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The Global Handwashing Partnership

Who We Are


The Global Handwashing Partnership is a coalition of international stakeholders who work explicitly to promote handwashing with soap and recognize hygiene as a pillar of international development and public health.

Our partnership brings together organizations from multiple sectors, including:

  •  Private sector entities that bring state-of-the-art marketing knowledge and techniques to the table, and support handwashing programs at national levels;
  • Academic institutions that contribute the latest behavior change theory and scientific evidence of the effectiveness of handwashing;
  • Multilateral and governmental agencies that lead global policy and support implementation of handwashing programs; and
  • Non-governmental and community-based organizations that promote and integrate handwashing programs.

Are you interested in joining us? Learn more here.

The Steering Committee

Steering Committee members provide regular input to steer the direction and deliverables of the GHP. They actively work in handwashing, partner across sectors to increase handwashing, and engage in handwashing promotion activities around Global Handwashing Day. All Steering Committee members contribute substantial financial and/or in-kind resources to the GHP.

Meet the Steering Committee

Colgate-Palmolive was a founding member of the GHP. A cleaner, healthy environment is important to Colgate not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it makes good business sense. Colgate’s 2011 to 2015 sustainability strategy maintains its emphasis on People, Performance and Planet, with focused, measurable goals that align with the Company’s business objectives. As part of that commitment, Colgate aims to provide handwashing awareness to over 50 million households.

FHI 360

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Staff include experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender, youth, research and technology—creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today’s interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories. FHI 360 currently houses the Secretariat of the GHP, and its predecessor organization was a founder of the GHP.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Since its founding in 1899, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been a leader in education and research in the global health field. Their mission is to improve health worldwide by translating technical knowledge into real world solutions. LSHTM was a founding member of the GHP. For more than two decades the Environmental Health Group at the School have been developing infrastructural and behaviour change solutions to encourage handwashing all around the world. Researchers within the team have led many of the handwashing-world’s pioneering research initiatives which continue to influence the sector. Key ways that LSHTM support the GHP are through technical expertise and literature reviews.

Procter and Gamble

P&G believe that before they can serve the world’s remaining consumers profitably, they can reach them altruistically through social responsibility programs, improving their lives in ways that enable them to thrive, to increase their quality of living and, over time, to join the population of consumers they serve with P&G brands. P&G, through its brand Safeguard, and its design agency Landor Associates, created the Global Handwashing Day mascot ‘Better Together’ featuring Soap, Hand and Water, a design which went on to win a 2009 Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.


UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s work is carried out in 191 countries through country programs and National Committees. Their programs help to promote handwashing and hygiene behavioral change by: advocating for increased funding for hygiene activities and the inclusion of hygiene in sectoral policies and strategies; supporting national & sub-national handwashing campaigns; including strong hygiene components within its own WASH programs in the field; ensuring that handwashing and hygiene are components of emergency response programs; developing strategies and tools to encourage handwashing promotion by community health & outreach workers; encouraging hygiene promotion in schools and the empowerment of children as agents of change within their families and communities.


For Unilever, sustainability is integral to how they do business. By 2020, they aim to help more than a billion people to improve their health and well-being. Their brand Lifebuoy aims to make a difference by creating accessible hygiene products (soap) and promoting healthy hygiene habits.  With this in mind, Lifebuoy aims to change the handwashing behavior of 1 billion people across Asia, Africa and Latin America by 2015. The Lifebuoy Handwashing Behavior Change Program was launched in 2010. Handwashing behavior change programs are now central to Lifebuoy plans in all countries where the Lifebuoy brand is present, with hygiene promotion activities fully embedded into brand activities on an on-going basis.


USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. As a founding partner of the GHP in 2001, USAID is a key stakeholder in the partnership. Through funding, advocating for hygiene, and providing technical expertise through USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, the Agency has leveraged its relationship with the GHP and partners to make significant progress on improving hygiene in communities around the world. 

World Bank

As the world’s largest multilateral source of financing for
water in developing countries, the World Bank is working closely with partners to achieve “A Water-Secure World for All,” by investing in solutions that enable universal access to water supply and sanitation, promote water security, and build resilient societies.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council    

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organization that works to save lives and improve livelihoods. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to improve access for the 2.5 billion people without safe sanitation and the 783 million people without clean drinking water. Through its work, WSSCC contributes to the broader goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement, gender equality and long-term social and economic development. WSSCC has coalitions in more than 20 countries, members in more than 160 countries, and a Geneva-based Secretariat which is a unit of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).


Global Handwashing Partnership Strategic Partners

Strategic Partners provide a financial contribution and/or other resources to support the work of the GHP on at least one occasion. They support the promotion and practice of handwashing with soap to prevent infections and save lives as an international development priority. They engage in handwashing promotion activities, including around Global Handwashing Day.

University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB is a leader and an innovator in higher education and in beneficial discoveries. Their work in education, research, and service is guided by our mission to improve the quality of life for the people of our region and to the world at large. The Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health focuses on understanding the determinants and prevention of disease, on the role of environmental factors in health and disease and how the administration of health programs can help implement this understanding. The University’s interests in handwashing include examining the health effects of hand hygiene, developing new and more effective hand hygiene interventions and measurement methods, and evaluating the effectiveness of at-scale interventions. The University at Buffalo provides in-kind and research support to the GHP.

Dow Chemical

Dow Chemical joined the GHP as a strategic partner inPrint 2014.  Dow combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture.



Global Handwashing Partnership Members

A wide range of organizations partner with us to achieve different aspects of our mission of universal handwashing promotion and practice. Are you interested in learning more about GHP membership? Contact us for more information!

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger tackles the causes and effects of hunger and diseases that threaten the lives of vulnerable children, women and men. Established in France in 1979, it is a nongovernmental, non-political, non-religious, nonprofit organization. Action Against Hunger acts either during the crisis through emergency interventions, or afterwards through rehabilitation and sustainable development programs. It also intervenes early to prevent certain high-risk situations. Its goal is to enable people to regain their autonomy and self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.

Banka BioLoo

Banka BioLoo promotes and delivers BL logoWASH solutions and services in India. The company actively champions handwashing by providing eco-friendly bioloos, handpumps, and wash basins. Their focus is school sanitation and the BioLoo team works with large companies to promote WASH interventions in schools through corporate social responsibility.

Clean the World Foundation

Clean the World Foundation is a global health organization committed to improving the quality of life for vulnerable  communities around the world. They operate an array of programs focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene, including WASH education programs, microfinancing projects, and emergency relief initiatives.  Since 2009, the Foundation has served over 10 million people across 127 countries.


The DefeatDD (Defeat Diarrheal Disease) Initiative, a project of PATH, promotes integrated conversations to break the poo taboo and defeat a leading global killer of children. Through their website and social media channels, DefeatDD advocates for a combined prevention and treatment approach, including vaccines, oral rehydration salts (ORS)/zinc, WASH, nutrition, and breastfeeding.


Essity is committed to the long-term goal of improving hygiene  standards around the world through dialogue and programs that lead to behavior change. Millions of people use Essity products daily, and as one of the largest hygiene and health companies in the world, they recognize their responsibility to raise awareness of the undeniable link between hygiene and overall health and well-being. Raising awareness about critical hygiene issues, such as the importance of hand sanitation and handwashing in limiting the spread of infections and disease, is a vital step to addressing these challenges and improving hygiene standards around the world. No one, no matter who they are or where they live, should have to suffer physically or mentally due to insufficient hygiene.


Handzies believes that cleaning up with soap and water is essential, even on
the go. Utilizing a pure Castile soap- and water-based wipe that is highly
portable, Handzies is a simple, natural cleaning option when running
water is not available. By removing the pitfalls of traditional wipes, including harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, Handzies created a natural and pleasantly refreshing wipe that provides a fresh from the sink feeling anytime,
anywhere. Founded in 2015, Handzies is privately owned and operated in Austin, TX.


HappyTap Co is a social business that aims to get millions of people to consistently wash their hands with soap. Using a human-centered design approach with mothers in the rural Mekong setting, the HappyTap product is a unique portable handwashing sink that modifies the household setting to encourage behavior change and habit formation. The HappyTap is currently marketed and distributed in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Cambodia.


icddr,b is a Bangladesh-based international health research icddrb-logo_ochre_webinstitute that strives to solve key public health problems through high quality scientific research and innovation. Policy makers and practitioners utilize icddr,b’s evidence and expertise to improve  health outcomes and prevent premature death and disability worldwide. Established more than 50 years ago, icddr,b continues to provide life-saving services to the people of Bangladesh, and to nurture the next generation of global health leaders.

International Aid 

International Aid is a Christian relief ministry that equips global partners with products and resources in some of the most vulnerable areas of the world. Their Kit Initiative addresses proper hygiene as the foundation of any health initiative as a frontline of defense against the spread of illness and disease and sustaining good health. Our goal is to engage local communities in making a global impact for the sake of the world.


IRC is an international think-and-do tank that works with NGOs, governments,IRC_withstrapline_RGB_300px entrepreneurs, and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in WASH services. At the heart of its mission is the aim to move from short-term interventions to sustainable WASH services. With over 45 years of experience, IRC runs projects in more than 25 countries and large-scale programs in 7 focus countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Manila Water Foundation

Manila Water Foundation, the social development arm of the Manila Water enterprise, is guided by the vision to bring sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene to marginalized communities in the Philippines. As a local WASH organization, Manila Water Foundation strives to create and implement participatory and responsive programs through the involvement of its community partners in the design, construction, and maintenance of WASH facilities. In addition to that, Manila Water Foundation integrates hygiene education, specifically behavior change campaign on proper handwashing, to its WASH programs to ensure holistic and sustainable community development.


Medentech is an Irish company with global reach. Medentech is committed to improving health globally by increasing drinking water quality and reducing surface contamination. For the last 30 years, Medentech has been doing this by developing, manufacturing, and marketing cost effective disinfection solutions. This includes, of course, finding innovative methods to disinfect hands.


Public Health Aid Awareness & Education Organization is a duly registered non profit, headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria. It focuses on issues concerning women, adolescent girls and children in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene. They adopt communication programs like social and behavioral change communication, health promotion and communication, social marketing campaigns, and provide basic aids and amenities where needed.

Real Relief 

Real Relief is an entrepreneurial company passionate about providing life-improving and life-saving relief items to people at risk in developing countries. They are experienced within the aid & relief sector and determined to do our part in the on-going challenges of global relief work. One of Real Relief’s latest innovations is the SuperTowel™ – a reusable and highly durable towel that includes a permanently bonded anti-microbial layer. It is designed to provide clean hands without using soap and using only a small amount of water.


SoapBox was founded in 2010 with a simple mission: to empowersbs-logo consumers to change the world through everyday, quality purchases. For every product sold, the company gives back through bar soaps and health and hygiene initiatives in communities both domestically and abroad. SoapBox works with local nonprofits in countries all over the world to start soap-making businesses, fund soap recycling initiatives, teach hygiene education and give bars of soap purchased in local marketplaces.



Smixin is committed to improve health and sustainability through preventing disease. By developing connected, efficient and economic handwashing systems we are aiming to become the number 1 hygiene partner worldwide. Not only are we a strong advocate of handwashing around the globe, but we also provide a controlled handwashing process, accessible for everyone. Our unique handwash solutions deliver the highest standards of sanitation with a minimum of time, soap and water. By applying IoT technology we grant our clients instant data access and enable behavior change. Improving hand hygiene is at the forefront of what we do: we are currently heavily involved in research with the University of Cyprus, MIT and Berkeley University on the effect of handwashing on the spread of disease through airports and we raise awareness for handwashing on schools by developing educational programs. As a proud partner of the Global Handwashing Partnership we contribute actively to a hygienic world, one handwash at a time.


SoaPen Inc. aims to make handwashing a lifelong habit through playful intervention and spread awareness about the importance of handwashing. A fun teaching tool, SoaPen is a markable soap for handwashing. Its unique soap composition allows children to draw on their dry hands and in removing the traces of this drawing, they wash their hands for the ideal span of 20-40 seconds. Thus, ensuring thorough handwashing. Children and caretakers can easily carry their SoaPen with them on-the-go, making sure a handwash is never overlooked!


SpaTap portable tap is a silicone device that converts any bottle into a water-saving tap, instantly providing a handwashing station anywhere. Ingeniously, a soap caddy is formed by utilizing the base of the bottle, allowing ease of access for soap bars and a place where soap can dry when not being used. SpaTap is simple to use and install by children, and studies have shown they take ownership of it, making handwashing fun and something they want to do without being asked. The SpaTap company’s focus is school sanitation and medical facilities, and actively promotes handwashing by working with corporates and NGOs to support WASH interventions in schools. SpaTap is the 1st prize winner of Standard Banks Water4Africa 2015 and the Australian Governments Humanitarian Supplies Challenge 2017.


Splash is a nonprofit enterprise dedicated to bringing water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions to children living in urban poverty in Asia and Africa. Today, Splash is serving clean water to more than 400,000 kids across eight countries. Filtration alone can’t stave off water-borne illness. Behavior change is critical. For those lessons to last, Splash focuses on providing an enabling environment, implementing child-centered learning and incorporating nudges as a subconscious trigger towards good hygiene practices. Splash designs their programs to be locally appropriate—and fun. Experiential learning is key. No textbook, alone, can do the job. Kids giggle, sing and learn as they gain hands-on practice and learn about the health impact of unclean hands – and what they can do to promote healthy behaviors in others.

United Purpose

United Purpose is an international development charity with an innovative community led approach to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals and eradicating global poverty and inequality. They lift people up out of poverty by providing solutions to poverty that last. Their unique approach combines high quality intelligent development, disruptive innovation and enabling independence making them a powerful agent of change. They are recognized for their community-led approach to water, sanitation and hygiene work in Nigeria, Malawi, Guinea, Mozambique and Bangladesh.

Vaccine Ambassadors

Vaccine Ambassadors is a 501(c)(3), created by healthcareva-logo providers and advocates of children’s health who believe that opportunity begins with good health, and that access to vaccines is a basic human right for all. Vaccine Ambassadors leverages the goodwill of individuals and organizations to become partners in this important global health initiative by supporting immunization services. Its mission is to work with partners to achieve equitable access and uptake of life-saving vaccines for everyone—one vaccine at a time, one community at a time.

Wellbeing Foundation Africa     

The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is an NGO whose work focuses on maternal and natal health, with active programs in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, neonatal classes, adolescent and youth education, WASH and beyond. In May 2018, the Foundation announced its commitment to WASH as a key element to achieve Universal Health Coverage and the delivery of safe, reliable and consistent handwashing practices and sanitary materials. By partnering with Unilever, Global Water 2020, the Global Handwashing Partnership and more, Wellbeing Foundation seeks to empower, educate and incentivize citizens, corporations and governments towards improved WASH behaviors and investments.

World Vision

World Vision is a humanitarian organisation dedicated to
working with children, families, and their communities in
nearly 100 countries to reach their full potential by tackling
the root causes of poverty and injustice. The ultimate goal of all of World Vision’s work is child well-being. World Vision water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs focus on children and families having access to safe, equitable and sustainable clean water, dignified hygiene, and appropriate hygiene behaviors.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat is housed at FHI 360 in Washington, D.C. The Secretariat facilitates delivery of the GHP strategy including developing materials, sharing lessons and resources, and connecting organizations across our diverse network.

Aarin Palomares, MPH, manages the partnership’s program efforts and thought leadership. Aarin has a background in global health, particularly in the areas of health policy, community development, and implementation research.

Join Us

Our members come from a range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. Learn how to join us here.

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What We Do

Our work focuses on advocacy and knowledge leadership.

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