Yey Komru is a national behavior change
campaign that addresses specific
child-centered WASH behaviors and
has been designed for everyone to use.

Developed using human-centered design and behavior change methodology, the campaign employs a creative approach to problem-solving that puts people at the center of the process and ends with innovative solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs and create positive impact. It goes beyond simply designing behavior change communications, incorporating many approaches, including new services, products, and tools that can be used in a sustainable way by the local community.

Targeted Behaviors

Promoting WASH behavior change for children aged 2-5 years old in three key areas:

Hand washing with soap

Increase the habit of children washing their hands with soap after before eating (including snacks) and after defecation

While caregivers understand and can recall the critical moments to wash their hands and children’s hands with soap, this has not yet become a regular habit and there is no urgency to do so. Households do not understand how germs can be transferred from one place to another by touching things with contaminated hands or feet. Children are especially at risk, as it is common for them to eat snacks throughout the day without washing their hands, with no easy access to handwashing facilities, and no instruction from caregivers at this critical point.

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Latrine adoption and ceasing open defecation

Increase latrine adoption for children and stop open defecation

Despite an increase in latrine adoption, it is still socially acceptable for children under five years old in rural Cambodia to practice open defecation due to misconceptions around child faeces being less harmful than adult faeces. Children of this age are also perceived as difficult to train or too small to use a potty or latrine, and their faeces are not always safely disposed of, exposing them to higher risk of contamination.

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Safe household water treatment and storage

Increase access to clean, safe drinking water for children

Even though many people understand and practice safe water treatment methods due to multiple interventions, they are not aware of the recontamination points of their drinking water after treatment and the importance of safe handling and storage. Water quality is regarded as a priority for infants, and many caregivers will invest in purified bottled water for them. However, children who are walking have more access to unsafe water, and may drink directly from a rain jar or well.

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Over the 18-month project journey, various levels of prototypes were created and tested in multiple rounds before developing the final concept. An iterative design process has helped refine and shape solutions that are closer to people’s needs and addresses their barriers, taking into account key components of behavior change, such as emotion, knowledge, and having an enabling environment.


The behavior change solution for WASH - Yey Komru - has been developed over 18 months using an evidence-based approach and with input from multiple stakeholders and the government. This section gathers all background information such as research findings, for a deeper understanding of the campaign and targeted behaviors.