Pandemics, COVID19, Sustainability and Development

Submission deadline: May 31, 2020

Pandemics affect poverty, sustainability and development in ways that are unsuspected to obvious. The Covid19 pandemic, like the 1918-19 and 1957 flu pandemics has already killed nearly a hundred thousand people and devastated national to household economies around the world. It will kill hundreds of thousands more and will present unprecedented shock to trajectories of development and sustainability for years. Inadequate testing and diagnoses, coupled with thoroughly flawed responses by governments and donors alike, mean that the true scale of its devastation will be known only retrospectively if at all.

This historical moment is as important for sustainability and development as it is incredible – who would have imagined a global lockdown even three months ago?

World Development calls for contributions to a special issue on “Covid19, Pandemics, and Sustainability and Development” in an effort to bring the best thinking and research on the subject to our readers. We expect the Special Issue to cover a broad range of topics. These include themes related to the emergence of pandemics, how they unfold, responses to the multifarious threats they pose, and their immediate to longer-term effects as these concern households, societies, ecosystems, and nation states. We welcome papers that among other topics address questions about political and institutional preparedness and the role of expertise, supply chains and intersectoral impacts, testing, treatment, and vaccine development, employment, recessions, and economic downturns, agriculture, industrial and service professions, and health, educational, and wellbeing outcomes. The themes mentioned here do not exhaust the myriad ways that pandemics affect development and sustainability outcomes. We view them as indicators of how pandemics and public health need far greater attention in contemporary thinking about development and sustainability.

Submission Types and Procedures

We will accept four types of manuscripts. Consider submitting (1) Regular Research Articles (4.5K-10K words, 25-50 references), (2) Research Notes based on rapid analyses of preliminary data or cases (2.5K-3.5K words, 25-50 references), (3) Viewpoints/Policy Forum/Opinions – (1.5K-2K words, 20-30 references), and (4) Letters on urgent/issues (600-750 words, 5-10 references). Indicated word length does not include references or endnotes. All submissions should be based on primary or secondary evidence and be situated in the relevant literature. The first two submission types will be sent out for external review; the latter two forms will be reviewed by World Development editors. We expect to provide decisions on regular research articles and research notes within 12 weeks of submission. For Viewpoints/Policy Forum/Opinion pieces, and Letters, we will provide a final decision within 2 to 3 weeks.

World Development expects to publish the Special Issue by August 15. We will accept submissions until May 31. All published papers will be open access for at least 6 months.

Submit your paper here: