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

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

This message by Hester Foppen regarding this topic reached me by e-mail:

++++++++++++

Dear all,

Behavioral Change is without any doubt a very relevant topic to all Sanitation related topics. Considering it in isolation may not offer the most fruitful discussions. Behavioral change and the methods to achieve it, can easily be considered part of marketing and social marketing, and as a prerequisite for any lasting sanitation service. So I would consider placing behavioral change under WG 9. How to link it as a topic, to the topic of marketing and social marketing?

Kind regards,

Mrs. Hester Foppen
sr. Program manager


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

All,

It's great to see this truly global discussion. I appreciate the arguments of Hester Foppen, Angela Chaudhuri, Hannah Woodburn, Christian Zurbrugg, and Diane Kellogg of how behavior change fits in Working Group 9.

At the same time, the focus of WG9 is Public Awareness, Advocacy, Civil Society Engagement. Our preferred audience is less sanitation professionals and more those who would rather not talk about toilet systems at all! As it says in our current WG9 blurb, "The need to reach the public, the press, and policy makers worldwide is the challenge addressed by Working Group 9." These are the people whose behavior we seek to change. Elected officials and other decision makers will not step forward in support of sanitation unless they are backed up by citizens and learn from media professionals that the required technical information to act is available.

So I applaud Olowole Modekai's view that every group needs behavior change and attitudinal change to carry out their work. As David Crosweller says, "for it to become the ‘property’ of one may mean others won’t give it attention when it most needed." And David Bates seems correct in advocating behavior change "activities that support behavior change in the field before, during and after technology development (in particular design, construction and O&M)" (As for the 9a and 9b categories he mentions, I'm wondering: Where they are stated?)

Below is the current blurb for WG9 from www.susana.org/en/working-groups/sanitat...ess-public-awareness As a co-lead of that group I invite your help. Do you think it makes sense? Can you help make it clearer? Are parts confused or contradictory? What aspects of sanitation marketing fit in the mix? (There's also a need to market to entrepreneurs, investors, and customers along the chain, including users.)

Thanks for your participation here and for all you do to help reach our shared sanitation goals.

Carol

Sanitation competes with other agendas which are more captivating. The objective of Working Group 9 (formerly "Sanitation as a business and public awareness") is to put sanitation centre-stage for media, the public, and government decision makers and to position its products and services as attractive lifestyle choices.

Discussions of the on-going sanitation crisis have until recently involved only professionals. Decision makers and affluent classes tend to pay little attention to the situation of those who struggle daily with inadequate sanitation. Western media that regularly cover topics such as climate change and water scarcity are reluctant to cover the “taboo topic” of sanitation. The need to reach the public, the press, and policy makers worldwide is the challenge addressed by Working Group 9.

Working Group 9 highlights information and messages that mobilise and motivate communities and provides tools for effective advocacy. We follow awareness raising activities, highlight practices that promote sustainable sanitation options and illustrates their use in local and global markets, especially for the poor. Behaviour change and shifting attitudes in favor of sanitation are key components of this advocacy. Encouraging participation in World Toilet Day and sharing information on opportunities to join current advocacy programs or campaigns are among Working Group 9 activities.

We seek to engage communities and local governments from the Global South and the Global North on the scope and scale of the challenges, from the 2.5 billion without toilets to the vulnerability of those served by large, inadequately maintained sewer infrastructure. We support the advocacy efforts of civil society and community-based organizations by working through the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance to provide tools and information.



Carol McCreary
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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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  • muench
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Dear Carol,

Thanks for your post and the clarifications about the role of working group 9. Thanks also for pointing us to the updated description of working gorup 9 which I hadn't read before ( www.susana.org/en/working-groups/sanitat...ess-public-awareness ). I think I will start a separate thread on that one because I have a couple of questions about it.

You say in your working group description that:

Behaviour change and shifting attitudes in favor of sanitation are key components of this advocacy.

So behaviour change is part of your working group, but - as you point out - not the main aspect of your group.

I have formed the impression that neither the lead of working group 4 (Chris Zurbrugg) nor the lead/co-lead of working group 9 (yourself) is in favor of becoming the "champion" for this topic within SuSanA.

Let me propose four possible options for the way forward:

Option 1:

We form a new working group dedicated on behaviour change (perhaps coupled with hygiene and handwashing) - this could be possible if we find a volunteer who wants to lead it. This could address what Hanna Woodburn has pointed out above:

My concern with BC (behavior change) 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.


Option 2:

We find a volunteer or "champion" who works with all the other working group leads to see how behavior change could become more of a topic in their respective working groups.

Option 3:

We ask the leads of Working Group 12 (WASH and Nutrition) if they want to take it on (we haven't heard yet from WG 12 leads or members on this issue).

Option 4:

We don't do anything.


I favor Option 1, then 2, then 3. But it depends if we find people in SuSanA who feel passionate about behaviour change and who want to "run" with it.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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

Thanks, Elisabeth, for summarizing the question in this way. I think it does a good job of streamlining the responses.

I am not familiar with the processes required for the formation of a new working group but I think that I would probably lean towards Option 1 as you outline. IF this were to be a new WG then I would advocate for it to be as "cross-cutting" as possible since you and a number of others rightfully bring up the role of BC across WASH. Collaborating with the other working groups--and championing BC--would be essential. I think that this might give BC a larger profile while also achieving some of the same outcomes as option 2 mentioned below.

Hanna Woodburn
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  • aisha
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Re: Should this working group (WG 9) champion the behavior change topic?

Hi all.
I feel it should not be left in WG 12 because behavior change is not all about nutrition. Its goes beyond that. While WG 9 has capture almost all. Its about advocacy/awareness and so
behavior change can fit in. One has to remind people and solicit for support to achieve. The act of doing it is through raising awareness/ advocacy. Therefore, behavior change should be left in WG 9 in my opinion.

Aisha Hamza.
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  • ryanrowe
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Re: Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?

Hello everyone,

Thanks for hosting the webinar yesterday and for inviting member input to where to place behavior change among the family of working groups. Yesterday in the webinar, I suggested creating a new group, but I have since given this more thought and would recommend including it in #9, as others have suggested.

Of the 12 existing working groups - #9 seems the best fit as it includes social marketing (9a). As social marketing is a tool to generate demand for WASH-related solutions, it is also very much tied to behavior change: knowledge, attitudes (and social norms), and practices (behaviors).

Since creating a new WG would require a new volunteer/champion, this is another argument for including it in #9. But I would suggest raising the profile to emphasize the importance and vast expanse of behavior change, perhaps by explicitly including it in the title.

Perhaps also worth considering whether the current definition of 9b can be consolidated into WG #2 which relates to financing and market development, and therefore relates to affordability and sustainability.

Then 9b could be devoted specifically to behavior change as it is broad enough (multiple areas of WASH) and deep enough (multiple levels and outcomes)

So something like this:

WG 9 - Behavior Change, 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: Provide an up-to-date source of knowledge (academic and grey literature) and opportunity to debate approaches to WASH behavior change, across a range of interventions, levels/units of analysis, and outcomes.

Hope this is helpful somewhat...

Best regards
Ryan
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  • 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?

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry I had to miss most of yesterday's webnair ‘Opportunities and challenges of achieving WASH behaviour change’ I'm on the west coast of North America and 4am was just too early. When the webnair is posted, Erin Swearing and Hanna Woodbury will help me grasp the scope of behavior change and get clearer on the WG9 fit.

It might be useful for us to go back and read the earlier Forum thread on the topic "Which SuSanA working group is the natural home for the "behavior change" topic? WG 12? Or WG 9?"

Ryan,

WG 9 is no longer separated into 9a and 9b. The former 9b - Sanitation as a Business - has indeed mostly moved to WG2. The former 9a- Sanitation Awareness and Sanitation Marketing are largely in WG9.

Your suggested name for the Working Group 9 - Behavior Change, Public Awareness, Advocacy and Civil Society Engagement is pretty long. My preference would be to put Behavior Change at the end, because I tend to define behavior change broadly, as desired action. Others who are working in areas like Behavior Change Communication or Social Marketing, however, may define it far more precisely.

Everyone,

If this working group is going to expand, we'll need participation commitments from behavior change champions and possibly a new co-lead.

Again, I am sorry to have missed yesterday's discussion and look forward to catching up with you. Special thanks to Sarah Dickin for arranging the webnair and to Erin and Hanna for setting the scene.

Carol

PS. Would anyone be interested in exploring the topic of taboos surrounding toilets and sanitation? Things have certainly changed in the past decade globally. At PHLUSH we continue to explore ways to simply get the conversation going. As author David Humes points out in his new book on transportation Door to Door, the word "infrastructure" puts everyone to sleep. Combine that with more private excreta taboos and progress is very difficult indeed! Clearly those of you working in the developing world have made spectacular progress getting past taboos. How did you do it?

Carol McCreary
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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?

Hi All,

I understand the perspectives that are being expressed, but I'm a bit concerned about including behavior change in WG9. If the WG9 challenge addressed is to the need "reach the public, the press, and policy makers worldwide" this would seemingly only help raise the topic of behavior change in an advocacy sense. It wouldn't fit the need to have a space to discuss the technical aspects of behavior change...the "How". Do other people see this being an issue as well?

Hanna Woodburn
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  • muench
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Re: Which SuSanA working group should include the behaviour change topic - an existing working group or a new one?

Dear Ryan, Carol and Hanna,

Thanks for continuing the discussion that we first had in this thread and then in the first SuSanA monthly webinar on 28 April. In the second part of said webinar, Hanna Woodburn spoke about how the topic of behavior change can be furthered within the SuSanA network, and we discussed how learning and exchange about behavior change can take place on the SuSanA platform.

The recording from this webinar from 28 April 2016 is now available here:



Hanna Woodburn's input and the discussion about a possible working group on behaviour change starts at 23:00 minutes into the recording, i.e. see here:



After Hanna's input (verbal input, without slides), we had a lively discussion - both orally (listen to it on the video) and written (in the chat field). I copy here what was said in the chat field (please note that some questions asked in the chat field were then answered verbally in the video, so the chat needs to be read in conjunction with the video):

++++++++++

Kris M.: why not WG2 (Market development), after all if you change behaviour you create demand ;) I guess it is really cross cutting and can be covered by several WGs?

Elisabeth von Muench: Hanna, would you like to turn your webcam back on? Would be nice to see you while you're talking. :-)

Kris M.: hmm, but behaviour change is just a term, I would rather think about various methods, and those are related to specific topics. Too many groups can also hide topics

Ryan Rowe: Hello all, would other members find it useful if the WG offered a brief summary of the evidence that exists for BC?

Elisabeth von Muench: perhaps one task of a new working group could be to interact actively with the other Working Groups on this.

Addise Amado: Yes please, thank you

Ada Oko-Williams: On the contrary, i think having a dedicacted WG may just allow and creat the space for the experts in that area to really be in their space nd elemant ans share freely not tagging along as cross cutting for every other group

Elisabeth von Muench: by the way, this is an overview of existing SuSanA working groups: www.susana.org/en/working-groups/overview

Kris M.: ok, but "behaviour change" in what... maybe I am not up to the latest buzz words, but for me this is always connected to a spefic topic. like demand creation, or handwashing, or toilet use etc.

ARNO ROSEMARIN: Do we need a code of conduct for sanitation

Elisabeth von Muench: there are about 1500 to 3000 members per working group (!). Each time when someone registers for SuSanA, they're asked which working group they would like to join.

Ryan Rowe: Kris - good point - it could be BC for Household Water Treatment, Handwashing, Community-led total sanitation - finding the overlaps would be helpful

Ada Oko-Williams: And really people dont have to be spread thin and work or engage with all the working groups so the question of too many WG should not arise

Ryan Rowe: Agree with Ada

Elisabeth von Muench: Are there other BC working groups in other networks outside of SuSanA?

Addise Amado: What about the role of KAP?

Annkathrin Tempel: I am happy to see more activities on behaviour change on the SuSanA platform, be it with a new WG or be it without one..

Hanna Woodburn: Yes, I think it would be broad

Bella Monse: I agree with Annkathrin, important that the topic comes in.

Hanna Woodburn: I have to run, but please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any further comments!

Kris M.: maybe there could be a vote? The forum supports votes?

Ryan Rowe: My vote is to create a separate working group for BC - this is such an important topic on its own then I feel it does it a disservice to place it under another group

Qamar Iqbal: Voting can be a good option; great Kris. I am also of view that separate working group for Behaviour Change

Ryan Rowe: Colleagues, it was nice to see some familiar faces - I must go but will follow with interest the dsicussions/decision on this topic - I will add my voice to the forum a bit later today or tomorrow

Kris M.: Ok but which one then, I guess WG9?

Carol McCreary: Good morning. Laggard here on Left Coast USA. We discussed on line BC and WG9. It doesn't especially fit but as co-lead for that group I can say we could use someone else.

+++++++++

There is also a 1-pager concept note that Hanna and Sarah prepared in March for the SuSanA core group ("SuSanA Behavior Change Working Group Concept Note"):

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Regards,
Elisabeth

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

My personal opinion (i.e. not "official" opinion of the secretariat or core group) is that we should have a brand new SuSanA working group on the topic of behaviour change (Working Group 13) which should focus on all aspects of behaviour change in a range of context (i.e. not just handwashing, but also moving away from open defecation, using toilets, food hygiene, menstrual hygiene etc.) and focus on the HOW to get such behaviour change happening.

We have a willing champion for this (i.e. a working group lead) in Hanna Woodburn and a willing co-lead (Sarah Dickin), so what would be have to lose in creating a new group?

We could create a dedicated working group mailing list for people interested in behaviour change (BC), just like we have mailing lists for the other WGs. This would make it easier to send very targeted information (e.g. about upcoming webinars) to those who have an interest in BC.

The new WG would liaise with the existing WGs and help them to take up BC into their activities as well where it fits.

I think lumping it in with an existing WG would not work - the one closest to it is probably WG 9 on "Public Awareness, Advocacy and Civil Society Engagement" and that one is already huge and it would not be fair on Carol (the working group lead) to lump her with another topic. The same applies to WG 7 ("Community, rural and schools (with gender and social aspects") which is also huge already and should not take on yet another topic.

The only downside I see is that the secretariat would have to make the necessary changes to the SuSanA website.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. For general issues about the working groups of SuSanA, there is this thread which could be used for discussion: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/69-rel...susana-working-group
There are some working groups that have been very dormant for a long time now (when was the last time you heard from Working Groups 3, 4 and 10, for example?) so some structural modifications might be necessary. I was told that the secretariat will lead a process to review the working group structure of SuSanA between now and January 2017 when SuSanA celebrates its 10th anniversary. If anyone has suggestions or concerns about the working groups in general, please put them here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/69-rel...susana-working-group

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

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to flag this thread after the SuSanA 22 meeting yesterday where we discussed the topic of developing a new hygiene BC Working Group. The PPT slides that I used are available here.

During the brief discussion period, it was mentioned that we should be clear about whose behavior are we seeking to change? Governments or donors? (I would argue that yes, this is certainly true but that's perhaps a bit more under the purview of advocacy). A participant also contributed that given a range of perspectives and opinions about BC and BC models it would be useful to have a somewhat neutral platform.

I would encourage those who were at the meeting--as well as those who haven't yet responded to this thread--to add their thoughts below.

Best,

Hanna

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