Before beginning to design your project, take time to assess global and national guidelines in relation to COVID-19 and hygiene projects and policies in your country. Existing guidelines will provide initial indications about which behaviours are important for public health and COVID-19 prevention at this time. Please consult the following:
Evidence-based and theoretically informed hygiene projects have been shown to be more effective than traditional education only approaches (Study 1, Study 2, Study 3). When designing a hygiene behaviour change project, understanding the basics of behaviour change theory and its application to hygiene projects can be helpful. These Hygiene Hub resources might be useful during this step:
- Key principles for COVID-19 response programming
- Lessons from previous outbreaks that can inform COVID-19 response.
- Common behavioural responses to outbreaks.
- A summary of what works to change handwashing and hygiene behaviours.
Where possible, existing research or reports about key preventative behaviours in your local context should be reviewed. There are also a number of systematic literature summaries relating to well-studied behaviours, like handwashing, that can help inform your organizations approach to changing behaviours. Reviewing and understanding current literature will help in identifying the diverse factors that can influence individuals behaviours. Learning from existing literature can help save time at other stages of the project design process. It will also avoid you repeating data collection on some topics.
In the initial stages of intervention development, it is also useful to connect with other organisations involved in the COVID-19 response in your country and ensure that efforts are coordinated and complementary. Find out what they are working on and whether they already have information on preventative behaviors. The following resources can guide efforts to coordinate and connect with other organizations:
- The Global Wash Cluster
- The COVID-19 Hygiene Hub interactive map.
- The Global Handwashing Partnership’s brief on setting up National Handwashing Partnerships
Want to know more about the process for designing effective behaviour change projects for COVID-19 prevention?
- Brief overview of the three step process for hygiene programme design
- Step 1: Selecting target behaviours, populations and settings
- Step 2: Learning from populations about behavioural barriers & enablers
- Step 3: Identifying appropriate behavioural techniques and delivery channels
- Bringing theory, evidence, formative research, BCTs and delivery channels together to design an intervention
- Ongoing adaptation and improvement to hygiene programmes
Author: Sian White