Case Study Hero: WaterAid


Creating life-saving coronavirus content

  • Partnered with WaterAid to support behaviour change and reduce Covid-19 transmission in world’s poorest communities
  • Produced shareable, evidence-based content to resonate with hard-to-reach audiences
  • WaterAid’s mass public hygiene behaviour change campaign reached more than 99 million people


To prevent the spread of Covid-19 in world’s poorest communities with creative and effective behaviour change messaging.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, WaterAid needed to reach as many people as possible in the 28 countries in which it operates. In particular, the charity wanted to reach people not usually exposed to government-led messaging. The goal was to inspire behaviour changes, such as physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

WaterAid also saw Covid-19 as an opportunity to raise hygiene awareness and bring about lasting impact in these communities.


Thrive created a series of illustrations and visual images showing preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Our behaviour change team unpicked the needs of target communities to ensure our messaging was emotionally supportive and effective in changing behavioural practices.
  • We designed a series of engaging images to convey the messaging. For example, a picture of a cow to help people visualise two-metre social distancing.
  • We adapted the images and messages for use on social media, as well as on posters, pamphlets and leaflets.
  • We ensured the images could be localised by regional WaterAid teams for maximum reach.


The assets created by Thrive were part of WaterAid’s mass public hygiene behaviour change campaign reaching more than 99 million people.

Fiona Callister, Global Head of Media at WaterAid said: “Thrive have listened attentively throughout the process and offered real expert-level engagement. Thrive understood our target audience and there was a really creative approach throughout.”

Following the success of the WaterAid project, Thrive created a free library of assets for non-profit organisations. The library includes articles, SMS messages and voice scripts promoting best practices for protecting against Covid-19.

Contact us to find out more.

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