Published in: 2018
Handwashing promotion programmes in emergencies are important, as they significantly contribute to the reduction of diarrhoea-related diseases. These programmes traditionally focus on the health benefits of handwashing as a key motivator. Information – in the form of messages – is delivered to beneficiaries about the key times to wash hands and how doing this at certain times can reduce morbidity rates. However, over the years it has been found that health information alone does not result in an increase in handwashing with soap, or other health-related behaviours. In 2014 Oxfam, in partnership with Unilever’s Lifebuoy soap and Unilever’s Chief Sustainability Office worked together to better understand the emotional motivators and barriers to handwashing in emergency contexts, with the aim of developing a behaviour change programme that could be used in any emergency context. The result was the Mum’s Magic Hands (MMH) programme – a suite of promotional activities designed to increase the practice of handwashing with soap. It was developed using the most common emotional motivators (nurture and affiliation) found across three Asian countries.
Oxfam (2018). Mum’s Magic Hands. A Field Guide for Rapid Implementation of Handwashing Promotion in Emergencies. Oxfam
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