Sian White, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Wash’Em is a process for rapidly designing evidence-based and context-adapted handwashing behavior change programs in emergencies.
Wash’Em is an online software tool developed through collaboration with the LSHTM, ACF, and CAWST and funded by USAID/OFDA. Wash’Em is a behavior change approach designed specifically for emergency situations. The Wash’Em software simplifies moving from behavioral insights to hygiene program design.
The process involves 5 rapid assessment tools to understand community behavior. Once data is entered into the Wash’Em software, evidence-based and context tailored WASH program recommendations are generated.
This process has been implemented by over 45 organizations, including UNICEF, World Vision, Oxfam, WaterAID, and ACF.
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
This product aids hygiene programs in emergency and crisis situations at the urban and rural community level.
Wash’Em software is free to access online.
While exact distributions to date are unknown, Wash’Em has recorded over 50 sites in which the Wash’Em software has been tested.
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The Wash’Em Programme Designer software is developed by behavioral scientists. The process was designed through systematic literature reviews on handwashing and behavioral theories, and practitioner experience.
The software is directed by each response to the questionnaire whether to provide a recommendation to the context. The 5 rapid assessment tools were developed based on extended mixed-methods research crisis-affected settings. Following testing, adjustment, and improvement in over 30 emergency responses, the process is now in its third iteration.
The Wash’Em process produces handwashing programs specific to the implementing context. This process is generated as follows:
- Learn about the target community: guides and worksheets that can be downloaded to help assess the community context through rapid assessments. Training resources which include slides, lesson plans, and training activities can be downloaded to support this process. This can take 1 to 2 days to complete.
- Rapid Assessments: a minimum of 6 people should be present to help with the data collection, which can take 2 to 3 days to complete. The 5 rapid assessments include handwashing demonstrations, motives, personal histories, disease perception, and touchpoints.
- Data entry: data from the Rapid Assessments is entered into the program designer software.
- Context-specific hygiene program recommendations: 80+ handwashing promotion activities are generated with step-by-step instructions to aid integration into hygiene programs.
The program is designed to run on any modern web browser on a computer, laptop, or tablet.
Technical support is provided by the Wash’Em team.
The designer states simple language, easy-to-use rapid assessment tools, and context-specific designed hygiene programs as performance targets.
The designer states the Wash’Em process was tested by 45 different organizations in more than 30 emergency responses in the first year of its release.
The process has been tested by over 45 organizations, including UNICEF, World Vision, Oxfam, WaterAID, and ACF.
The Wash’Em process can align with WASH humanitarian response programming.
The manufacturer states the product has been evaluated through literature reviews, in-depth research during crises, and interviews with humanitarian organizations.
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