Small Doable Actions: A Feasible Approach to Behavior Change

Source
WASH
Date of Publication
2016

WASHplus project aims to improve the supply and quality of water and sanitation facilities and hygiene practices, and reduce household air pollution. This involves facilitating better access to hardware and services while focusing on approaches to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related practices.

WASHplus incorporates a small doable action approach to change WASH and household air pollution practices in its global- and country-level activities. Rather than promoting the ideal WASH practices (e.g., build and use a flush toilet or insist that all family members wash hands at all five critical junctions using running water and soap), they construct a continuum of behaviors that span from unacceptable to ideal.

Small doable actions (SDAs) are behaviors that are deemed feasible to perform in resource-constrained settings, from the householder point of view, and effective at personal and public health levels. Behaviors that meet these two criteria—feasible and effective—are considered small doable actions and are included in the menu of options for WASH behavioral improvement. Stepping stone behaviors that may be on the pathway but do not directly yield impact are not considered SDAs, (e.g., buying cement or singing the happy hygiene song).  

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