Tackling many behaviours at once in a large refugee camp

From handwashing, open defecation, waste segregation to menstrual hygiene management: Many behaviours are involved in keeping public health and improving living conditions in a refugee camp, especially when it comes to one of the largest ones in the world, the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. From 2019 to 2020, we worked with 9 WASH sector partners under the umbrella of UNICEF on 11 different health, hygiene and environmental behaviours.

The interventions were tailored to the assessed behavioural drivers of the Rohingya communities and proven to be more effective than standard approaches. As an example: regular cleaning of shared latrines increased by 21%, with a decrease in negative feelings and strengthened social norms connected with latrine cleaning, whereas no changes were observed for standard approaches. Using the RANAS approach has shown that applying behaviour change in a humanitarian setting improves lives and helps to increase the efficiency of those organizations aiming to do so.


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