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The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing

Introducing the Global Handwashing Partnership

January 12, 2017

globalhandwashingpartnership_logo_rgbOver the past fourteen years, the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) has worked to improve hygiene in communities where it matters most. Our work initially was to explore if public and private sectors working together could achieve impact in handwashing promotion. The partners who were involved found this cross-sectoral engagement to be very beneficial, so after the initial project ended, the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing was formed to coordinate hygiene promotion at the global level. In recent years, the PPPHW has worked on advocacy and knowledge leadership.

While our commitment to improving health and well-being through good handwashing with soap practices has not changed, the environment in which we work has evolved significantly. Over the course of our last strategic plan we promoted innovative approaches to behavior change through our global Thank Tank events, addressed major topics in public health such as the Ebola outbreak, and advocated for hygiene in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The new year brings along with it expectations, goals, and hopes for the future. As an organization, we are looking back at what we have accomplished, but also anticipating a bright future. Over the course of 2016, our Steering Committee worked diligently to develop a new strategic plan, which we will launch this month. This three-year plan is the overarching framework for our activities, so it is vitally important.

As we have done in the past, we will continue to advocate for handwashing with soap and share the latest knowledge and evidence about hygiene and behavior change. However, with the evolution of the WASH sector and the new Sustainable Development Goals, we must also consider the broader context in which advocacy and knowledge leadership activities occur. Improved handwashing behavior depends upon a strong enabling environment and we seek to improve both of these components symbiotically.

As such, from 2017-2019, in support two specific objectives, our work will:

  • Foster progress for proper handwashing with soap by helping to strengthen enabling environments. This includes advocating for hygiene targets and indicators within policy frameworks and accountability mechanisms, providing feedback to government commitments, strengthening of the broader WASH sector, supporting private sector engagement in hygiene promotion, and strategically aligning with key coalitions.
  • Identify and promote best practices by providing tools, guidance, and resources to support improved handwashing programming. As governments, organizations, and individual implementers work toward achieving the challenge put forth by SDG 6.2, they must put knowledge about handwashing behavior change into practice. We will help facilitate this through knowledge leadership, capacity building, and fostering key relationships.

These objectives, and the activities that will support them, build upon our previous work on advocacy and knowledge leadership. At the same time, they take into account the current context, challenges, and opportunities that we face.

Our new strategic plan is not the only change facing our organization. For many years, we have been known as the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing—or by the acronym PPPHW. This name captures the key elements of our organization, but it is lengthy, difficult to remember, and cumbersome to pronounce. As such, we are pleased to announce our new name—the Global Handwashing Partnership or GHP—and a new logo. Both our new name and new logo are accessible and focus on the most central part of our work: improving handwashing behavior globally.

We are excited about these changes, as we believe that they better equip us to fight the hygiene challenge that still exists. We believe we are moving in the right direction and believe that there is great potential to make a measurable difference in improving the health and wellbeing of children, families, and communities around the world. However, we also know that we cannot do it alone. The dedicated individuals and organizations of our Steering Committee are the lifeblood of the GHP, but our reach is amplified by engaging widely. So, we invite you to make 2017 the year that you join us. From launching a Global Handwashing Day campaign to learning more about hygiene, there is something that everyone can do to promote handwashing. And, if you need ideas, you can always drop us an email. We look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together over the next three year.

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