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Handy Wash Tap Innovation Case Study

Optimising the A-frame Handwashing Promotion and Practice Kit

Oxfam’s Promotion and Practice Handwashing Kit is a robust, user-friendly handwashing station that is easily set-up in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, allowing for improved, timely handwashing at critical moments and reducing people’s health risks in emergency displacement camps.

Developing the promotion and practice hand-washing kit (PPHWK) kicked off with an inception meeting in Oxfam house, Oxford on 13 Jan 2017. It brought together all stakeholders and experts in design, behaviour-change hand-washing and logistics and WASH to re-establish project objectives, ways of working and the work plan. The day ended with the realisation that the current A frame HW kit that required optimisation needed to be taken back to the drawing table to ascertain that we have the best possible design and the best possible price.

Handwashing Promotion and Practice kit Design options brain storming session with some Royal College of Arts students and Dr John Stevens – the main facilitator. Credit: Foyeke Tolani

Handwashing Promotion and Practice kit Design options brain storming session with some Royal College of Arts students and Dr John Stevens – the main facilitator. Credit: Foyeke Tolani

Since the January inception meeting, follow on meetings were held in Feb, 2 in March and one in April, with most of the stakeholders agreeing on the ideal HW kit “must and should have” attributes (See Fig 1) as well as discussing different design options. A special meeting was also held with some design students at the Royal College of Arts, London to generate design ideas for different components of an ideal HW station that would meet all the set attributes.

List of ‘must have’ and ‘should have’ attributes required for optimization of the initial A-frame design

Must Have Should Have
  • Be durable and robust
  • Easily set up
  • Accessible and user-friendly to adults, children and the disabled
  • Lower contamination likelihood at touch points
  • Collect and remove effluent to prevent puddling around device
  • Low maintenance, spare parts readily available
  • Stackable
  • Water storage of 20-30 litres
  • Convenient access to soap
  • Be low cost
  • Theft and vandal resistant
  • Be compatible with existing hand washing set ups
  • Attractive appearance
  • Lighting
  • Mirror
  • Low maintenance – filling frequency once a day
  • Enable the display of hand washing messages
  • Be able to present other nudges
Inception-meeting

Project Inception meeting. Picture shows Carl Dolby from Dunster House presenting the various ways the A frame design can be optimised to Design and Behaviour change experts and Advisers. Credit: Foyeke Tolani

By early March, five of the developed design options looked viable and by the end of March, it was narrowed down to one option. This is now being intensely reviewed and modified for vacuum formed production to make prototypes which will be tested initially in house before deploying them to Tanzania for field testing. Nduta camp in Tanzania was selected because it keeps receiving new influxes of refugees, which makes it an ideal setting to trial hand-washing stations next to newly constructed latrines for the new camp residents.

This optimisation of the original A frame PPHWK journey was supposed to last for 3 months however it will most likely take 4.5 months. The mode of production will also require a tooling mould (that may be initially expensive) but it will facilitate mass low cost production in the long run.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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