Hygiene promotion (HP) assessments aim to understand the WASH vulnerabilities and capacities of affected populations and to identify how best to prioritise and respond to their diverse and changing needs. It is a continuous process that should shape and inform the WASH Programme.
This section covers both the importance of the assessment of specific hygiene behaviours and the broader assessment process factors, such as coordination and planning. It is not a how-to guide or checklist, but a Compendium of good practice, frameworks and tools. It provides links to additional assessment resources throughout the chapter.
As well as considering the needs, an assessment must consider the existing capacity of national and local authorities and affected populations A.6. Assessments also consider how the population is structured A.7 and the specific public health risks, social, behavioural and cultural factors that will influence the WASH intervention A.2.
It is important to design and plan the assessment and to ensure coordination with others A.3. Equally, it is important to fully understand the various risks and influences on public health A.2 and to understand people’s different vulnerabilities to those risks A.5.
A significant amount of information can be obtained using secondary data, such as existing assessments, surveys and reports; these should be quickly reviewed and used to guide the focus of the primary assessment. Data Collection Methods and Analysis A.4 explains the types of data and sources and how to analyse and use the data. Conducting Quantitative Surveys A.8 examines how and when to conduct a questionnaire survey.
An HP assessment should be conducted systematically and objectively and be recorded in a way that allows others to understand how decisions about the programme were reached. Assessments are the basis of effective emergency response: the failure to obtain, analyse and use assessment information can lead to a response that does more harm than good. Planning Frameworks A.9 describes the importance of analysing and using assessment data collaboratively to identify objectives and indicators for the intervention.