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SODIS Promotion – Investigating the Behavior Change Process

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SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection) is a simple method to treat microbiologically contaminated drinking water at household level. SODIS promotion activities in many developing countries are taking place since several years, but only moderate success has been achieved in view of the inexpensiveness of the method and the effort applied for its promotion. One reason may be that SODIS promotion is seldom viewed as a behavior change process and therefore inappropriate measures have been taken to promote SODIS, i.e. to change people's behavior from drinking raw, untreated water to the regular use of the SODIS method.

The present study has the focus to investigate more closely which behavioral processes are crucial for a long-term adoption of SODIS and which promotion strategies work better than others in facilitating these processes. Basis of our theoretical framework are psychological behavior change theories and psychological types of interventions.

The results show that the continuous use of SODIS is determined by the degree to which an intention has been built and even more importantly, a habit has been established. Motivational factors like knowledge, beliefs and affect can partly explain the intention to use SODIS. Correspondingly, individuals that received situation-focused interventions that explicitly support habit formation treat more of their water with SODIS in comparison to individuals who only received person-focused interventions that had their focus on creating problem awareness and giving information about SODIS. Recommendations for future intervention strategies are given.
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Keywords: Solar Disinfection; behavior change; habit; intervention

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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