The diagram below is designed to help organisations decide between these three different methods for assessing behavioural outcomes in households. This diagram is designed with handwashing behaviour in mind but can be applied to other behaviours too.
Using methods in combination
Wherever possible, it is recommended you use some of the four methods (structured observation at households, household spot-checks, structured observation or spot checks at public facilities, self-reported behaviour) described above in combination. Below we highlight why this is useful:
Combining methods can help to verify results. It is a good practice to use different types of methods to explore a topic. This allows for ‘triangulation’ between methods. This can be useful to validate your results and understand nuances within your data.
Changing circumstances may cause your data collection plans to change. Given the unusual situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic it might be that methods which are deemed safe at the moment are no longer safe during or at the end of your project. If, for example, at baseline you chose to measure behaviour through household spot-checks, but these were no longer safe to conduct at the endline, then it will not be possible to draw a conclusion. However, if spot-checks were complemented with self-reported behavioural measures at both time points then it may still be possible to draw some conclusions about your project.
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