|Hygiene Evaluation Procedures - Approaches and Methods for Assessing Water- and Sanitation-Related Hygiene Practices (International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries - INFDC, 1997, 124 pages)|
|1. What is the HEP?|
One of the issues encountered during the development of this handbook was the question of whether or nor outsiders (researchers and/or project staff) should do all the investigation and analysis in hygiene evaluation studies, without involving the people studied. No assessments of hygiene practices can be done by outsiders alone, without the participation of the people studied. The problem is that the term participatory is used widely to mean different things to different people. Researchers working in the fields of agriculture as well as water supply and sanitation projects have identified several uses of the term participation or community participation. White (1981) has identified ten and Pretty (1994) seven different types of participation. Box 1 provides an outline of three main types of participation.
BOX 1: Three Types of Participation (Adapted from Pretty, 1994)
You must decide which of these types of participation coincide with your project's ethos and approach. The purpose of this handbook is not to prescribe any particular brand of participatory approach. Our aim is to show how combining methods and tools from participatory and conventional, or nonparticipatory ways of investigation can produce good quality information, and therefore a better understanding of the issues under investigation
In conclusion, how participatory you may want to make your hygiene evaluation study may largely depend on your answers to the following two main questions:
· To what extent have local people been involved in the planning, design, and implementation of your project? For instance, if the provision of protected water sources and getting individual households to acquire latrines are part of your project activities, to what extent did you involve members of your target population in discussions of your project aims and objectives? To what extent have your project plans taken into account local needs, beliefs, and priorities?
· What institutional mechanisms are there to put the findings of your hygiene assessment to immediate use? For example, do you foresee the possibilities of changing the direction of project activities if that is what the findings of your assessment suggest? Who would take responsibility for any necessary changes to be put into effect and how?