In Kind Direct

Understanding Hygiene Poverty

The challenge

In Kind Direct (IKD) supports communities by distributing consumer goods donated by companies to UK charitable organisations – keeping people clean, safe and well. IKD approached NPC after recognising a huge increase in demand for its services, at a time when it was implementing its new strategy. As well as providing practical support for people experiencing ‘hygiene poverty’, IKD wanted to consider its own role and voice, and that of key stakeholder groups, in tackling the root causes of this issue. They wanted to consider the scale of the problem and its consequences in recent years, building from the impact data and insight they already collect.


The approach

We worked with IKD to develop a systems map, examining the causes and impacts of hygiene poverty, between April-July 2022. We started by agreeing the scope, structure and design of the systems map. Together, we identified some key factors relating to hygiene poverty through a desk-based literature review, and In Kind Direct’s current data. This formed the skeleton version of our draft systems map. We then developed the map during a series of three workshops with a broad range of stakeholders, each with their own perspective and insight into hygiene poverty, including staff from IKD’s charitable and corporate partners.

Once the map was finalised, we analysed this to identify ‘leverage points’—places in the system where an intervention might lead to positive change. We used insights from interviews and two workshops with IKD staff to identify these leverage points, and to discuss what possible interventions might look like.


The result

IKD has reviewed our research and recommendations to inform its own strategic planning, and pulled key insights into an executive summary, Human Right to Hygiene. Crucially, it outlines a Roadmap to Change with concrete steps partners can take to help end hygiene poverty. You can read the Human Right to Hygiene report, final systems map and full project report here.


This systems mapping project was a first for In Kind Direct, and the team at NPC made it an immersive and valuable experience. It was a collaborative process, with team on both sides listening and learning from each other. We particularly appreciate the time NPC took to train members of the In Kind Direct team. They have continued to support us as we use this work to convene others, to shape our future activities and push for systemic change for those we serve.

In Kind Direct

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