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close this bookHygiene Evaluation Procedures - Approaches and Methods for Assessing Water - and Sanitation-Related Hygiene Practices (International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries - INFDC, 1997, 124 pages)
close this folder6. Investigating hygiene practices
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentThree-pile sorting
View the documentPocket chart
View the documentSemi-structured (informal) interviews
View the documentFocus group discussion
View the documentAppraisal of the methods and tools

Three-pile sorting

This method derives from the Promotion of the Role of Women in Water and Environmental Sanitation Services (PROWWESS) participatory approach (Srinivasan, 1990). Participants are given a set of drawings showing situations related to defecation, protection of water sources, water use and personal hygiene, food hygiene, corralling of domestic animals, and so on. Participants are then asked to discuss each drawing as a group and to arrive at a consensus as to whether it is good, bad, or in-between, and to explain why. Three-pile sorting operates in the same way as gender roles/tasks analysis, the only difference being that the three piles consist of good, bad, and in-between, instead of man, woman, and both.

Purpose

· To break down barriers and establish good communication. For this reason, it is a good tool to use at the beginning of fieldwork.

· To introduce sensitive/personal topics for discussion such as latrine use and personal cleanliness at the early stages of enquiry.

Materials

A set of twelve to sixteen cards (pictures mounted on thick paper or card board) showing activities related to sanitation and water-related hygiene should be used. The drawings can be drawn by local artists or adapted from health-related illustrated handbooks. It is important that the cards show local settings and practices. Each of the situations depicted should include at least one activity and/or feature that relates to one or more of the five clusters of hygiene practices (see, for instance, Plate 2).

The exact content of the drawings will depend on the hygiene practices you have decided to focus on, and on the materials available. Situations that are not hygiene-related but may be of crucial interest to the smooth running of your project, such as issues of user participation or operation and maintenance, may also be included. Label each card with a number so that you can refer to the number when writing down people's comments.

Procedure

The following guidelines may be helpful to the facilitator:

· Introduce yourself and indicate why the meeting is taking place. Speak clearly, using the local language.

· Ask participants whether the pictures show familiar scenes and whether the practices shown are good or had, and why.

· If it is useful (e.g., to enable participants to talk more freely, or to find opinions of different sections of the study population) divide participants into smaller groups, for example, according to gender or age.

· Hand out the cards and ask participants to pass them around, taking time to look at them closely, then discuss each card.

· Listen and learn.

· Ask the group to decide which category each card fits into: good, bad, or in-between. Remind them that they can use the in-between option if the pictures are unclear, or if the group has not agreed whether the practice is good or bad.

· Take notes on what people say (including the final decision, and how many people attended), but do not interfere with the discussion.

Plate 2. Pictures used for three pile sorting in India (1996)


Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4

Management, Review, and Use of Information

· Write up your notes. Describe the participants/samples and summarize what each group said about the cards (see Box 19 for an example of sample description). List the main points made and issues raised in the discussion, areas of disagreement, and any unexpected that were suggested.

This information will indicate what participants believe is good bad hygiene practice, and what they decide is in-between, but it does not prove anything. It can be a starting point for more investigation using other methods such as observation, interviewing, and focus group discussion of the main issues of disagreement.

· List the pictures by number and collate each group's comments with each picture.

· Review the comments made by each group and identify common views and beliefs, as well as unexpected issues raised which may be unrelated to hygiene practices. For example, the picture on Plate 3 (the same picture translated to relate to two different ethnic and cultural groups) generated animated discussions of family planning with particular reference to the responsibilities of the man (see Box 20). Define specific questions for further investigation.

· Prepare reduced copies of each picture used to put in your study report along with summaries of the comments made. These may be placed in an annex/appendix to the main body of your report for reference in order to save space and to facilitate easy reading (see Plate 3 and Box 20).

BOX 19. Three-Pile Sorting - Sample Description Examples from Two Tanzanian Villages

Village 1

Village 2

Group

Number

Group

Number

First group of village notables

13

Wanaume maarufu, influential men

10

Second group of village notables

9

Wanawake maarufu, influential women

8

School boys

11

Wanawake, ordinary women (mixed age)

12

School girls

10

Wanafunzi wavulana, school boys

18

Young men

20

Wanafunzi wasichana, school girls

11



Vijana, young men

23

Plate 3. One of the Three Pile Sorting Cards Used in Tanzania (1994)


Figure 1


Figure 2

BOX 20. Summary of Comments on the Picture Shown in Plate 3

From Dodoma Region, Tanzania

Village 1

"Very bad. This is bad family planning. The man looks confused. They must be very poor, because one of the children has no clothes on. The woman has no time to clean the surroundings. She has too many children. It is also bad to have the animals everywhere." (First group of village notables)

"Bad and common in this village. The man loves his wife too much - there arc many like him who keep making their wives pregnant. One of the children has an infected scalp which is why flies are attracted to her head. It is bad to leave a child naked, and the surroundings are not clean." (Second group of village notables)

"Bad because the children are dirty - one of them has scalp infection which is why she is attracting flies. All of the children look thin and their father has no shoes. Such situations are common here." (Group of young men.)

Village 2

"In-between. The man has no shoes nor do his children. This is bad. One of the girls has attracted flies by not washing her face. It is good that the mother is telling her off The other children have washed their faces which is why there are no flies near them." [No mention of the man.] (Group of influential men)

"Bad, because the woman has too many children. She has no time to look after them all. [This was followed by a long discussion of family planning.] (Group of influential women)

"Bad, because there is no child spacing here. The man is bad. he has been forcing the woman to conceive frequently, he should use "socks." [Some of them started singing the popular song, "You better put socks on," composed and sung by a Doctor Remy Ongala.] We have many men like this one in our village, if you want, we can show them to you. The environment is not clean." (Group of young men)

FIGURE 6. Pictures Used in a Pocket Chart to Investigate Water Uses According to Source, Showing the Number of Votes (Kenya, 1993)












1 Man

1 Man

15 Women

1 Man



3 Women

1 Man
4 Women

6 Women




2 Men
10 Women

1 Man
7 Women





7 Women
1 Man

5 Women
2 Men

4 Women

1 Woman



1 Man
6 Women

3 Women
1 Man

5 Women
1 Man

1 Woman



5 Women
1 Man

5 Women

6 Women
1 Man

1 Woman



4 Women

2 Men
6 Women

6 Women

1 Woman