Nga Kim Nguyen
Designing evidence-based communications programmes to promote handwashing with soap in Vietnam
Since 2006, the Vietnam Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Women's Union, with support from the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), have been carrying out a behaviour change communications programme to promote handwashing with soap among women and primary schoolchildren with the objective of reducing the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases in children under five. In developing communications campaigns for both groups, the same process was employed, including: use of a framework to analyse research findings; design of campaign concepts for pre-testing and adjustment; production and implementation of communications activities; and development of a monitoring system. This process resulted in complementary campaigns: one for carers and an education-entertainment campaign for children that uses a cartoon series to promote handwashing with soap. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for programme managers of behaviour change programmes and includes examples of the communications materials developed for the Vietnam Handwashing Initiative.