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Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development

Special Issue on

Uncovering WaSH inequities in High Income Countries: Re-imagining equitable services



This Special Issue examines Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) inequities in High Income Countries (HICs), taking the next step in this emerging field by bringing together disparate studies and discourses. Its importance lies in its timely focus on populations whose needs, and sometimes existence, are not accounted for in normative concepts of service design and delivery. More broadly, inclusive and sustainable services for all speak to global climate and human rights challenges, as well as the overarching principle of the Sustainable Development Goals: ‘leave no one behind’.

The Special Issue includes articles from scholars across disciplines as well as practice contributions and transdisciplinary reflections. This collection assembles a diverse set of perspectives on WaSH inequities in HICs, with particular emphasis on planning for just services that people value.

Re-imagining service design and governance is a complex task and viability for upscaling or integrating into existing systems will likely be challenging. Despite this, we see the mid-2020s as a time of critical juncture where normative concepts of services are being interrogated. Why should we not seek to rebuild in a way based, first, in ideals of equity and justice?

We are pleased to invite you to submit a manuscript to Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development for peer review and possible publication in a Special Issue entitled 'Uncovering WaSH inequities in High Income Countries: Re-imagining equitable services'.

Relevant topics include:

  • Contemporary research on water, sanitation or hygiene inequities in HICs.
  • Research with populations facing restricted access to services, including (but not limited to): indigenous peoples, Roma and Traveller communities, those experiencing homelessness, migrants and displaced persons.
  • Research with a strong focus on local perspectives, grounding discussion of wider systems change in experiences of those who are excluded or disengaged; addressing how systems of provision in HIC contexts avoid, exclude and ignore certain groups.
  • Work addressing how some people deliberately disengage with official systems and/or how people create their own systems to meet their WaSH needs in situations of exclusion or disengagement. Developing the concept of ‘equity’ in service provision as situated, dynamic and complex.
  • Research and writing that engages with fundamental re-imagining of service design and governance, asking broadly – what service provision do people want, and why?

Key dates:

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31st January 2024

Deadline for Full Manuscript Submission: 31st May 2024

Expected publication: Manuscripts will be published online as soon as possible after acceptance

Guest Editors:

Ms Ruth Sylvester, University of Leeds, UK

Dr Helen Underhill, Newcastle University, UK

Dr Katie Meehan, King's College London, UK

How to submit your abstract:

If you are interested in submitting to the Special Issue, you will need to submit an abstract for approval by the Guest Editors. You can submit your abstract via email to the Editorial Office, who will collate all of the submissions for the Guest Editors, and then notify you of the outcome.

Please submit your abstract via email here.

How to submit your full paper:

After your abstract has been approved by the Guest Editors, please make sure that your paper follows the Instructions to Authors of the journal, before submitting your paper directly to the Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development’s peer review system. Then choose the article type – ‘Special Issue Article OA’ and the submission category – “Special Issue: Uncovering WaSH Inequities”. This will send your paper to one of the Guest Editors.

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