Training strategies

Training strategies


The SODIS method is simple, cheap and efficient. Even so, it will not automatically spread throughout the population as soon as people hear about it. Intensive education is necessary to ensure that people treat their drinking water every day.

Knowing about a method does not necessarily mean that people will apply it. The process of bringing about a change in behaviour is very complex. First, a person must be made aware of the problem that contaminated water can cause. Other important steps towards long-term application are the development of a positive attitude and addopting the significant behaviour (by way of a trial). However, the tipping point for successfully making a long-term change in behaviour lies in adopting different habits. This must be encouraged above all.

In order to organise the training and subsequent change in habits as effectively as possible, sociopsychologists are studying a range of strategies. Initial findings show that training by professional instructors is particularly effective. Using the SODIS method becomes a habit more quickly when memory aids are used. It is important for the method to be credible. The length of the education is also very important. Education projects must be arranged for long periods. On the other hand, large-scale events are not very cost-effective.

From person to person

Scientific studies have shown that the method is spread considerably more effectively by using professional instructors than with impersonal mass communication approaches (e.g. radio, TV). Professional instructors are tasked with visiting homes and persuading people to use the SODIS method. If necessary, they can distribute additional materials such as flyers or bottles. The instructors usually visit the homes several times in the course of a year. They have been trained for their work and receive a salary.

Memory aids reinforce the creation of new habits

Memory aids, in the form of posters, stickers or table cards for example, also proved to be very promising in studies. They remind users of the SODIS method and so help to make it natural to apply it. As far as possible, memory aids should be placed wherever water is used on a daily basis. In the projects of the studies, they were also very popular as decoration in the houses, most of which were quite simple otherwise.

Visibility and credibility

Besides professional instructors and memory aids in the home, public visibility and official recognition of the method are also important. Wall paintings in schools and health centres, information spots on the television and radio raise credibility and can also serve as memory aids.

The example of respected personalities in the regions of the project can also have an important effect. If the village elder, the teacher, the priest or the midwife place their bottles in the sun every day, others will soon follow suit. It is therefore extremely important to get these key people to commit to a project from the outset.

Length of the eduction project

Changes in behaviour and lasting changes in habit patterns happen slowly, and relapses are to be expected. Overall therefore, a project for spreading the use of the method should last not less than one year, and preferably two years.

Large-scale events

The example of a health exhibition showed that this type of large-scale event is not very efficient. The costs are too high in relation to its effect.

Scientific publications

© SODIS 2017
Last update: 10.09.2009