen the enabling environment, including advocacy, engaging partners, facilitating financing, and building capacity.
  • Recommendations to further strengthen the enabling environment include assisting public sector partners in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating multisector water, sanitation, and hygiene investments; and encouraging regional governments to include funding and activities to promote handwashing in their development plans.

For more information on the Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project in Peru, please contact Rocio Florez at

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3 responses to “Sustaining Behavior Change Interventions: Enabling Environment for Handwashing with Soap in Peru

  1. Unfortunately, the reality is that unhygienic practices continue to flourish in most of Peru. A couple of examples that we have seen personally in various areas are – street vendors selling juice, using the same cup for each customer, and just swishing it around in a pail of water (tap water) and then serving the next customer. The pail of water is not changed for hours. Also, cutting chicken up and then cutting vegetables for salad on the same surface without cleaning the surface. These types of practices are due partially to lack of knowledge, lack of water, lack of money, and lack of interest. I am Peruvian 🙂

  2. On the other hand, it is good to know that there is a potential for change. This is what this assessment has shown, that after three years of monitoring a behavioral change process in which several institutions at national, regional and local level participated, and there could be an enabling environment for sustainable change. Totally agree with the fact that a lot has to happen before we are ready to say that the majority of Peruvians wash their hands with soap after going to the bathroom or before eating at all times, but there are sound indications that send positive signals. I am Peruvian as well. Thanks for your comment.

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