Which SuSanA working group should include the behaviour change topic - an existing working group or a new one?

  • Carol McCreary
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

What an interesting question.

Let's look at the term Behavior Change. 'Behavior' and 'change.' SuSanA promotes positive, even transformative, change away from the sanitation status quo. In every location in the world the sanitation status quo needs to be questioned, particularly in the presence of drought, food insecurity and climate change.

Behaviour for me is related to action. Without action the positive and transformative changes we're working for will remain words on paper.

I tend to agree with Claire: keep this a thematic transversal. It seems central to nearly all working groups.

How does it apply to WG6 on cities and planning? Well we're trying to force the issue of public toilet availability into every planning discussion of from building complete streets to park development to transit systems. The behavior change we want is the inclusion of the issue of toilet availability and its relation to livable cities, social equity, public health, childhood fitness, active aging, and increased transit ridership. Another urban issue where we see undergoing very slow behavior change is when a household abhors and avoids using potable water to flush excreta. Behavior change in WG 10 operations and maintenance? Again, looking at public facilities, the trend toward automatic public toilets has been reversed in North America in favor of attendants, an idea that is becoming well-established in developing countries.

Along with Jack Sim of the World Toilet Organization, I help lead WG9 on Public awareness, advocacy, civil society engagement. I would say that members of this WG are the ones doing the ground work. We're working on Attitude Change. Can there be Behaviour Change without Attitude Change first? I am not sure we can change a situation for which we even lack the words to discuss, as well as the ability to push onto the policy agenda. This is the chllenge addressed by the new Public Toilet Advocacy Toolkit from PHLUSH. toolkit.phlush.org/ Please have a look at the attached 11 pages of tools to 'Engage the Community in the Conversation.'

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This is fundamental. Before behavior can change, you need to discover why our issues are so hard to talk about, choose the right words, frame the topics for the audience, combat taboos and 'toilet blindness' and make the case for toilets. None of these are really Behavior Change. They bring Attitude Change that lays the foundation for Behaviour Change.

Hope this helps move the discussion so that wherever we put Behaviour Change, it makes sense.

Carol

Carol McCreary
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
1240 W. Sims Way #59, Port Townsend, Washington 98368 USA

Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

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  • abhibanerji
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Re: WG 9

Dear All,



While 'behaviour change' should be of interest to all groups it may be most appropriate for WG 9 !



Best regards, abhijit
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  • ekellogg
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

I vote for WG 12. However the title of that group contains the word "chronicle" * which does not convey much to me and the opening page of that group does not seem to explain it (see: www.susana.org/en/working-groups/wash-and-nutrition ).

Edwin Kellogg

Kellogg Consultants, LLC


* This was a typo and has now been corrected to "chronic" (comment by moderator)

Edwin Kellogg, PhD
Partner, Kellogg Consultants, LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
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  • DaveBates
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Elisabeth:

My quick reply at my short lunch break is:

PREFERENCE ON WHERE TO PUT BEHAVIOR CHANGE:

1) First choice: Have in in Working Group 4 (technologies, health & hygeiene). The title has it in it already and from my experience in Mexico, we did this activity in conjunction with technology development (in the office and the field)

Reason not to have here: Might be more LESS social practioners here LESS familiar with behavior change and only nuts and bolts

2) Second choice: O&M Group 10 It's a natural part of operation

Good combination of technology people and social practioners here probably.

3) Nutrition: WG 12 This can be a good place for it also. Might be more social practioners here more familiar with behavior change.

ALL OPTIONS:

I have more reasons and examples of why....let's talk some more about it.

David
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  • DianeKellogg
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

In response to Elisabeth's question I wondered how a new user might go about looking for information about behavior change. So I opened up the SuSanA Forum site for a colleague and asked them where they would look. Their #1 click was the opening page icon "Attitudes and Behavior." They thought they had gotten the "right answer" the first time. Once I cued him to keep looking "because there's more," his #2 click was on "Health & hygiene, schools." then he really thought he was finished, because there's so much there.

I told him to click on "Working groups & help section." His next pick, with no coaching, was Working Group #9. So..........#9 has my vote. I asked him why it didn't occur to him to click on Working Groups, and he said he assumed that was for "insiders" who were regular users of the Forum, so he didn't think it would even open up to him.

Note that my sample size for this little study was 1.

Diane

Diane M. Kellogg
Partner, Kellogg Consultants
Private Sector Specialist, BMGF grant to SuSanA
Marketing Consultant, PRISTO (RVO-funded grant)
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  • angelac
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Thanks for the shout out Elizabeth. I am with you on BCC. This is certainly very central to our work. This could certainly belong to this group (WG 9).

+++++

BCC = behavior change communication
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  • IFEMIDE
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

This is an interesting question that I will like to make contribution. My opinion will different from that of others, to me this topic is a missing gap in all the groups. The pivot of all the groups is awareness creation, but behaviours
Change is attitudinal in nature, it is a social problem in WASH and one of the most sensitive. Since it is an attitudinal problem, I would recoment we have G13 to be Behavioural Change Communication for WASH. You can modify it.
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  • IFEMIDE
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

Yes my opinion is that, non of the groups addresses the issue of behavioural or attitudinal change. They are more of awareness creation in their respective fields. If you put it in any of the groups, others have equal right to say they too can champion it because it is all encompassing. Every group needs BCC or ACC to achieve their goals.
So it is either we make it all group discussion or we create a new group discussion for BCC.
I have seen where community built pour flush communal latrine and some household latrine with good technology and failed to use it but still doing open defecation simply because they want the health workers to always meet it neat. This is purely attitudinal problem that someone in technology group should understand.
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  • DavidAlan
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Hello Elisabeth.

I think I probably agree with Claire. It covers so many groups that for it to become the ‘property’ of one may mean others won’t give it attention when it most needed., or perhaps not properly would be a better way of explaining.

David
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  • WASHanna
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

Thanks for bringing up this important topic.

I think that a lot of valid points have been made about where BC should be situated. My concern with BC become part of WG9 is that the focus in this group is very much on sanitation, and BC is such a major component of both sanitation AND hygiene. That said, I'd probably advocate for a higher level focus on hygiene within SuSanA writ large, so I might be a bit biased. :)

WASH and nutrition would be a logical place for BC, too, although WG12 seems from my perspective to be more focused on the evidence between WASH and nutrition, rather than a more hands-on implementation lens.

Hanna Woodburn
Acting Secretariat Director
Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
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  • DaveBates
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

1) MORE ON MY FIRST CHOICE: put behavior change in Working Group 4 (technologies, health & hygeiene).

I believe a big part of behavior change is education of people.
With sanitation it is partially educating them partially about the 'western/scientific' view of health (germ theory), even if the have other views....they can choose to beleive in both.

As I said we did activities that supported behavior change in the field before, during and after technology development (in particular design, construciton and O&M)

We in the field , for example, during explaining a technical brochure on a toilet diagram or actually even better during the consturction itself, we would always aim to explain how each part of the toilet works, and its connection to stopping the unhealthy cycle (disease cycle) and promoting a healthy productive cycle (clean water protection/conservation and plant growth through use of "solids")

I was trained in Mexico that in particular many of the Mexicans that we worked with are very "practical" people , and they didnt necessarily liked formal health classes, for example, a health and sanitation class may not work to help promote behavior change

...however, small "platicas" (health talks ) while you the toilet is being built is "more acceptable and bearable" to the receipent.

So, don't know if my logic is reasonable or not, so that's one reason why i say keep the behavioral change discussion INSIDE / ATTACHED to the technology/health/hygiene group.

Only other choices I could think of is Group 9, create a seperate group 14, or my previous two comments, Group 10 (O&M) or Group 12 (Nutrition - your suggestion)

so here are the others:


OPTION 2: Group 9

9c Behavioral Change

• WG 9 - Public Awareness, Advocacy and Civil Society Engagement
9a: Developing an open-source data base on best practices in integrated social marketing and to establish a formal network of experts in this field.
9b: Creating global awareness of sustainable sanitation options, and on how to make them more accessible and affordable in the local and global market especially for the
poor.

9c: Behavioral Change


OPTION 3)

3) other Option create a TOTALLY SEPERATE GROUP, # 14 : Behavioral Change

4 & 5) Previous recommendations I made:

OPTION 4

4) O&M Group 10
It's a natural part of operation....particularly in light of my comments in #1 above
Good combination of technology people and social practioners (socilogist, anthroplogists, developmental specialist) here probably???


OPTION 5

5) Nutrition: WG 12
This can be a good place for it also. Might be more social practioners here more familiar with behavior change, but muchy less familar with the technology


David
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  • zurbrugg
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Hi to all

I feel that the important topic of behavior change, handwashing, hygiene practice clearly needs a "home" if not even its own WG. If a new WG is not an option , my most obvious choice would be to place this topic into WG9.

Regards,

Chris

Christian Zurbrügg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sandec: Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries
Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
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