This guide is a compilation of best practices and key lessons learned through Oxfam's experience of community engagement in the 2014-15 Ebola responses in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It provides ideas for all stages of an intervention, including the importance of assessment; principles and methods for community engagement; the challenges of scaling-up responses and changing communities' behaviours; and reflections on how to better advocate for communities.
Handwashing promotion programmes in emergencies are important, as they significantly contribute to the reduction of diarrhoea-related diseases. These programmes traditionally focus on the health benefits of handwashing as a key motivator. Information - in the form of messages - is delivered to beneficiaries about the key times to wash hands and how doing this at certain times can reduce morbidity rates. However, over the years it has been found that health information alone does not result in an increase in handwashing with soap, or other health-related behaviours.