About Us

Who we are

The hands4health consortium is a joint initiative of NGOs, academia and private sector entities that aims to develop a comprehensive approach to hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care facilities (HCFs) and schools not connected to functional water supply systems.

Together, we are carrying out a four-year research project (2021-2024) that integrates the TRANSFORM Programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The project will be implemented in Switzerland (laboratory research) and in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria and Palestine (field development).

Our motivation

The idea of this project is based on a deep personal concern, and a clear awareness of the limitations of the current approaches expressed by the consortium partners – WASH and behaviour psychology experts, scientists, implementers, manufacturers and consultants.

It is further triggered by the organisational knowledge of the scale and extent of the poor hand hygiene in primary HCFs and schools, amplified by the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic and the willingness to respond efficiently and support resilience development in the long term.

Through informal exchanges at Aguasan, Swiss Water Partnership and other WASH-related meetings, it became clear to us that fragmented initiatives and projects generate evidence and experience but may also contain missed opportunities.

Therefore, we decided to join our long-lasting experiences in developing and implementing applied research projects together, and conducting field research and capacity development with local partner organisations, to form the hands4health consortium.

Consortium partners

Ten partners comprise the hands4health consortium. Each partner has different expertise and roles in the project. The University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) carry out the overall project management and coordination, whereas the Steering Group takes strategic decisions. The SG comprises one member of each of the partner organisations. You can find more information regarding the specific roles of each project partner under the menu button ‘About Us’ on this page.

Funding

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funds the hands4health initiative, through a project and programme contribution of CHF 4’700’000. More information is available here.