Handwashing Facilities With Soap and Water

Indicator Phrasing

% of households with handwashing facilities where soap and water are available

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of households with handwashing facilities where soap and water are available

What is its purpose?

This indicator assesses the proportion of households with so called “basic handwashing facilities”, as defined by JMP (see the document below). Existing research shows that people with access to a handwashing facility are more likely to wash their hands. Furthermore, observation of handwashing facilities and materials represents a more reliable proxy for measuring handwashing behaviour than asking people whether they wash their hands.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews and observations among a representative sample of your target group members:




Q1: Can you please show me where you and your family members usually wash your hands?


(instruction for data collector: go and observe the place)

A1 based on your observation please select one:

1) no specific handwashing facility available

2) the respondent refused to show the place

3) tippy-tap available

4) bucket with tap available

5) jug available

6) basin available

7) sink available

8) other – specify: ………………..

If a specific place is shown, the data collector needs to observe and record the following:


Q2 for data collector: Is there water readily available?

A2: yes / no

Q3 for data collector: Is there soap readily available?

A3: yes / no


Ask the following question only if the previous answer is NO:


Q4: Do you have any soap that you use for washing hands?

A4: yes / no


Ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES:


Q5: Can I please see the soap?

A5 Select one of the following:

1) soap was reported and was brought in less than 1 minute

2) soap was reported, is available but took longer than 1 minute to bring

3) soap was reported but is NOT available


To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of respondents whose household has a handwashing facility with water and soap (or can bring soap within 1 minute) by the total number of interviewed respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by location and the households’ wealth category.

Important Comments

1) Handwashing facilities may be fixed or mobile and include a sink with tap water, buckets with taps, tippy-taps, and jugs or basins designated for handwashing. According to JMP standards (see publication below), soap includes a bar soap, liquid soap, powder detergent, and soapy water but does not include ash, soil, sand or other handwashing agents. During the pre-testing it is important to ensure there is common understanding of what can be considered as a handwashing facility. For example, just a 20-litre jerrycan, not adjusted in any way, should not count as a “handwashing facility”.


2) People might be used to leaving their soap at a different place (e.g. somewhere out of the reach of domestic animals, young children or rain) but still use it regularly for washing their hands. That is why it is important to ask question 4 and verify the provided answer using question 5.


3) If you operate in an environment where it is common to use ash as opposed to soap, consider changing Q3 to: “Is there soap or ash for handwashing available?”

This guidance was prepared by Tearfund from People in Need’s IndiKit guidance ©

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