Promotion of solar water disinfection: comparing the effectiveness of different strategies in a longitudinal field study in Bolivia

Health Commun. 2009 Dec;24(8):711-22. doi: 10.1080/10410230903264022.


Solar water disinfection (SODIS) is a simple method designed to treat microbiologically contaminated drinking water at the household level. This study focused on the effective promotion of the SODIS method using various strategies. In a longitudinal field study, we compared 2 interpersonal strategies (promoters and opinion leaders) and a centralized strategy (health fair) with a control group. Indicators of effectiveness were SODIS knowledge, SODIS adoption rate, and potential reach. The results suggest that use of promoters is the most successful strategy in terms of reaching people and changing their behavior toward SODIS use. The opinion leaders-although less effective-show some potential to stimulate communication among people about SODIS. Only the health fair did not have a big impact on behavior. Further discussion includes the costs of the various promotional activities, limitations, and recommendations for future projects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bolivia
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Solar Energy*
  • Water Purification / methods*