Department Environmental Social Sciences

Psychological ownership and handwashing-device functionality during the Covid-19 crisis

This project investigates the role of individual and collective psychological ownership on monitoring and maintenance of public and private handwashing devices using a controlled trial. It is conducted during the current Covid-19 crisis in the context of the Rohingya refugee camp Bangladesh. Specifically, our project aims at providing scientific evidence on how to increase handwashing with soap amongst camp residents of the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh through increasing the functionality of handwashing devices. We investigate the role of individual and collective psychological ownership of WASH committees and camp residents towards public and private handwashing infrastructure for monitoring and maintenance in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Together with our local partner IFRC, we will develop interventions to strengthen psychological ownership towards handwashing infrastructure, as well as tailored checklists and guidelines for monitoring and maintenance of private and public handwashing devices. Our partners and other members of the WASH cluster will use the developed materials in their Covid-19 responses in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. At a larger scale, the results will inform the discussion on improving intervention activities to increase handwashing by focusing on psychological ownership and its role for the functioning of handwashing devices.

Project team

Dr. Nadja Contzen Group leader, Environmental Health Psychology Tel. +41 58 765 6892 Send Mail
Christopher Friedrich MSc Environmental Sciences Tel. +41 58 765 5198 Send Mail
Dr. Christoph Lüthi Dr. Eng. Infrastructure Planning Tel. +41 58 765 5614 Send Mail

External collaborators

Project data

  • Duration: July 1 2020 until June 30 2021
  • Funding: Elrha