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Pushing the Boundaries of Multi-Sector Partnerships
The simple habit of handwashing with soap is not universally practised and traditional hygiene promotion efforts have had limited impact. Research showed that fear of disease was not a key motivator of handwashing behaviour. Across key regions, a behaviour change was needed and campaigns were developed which looked at key motivations for behaviour change including comfort, affiliation and social acceptance/status.
WSUP partnered with Unilever in 2011 to employ an approach to promoting handwashing that leverages the marketing capabilities of a fast-moving consumable goods company to produce branded teaching aids and communication materials that make handwashing with soap a social aspiration for children and their families.
The “School of Five” programme, developed by Lifebuoy, takes children on a Behaviour Change Journey to encourage washing their hands with soap at five critical times: when bathing, after defecation and before breakfast, lunch and dinner. It utilises engaging and interactive games, songs, dances and a practical glo-germ demonstration to spread the campaign message.
The School of Five methodology is being implemented by WSUP and Unilever in four countries and has to date reached a total of 1.5 million children, and a further five million family members through active participation in the programme.
The School of Five approach entails:
Through leveraging private sector inputs and capabilities, the campaign is able to achieve mass-scale hygiene promotion.
Challenges faced / overcome?
What does this mean for business?
The partnership between WSUP and Unilever pushes the boundaries of multi-sector partnerships, making a positive contribution to addressing the growing urban WASH challenge across the developing world by combining the sector advantages enjoyed by both organisations to develop and deliver a joint programme.
The School of Five programme helps to achieve the organisational outcomes of both Unilever and WSUP. WSUP achieves cost effective and sustainable hygiene improvements. Unilever achieves greater brand recognition, a contribution to its Sustainable Living plan goals and an increase in the overall demand for soap products. A true win–win.
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