dws-irc-brac-wash-meeting-770pxBehaviour change lies at the heart of the WASH programme of the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance (BRAC) organisation, using an approach 'selling not telling'. Recent monitoring of the programme shows that 90% of the involved households report that all family members use the latrine and 80% has soap and water in or near the latrine for hand washing.

Lasting behaviour change
The BRAC WASH programme started in 2006 and reaches half the rural population of Bangladesh. It aims at lasting behaviour change and transforming hygiene, sanitation and water services in Bangladesh.

More than 8,000 BRAC WASH field staff support 65,000 Village WASH Committees (VWCs) that map facilities and plan improvements at village level.

dws-irc-brac-wash-girls-350pxGirls learn about menstrual hygiene and have facilities available in the school. Both girls and boys join the student WASH brigade to encourage other students.

Less messages, more lively meetings
In the course of the programme, the BRAC WASH approach to encouraging good hygiene behaviour has evolved. The hygiene number of messages has been reduced and BRAC staff have been trained in new communication skills to engage communities, with more focus on discussion and community problems and less instruction.

'Cluster meetings' in the villages have become more lively and productive since field staff started "selling not telling". Through Imams and tea stall sessions, the programme aims to reach out to men and boys.

Positive results
Monitoring has been used as an important tool to track progress, identify challenges and improve the approach. In 2012, BRAC WASH and IRC introduced the Qualitative Information System (QIS), to measure the quality of the programme on 15 outcome indicators, such as the performance of Village WASH Committees, and behaviours of household members, women, men and children.

Recent monitoring data shows that:
• 90% of households reports that all family members use the latrine
• 80% of households has soap and water for hand washing available in or near the latrine

The BRAC WASH programme is supported by IRC Wash as a knowledge partner in streamlining messages, monitoring behaviour change and documenting and sharing the programme.

The programme is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the BRAC Strategic Partnership Arrangement (SPA) between BRAC, DFID and AusAID.

This news item was originally published on the website of IRC WASH Centre.

More information
Dhaka, Bangladesh
+ 880 2 988 12 65

IRC Wash
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 304 40 00

BRAC addresses high absenteeism rates among female students through a water and sanitation program across rural Bangladesh.