Changing Behaviors to Scale Up Rural Sanitation: Lessons from Learning Laboratories in the Philippines

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Brief Discription

UNLI Asenso pag may Inidoro(Unlimited Progress with a Toilet) aims to address the problem of open defecation and unimproved toilets in the Philippines. This evidence-based behavior change communication (BCC) campaign focuses on changing attitudes and behaviors of rural households and communities, as well as those of local government officials and leaders in communities where poor sanitation behaviors are practiced.

As the Changing Behaviors to Scale Up Rural Sanitation: Lessons from Learning Laboratories in the Philippines learning note describes,following a staged implementation that included pretesting and refinement of the BCC tools and interventions among key players, the BCC campaign was formally endorsed by the Department of Health, adopted by various NGOs in their own water and sanitation promotional activities, and integrated into the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s enhanced family development sessions  under its conditional cash transfer program.

Main lessons learned from the development and implementation of the BCC campaign are:

  • Understanding the drivers that motivate people to improve their sanitation situation is crucial to informing aBCC campaign. Research showed that social, emotional, and physical drivers, such as safety, pride, convenience, and the idea of progress are stronger motivators among Filipinos.
  • Addressing barriers that discourage people to improve their sanitation situation is important. The campaign provided cost information on a range of options and encouraged people to get a toilet they could afford now and make upgrades in the future.
  • Although BCC interventions create awareness and desire for toilets, marketing efforts should also strengthen supply chain actors and address financing options for households.
  • Sustaining BCC initiatives at scale requires working with both national and local governments to provide credibility, secure sustainability, motivate local leaders, and ensure effective capacity building and use of local frontline workers.

For more information about the BCC campaign to scale up rural sanitation in the Philippines, contact EdKarl Galing at

Philippines, behavior change, toilets, BCC, rural,
Geographic Scope
Country Specific
East Asia and the Pacific
Sanitation and Hygiene
Copyright Year