This indicator does not measure actual handwashing, as observed in practice or as a demonstration by respondents: this may not be feasible or appropriate in many emergency situations. Respondents' reports of having used soap or a substitute for handwashing at critical times in the past 24 hours is an alternative. Substitutes for soap are wood ash and clean soil or sand. Contact with faeces includes changing babies, picking up children's faeces and changing and cleaning people in care.
Nb of people reporting having washed their hands with soap or substitute after contact with faeces and before contact with food and water
Total nb of people surveyed in the sample
disaggregated by sex and age
Indicator used for response monitoring ?
Threshold / Standard
Follow-up of trends. Target: 100%
There are two elements to this indicator: 1. handwashing at critical times; 2. use of soap or substitute (which is a proxy for correct handwashing). A positive result should only be reported if both are mentioned by the respondent. Respondents should first be asked if they have soap or a substitute, then asked if they have used it over the previous hours and if so, what for. Surveyors should check answers against the following list of critical times for handwashing, without prompting the respondent there may be other times mentioned (like when washing clothes or dishes): 1) after defecating, 2) after handling children's faeces or wiping/washing a child's bottom, 3) after handling faeces or wiping/washing the bottom of a sick or elderly relative AND 1) before drawing water, 2) before preparing food 3) before feeding children or sick or elderly relative, 4) before eating. Model questions for survey: Do you have soap / ash / sand for handwashing? If YES, have you used it today or yesterday? If YES, what did you use it for? Probe to find out when.