WASH Economics Conference, 30-31 March 2023

LSHTM and IFS are organising a new academic conference focused on WASH economics on 30-31 March, 2023. It will be hybrid, both in-person at LSHTM in London and online by Zoom.

The full call for abstracts is here, but submission closed on 28th November 2022, and notifications of acceptance will be sent by 13th December. At that time we will also send further details about the scholarships to facilitate in-person attendance by early career researchers from low- and middle-income countries.

People who did not submit abstracts, or whose abstracts were not accepted, are extremely welcome to join the conference, which is free in-person or online. Keynote speakers will include Prof. Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale University).

For accepted abstracts, full papers will need to be submitted by 10th March 2023 (no word limit, but ideally 3,000-6,000 words)

A list of frequently asked questions is below. For any questions not covered please contact: ian [dot] ross [at] lshtm [dot] ac [dot] uk and britta_a [at] ifs [dot] org [dot] uk.


What counts as “economics”?

We provide a definition of WASH economics in the call for abstracts PDF. Plenty of WASH research by non-economists fits within this definition. If you are unsure, consider adding a line or two in your abstract which communicates how your paper addresses an economics question.

What should I put in my abstract?

The abstract does not have to be sub-headed, but would ideally include the elements of an academic paper (e.g. background/rationale, methods, results, discussion). Non-academics may find it particularly helpful to use this structure. If you do not have results yet, explain your hypotheses or any emerging findings. Theoretical papers are also welcome. You will need to share the full PDF paper with us by 10th March, so ensure it is realistic to complete analysis and writing up by then (but see below re: bullet points being acceptable). If you have not submitted an abstract to an academic conference before, consider reading guidance online (e.g. here, here and here)

When will I have to submit the full paper, and who will see it?

If accepted, you will need to share a PDF of the full paper with the discussant we identify by 10th March, to enable them to prepare their reflections. It will also be shared with registered conference attendees soon after, to facilitate well-informed discussion. However, your PDF will not be posted online or made more widely available, so does not constitute “prior publication”. You may of course make a working paper or pre-print publicly available if you wish. It is acceptable to have bullet points in results/discussion sections as long as key tables and figures are present. It is acceptable for there to be changes between the submitted version and what is presented on 30-31 March.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Details will be shared on the website in due course. Notification of paper acceptance will be on or before 13th December 2022. It is likely that eligible individuals encouraged to apply for a scholarship by 16th December, to allow decisions and visa applications to happen ASAP. Note the definition of L&MIC in the PDF call for abstracts, which is based on nationality rather than current location. Note also the definition of “early career researcher” which is indicative, and flexible for those who have e.g. taken career breaks for childcare.

Who is funding the conference to make attendance free?

The venue is provided by LSHTM, the food by IFS, and the scholarships and other funding by RES.

How will online participation work?

Online participation will be via Zoom, and both presenters and discussants may join remotely.

Are children welcome?

LSHTM does not allow children onsite, but we can arrange for an attendee / organising committee member of your choosing to look after your child in a next-door café while you are a presenter or discussant.

Do authors have to be academics?

No. We welcome submissions from non-academics, but they should be academic in nature, e.g. address a specific research question, presents new results or theory, etc.