Assessment of Handwashing Promotion in South Asia during COVID-19

WaterAid India (Jal Seva Charitable Foundation)

WaterAid conducted rapid research studies in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan during May and June 2020, to assess the effectiveness of handwashing promotion with a focus on marginalised and vulnerable groups. Travel was largely impossible at the time because of lockdown, so the research was conducted remotely using telephone interviews in three of the countries; while in India areas were selected which had a relatively low case rate where partner staff and volunteers already in the communities could safely conduct interviews in person. This report presents a synthesis of key findings from the four research studies and proposes a series of programme and policy recommendations.


WaterAid undertook rapid assessments of handwashing promotion in four countries. The purpose was to collect real-time information on the reach and effectiveness of these campaigns, with a focus on those who are hardest to reach and in more vulnerable settings. The aim was not to evaluate WaterAid’s own work, but rather to assess national campaigns in order to provide feedback to inform and guide ongoing hygiene responses. This regional synthesis highlights the key findings of the rapid assessment, presenting common trends and differences, and puts forward a series of recommendations for actors involved in hygiene behaviour change, along with WaterAid programmes.
Resource link Interested in joining PULSE for Development? Register here.


  • Pan-India


  • Research report


  • Water and Sanitation