Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Call for Papers on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Technologies and Governance in Urban Development


Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Technologies and Governance in Urban Development
Asian Development Bank Institute, Asian Development Bank, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Governments, international agencies, and private organizations have invested heavily in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in recent decades, resulting in considerable advances in the availability of safe water and sanitation in Asia and the Pacific and globally. Yet, more than 2.2 billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water, while more than half of the world’s population continue to lack access to safe sanitation.

Greater understanding of technology, financial, and governance solutions in an urban context could further boost WASH services growth and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes pinpointing areas of progress within the sector, where efforts are still lacking, and what types of programs have been proven to work. Such lessons could also better position policy makers and industry practitioners to build successful WASH programs.

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Asian Development Bank, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are seeking original, unpublished empirical research papers on technology and governance measures for strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene services in urban development. Selected papers will be featured during an ADBI virtual workshop in October 2021 and considered for inclusion in a special issue of the journal Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.

Paper topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Effective government interventions and urban planning practices related to WASH services, including accountability and transparency
  • Optimizing WASH infrastructure planning and accounting for future changes such as population growth, urbanization, climate change, and groundwater depletion
  • Linkages between sanitation, surface and groundwater water quality, drinking water safety, and policy
  • Smart cities and innovative WASH technological solutions
  • Citizen science in WASH mapping and monitoring
  • Earth Observation and other advanced technologies for WASH mapping and Sustainable Development Goals monitoring
  • Advances in slum mapping, including access to water and sanitation
  • Availability, affordability, and accessibility of WASH services in slums and cities
  • WASH policies and development strategies in urban areas
  • Challenges in providing equitable access to WASH services and ensuring rights and social justice for marginalized populations in cities
  • Sustainability of WASH services in urban areas
  • Other relevant empirical studies and case studies related to WASH

Submission Procedure

Authors should submit their full papers in English via this link by 15 September 2021. Authors should choose the special issue in step 1 of their submission.

All paper submissions must comply with the Guidelines for Authors of ‘Original Manuscripts‘ (8,000 words) for Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.

Submissions are welcome irrespective of authors’ racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities. Women and residents of ADB developing member countries are highly encouraged to submit.

Arrangements for Selected Papers

Authors of selected papers will be invited to present during the ADBI virtual workshop in October 2021, to focus on sanitation and development. More details will be provided later.

Additional information about the journal special issue will also be provided to authors of selected papers at a later date.

Guest Editors

  • Ting Tang, Research Scholar, Water Security Research Group, Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • Amit Patel, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Linda See, Senior Research Scholar, Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Group, Advancing Systems Analysis Program, IIASA
  • Yoshihide Wada, Program Director, BNR, IIASA; Chair and Professor of Global Water and Food Security, Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
  • Nynke Hofstra, Associate Professor, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University & Research
  • KE Seetha Ram, Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Alyse Schrecongost, Water Sanitation, & Hygiene Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Inquiries may be directed to Ting Tang.