Psychological ownership and handwashing-device functionality

In collaboration with Eawag and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Ranas investigated reasons why residents of the Rohingya communities in Cox’s Bazar are reluctant to monitor and maintain their handwashing facilities and what role the perceived ownership of such shared infrastructure plays. Through phone-based interviews, participatory interventions were developed and implemented.

It proved most relevant to reactivate user groups that are responsible for the functionality of the handwashing devices and strengthen perceived ownership for shared handwashing infrastructure. The intervention included writing the names of all users on the device as well as developing detailed check-lists to help monitoring the devices. Additionally, an action plan was defined that helped to contact the right person when maintenance is needed.

The evaluation of the project showed that maintenance increased when the user group was reactivated and strongly proved the importance of increasing the perceived ownership of shared infrastructure.


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 Photo credits: Ram Krisno Dey

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