Hygiene and sanitation promotion strategies among ethnic minority communities in Northern Vietnam: a stakeholder analysis

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Effective rural hygiene and sanitation promotion (RHSP) is a major challenge for many low-income countries. This paper investigates strategies and stakeholders' roles and responsibilities in RHSP implementation in a multi-ethnic area of northern Vietnam, in order to identify lessons learned for future RHSP.A stakeholder analysis was performed, based on 49 semi-structured individual interviews and one group interview with stakeholders in RHSP in a northern province of Vietnam. Participants came from three sectors (agriculture, health and education), unions supported by the Vietnamese government and from four administrative levels (village, commune, district and province). The study villages represented four ethnic minority groups including lowland and highland communities. Stakeholders' roles, responsibilities and promotion methods were outlined, and implementation constraints and opportunities were identified and analysed using thematic content analysis.Effective RHSP in Vietnam is severely constrained despite supporting policies and a multi-sectorial and multi-level framework. Four main barriers for effective implementation of RHSP were identified: (1) weak inter-sectorial collaborations; (2) constraints faced by frontline promoters; (3) almost exclusive information-based and passive promotion methods applied; and (4) context unadjusted promotion strategies across ethnic groups, including a limited focus on socio-economic differences, language barriers and gender roles in the target groups. Highland communities were identified as least targeted and clearly in need of more intensive and effective RHSP.It is recommended that the Vietnamese government gives priority to increasing capacities of and collaboration among stakeholders implementing RHSP activities. This should focus on frontline promoters to perform effective behaviour change communication. It is also recommended to support more participatory and community-based initiatives, which can address the complex socio-economic and cultural determinants of health in multi-ethnic population groups. These lessons learned can improve future RHSP in Vietnam and are also of relevance for health promotion in other minority population groups in the region and globally.
TidsskriftHealth Policy and Planning
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)600-612
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2012

ID: 40130848