2019 HDCA Conference – London, UK

2019 HDCA Conference Home Page

“Connecting Capabilities”

9-11 September, 2019

London, UK

Hosted by University College London


in partnership with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Birkbeck, the University of East London (UEL) and the London International Development Centre (LIDC)

The 2019 HDCA Program Committee cordially invites scholars, government policy makers, practitioners and other interested parties from all over the world to participate in the 2019 HDCA conference.  Original empirical research, theoretical issues, case-studies or reports of experiences, or findings from major research projects, and book panels relevant to conference theme or more broadly related to human development/capabilities approach will be presented.

Please use the conference menu on the right to find more information. The conference organizers can be contacted at hdca2019@ucl.ac.uk

Privacy Policy

HDCA respects your privacy and will not sell or share information collected.  Our payments are processed through First Data which is a secure payment processor for businesses.

Refund Policy

Conference registration and payment will open up to 5 months in advance of the conference and registration will not be complete until payment has been received. Once payment has been processed, you will receive an email with confirmation.  Registration will close once all available spots have been filled. All registrations are final. No refunds will be issued, unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. serious illness or death of close relative). Requests for refunds must be received prior to the start of the conference. There are no refunds for payments of membership dues.


Conference Theme

“Connecting Capabilities”

The theme for the HDCA 2019 conference in London (9-11 September 2019) is Connecting Capabilities.  We have chosen this theme because we think connection is an important capability that needs further consideration.

March 2019 is the date currently scheduled for Brexit. In some ways this is a national political difficulty and time of uncertainty for the UK. But in other ways Brexit reflects themes that resonate internationally – not least the impact of globalisation and the emergence of greater xenophobia and more authoritarian forms of democracy in many parts of the world. The theme of connecting capabilities gives us an opportunity to think against this grain, using ideas and networks on human development and putting the capability approach to work in new ways.

Host Information/Committees

Programme Committee

Co-ordinators:  Elaine Unterhalter, Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), University College London and  Ingrid Robeyns, University of Utrecht

Alex Apsan Frediani, Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London

Mario Biggeri, University of Florence

Tania Burchardt, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), London School of Economics

Caroline Hart, University of Sheffield

Ann Mitchell, Catholic University of Argentina (UCA)

Rosie Peppin Vaughan, Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), University College London

Meera Tiwari, University of East London

Sridhar Venkatapuram, King’s College London

Call for Papers/Deadlines

Download the Call for Papers here

Extended submissions deadline – February 25, 2019

How to Submit Your Proposal

Please submit your proposal for the conference, via the submission site by February 25, 2019 (https://www.conftool.org/hdca2019) using the appropriate form. The submission portal will open on December 10th 2018. If you encounter problems with the online submissions system, please email the conference organisers at: hdca2019@ucl.ac.uk

In order to ensure academic quality, all submissions will be reviewed by two reviewers, at least one of whom is an HDCA Fellow or a senior researcher in the field.

Important deadlines

February 25, 2019Submission of proposals and scholarship applications

April 15, 2019 – Announcement of acceptance/rejection

April 30, 2019 – Deadline for scholarship applications

June 15, 2019 – Deadline for conference registration at early-bird rates

July 15, 2019 – Submission of full papers/posters and entries for the UCL Grand Challenges and Kuklys prizes

August 22, 2019 – Final deadline for conference registration at standard rates

Keynote Speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers and plenary panels

  • Martha Nussbaum
  • Vandana Shiva (Sen Lecture)
  • Leif Wenar (Nussbaum Lecture)
  • Panel with activists and practitioners reflecting on using the capability approach including Gautam Bhan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and Johannes Krassnitzer, UNDP

Conference Program

(Info to come)

Pre-conference Events

A programme of events to introduce participants to a range of social and arts initiatives in London concerned with human development will take place over the three days prior to the conference. HDCA Thematic groups will also organise meetings during the preconference programme. On Sunday 8th September conference participants are welcome to join a number of organised walks around London. These will include Black history walks, an East London walk, a Queer London walk, and a walk through Bloomsbury and Soho. Events for the pre-sessional programme can be submitted to the conference organizers via one of the HDCA Thematic group coordinators (see https://hd-ca.org/thematic-groups) .

Registration, fees & scholarships, visa information

On-line conference registration will open in April 2019. Students and scholars from low- and mid-income countries and will pay a significantly reduced registration fee, and some concession rates will are available for participants from high-income countries.

Registration rates are as follow:

Resident in a high-income country

  • Professional, high-income country, early ($390)
  • Professional, high-income country, standard ($440)
  • Concessions (NGO/CSO worker or similar; unwaged) high income country, early ($195)
  • Concessions (NGO/CSO worker or similar; unwaged) high income country, standard ($245)
  • Student, high-income country, early ($195)
  • Student, high-income country, standard ($245)

Resident in a middle or low-income country

  • Professional, low- or mid-income country, early ($195)
  • Professional, low- or mid-income country, standard ($245)
  • Concessions (NGO/CSO worker or similar; unwaged) low or middle income country early ($90)
  • Concessions (NGO/CSO worker or similar; unwaged) low or middle income country standard ($130)
  • Student, low- or mid-income country, early ($90)
  • Student, low- or mid-income country, standard ($130)

Organisational registration*

  • Organisational registration early ($440)
  • Organisational registration, standard ($550)

*This registration rate is available to CSOs, NGOs, or companies, but not to universities. An organisational registration allows an organisation to identify up to 3 staff members, who could each attend for one day each. Organisational registration for the conference does not give organisations institutional membership of HDCA.

Please note that the registration fee for individuals (but not organisations) provides a year’s membership in the HDCA, which includes a year’s subscription to the Journal of Human Development & Capabilities.


The HDCA has a limited number of scholarships to attend the annual conference which wilbe awarded based on merit and need to:
a) early career scholars presenting sole authored papers at the HDCA London 2019 conference
b) scholars residing in low and mid-income countries presenting papers at the HDCA London 2019  conference (for jointly authored papers to qualify for scholarship funds both authors must reside in a low or middle income country).
Scholarships have an upper limit of $1,000 and average $500.

If you wish to apply for one of these scholarships please download and complete the scholarship application form after you have received the referees’ review of your abstract in mid March. All scholarship applications must be received by the Chair of the Scholarships Committee by 30 April 2019.

In addition, early career researchers (ECRs) employed by an Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) member institution outside the UK (https://www.acu.ac.uk/membership/acu-members/) can apply for an ACU Early Career Academic Grant to attend. These grants provide funding of up to £2000 for ECRs to participate in overseas conferences. Applications will open in February 2019. See details here: https://www.acu.ac.uk/scholarships/early-career-academic-grants/. Proof of submission of an abstract to the HDCA will be sufficient for consideration for the award.

Kuklys Prize and UCL Grand Challenges Prize - eligibility and application

Kuklys Prize for best paper from a graduate student

At the conference, the HDCA will award the annual Wiebke Kuklys Prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student. All graduate students who have been awarded their degree before 1st of September 2019 and are presenting a paper at the 2019 HDCA conference under their sole authorship are eligible to be considered for this prize. If you wish your paper to be considered for the prize, this must be indicated on the submission form. Please note: if you are competing for this prize, the full paper must be submitted by 15th of July 2019. The winner of the 2019 Wiebke Kuklys Prize will be awarded a cash amount with the aim of contributing to the student’s graduate work, by allowing her/him to buy equipment or books, or to attend a conference. The name of the winner will be announced at the closing plenary session of the conference, which the author must attend.

UCL Grand Challenges Prize

University College London (UCL) will award two prizes of £500 each for presentations at the conference that demonstrate meaningful engagement between academics and practitioners in using the capability approach and reflecting on the conference theme of Connecting Capabilities. Submissions for the UCL Grand Challenges prizes must be received by 15th July 2019 :The format of  a submission for the prize will comprise no more than 500 words giving

  1. Title of presentation at HDCA 2019 and names of presenter(s), clearly identifying academic(s) and practitioner(s) involved:
  2. An overview of how the project to be presented at the conference has identified and worked on a contemporary global challenge drawing on the capability approach, exploring the theme of connection.
  • A description of range of activities undertaken
  1. A description of how the £500 , if awarded, would be spent, the expected outcomes from this and what future activities are envisaged

Please indicate when submitting an abstract for the conference that you wish to apply for one of these prizes.

Venue and attractions

(Info to come)


(Info to come)

HDCA Summer School

The HDCA will be holding a two-day summer school for doctoral students working with the capability approach in the days prior to the annual conference. Senior HDCA academics will work with participants to deepen knowledge and understanding of multiple forms and applications of the capability approach and to develop critical enquiries into a range of subjects and methodological approaches relevant to human development. There will be opportunities for participants to present and discuss their own research. Further details, including dates, will be made available in due course.