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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

HDCA History & Mission

Watch the HDCA's 15th Anniversary slideshow, with photos and statements from HDCA members about what the association has meant to them


The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) shall promote high quality research in the interconnected areas of human development and capability. It shall be concerned with research in these areas across a broad range of topics where the human development and capability approaches have made and can make significant contributions, including the quality of life, poverty, justice, gender, development and environment inter alia. It shall further work in all disciplines - such as economics, philosophy, political theory, sociology and development studies - where such research is, or may be, pursued. While primarily an academic body, the Association shall bring together those primarily involved in academic work with practitioners who are involved in, or interested in, the application of research from the fields of human development and capability to the problems they face.


Launched in 2004, the HDCA has over the years been led by a number of presidents, who come from different scholarly disciplines:

  • Amartya Sen (2004 - 2006) - economics
  • Martha Nussbaum (2006 - 2008) - philosophy
  • Frances Stewart (2008-2010) - development studies
  • Kaushik Basu (2010-2012) - economics
  • Tony Atkinson (2012-2014) - economics
  • Henry Richardson (2014-2016) - philosophy
  • Ravi Kanbur (2016-2018) - economics
  • Ingrid Robeyns (2018-2020) - philosophy
  • Jay Drydyk (2020-2022) - philosophy
  • Melanie Walker (2022-2024) - higher education
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