Improving health for better education and child development

Project description

Title: Regional Fit for School Programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Philippines, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Cambodia
Partner: Unilever
Lead executing agency: SEAMEO (Southeast-Asian Ministers of Education Organization)/ SEAMEO INNOTECH (Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology), Implementing partners: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia; Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology and SEAMEO RECFON (Regional Center for Food and Nutrition), Indonesia; Ministry of Education and Sports, Lao PDR; Department of Education, Philippines
Overall term: 2011 to 2022

Children washing their hands at a sink with toothbrushes attached. Location: Laos. Copyright: GIZ.


Schools are key public institutions where students, staff and community members interact closely and share common spaces. This interaction increases the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. Schools are also the institutions where lifelong hygiene behaviours are acquired. School-based routine hygiene measures serve to improve the personal hygiene of children and their hygiene habits. Establishing schools as healthy learning environments is at the core of the programme.


More children have permanent access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services in schools in selected Southeast-Asian countries in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

An adult gives a toothbrush to a child. In the background are many more toothbrushes in bags with photos of children attached. Location: Cambodia. Copyright: GIZ.


Fit for School supports the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene programmes in schools. Practices include daily handwashing and tooth-brushing, regular deworming, waste management and regular cleaning to address high-impact diseases. Combined with improved access to clean water, washing facilities and appropriate sanitation, these key determinants of health are addressed in a single intervention package.

On behalf of BMZ, the programme supports the Ministries of Education in Southeast-Asia in rolling out Wash in School (WinS) policies, implementing guidelines and monitoring systems. Compliance with WASH standards and reaching benchmarks drive school heads and education officials to become engaged and trigger action

Fit for School cooperates closely with UNICEF, and they have been co-hosting the annual WASH in Schools International Learning Exchanges since 2012.

The programme also collaborates with Unilever, focusing on scaling up clean and usable toilets in public schools. With support from the Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office and Unilever, the PPP was extended to integrate pandemic preparedness and response measures.

A person fills out a document on a clipboard. In the background are posters about hygiene regulations. Location: Indonesia. Copyright: GIZ.

Last update: July 2022

Additional information