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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

Category Archives: HDCA event/news

This is meant for events that have permission to use the HDCA logo in their promotion. In practice, this will be limited to either the HDCA conference, or events organized by one of the HDCA’s thematic groups or regional networks.

WEBINAR: Framing Research and Innovation for Transformative Change Towards Sustainable Development in the European Union

HDCA European Regional Network Webinar
This webinar is presented in collaboration with ARCO

Date - 23 February 2021
Time -1:00 pm - 2:30 pm UK

Free but registration required:

Our global, national and local societies are at a crossroads. In the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has been making evident the vulnerabilities of our societies. Almost the whole world has been suddenly and simultaneously questioning – probably for the very first time in recent history – the capacity of our healthcare, food, housing, production, education, mobility, care and solidarity systems (among others) to meet people's needs. Therefore, we live in times urging deep structural transformations towards new ways of structuring our economies and production systems, new social dynamics and more sustainable and inclusive forms of development. Within an inevitable revamping of attention on the need for public action and government intervention, the importance of Research and Innovation (R&I) policies to simultaneously deal with economic competitiveness as well as with public health, social inclusion and environmental protection is undeniable.

In recent times and already before COVID-19, it was argued that R&I policy plays a pivotal role for the pursuit of – and transition towards – sustainable development, whose integrated notion balances the three dimensions of sustainability – i.e. the economic, social and environmental. Within the global debate on sustainable development as an integrated and indivisible concept, a new framing on R&I for transformative change has been gaining momentum. This offers the opportunity to reconcile productivity enhancement and value-generation with inclusiveness, public health and environmental protection, in order to pursue shared prosperity and human flourishing.

This webinar discusses to what extent and how R&I policy in the post-COVID scenario can represent a leverage for transformative change by empowering individuals and communities to meet social needs and address the issues of sustainable and inclusive societies. In particular, it provides theoretical arguments and policy recommendations to design a roadmap for a new approach on R&I policies at European level, in order to contribute to transforming the EU into a fair and prosperous society and put its economy on a more sustainable and inclusive path.


  • Marta Truco Calbet – European Commission DG Research and Innovation
  • Michele Capriati – University of Bari
  • Andrea Ferrannini – ARCO (Action Research for Co-Development)



Mario Biggeri – University of Florence, ARCO (Action Research for Co-Development) and HDCA Joint European Regional Network Coordinator



Caroline Hart, PhD – University of Sheffield, HDCA Co-Education Officer, and HDCA Joint European Regional Network Coordinator


Organized by the HDCA European Regional Network in collaboration with ARCO (Action Research for CO-development).




Organised by HDCA Thematic Group on Participatory Methods

Presenter: Kate Sollis (Australian National University) 

Bio: Kate is a PhD scholar and Senior Research Officer at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. Her background is in statistics and public policy, with a particular interest in the measurement of wellbeing and its value for social policy. She has previously worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

Date and time:

20th January 2021 / 9.00-10.00 (UK)

There is a growing movement across the world to make better use of wellbeing measures to guide policy. This stems from the realisation that reliance on economic indicators, such as income, GDP, and unemployment, may not be adequately capturing the aspects of life that people value. This is of particularly high relevance in our increasingly globalised world, where policies and programs are often developed and implemented by populations other than the target group.

But how do we know what actually matters to people? A mounting body of research over the past two decades has brought to light the value of participatory wellbeing frameworks, created by consulting with the target population and asking the question “What does a good life mean for you?”. This webinar will outline the findings of a systematic review of over 120 participatory wellbeing frameworks, spanning every region of the world and all life stages. In particular, the participatory approaches applied to develop these frameworks will be highlighted.

Overall, this study demonstrates that while there are some similarities in what matters to people from different population groups, nuances exist within every group. Given this diverse understanding of wellbeing throughout the world, it is vital that researchers and policy-makers utilise participatory methods to gain a clearer understanding of what matters to people. Doing so will ensure that social programs and policies improve the lives of individuals in a meaningful way.

Register here:

Bouncing back or bouncing forward: social resilience, social rights and capabilities in the post-Covid19 Europe

Date - 26 January 2021

Time - 1-2.30pm UTC


Ongoing changes in European welfare states call for a new, dynamic and multifaceted understanding of social citizenship. On the one hand, the endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017 provides a framework to foster upward social convergence among the member states and increases the centrality of social policies in the European architecture. On the other hand, recurring shocks (the 2008 financial crisis, the 2015 refugee crisis, the 2020 Covid-19 crisis, the structural climate crisis) increase the actual or perceived vulnerability of European citizens.

To realize social rights in a context of increased exposure to risks and vulnerabilities means to acknowledge that strengthening cross-level adaptive and transformative resilience mechanisms is a top priority. Effective resilience mechanisms require the mobilization of resources, of individual capacities as well as of collective action processes: this is closely linked to individual and collective ability to flourish as individuals and as communities.

The webinar will be an opportunity to reflect on how the concepts of social rights, social citizenship, social resilience and capabilities are interlinked and how they can be used to structure a sustainable response to the many challenges faced by the European society.


Federico Ciani, Phd – University of Florence and ARCO (Action Research for Co-Development)

Prof. Rune Halvorsen – Oslo Metropolitan University

Prof. Jean-Michel Bonvin – Université de Genève


Prof. Mario Biggeri – University of Florence and ARCO (Action Research for Co-Development; Co-ERN Coordinator)


Caroline Hart, PhD – University of Sheffield (HDCA Co-Education Officer; Co-ERN Coordinator)

Free to attend but registration required:

HDCA Undergraduate Workshop: Introduction to the Capability Approach

13 January, 2021, 1-2.30pm (UK time)

This will be our first undergraduate workshop in a series of three. Following requests from HDCA members we will focus on introductory and foundational concepts related to the capability approach. This workshop is aimed primarily at undergraduates so please sign up if you are an undergraduate working with the capability approach [this event is open to undergraduate HDCA members and non-members]. If places remain a few days before we will offer to masters students in addition. Future undergraduate workshops are planned for 21 April (Foundational Concepts I) and 14 July (Foundational Concepts II). Please note there is a separate workshop series for graduate students (10 March; 9 June).

Please register here:

HDCA Graduate Workshop on Writing for Dissertations and Theses

Wednesday 9 December 1-2.30 pm (UTC)

This workshop is open to graduate members of the HDCA and will be held in English. We will be exploring the nature of doctoral thesis writing in terms of purpose, audience and structure, acknowledging the diversity across different national and institutional contexts. There will be the opportunity to share experiences and reflections with peers as well as to take part in activities designed to support your thinking and thesis writing practice. If you have already started to write your thesis you may find it useful to have your work to hand but the workshop will also be of value if you are still at the early stages of crafting your doctoral work. To ensure we can work closely with you we are limiting this workshop to 30 places so please sign up via Eventbrite as soon as possible if you would like to participate. This event is free for Graduate HDCA members and we expect it to be popular. Therefore, if you do secure a place please ensure that if for any reason you are no longer able to take part you let us know as soon as possible ( so we can reallocate the place. We will be hosting further graduate and undergraduate events in 2021 and these will be advertised via the newsletter and website in advance.

Register for the December 9 workshop here

Work and Employment Thematic Group kick-off meeting

A Zoom kick-off meeting is scheduled for November 26th at 6 pm Berlin time (UTC/GMT +1 = 5pm GMT) and everybody interested in joining the group is welcome to attend.The overall objective of this group is to further research and academic exchange on work and employment issues so that it will no longer be considered as a “Missing Dimension” of the capability approach (Alkire, 2007). Over time, we hope to build up a body of research on work and employment that will be accessible through the HDCA website, organise further webinars or seminars (Covid permitting), as well as organising thematic panels on employment during the HDCA conferences. The main aim of the meeting is to get to know each other and each other's research interests.
1. presentation of members and their work interests
2. discussion of submission of panels to next HDCA meeting
3. possibility of establishing future webinars
4. establishing a work and employment related bibliography that is relevant to the capability approach

Please contact Otrud Lessmann to register and receive the link:

HDCA Health & Disability Thematic Group Webinar

You are invited to a PhD Work in Progress themed webinar on
Wednesday November 11th, 2020

16:00 to 17:00 in London
21:30 to 22:30 in Delhi
11:00 to 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

Implementing and evaluating capability care for patients with neuromuscular disease” - Bart Bloemen (Radboud UMC, the Netherlands)

"Health capability profile of people living with chronic hepatitis B virus in rural Senegal, a research protocol" – Marion Coste (Aix-Marseille University, France)

“Quality of life for young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions” – Isabella Floredin (University of Bristol, UK)

“Interdepartmental relationships and tensions: initial findings on the complexities of delivering a national social assistance for disability programme” – Zara Trafford (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)

The event will take place through Zoom. Please register through Eventbrite in order to receive a link to the meeting.

This webinar is the second of a new monthly webinar series for 20/21 being organised by the Health and Disability Thematic Group at the Human Development and Capability Association. In this PhD Work in Progress themed webinar, each presenter will be allocated 10 minutes to present a piece of work in progress research, with five minutes for discussion with the audience. It offers you the opportunity to hear and constructively comment on exciting work in progress that is likely to be of interest to many in our thematic group and beyond.


Teaching on human development and capabilities

Do you teach about human development and capabilities?

In 2020-21, we are organising a series of online workshops to bring together HDCA members who teach on human development and capabilities. To help get a picture of what is currently being taught by who, and which resources people would find helpful, we are also running a short survey in October. The first workshop will be for people to come together, share experiences on teaching and discuss what sort of support the HDCA could provide.

So if you teach about human development and / or capabilities, in any kind of educational setting, and in any academic field or topic, we would love to hear from you!

  • Please fill out our short survey on Google Forms by Monday 2nd November:
  • And please attend our first online workshop, ‘Teaching on human development and capabilities’ which will be held on Wednesday 11th November, from 1-2.30 pm UTC. (We aim to either record this, or write a summary, for members who are interested but unable to attend). Please register here
  • The other workshop dates this academic year will be: 10th Feb 2021 (1-2.30pm UCT) and 12th May 2021 (1-2.30pm UCT+1).
  • Please note that these workshops are for HDCA members; numbers are limited for the first meeting but if there is more demand we will develop a format to include more people. If you would like to become a member, please visit our membership page

Thank you!

Caroline and Rosie – HDCA Education Officers

HDCA WEBINAR: “What now for the Capabilities Approach to health, disability and ageing?”

By Sridhar Venkatapuram

King’s College London

Wednesday October 14th, 2020

16:00 to 17:00 in London

20:30 to 21:30 in Delhi

11:00 to 12:00 Eastern Standard Time

The event will take place through Zoom. Please register through Eventbrite in order to receive a link to the meeting.

Organized by HDCA’s Health and Disability Thematic Group 

The Webinar: Has the COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed or diminished the coherence and usefulness of the capabilities approach (CA) in relation to health, disability and ageing?  In this presentation, Sridhar will discuss the surprising disconnect between the influence of the CA in development thinking and policies, and the policy responses in LMICs to COVID.  After this, he will restate why the CA is useful during health crises as well as normal times.  And Sridhar will conclude by identifying some novel issues that the pandemic raises for the CA, including the possibility of health capability being the foundation of reformed global order. 

Speaker’s Bio: Sridhar Venkatapuram is an Associate Professor in Global Health & Philosophy at King’s College London. Sridhar has been an academic practitioner at the forefront of health ethics and global health for over 25 years. His doctoral dissertation on the moral right to ‘the capability to be healthy’ formed the basis of his first book titled ‘Health Justice: An argument from the capabilities approach’ published in 2011. He is a Fellow and member of the Executive Committee of the Human Development and Capability Association. He recently spent one year in the Global Health Ethics Unit of the World Health Organization in Geneva as the WHO drew on his idea of health as basic capabilities in their definition of healthy ageing. An open access book he co-edited on the COVID-19 pandemic title ‘Vulnerable: The Policy, Law and Ethics of COVID-19’ has recently been published.

This webinar is the first of a new monthly webinar series for 20/21 being organised by the Health and Disability Thematic Group at the Human Development and Capability Association.

Giulia, Margarita, Paul and Toon (Health and Disability Thematic Group co-ordinators)





HDCA WEBINAR: Children during the Pandemic: A View from the CA

September 22, 2020
13.00-14.30 (UK time), 9.00-10.30 (Buenos Aires), 22.00-23.30 (Sydney)

This webinar aims to shed light on the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on children by looking at it through the capabilities approach. It brings together three scholars from different corners of the globe, who will discuss the situation of children in their own regions, and how this may speak to concerns about the effects that the pandemic has had on children's well-being and capabilities.


Caroline Hart (University of Sheffield): Children living in a Covid-19 World: Reflections from England

Kate Sollis (Australian National University): COVID-19 and its impacts on children and young people in Australia: An evidence review

Graciela Tonon (Universidad de Palermo): Children`s views on the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

The event will take place through Zoom. Please register in order to receive the link to the meeting and further information. Link for Eventbrite registration, below.

This webinar is organised by the Thematic Group on Children and Youth of the Human Development and Capabilities Association.

For more information, contact n.brando[a]

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