A KAP Survey uses standardised questionnaires to collect and analyse reliable quantitative data to identify the knowledge (K), attitudes (A) and practices (P) of a population on a specific topic to support the planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of WASH interventions.
A KAP Survey measures what people know (knowledge), how they feel and what they believe (attitudes), and what they do (practices). It is carried out through structured interviews using the same questionnaire for each respondent, generating quantitative results which can be statistically analysed. Questions are intended to identify key knowledge, social skills and know-how commonly shared by a population or target group about particular issues related to hygiene. Data can be collected using printed questionnaires or on tablets with pre-loaded software. The analysed data can help to identify interventions, establish baselines, set priorities and measure change. A KAP survey can measure the extent or coverage of a variable such as latrine use to confirm or disprove a hypothesis. The survey can reveal misconceptions or misunderstandings that may be obstacles to planned activities, or provide a new understanding of an issue. It can help define an intervention strategy in light of the specific local circumstances and cultural factors that influence them. Depending on the scope, context and complexity, a KAP survey can take between several days and several weeks. KAP surveys should not be used as a single method or source of information; they should be complemented by other methods such as Key Informant Interviews T.23 and Focus Group Discussions T.14.
KAP Surveys are feasible in most contexts and phases. They require a survey team, usually composed of trained interviewers/enumerators and supervisors. It may be necessary to work with other individuals or organisations to determine the sampling plan (the number of people and areas to be interviewed), create or adapt questionnaires, conduct interviews in the local language and enter or analyse data A.8.
Ensure a random sampling methodology so that every member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen, to avoid data bias
Only ask questions required to answer the overall research question(s) or to measure the indicators
Provide time and resources to ensure training is conducted and translated questionnaires are tested on community members and revisions made before implementation.
Do not over or underestimate the sample size. Be representative whilst interviewing as few households as is possible
REACH conducted a KAP Survey in Za’atari camp, Jordan, to evaluate camp residents’ current knowledge, attitudes and practices towards WASH and to assess the changes that had taken place since the last KAP survey. More specifically, it assessed the impact of a new water network on hygiene practices and the camp residents’ awareness of the establishment of cluster focal points. It also assessed the camp residents’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the WASH-related information and services implemented to strengthen future WASH programming and shift towards greater sustainability.
ACF (2005): Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Populations at Risk
Médecins du Monde (2012): The KAP Survey Model. Knowledge, Attitude and Practices. Steps and Rules for the Preparation and Implementation of Quantitative Surveys
ACF (2013): Conducting KAP Surveys: A Learning Document Based on KAP Failures
UNICEF, REACH (2018): WASH Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Survey in Za’atari Camp