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When are toilet use and hygiene sustained over time?

Published on: 04/03/2013

In Kerala, local members of the ward water and sanitation committees visit each installed toilet three times: at completion, after one month and after three months. The visiting members look at the hygienic toilet and discuss use practices with the lady of the house. The assumption is that if results are positive over the three months, the new good habits are internalised.  

A six-country comparative study confirmed that good practices once firmly adopted are generally sustained. Adoption of only three of 46 combinations had dropped when revisited one to two years later. Intensity of promotion using various methods, including home visits, was important for sustainability, especially at low levels of education of women. A gender approach was important for sustained change of practices by men.

Figure 11 Committee members monitoring hygiene and use (Photo: IRC)

Committee members monitoring hygiene and use (Photo: IRC)

Sustained hygiene issues are addressed in 23 papers from six countries in Asia (download below). They provide a rich collection of research, data analysis and case studies that address crucial questions.