WEDC Conference 2021: Support for early-career WASH professionals

14 January 2021


In the past week WEDC have announced that authors of accepted abstracts and presentations who are resident in low- or lower- middle-income countries as listed in the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects, 2020 will gain free access to the conference.

This development makes our funding offer redundant. Please send your applications directly to WEDC using the submission process.

Good luck with your applications and we look forward to seeing you at the conference!

The Sanitation Learning Hub is pleased to announce that we have funding available to support a small number of early career practitioners and/or researchers to attend and present at the 42nd WEDC International Conference on 13–15 September 2021.

The conference will take place entirely online.

For successful applicants, the Sanitation Learning Hub will cover the cost of the registration fee, and provide feedback and advice on extended abstracts and presentations if required.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services: Future Challenges in a rapidly changing world”. Those selected will be expected to write an abstract and, if accepted, develop a presentation to deliver at the conference. In addition, selected authors will also be required to write a blog about your experiences and reflections from the conference.


The WEDC International Conference seeks to create a safe, open and honest exchange and debate of experiences of the WASH sector within our changing environment. Presentations should focus on innovations, experience, ideas and learning contributing to further thinking about achieving equitable and sustainable WASH programmes at scale, sharing successes and failures of approaches and field experiences including lessons learnt, or introducing new knowledge or innovations. We are most interested on papers that focus on:

  • How sanitation programmes have developed strategies to ensure equity and inclusion (particularly at scale).
  • Community perspectives on the links between climate change and sanitation and hygiene.
  • How to create resilient WASH systems in rapidly changing, fragile or post-emergency contexts.
  • How strong and successful sub-national government leadership can result in area-wide ODF coverage which leaves no one behind.
  • How to reach the hardest to reach/people and communities in challenging contexts.
  • Building learning and adaptation into sanitation and hygiene programmes.
  • Learning from failure in WASH.

Criteria for applicants:

  • Applicant must be an early career WASH professional, with up to five years’ experience in the sector.
  • Be available to participate fully in the conference 13-15 September 2021.
  • Those from low- and middle-income countries are encouraged to apply.

Application process:

If you meet the criteria above and are interested in applying follow the steps below:

  • Draft an extended abstract closely addressing an aspect of one of the themes listed above that SLH are interested in. It should not be longer than two pages (WEDC provides other information for abstract authors here Guidance for Authors and Presenters)
  • In 100 words, summarise why you believe your paper is relevant and important in the current WASH context.
  • Send the extended abstract and summary to by 15th February 2021.
  • If your application is successful, we will contact you with feedback and advice on your draft extended abstract and we will cover your fees to attend WEDC.
  • When your abstract is finalised you will need to submit it to WEDC using the WEDC template by 15th March 2021 and pass through their review process. .

If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact us on