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Installation guide to handwashing nudges

This guide illustrates how to self-install our tested package of handwashing nudges.

15 August 2020

Given the positive results of our work with UNICEF in the Philippines and the urgency of the public health situation, we are providing this installation guide—complete with all necessary templates—for self-installing our tested package of handwashing nudges to school officials and teachers around the world. We hope this will be useful as they consider installing nudges in school bathrooms with consistent water and soap access. We hope that this guide will help ensure safer learning environments for students everywhere.

The long walk from the toilet stall to the handwashing station in a classroom in Zamboanga del Norte ©IDinsight/Nhu Le

Installation guide to handwashing nudges - 1 MB

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UNICEF and IDinsight recently tested handwashing nudges in public elementary schools in the Philippines—and we found impressive results:

Nudges improved handwashing rates by 17.3 percentage points (pp). In grades 1-6 classrooms without nudges, pupils washed their hands with soap 11.7 percent of the time after using the toilet. In classrooms with nudges, pupils washed their hands after toilet use 29.0 percent of the time after toilet-use.

Nudges increased availability of water and soap at handwashing stations near toilets by 38 percent. In many of these classrooms, students washed their hands with water from a bucket and soap that teachers were responsible for replenishing. Because of this mechanism for providing water and soap, this suggests that nudges most likely increased soap and water availability by reminding teachers to replenish water and soap more consistently in their classrooms. The nudges were well-liked by interviewed principals, teachers, and students at schools where they were installed.

Best of all, the handwashing nudges were relatively inexpensive (we estimate in the Philippines it would cost PHP 561 or USD 11.07 per classroom1) and easy to install.

Installation guide content items:

  1. One-pager
  2. Handwashing nudges user note
  3. Guide to adapting nudges
  4. Installation instructions
  5. Resources


  1. 1. The conversion rate here and throughout this policy brief is PHP 50.7 = USD 1.