Published in: 2020
WASH in Schools Network
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
This resource guide by Watson, J. & Drebelbis, R. provides an overview of the science behind nudge-based handwashing interventions and the evidence supporting the use of environmental nudges for handwashing in schools in low-resource settings. Resources and tools for planning and implementing nudge-based interventions in schools are also provided.
Several research studies and interventions have successfully used environmental nudges — small changes to the environment that alter behaviour in a predictable way but do not explicitly constrain choices — to cue and trigger handwashing with soap in schools.
As schools begin reopening after COVID-19 closures, environmental nudges may be an effective means to maintain proper hand hygiene practices in schools. However, careful consideration is needed before planning and implementing a nudge-based handwashing intervention.
Environmental nudges should be considered one component of a larger multi-modal strategy for encouraging and sustaining handwashing with soap at critical times among school-aged children. The focus of this resource guide is on a select number of nudge-based interventions that focus on using handwashing supplies and infrastructure placement and properties to cue and trigger handwashing among school-aged children. The interventions described here should be viewed as an interim intervention strategy for school reopenings in the context of COVID-19. More detailed and comprehensive behaviour change strategies will be needed in order to ensure that handwashing behaviour is incorporated into existing school routines and translates into improved habits among school aged children.
WASH in Schools Network (2020). Using Environmental Nudges to improve Handwashing with Soap among School Children - A Resource Guide for rapidly deployable Interventions for use as an interim Measure during School Reopenings.
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