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IV. Needed time

How much time is needed for a behaviour-change intervention?

The time required for a behaviour-change intervention is extremely variable, depending on the behaviour(s) involved, the scale of the intervention, the type of intervention and the resources available.

In situations where it is important to move fast on vital public health problems, the process may be speeded up by focusing on the most frequent common priority behaviours and target groups, using a simplified approach to analysis and design.

For example, WASH´Em and Mum’s Magic Hands approaches are used to promote hand washing with soap in emergencies, with shorter processes adapted to emergency timeframes.

Most of the other approaches presented in this guide require four to six weeks for the analysis and planning stages, then a variable time of months or sometimes years for implementation, depending on the intervention type and other associated components of the programme or project they are part of.

A sanitation-marketing programme reaching a large population may take 6 months to reach the implementation stage, and then one or two years before achieving substantial change at population level.