Improving Key Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in Ghana Through A Behavior-Led Approach
Years of effort and focus by the Government of Ghana and its partners have yielded significant improvements in the country’s child morbidity and mortality rates. Still, every year, at least 4,000 Ghanaian children die from diarrhea, and 23% experience chronic malnutrition linked to poor water and sanitation.(1)
To help improve these numbers, USAID funded the seven-year Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Health (W4H) project to establish sustainable access to dignified, safe, and improved water supply and sanitation, and to promote behaviors and attitudes necessary for healthy lifestyles in Ghana. The project objectives are to: 1. Increase use of improved household sanitation; 2. Improve community water supply services; 3. Improve sector governance and policies; 4. Expand the practice of key hygiene behaviors; 5. Leverage public-private partnership investment to magnify the impact of USG funding; and 6. Improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure for schools and health facilities.
In its sixth year, Ghana WASH 4 Health applied an approach to behavior-led programming called Behavior Integration to all project objectives. Evidence was gathered through behaviorally focused formative research to confirm the selected priority behaviors and to map pathways to changing these behaviors. In its seventh and final year, the project conducted an impact assessment of Behavior Integration, measuring its ability to impact behaviors over a period of nine months. Though these findings are not an indication of the sustainability of the changes in behavior, they do demonstrate that the initial change in behavior does not need to take years, only months.
Read the research and learning brief entitled “Improving Key Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in Ghana Through A Behavior-Led Approach” here.
(1) https://newsghana.com.gh/unicef-who-report Mar 19, 2018
Published 05/18/2021 by Bonnie Maratea