Baseline data collection

The baseline data collection started on January 29, 2023 in Palestine. The process was kicked off at the Al Bwaib Elementary Mixed School, and is expected to be finalised on March 6, 2023, comprising a total of 20 schools in Hebron. In Palestine, the baseline data collection includes handwashing observations, structured questionnaires and household surveys, which were approved by and tailored to the requirements of the Ministry of Education.

The handwashing observations represent the main tool for the impact evaluation of the overall hands4health intervention on the health determinants of pupils in primary schools in Palestine. They assess the primary outcome – i.e. the occurrence of handwashing with water and soap before eating – and also secondary outcomes, such as the occurrence of handwashing after using the toilet and the quality of handwashing.

The structured questionnaires are carried out via individual interviews with pupils, covering aspects related to sociodemographics, hand hygiene-related RANAS factors, water access and handwashing behaviour. The self-reported household surveys target the childrens’ mothers and include questions on the sociodemographics and handwashing infrastructure at the students’ homes.

So far, the response from the school staff has been great. The schools were well-prepared and teachers have provided support to the project teams during the baseline data collection activities in the schools.

Next steps

The Cesvi team is currently finalising the collection of preliminary information for the randomisation of schools, which is required for the impact evaluation carried out by Swiss TPH. The randomisation will divide the schools into the intervention and control groups, each with 10 schools. The intervention component in Palestine will comprise (i) rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure; (ii) chlorination trainings; (iii) RANAS behaviour change campaigns; and (iv) strengthening of the management and monitoring framework of WASH facilities in schools.

Once the randomisation is completed, Cesvi will carry out a deep technical assessment of the 10 intervention schools, to ensure that the WASH infrastructure rehabilitation fits the schools’ needs. The construction works are scheduled to start late March, and last for approximately 1 month. The chlorination trainings will begin mid-March and go until late May. The implementation of the RANAS behaviour change campaigns is likely to be split into two steps – before and after Ramadan.