So there’s some big news for our program. As some of you may know, we’ve been selling latrines and handwashing stations in the community for the past several months. Unfortunately, we did not meet our sales expectations for latrines and this led us to try other approaches (such as barrier analysis), and also to re-think how we were approaching the issue. As a program, we took a step back to see what we could improve in order to achieve our goal. Through months of conversations and research as a team and with Healthcare, we decided that we needed to re-structure our programs in order to serve the community better.
Through this re-structuring, WatSan will break into two different groups. One group, Social Marketing, will fall under the Healthcare program as it focuses on changing behaviors and creating demand in the community. Thus, Healthcare will now be responsible for changing 10 behaviors in the community, including using a latrine. By using a community health worker approach as its foundation, the Healthcare program will then use Social Marketing to ignite behavior change in the community.
The other group, Research and Development, will focus on creating and distributing products that help the programs achieve their goal. R&D will use the best design principles in order to develop products that the community will desire and meet the goals of the programs. Although in the future this group will work with the other Nuru programs, it will first focus on products that Healthcare needs to reach their goal of having the community adopt healthy behaviors. We know that this will be a difficult task, and there are many lessons for us to learn. However, we also have staff that have shown their flair for creativity, and are excited about this new program as well.