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Beyond Global Handwashing Day

October 4, 2017

Global Handwashing Day is a once-a-year opportunity to make a big splash in support of handwashing with soap, but the important work of hygiene promotion shouldn’t end after October 15. Download the infographic on the right for five things you can do to continue the momentum.

If all Global Handwashing Day celebrants advocate for handwashing with soap every day, not just on October 15, we can make significant progress in moving toward the goal of increasing hygiene programs, investment, and behavior.

Below you will find some simple ideas of how you can make handwashing a centerpiece of healthy behaviors around the year. Regardless of your affiliation, we encourage you to stay up-to-date on the latest in handwashing by signing up for our e-newsletter, and following the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) on Twitter and Facebook. For many more resources relating to the promotion of handwashing with soap, see the resources section of the GHP website.

If you are a parent

  • Help your child’s school with WASH improvements, such as the development of a group handwashing station
  • Create or join a Parent-Teacher Association WASH Committee to educate children and advocate for handwashing stations
  • Make sure your home has a place near the toilet to wash hands and that soap is available
  • Teach all your children proper handwashing with soap at critical times, and be sure to demonstrate this behavior yourself

If you are a teacher or school leader

If you are a community leader

  • Demonstrate good hygiene practices to help change social norms around handwashing. Call upon all families in the community to build and maintain a functional handwashing station near the latrine and food preparation areas.
  • Lead the community in advocacy for increased handwashing with soap and WASH investment and commitments from government leaders
  • Work with local government officials, non-governmental organizations, and religious groups to raise funds for handwashing stations in public places, such as schools or marketplaces

If you are a non-governmental organization

  • Consider joining the Global Handwashing Partnership
  • Encourage your staff to enroll in the GHP distance learning courses to strengthen your handwashing activities
  • Integrate hygiene into other related projects, such as those pertaining to sanitation, child health, and nutrition
  • Work to make your hygiene programs more sustainable by using tools, such as this monitoring & evaluation toolkit, or by incorporating learnings about habit formation
  • Advocate for increased handwashing with soap and WASH investment from donors and governments
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest from the GHP by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter
  • Organize the 100 Schools Survey and use the results to advocate for increased investment in handwashing with soap and school WASH

If you are a government agency

  • Support hygiene in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Consider joining the Global Handwashing Partnership
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest from the GHP by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter
  • Review and improve policies and national standards for WASH in schools and other national handwashing with soap programs
  • Ensure that handwashing and WASH indicators are included in national health and education monitoring systems
  • Review budgets to ensure that there are dedicated line items to support WASH in schools and handwashing programs in schools and health facilities
  • Seek out and increase funding from various donors for improving WASH conditions in schools, health facilities, and other government-run institutions
  • Create incentives for teachers, school directors, or regional agencies to teach handwashing and make schools “WASH friendly” through adequate water and sanitation provision

If you are a donor organization

  • Consider joining the Global Handwashing Partnership
  • Review and improve your policies and budget for the WASH sector and handwashing with soap
  • Increase funding for handwashing programs, especially for schools and health facilities
  • Host conferences or meetings to discuss and promote hygiene

If you are a private company

  • Consider joining the Global Handwashing Partnership
  • Incorporate handwashing promotion messages into your company’s external and internal messaging.
  • Advocate for hygiene in the Post-2015 agenda
  • Make handwashing, WASH, and WASH in Schools a priority focus for your Corporate Social Responsibility programs
  • Ensure that your country offices promote handwashing with soap. Ensure also that handwashing stations and soap are available in the workplace.
  • Sponsor the 100 School Survey
  • Collaborate to make a yearlong partnering plan for handwashing with soap promotion, starting with good formative research on current handwashing with soap practice
  • Contribute financially or organize matching grants for WASH programs
  • Consider taking the WBCSD Pledge for Access to Safe WASH at the Workplace

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