Handwashing with soap at critical times, using a safe latrine or toilet, and managing household water are the hygiene behaviours most widely accepted as having the greatest impact on health. But research has shown that hygiene promotion can only lead to sustainable behaviour change if users have access to the necessary facilities and receive consistent messages from multiple sources.
Hygiene promotion is usually an 'intervention' that happens as a part of a time-bound WASH project and is seldom linked up to ongoing public or environmental health services and initiatives. To ensure the health benefits of water and sanitation services, hygiene promotion should be seen as a public or environmental health function and therefore as a 'service'.
Two broad groups of tools are available to support behaviour change: