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Promoting handwashing behavior in Peru : the effect of large-scale mass-media and community level interventions

Author

Listed:
  • Galiani, Sebastian
  • Gertler, Paul
  • Orsola-Vidal, Alexandra

Abstract

This paper analyzes a randomized experiment that uses novel strategies to promote handwashing with soap at critical times in Peru. It evaluates a large-scale intervention that includes a mass media provincial campaign and a district-level community component. The analysis finds that the mass media intervention alone had no significant effect on exposure to the handwashing promotion campaign messages, and therefore no effect on handwashing knowledge or handwashing behavior. In contrast, the community-level intervention, a more comprehensive intervention that included several community and school activities in addition to the communications campaign, was successful in reaching the target audience with handwashing promotion messages and in improving the knowledge of the treated population on appropriate handwashing behavior. Those improvements translated into higher self-reported and observed handwashing with soap at critical junctures. However, no significant improvements in the health of children under the age of five were observed. The results are consistent with earlier literature, which indicates that substantively changing behavior to improve health is a complex task requiring intensive and more personalized interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Orsola-Vidal, Alexandra, 2012. "Promoting handwashing behavior in Peru : the effect of large-scale mass-media and community level interventions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6257, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6257
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matias D. Cattaneo & Sebastian Galiani & Paul J. Gertler & Sebastian Martinez & Rocio Titiunik, 2009. "Housing, Health, and Happiness," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 75-105, February.
    2. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
    4. Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Norbert Schady, 2015. "Does Access to Better Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Improve Child Outcomes? Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7369, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Hygiene Promotion and Social Marketing; Disease Control&Prevention; Housing&Human Habitats; Population Policies;

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