About the Water and Health Conference
Since its founding in 2009, the goal of the Water Institute at UNC has been to inform the way the world works on water, sanitation and hygiene issues by generating the evidence that drives improvements in both practice and policy. Through this period, the Water Institute has remained steadfast in its commitment to improving public health by achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) services that are safe, affordable and sustainable – particularly for the most marginalized. The annual UNC Water and Health Conference is intended to advance these goals by creating a space where policymakers, practitioners and researchers can gather to review the evidence, interrogate the science and improve old and develop new approaches to expanding WaSH access.
The 2021 Water and Health Conference was a landmark event bringing together stakeholders from 122 countries around the world with more than 3,700 people registering to attend the week-long event. See all videos from our October 2021 conference.
The 2022 Conference will continue to explore the latest learnings around WaSH. The event will include plenaries, side events, verbal presentations and poster presentations. Plenaries will be an opportunity to explore critical themes emerging in 2021. Side events will be collaborative learning experiences focused on new and emerging practices. Verbal and poster presentations will focus on emerging research.
View Sessions Overview (PDF)
Abstract Review Criteria (for all research submissions)
- Submissions will be ranked through double-blinded peer review
- Each abstract will be evaluated based on the degree to which it:
- Presents an original argument (not only a descriptive account of a project)
- Offers a clear rationale, intellectual-grounding, and outcome/payoff for the presentation (i.e., “so what”), including practical advice on best practices or tools that can be implemented by people in the community
- Is clear and well written. Abstracts should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. Where appropriate, background, methods, results, and conclusions should be clear. For all abstracts, the topic and key learning objectives should be obvious
- Acceptance will be based on content, available space, and overall program balance.
Abstract Acceptance/Rejection Notification for Verbal and Poster Presenters
- Notification regarding acceptance or rejection were sent to the presenting author by email at the end of June 2022.
- If your abstract is accepted, you will receive an email that specifies whether it is accepted as a verbal or poster presentation.
- You must RSVP by the date specified. Abstracts are withdrawn if your RSVP is not received by the specified date. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to meet the RSVP deadline.
Conference Session Formats
- Verbal presentations are assigned in 20-minute increments (15 minutes to present with 5 minutes for questions). Length and format are subject to change.
- Verbal presentations should present original arguments.
- Abstracts that are simply project descriptions will not be accepted.
- Poster presentations are assigned and presented in a reception style format.
Selecting Preferred Presentation Format
Please select the formats in which you are willing to present/publish your presentation at the time of abstract submission. This choice cannot be changed after the review committee has made its final decision (i.e., if you are not willing to present a verbal, please choose poster only).
- Submitted abstracts will be considered eligible for either one verbal or one poster presentation.
- Authors select one of three options:
- 1) Verbal Presentation (will NOT be considered for poster)
- 2) Poster Presentation (will NOT be considered for verbal regardless of score)
- 3) Verbal or Poster Presentation (will be considered for either verbal OR poster based on score)
Please note that declining to have your abstract considered for poster presentation does not improve the chance of being accepted for a verbal presentation. This option should be selected primarily by authors not willing/able to present a poster.
Responsibilities of the Presenting Author
- The first author listed for each abstract serves as the presenting author and as the primary contact for all correspondence regarding the abstract.
- The presenting author must be one of the co-authors listed on the submitted abstract.
- The presentation at the conference must reflect the submitted abstract. Specifically, the abstract title, authorship, and scientific content must match the submitted abstract.
Awards for Abstracts on Sanitation Workers
The Water Institute at UNC and the Initiative for Sanitation Workers are pleased to announce the second edition of the Research Awards on Sanitation Workers at the 2022 UNC Water and Health Conference. This year we will award prizes in two categories:
Best Original Research Abstract
Best Published Paper (since 4 May 2021)
NEW for 2022: Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development Special Edition Abstracts Opportunity
We are pleased to announce that new for 2022, Water Institute will be partnering with Journal of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene & Development. The best abstracts submitted for the Water and Health Conference will be invited to provide a full journal submission for a special edition of JWASHD linked to the 2022 Water and Health Conference. Please check the box in the abstract submission form if you are interested in participating in this special program. More information about submitting articles to the Journal can be found here.
We are pleased to offer this well-received special session again at the 2022 conference. The Technology Showcase features a set of 4-5 minutes presentations highlighting WASH-related technology and innovations in a special session format open to any conference participant. There is time for Q/A and interaction with the audience. Check out last year’s session here.
We invite proposals for 2022 Technology Showcase sessions. Proposals are due by August 1, 2022, and we will inform you by end of August if you are invited for a full presentation of your technology or innovation.