Guidelines for thematic research paper

Guide lines for thematic research papers-SACOSAV-VII


South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN)-VII is scheduled to be organized in February/ March 2018 in Pakistan. This will be first proper regional opportunity after the adaptation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of UN members’ states. SASOSAN-VI happened just few months after SDGs, providing little time to Governments and development partners to align their efforts with SDGs. However, SACOSAN-VII is happening after two years of SDGs hence provide an opportunity to reflect upon SDGs and set new direction of sanitation of discourse in the region. SDGs not only re-emphasize sanitation goals but set higher targets it with quality indicators. Therefore, SACOSAN deliberations must embrace new thinking which transform the institutions delivering sanitation & hygiene and generate knowledge required to achieve these ambitions.

In the backdrop of this introduction, these detailed guidelines have been produced by secretariat to facilitate countries in inviting, selecting, finalizing and coordinating papers on selected thematic topics which have been prioritized by secretariat/ICWG for SACOSAN-VII, list of topics is provided below:

Thematic paper and lead country

Lead country and supporting organization
Sanitation as Cross cutting (Health and nutrition) Afghanistan
Climate Change and sanitationBangladesh
Sociology of sanitationBhutan
Operation and Maintenance- WASHIndia
Policy, Strategy and Sector Planning(institutional arrangement)Maldives
Human resources development for WASHNepal
Accountability and Regulation, Monitoring & evaluation- (two sessions are merged together)Pakistan
WASH FinancingSri Lanka
A detailed concept note for each theme has been prepared to elaborate the regional perspective and scope of thematic papers to be submitted.
Purpose of Thematic papers

The knowledge is evolving; different countries and institutions work in different contexts and use diverse approaches to address sanitation and hygiene challenges. SACOSAN has always provided an important regional forum to enrich knowledge base and capitalize on learning based on best practices, approaches and cross-fertilization of ideas. SACOSAN-VII aims to bring new impetus in the wake of SDGs and push systematic knowledge agenda, therefore it is important for all the countries to expand outreach and harness available knowledge through quality papers. In the experience of previous conferences, following principles must be applied while calling , selecting and finalizing the papers:

– Papers/authors should not deviate from the overarching theme
– Papers bring new knowledge and insights to the proposed theme
– Clear, concise and coherent arguments, where possible use facts, figures and graphs
– Where possible to link with previous SACOSAN papers on similar theme
– Where possible to provide gender segregated data and information to know the different impact, approaches and implication on women and men
– Contributions must propose concrete recommendation for future actions

The proposed process to call for interests/abstract, shortlising papers, finalizing is described below. This is necessary for consistency and coherence across all the countries, all thematic areas and for all the stakeholders. It is essential for maintaining consistency with overarching SACOSAN theme and quality along with timeline that these guidelines while maintaining required level of flexibility necessary at country level. It is anticipated that these indicative guidelines will help in smooth functioning of the process:

  1. Thematic lead country with support from SACOSAN-VII secretariat will send out basic concept on specific technical thematic area they are responsible to all the countries. Concept note will broadly describe the specific theme
  2. SACOSAN focal person in each country will develop and circulate simple call for papers on all above 8 themes through any convenient way (public call, newspaper advertisement, e-circulation to networks, and direct contact with known experts). The invitation must mention clear timelines.
  3. SACOSAN-VII secretariat will also float a circular on its website calling for paper on all thematic areas along with contact details for each thematic lead country
  4. The country SACOSAN focal person to collect all abstracts/interests or if any abstracts received by secretariat, sort them according to theme and then pass it to the thematic lead country
  5. Thematic lead country will review all the interests/abstracts and select 3-4 best feasible ideas and prepare presentation for coordination committee/ICWG
  6. The thematic lead country will ask the respective 3-4 selected individuals/institutions /organizations to submit full papers not exceeding 10-12 pages and the presentation not exceeding 15 minutes. The lead country in support with secretariat will review all selected papers and presentations and ask the authors if further revisions are required
  7. The thematic lead country will forward the final version of the full paper to SACOSAN-VII secretariat for publication, dissemination and including in the conference pack
  8. SACOSAN-VII secretariat will make sure that all the papers are copy edited, published and distributed during the conference and also uploaded on the conference website for wider communication and use.
Critical timelines









Secretariat send out concept notes on all technical themes

3rd week






SACOSAN focal person in each country float circular inviting abstracts

4th week






SACOSAN-VII secretariat float circular for inviting papers

4th week






Initial abstracts received and passed on to the relevant thematic lead country



30th January 



Thematic lead country select 3-4 abstracts and write to authors for submission of full paper




1st week 


Final paper received by thematic lead country




9th February 


Final papers are reviewed by thematic lead country with support from secretariat







Revised paper received along with presentation





 9th March

Presentation and including copy edit of all the papers for consistency and language clarity





2nd week  

Final papers are published and uploaded on SACOSAN-VII website





3rd Week  

Note: SACOSAN-VII secretariat will make sure that all timelines are followed, in case of delay thematic country leads will receive reminder