Affordable and engaging handwashing solution for low-income households

The HappyTap is a mass-manufactured portable sink purpose built for low-income communities. It is an aspirational, yet affordable solution that not only enables access to handwashing infrastructure but, more importantly, encourages behaviour change. Despite high-levels of knowledge and awareness about hand hygiene in developing countries, the rate of hand washing is very low, estimated at 6% in Vietnam and 2% in Bangladesh.

HappyTap is manufactured and distributed by HappyTap Ltd., a social business headquartered in Vietnam. The product is designed to remove structural barriers that prevent people, especially children and their caregivers, from habitually washing their hands with soap. It brings water and soap together to make handwashing more convenient, accessible, and fun.

HappyTap presents a compelling opportunity to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, consolidating the awareness raised by mass campaigns and transforming it into practice. HappyTap Co. also aims to improve livelihood opportunities for women, empowering them as entrepreneurs and sales agents.

TRANSFORM is partnering with HappyTap Ltd. to expand on its initial success in Vietnam to Bangladesh.

TRANSFORM support will help HappyTap recruit key staff, conduct market research, deliver a multi-channel marketing campaign, scale-up distribution, and investigate further regional expansion. TRANSFORM will also look to optimise the HappyTap as a platform for integrated behaviour change.

HappyTap has a target market of twelve million households in Bangladesh and aims to reach over 8,000 Base of Pyramid consumers in the first year of the project. With an ambitious scale-up plan in Bangladesh, the partnership hopes to directly impact 230,000 people and indirectly impact 700,000 people in the first four years. HappyTap’s long term vision is to enable two million people to consistently wash their hands within five years across Asia.

“Bangladesh is an exciting market for a portable sink like HappyTap,” said Geoff Revell, HappyTap CEO. “The country has made incredible progress in sanitation, reaching nearly universal coverage. But there has been little progress in handwashing. Without proper handwashing, diarrhoea and other infectious diseases will continue to be major public health issues. By partnering with TRANSFORM, HappyTap will have the resources and partners needed to make a real difference.”

Chase, C., & Do, Q. T. (2012). Handwashing behavior change at scale: evidence from a randomized evaluation in Vietnam. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, (6207).
Icddb,r (2008). Health and Science Bulletin. Hand washing Behavior in Rural Bangladesh. Sep;6(3):21­24