Water Currents: Global Handwashing Day 2017

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated each year on October 15 to increase awareness and understanding around the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. USAID recognizes washing hands with soap at critical times as a vital step in curbing the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness, and promoting healthy growth.

Exploring the Handwashing Research of Dr. Reshmaan Hussam

This Global Handwashing Day explore the handwashing research of Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, an economist and assistant professor at Harvard Business School, on Global Waters Radio. Dr. Hussam chats with Senior Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Social Behavior Change Advisor Nga Nguyen from USAID’s Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition about her team’s fieldwork in West Bengal, India.

Water Currents: Focus on Swachh Bharat

The Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission on October 2, 2014, to improve the level of sanitation and cleanliness by October 2, 2019, marking the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat has two components: Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for rural areas and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) for urban areas. To date, this campaign has rallied all corners of Indian society toward its ambitious sanitation goals, including enlisting Bollywood stars and prominent athletes to create awareness.

Norms, Nudges, or Addiction: Understanding Drivers for Handwashing Behavior

On September 12th, the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) and USAID hosted a webinar on behavior change strategies for handwashing with soap.

In this webinar, Nga Nguyen with USAID, Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Hans Mosler of the University of Zurich and EAWAG, presented updates on recent research and key implications of two frameworks for handwashing behavior change. The presenters also answered questions on how to apply these approaches and share new learning and advocacy resources.

Evaluation of the Ghana Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program

The USAID Ghana Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (GWASH) program is implemented under a 4-year, $13.2M cooperative agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Relief International (RI) that began in mid-December 2009. RI partnered with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Ghana for latrine construction, and with Winrock International (WI), for the community organization and behavior change component, to implement GWASH. RI contracts directly with local well installation firms for the wells and water component.

The Science of Habit: Creating Disruptive and Sticky Behavior Change in Handwashing Behavior

Handwashing with soap is a highly effective method for reducing the risk of diarrheal disease, yet interventions to alter this behavior often fail or achieve only short-term success. In this paper, we propose that the “science of habit” can partly explain the challenge of handwashing behavior change. Integrating basic science insights from psychology, cognitive science, and behavior change research, we propose six principles for creating greater initiation and maintenance of handwashing change.