Regional WASH Innovation Challenge

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Purpose and problems to be addressed by the Challenge

HANDWASHING + SOAP = SAVED LIVES. If it’s simple in theory, why is it so hard to practice?

The purpose of the Regional WASH Innovation Challenge will be to identify innovative solutions to promote handwashing with soap that can be implemented to scale in the South Asia region. The promotion will focus on:

  • Improving education and awareness of handwashing with soap, identifying the benefits of using soap, understanding of proper handwashing techniques, and critical times for handwashing;
  • Behaviour change, resulting in and sustaining the increase of good practice of handwashing with soap, using proper techniques and at critical times; and
  • Health impact where the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections is reduced, improving children’s health and mitigating the risk of preventable child deaths.

In recognition of the significant role played by mothers and other care givers in South Asia, the main objective of the Challenge will be to promote handwashing with soap by mothers and care givers before preparing food, before feeding babies and children, after defecation and after changing baby nappies.

The resulting outcomes will be the improvements in the health and nutritional status of children and their families and empowerment of mothers and care givers to have control over the health of the children in their care.

Challenge Format

The challenge will drive towards:

  • Development of innovative behaviour change campaigns promoting handwashing with soap during critical times by mothers and care givers, tailored to local contexts and issues;
  • Development of appropriate technologies to make handwashing with soap by mothers and care givers during critical times easier and more fun; and
  • Development of innovative systems to measure and monitor handwashing at home, in schools, and health centres in a sustainable way.

This challenge is open to applicants from all countries in South Asia and there is a $5,000 prize for each of the three categories. Full details and applications can be made through the following links:


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The closing date is September 10th so please join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit our website. But most importantly help us spread the word about this important challenge so that we can solve the equation and save more lives through improved handwashing.

The final of the challenge will be October 22nd 2018. Participants are encouraged from start-ups, small NGOs, university students, communication agencies, and developers’ communities.



10 Sep 2018


United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

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