Call for Papers on Sanitation and Development

Governments, international agencies, and private organizations have invested heavily in sanitation improvements in Asia and globally in recent decades, though the benefits for vulnerable groups such as the poor, women, and children have yet to be systematically captured. There is also a need to better understand how to optimize sanitation services across households, taking into account prices, competition, and other supply-side factors.

Evidence-based research on sanitation may help pinpoint what progress has been achieved, where efforts are still lacking, and what types of programs work. New empirical evidence may also provide a strong foundation on which practitioners and policy makers can build future programs on sanitation and related Sustainable Development Goals.

ADBI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are seeking original empirical research papers on sanitation and development, to be presented by the authors during a workshop in Tokyo or online in October 2021. Selected papers will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of Development Economics or publication as ADBI working papers. Topics related to Asia and the Pacific are of particular interest and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Sanitation’s socioeconomic impacts in areas such as health, education, gender, employment, and economic wellbeing
  • Other downstream effects of sanitation on individual or household-level income, domestic migration patterns, and income disparities
  • Demand for sanitation, including responses to sanitation incentives and adoption of sanitation facilities
  • Social and economic spillover effects of sanitation
  • The sanitation network system market, including competition among company suppliers, bidding, auction, and sewered vs. non-sewered sanitation
  • Challenges in sanitation services delivery to poor households in urban and rural areas
  • The role of technology such as mobile payment systems in improving sanitation access and delivery
  • Other topics related to the economics of sanitation

Submission Procedure

Authors should submit their full papers in English via this link by 1 August 2021. The cover letter must mention that the submission is for the “ADBI-BMGF-IFS Workshop on Sanitation and Development.” All paper submissions must comply with the Guide for Authors of the Journal of Development Economics.

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

Arrangements for Selected Papers

Authors of selected papers will be invited to present during the October 2021 workshop. Should conditions allow the workshop to be conducted in Tokyo, ADBI will provide travel support to one author per paper. The author must be a citizen of an ADB member economy.

The workshop will be held virtually in the event of COVID-19 travel disruptions.

Project Organizing Committee

  • Tetsushi Sonobe, ADBI
  • Britta Augsburg, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Jennifer Orgill-Meyer, Franklin and Marshall College
  • Molly Lipscomb, University of Virginia
  • Tan-Soo Jie-Sheng, National University of Singapore
  • Dil Rahut, ADBI
  • Roshan Raj Shrestha, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • KE Seetha Ram, ADBI
  • Ma. Laarni Revilla, ADBI


Inquiries may be directed to Ma. Laarni Revilla