5.9.4  Strategies for assessing and improving institutional hygiene

You need to understand the methods and tools for improving the hygiene conditions in public and private institutions. Here are some of them.

Designing the plan of action

You should have a plan of action that covers at least one year. The plan should indicate the list of activities in one column and the time in the second column (see Table 5.2). Note that the activities and time intervals in Table 5.2 are suggestions. You will need to devise your own schedule. The plan of action should be approved by the local authority or your supervisor so that they are aware of it. The local authority can provide you with better assistance if you involve them.

Table 5.2  Annual plan of action for assessing and improving institutional hygiene
No.ActivityTime frame (suggested)
1Identify categories and number of public institutionsAt the beginning of the year (specify the time)
2Prepare survey tools(specify the time)
3Visit/inspect public institutionsMonthly
4Provide a feedback report to visited institutionsImmediately after the visit
5Discuss the findings with local authoritiesMonthly
6Hygiene education to studentsMonthly
7Discuss the main findings with the local government officialsMonthly
8Check personal hygiene of studentsEvery week on Mondays
9Discuss the hygiene status of religious institutions with the church and mosque leadersAt the beginning of the year (specify the time)
10Call and address a general meeting in order to discuss the annual performance and get feedback from the stakeholdersTowards the end of the year
12Mobilise resourcesWhenever needed
13Write reportsMonthly

Advocacy and public education

The enforcement of hygiene requirements is challenging. If a school has no latrine and you advise the school head to install latrines for students, thhe cannot do it immediately. They need time and a budget. In this case, you should emphasise the importance of latrines and encourage them to make the necessary budget allocation. You can also discuss the issue in the formal meetings which involve the local authorities. There are activities that do not require many resources. These are, for example, the establishment of hygiene/health clubs, hygiene education for students, and conducting personal hygiene inspections periodically.

Improving hygiene and sanitation services

Hygiene education and creating awareness are useful for the provision of information, but improvement of hygiene also needs facilities. The construction of latrines and safe water sources must be highlighted even if there are resource constraints. Just be aware that the provision of hardware, such as latrines, requires time and resources.

Inspection of public institutions

Inspection is a tool to identify problems, as described in Section 5.9.2, but it is also a means to design strategies for improvement. You need to make regular visits to each local public institution, at least once a year, using a checklist or a questionnaire that enables you to collect data, similar to the checklist for schools in Table 5.1. You should inform the owners or people responsible for the institution that you want to visit them at a specified date and time. Be transparent and genuine when inspecting to show that you want to help the institution to attain proper hygiene and not to criticise or fine them. You should give advice to the owners for improvement. You need to report to the kebele administrator for any sanitary violations that require enforcement.

5.9.3  Identifying partners that you can work with

Summary of Study Session 5