Hygiene Heroes



Behavioral Design

TEAMDesign for Global Health

BRIEFDeveloped interactive curriculum and designs to teach preventative health among children in developing countries.


We envision a world where children do not suffer from easily preventable diseases.

Hygiene Heroes is a Research Group that partners with NGOs and universities in other countries, notably India and the Philippines, to teach preventative health through interactive curriculum for children. Developed teaching curriculum is constantly being tested in India where local teachers implement our curriculum. I was a Design Researcher on the Design for Global Health team.



Lack of access to clean water lending to diarrheal diseases among children.


Harmful smoke from biomass cookstoves lending to premature deaths and pregnancy complications among mothers.


Diarrheal disease kills nearly 700,000 children per year and exposure to household air pollution from the combustion of biomass and coal leads to roughly 780,000 premature deaths a year in India.

The lack of access to clean water is one of the most pressing environmental issues in developing countries today. Diarrheal disease kills nearly 700,000 children per year.

Another pressing problem is how harmful smoke from inefficient biomass cookstoves, also called chulhas, contributes to global climate issues and kills around four million people a year.

Safe Water

Testing the hypothesis of appealing to negative emotions through graphics embedded into curriculum.

Simple practices like chlorination and using soap to wash hands are difficult to adopt. Efforts to push for these simple practices by emphasizing the health benefits amongst particularly vulnerable populations have proven frugal.

Instead, the Hygiene Heroes team and I developed and tested a possible solution to demonstrate seemingly disgusting graphic illustrations of the consumption human feces to appeal to negative emotions of children of slum compounds in Chennai, India.

I designed the curriculum that schools in Chennai, India implemented to promote safe water practices among schoolchildren. Along those lines, I created visual assets for the safe water curriculum by illustrating the numerous germs associated with water that may look clean but has not been tested or filtered to be determined as safe to drink.

Cook Stoves

Promoting safe cooking during pregnancy by illustrating the negative effects of using biomass cookstoves.

Relevant research in regards to inefficient biomass and coal cookstoves has been done by the Hygiene Heroes Group. Promoting safe cooking during pregnancy could lead to less pregnancy complications and thus less premature deaths.

We explored ways to enact efficient stove buying and climate credit behavior amongst pregnant mothers. I created curriculum to demonstrate the negative health effects of using inefficient biomass cookstoves. My designs were continuously tested in schools in Chennai, India and reiterated upon. Personifying the harmful smoke as villainous to illustrate the negative effects proved most influential.


Overall, positive results.

My safe water design work has been implemented and tested in 70 schools in Chennai, India. Our NGO partner in Chennai found that the safe water curriculum did result in increased hand-washing among children in elementary school, but not by a greatly signifiant amount.

My cook stoves design work has been implemented into a small slums compound and resulted in two-thirds of families discarding harmful cookstoves and opting for clean liquefied petroleum gas stoves.

I am unable to disclose photos taken by our partners of Hygiene Heroes curriculum being implemented and used in rural communities of India and the Philippines because of consent reasons.