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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Hygiene promotion

Hygiene promotion is a planned, systematic approach to enable people to take action to prevent and/or mitigate water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases. It can also provide a practical way to facilitate community participation, accountability and monitoring in WASH programmes. Hygiene promotion should aim to draw on the affected population’s knowledge, practices and resources, as well as on the current WASH evidence base to determine how public health can best be protected.

Hygiene promotion involves ensuring that people make the best use of the water,
sanitation and hygiene-enabling facilities and services provided and includes the
effective operation and maintenance of the facilities. The three key factors are:
  1. a mutual sharing of information and knowledge
  2. the mobilisation of affected communities
  3. the provision of essential materials and facilities.


Community mobilisation is especially appropriate during disasters as the
emphasis must be on encouraging people to take action to protect their health.
Promotional activities should include, where possible, interactive methods, rather
than focusing exclusively on the mass dissemination of messages.