Department Environmental Social Sciences

Monitoring and evaluation of a large-scale sanitation and hygiene awareness raising campaign in India - The Great WASH Yatra

Project description

On behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, WASH United was selected as lead agent to implement a large-scale handwashing campaign in India. “The Great WASH Yatra” (TGWY) was a campaign to promote life-saving handwashing behavior and raise the importance of sanitation and hygiene among different target groups in India. TGWY built upon all the things Indians are really passionate and excited about – Bollywood song and dance, popular TV formats, but above all India’s favorite sport cricket – and used them to tackle persisting taboos related to sanitation and hygiene and charge these issues with positive emotions. The accompanying study by Eawag provided a scientific evaluation using a systematic and structured behavior change model. The findings emphasize the importance of planning enough time between baseline and campaign designs so as to meaningfully incorporate important findings into the development of interventions. Considering major delays in project launch and short-term changes in the selection of the carnival sites, the results of the baseline survey could not serve as a basis for designing promotion activities.


To evaluate the effects of the campaign on handwashing with soap, three different surveys were conducted:

Household surveys assessing handwashing behavior and behavioral determinants affecting handwashing with soap before and after the campaign: Only very small differences were found between visitors and non-visitors to TGWY in handwashing behavior and behavioral determinants of washing hands with soap. Food related handwashing frequencies were lower than those of stool related handwashing during the baseline survey and hence should have received particular attention. Behavioral determinants which should have been targeted are nurture, disgust, other family members’ handwashing behavior, response efficacy, and personal commitment for stool related handwashing behavior and attractiveness, descriptive norm, and personal norm for food related handwashing behavior.

The WASH in Schools training assessment, which included surveys as well as observations of school facilities before and after the training sessions: A month after the campaign, most of the children from WinS schools recalled the core messages of the WASH in Schools training (WinS) training. However, in both WinS and control schools, the majority of the children knew about the importance of using toilets for defecation and soap for handwashing. No effect was found of the WinS sessions on self-reported hand-washing frequencies or on behavioral determinants for handwashing.

The TGWY carnival visitors’ survey, in which visitors were interviewed before and after their visit to the carnival: Visitors to TGWY liked the carnival very much. The different labs as well as a film about hygiene received good responses from the visitors. Several behavioral determinants changed immediately after the visit: perceived severity of diarrhea, knowledge about the causes of diarrhea and on how to prevent the disease, influence of important people’s opinion on handwashing with soap, and useful alternatives when there is no soap available for handwashing.Behavior-change techniques: the Wash-United Yatra campaign


  • Behavior-change techniques: Entertainment education designed and implemented by WASH United
  • Psychological topics: RANAS model
  • Applied topics: Handwashing behavior, Health behavior change, Effectiveness of WASH interventions