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Hygiene papers

One of the full papers presented at the South Asia Hygiene practitioners’ workshop, 1 – 4 February 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop is organised by BRAC, WaterAid, WSSCC, and IRC and is part of five learning and sharing workshops on sanitation and hygiene organised in 2009 and 2010.

TitleDesigning evidence-based communications programs to promote handwashing with soap in Vietnam
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsNguyen, NK, Workshop, SAsia Hygie
Pagination10 p.; ill.; boxes
Keywordscommunication, communications media, soap, viet nam

Since 2006, the Vietnam Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Women’s Union, with support from the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, have been carrying out an evidence-based, comprehensive behavior change communications program to promote handwashing with soap among women aged 15-49 and schoolchildren aged 6-10 throughout Vietnam. The ultimate objective is to reduce the incidence of diarrheal diseases in children under five.The program has reached over 1.8 million people in the first phase, with a target of 30 million to be reached in phase II. In developing communications campaigns for both groups, the same process was employed, which included: use of a framework to analyze formative research findings; design of campaign concepts for pretesting and adjustment; production and implementation of communications activities and development of a monitoring system based on the communications campaign objectives.

This process resulted in complimentary campaigns: one for caretakers that taps into the aspirations of mothers to ensure the health and development of their children; and a children’s program that promotes handwashing with soap through games, contests and a cartoon series shown on media channels targeting children. While an end line impact evaluation is planned for the end of 2010, there has already been significant demand from other donor and government programs for integration of handwashing with soap messages into their water and sanitation programs using the materials developed by the Handwashing Initiative. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for program managers of behavior change programs and includes examples of the communications materials developed for the Vietnam Handwashing Initiative.


Paper written for the South Asia Hygiene practioners’ workshop, 1 – 4 February 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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