Each year, 842,000 people around the world die from diarrheal and other diseases associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, unsafe fecal sludge management and poor hygiene practices. Good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices are also a significant contributor to improving nutritional results, enabling quality care in clinics and hospitals, and preventing other diseases.
Our WASH programs improve the health of low-income families in the developing world by increasing access to and use of WASH products and services, such as household water treatment, soap, and toilets.
We leverage the expertise and resources of the public and private sectors to maximize health impact in WASH programming:
- The private sector is a powerful way to reach low-income households, especially as they access products and services every day through local providers and channels. We engage with actors at multiple levels in the private sector to develop viable WASH business models that better respond to consumer needs and preferences through strengthened supply and demand.
- We also work in close collaboration with the public sector, including in-country governments and international donors and policy makers; create a policy environment that is conducive to market growth for WASH; fund start-up projects; coordinate efforts to change key WASH behaviors; and ensure that those who have less ability to pay are able to access products and services.
Our consumers are at the center of our solutions. We use formative research to identify WASH products and services that consumers want and need, as well as their ability and motivation to adopt new behaviors. These insights are used to develop marketing strategies that promote behavior change and ensure WASH products and services are appropriately priced, promoted and placed.
We have promoted household water treatment for more than a decade. To date, we have prevented almost 30 million cases of diarrhea and sold enough water treatment products to treat more than 1 billion liters of water.
In recognition of the different transmission routes that infections can follow, we launched a comprehensive WASH strategy in 2011 and currently have household water treatment programs in 30 countries, handwashing programs in four countries and sanitation programs in 12 countries. This work is further supported by our global network of experts in social marketing and franchising.
Household water treatment: We improve access to clean water by promoting and distributing point-of-use household water treatment products.
Sanitation and fecal sludge management
Community-led total sanitation programs: In areas where open defecation is the norm, we empower communities to change unhealthy behaviors and to adopt basic sanitation.
Market-based sanitation: Through a market development approach, we identify market failures, their root causes, and then determine the most appropriate interventions needed to improve demand and supply for a healthy sanitation market.
Handwashing: We work to increase the practice of handwashing with soap at key times among caregivers of children under five, primary school children and vulnerable populations, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
- How PSI Generates Value for Money through Social Investments
This 2-page brief describes the principles of cost-effectiveness, world-class financial management and risk reduction procedures that PSI uses to deliver cost-efficient impact for our partners.
- 2016 Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Behavioral Study Vietnam
In December 2016, PSI Vietnam conducted a behavioral study among 1,200 rural households in Tien Giang and Dong Thap provinces to assess PSI’s sanitation social marketing program progress and to inform future improvements in coverage and sanitation as well as hygiene behaviors. This study highlights the continuing need for improved sanitation and hand-washing with soap practices among rural families in Vietnam, and identified factors that need to be addressed in order to improve sanitation and hand-washing practices.
- Catalyzing Markets for Urban Sanitation in West Africa
- Social Marketing Evidence Base: Child Survival
The Social Marketing Evidence Base was compiled from a systematic review of published literature evaluating social marketing interventions in global health. This document provides an overview of the results from the studies on child survival.
- PSI Vietnam: Social Marketing for Improved Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
To address unsafe water, poor hygiene and limited sanitation in rural communities, PSI Vietnam launched a market based sanitation initiative in rural areas of the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands.
- Constructing Septic Tanks On-Site Using Ferrocement
This technical brief from PSI’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project describes the procedure for constructing septic tanks using ferrocement.
- Conducting Soils Evaluation for On-Site Wastewater System Design
This technical brief from PSI’s Sanitation Service Delivery (SSD) project describes the procedure for conducting soil evaluations accurately and without a laboratory or expensive soil sieve.
- Business Model Development for Fecal Sludge Management: Insights from Bihar, India
In 2014 PSI began implementing Project Prasaadhan to address critical gaps in fecal sludge management in Bihar, India. Read about the project's key highlights on this poster presented at the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research.
- Market-based Approaches to Sanitation: A Review of the Evidence
This review illustrates the components of market-based approaches to improved sanitation and how they can be used to sustainability and scale.
- Menstrual Hygiene Management: A Review of the Evidence
This review on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) discusses the range of menstrual hygiene products, strategies for delivering interventions, and the benefits of appropriate MHM for young women and their communities.