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The effect of behaviour change interventions on use of public handwashing stations in Bangladesh
Last registered on June 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The effect of behaviour change interventions on use of public handwashing stations in Bangladesh
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006967
Initial registration date
December 22, 2020
Last updated
June 17, 2021 9:25 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
PI Affiliation
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-01-03
End date
2021-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
As part of the COVID-19 response, BRAC has built 1000 public handwashing stations in several hundred villages in 20 sub-districts of Bangladesh. We plan to investigate the effects of two sets of behavioural interventions on use of the handwashing stations, compared to no additional interventions. The first set of interventions, which do not require ongoing labour (hence termed 'low intensity'), involve the installation of various 'nudges' (e.g. mirrors and signposts) on the station and in the surrounding area; these interventions are designed to attract attention and guide people to the stations. The second set of interventions, which do require ongoing labour ('high intensity'), involve 'promoters' visiting the stations a few times a week for three weeks to offer free bars of soap to station users, update a community board next to the station with cumulative usage numbers, and to encourage users to place comments or marks on the board as a form of social proof. Stations will be assigned to receive either the low intensity nudges, the high intensity intervention, or no additional intervention (beyond BRAC's planned community and communications programming) using a clustered covariate adaptive randomisation process. We will measure use of the stations for one week prior to the implementation of the behavioural interventions, and then for a further six weeks. Station usage will be measured by a combination of structured observations and tally counters attached to the foot pedals that operate the station.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Brown, Dan et al. 2021. "The effect of behaviour change interventions on use of public handwashing stations in Bangladesh." AEA RCT Registry. June 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6967-1.2000000000000002.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
- High-intensity intervention bundle: a limited number of free soap bars and facemasks provided as a incentive to handwashing station users on specific days; a community board which is manually updated to show the cumulative number of uses, as measured by tally counters attached to the station foot pedals, and encouragement by promoters on specific days to use the station and engage with the community board. These interventions will be delivered for 3 weeks
- Low-intensity intervention bundle: mirrors installed on handwashing station backboard and signposts installed and/or large arrows painted on the ground in the surrounding vicinity to guide people towards the station.
- All villages (including those in the control group) will also receive in-person community demonstrations delivered by BRAC, audio messages about the handwashing stations (delivered via 'miking'), free soap distributed through village committees (not conditional on handwashing station usage), and small stickers/posters pointing to the stations and encouraging inclusive use.
Intervention Start Date
2021-01-10
Intervention End Date
2021-05-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Average soap pedal presses per day in the first three weeks post-intervention
- Estimated average handwashing station uses per day over in first three weeks post-intervention
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Stations are operated via foot pedals, and we will attach tally counters to the pedals that increment each time the pedal is pressed. Soap pedal presses will be translated to station uses by estimating the relationship between presses and uses, as measured via structured observations. These observations, however, will only be made for a part of the day, so we are treating this is an estimate.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
- Average soap pedal presses per day in the second three weeks (weeks 4, 5 and 6) post-intervention
- Estimated average handwashing station uses per day over in the second three weeks (weeks 4, 5 and 6) post-intervention
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Villages will be assigned to one of the three conditions using a covariate adaptive randomisation process. All stations in the same village will be assigned to the same condition. The randomisation will attempt to achieve balance on the subdistrict that the village is located in, the number of stations in the village, and location categories of stations (e.g. near a mosque, near a market, near a school).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Covariate adaptive randomisation implemented using the Stata user-written command rct_minim.
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
800 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
869 stations, with 7 weekly outcome measures per station
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
266 villages control
266 villages 'low-intensity'
266 villages 'high-intensity'
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number