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Changing hygiene behaviour in rural communities in Papua New Guinea

The International WaterCentre (IWC) capacity development and training team recently returned from Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea where they were facilitating the development of a hand washing behaviour change campaign.
Changing hygiene behaviour in rural communities in Papua New Guinea

Facilitating workshop to develop hygiene tools in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

The IWC are partnering with UnitedChurch, Papua New Guinea and Uniting World Australia to develop a localised hand washing behaviour change campaign in three communities in Milne Bay province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). In late February our team travelled to Alotau to work with staff from the UnitedChurch PNG and local stakeholders to develop the key tools for the campaign. The workshop included a participatory session with Lelehudi community, one hour away from Alotau town, who gave their input into the design of the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) messages and tools. 

This workshop was the second of three workshops that focus on the development of tools and building local capacity for the delivery of a pilot behaviour change campaign in Milne Bay. During this workshop participants reviewed, selected and adapted a series of behaviour change tools that support the practice of hand washing with soap at critical times, targeting mothers in the community. The process included identifying key messages that support motivators for improving behaviour, increasing awareness and working with local stakeholders to change behaviours that promote hand washing with soap, then drafting communication tools to be pretested with the community.

A second component of the workshop focused on enriching the UnitedChurch MERL (monitoring, evaluation, response and learn) Plans through the introduction and adaptation of household survey tools to establish a baseline of the WASH status of the community prior to the commencement of the behaviour change campaign.

What’s next?

The final tools selected, including posters, drama skits and songs, will be refined and re-tested with community members over the next few months with the first pilots due to commence in the second half of 2016. The UnitedChurch staff and local stakeholders were hugely energetic as can be seen by the impromptu hand washing song developed by the team.

More information

For further information on the project please contact:
Project Manager Edith Kamundi -
Senior Project Officer Declan Hearne -
Tel +61 7 3014 0200




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