2024 HDCA Conference – Kolkata, India

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September 24-26, 2024

Hosted by Pratichi (India Trust), Institute for Development Studies Kolkata, and Health Information Systems Program (HISP)


“Crises, Capabilities and Commitment”

The 2024 HDCA conference has special significance as 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of HDCA. The conference is being held in Kolkata, West Bengal, India – home of the first HDCA president, Professor Amartya Sen. The conference theme of Crises, Capabilities and Commitment has been chosen because the inter-linkages between these three ideas require in depth discussion.

Many multi-faceted crises assail us. Some are global in scope, linked with the assault on our environment, violent conflicts, pandemics and humanitarian challenges. Some crises emerge from episodic events. Others emerge less dramatically linked with a backlash to transformations in social relations, or technologies. Crises, both episodic and cumulative, reveal deep inequalities in capabilities. Crises may be associated with both ‘loud’ and ‘silent’ capability deprivations, in areas such as education, health, disability, political participation and wellbeing. The immediate and visible fallout from crises may precipitate further inequalities in capabilities linked to loss of income and employment, inequity, food insecurity malnutrition, and polarization between groups. The conference will be a setting to discuss the forms of commitment needed to analyze and address many interlinked crises and their stress on capabilities.


Call for Proposals and Submissions

Download the Call for Proposals

Submit proposals here – EXTENDED DEADLINE February 29

The conference particularly invites submissions focusing on research topics detailed in the CfP. Work on core HDCA themes is also welcome.

While the papers may come from any discipline and may be theoretical, applied, or policy-based, every paper must engage with, apply, extend, criticise, or offer insights specifically relevant to the capability approach and/or the human development paradigm and be aligned with the conference theme and sub-themes.

Each proposal will be peer reviewed by panels appointed by the program committee. The main criteria for evaluating the various kinds of submissions will be; novelty/originality; clarity and structure; significance/impact/relevance to/engagement with the capability approach and/or human development; methodology and methods; fit with the conference theme.

Submissions portal: https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/hdca2024/panel-form

Important deadlines

January 20, 2024         Submission open

February 29, 2024       Submission of proposals closes

April 15, 2024             Announcement of paper acceptance/rejection

April 30, 2023             Deadline for scholarship applications

June 15, 2024             Deadline for conference registration at early-bird rates

July 15, 2024              Submission of full papers entries for the Kuklys prizes

August 22, 2024         Final deadline for conference registration at standard rates

Parallel sessions: Types of Proposals

Categories under which proposals may be submitted:

  1. Academic paper sessions, for which single papers can be submitted. Each paper will be presented in a session with 2 or 3 other submissions (25 minutes per paper including Q&A). Please send an abstract of 500-1,000 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords.
  2. Research and Action sessions, for which a set of presentations can be submitted, describing and analyzing a particular field of action and the way it links with the human development paradigm and/or capability approach. Each session will include 3 or 4 other presentations (20 minutes per presentation including Q&A). Please send an abstract of 500-1,000 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords describing the particular field of action and an abstract of 500-1,000 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords, for each of the presentations included in the proposed session. The coordinator will act as the contact person for all presenters.
  3. Thematic panel sessions, for which a set of papers on a single theme related to this year’s conference theme or to the subject of one or more of the HDCA’s thematic groups is submitted. Panel proposals are welcome from the thematic group coordinators as well as from people unaffiliated with them. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary panels and panels that combine academic perspectives with those of practitioners. Each thematic panel should have a maximum of three presentations. It is also possible to propose two panels on the same theme. Each thematic panel must have a coordinator who submits a panel abstract of up to 1,000 words, plus 3-5 keywords as well as an abstract of 500-1,000 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords, for each of the papers included in the session. The coordinator will act as the contact person for the thematic session(s) and the other panel presenters. (NB: If not all of the papers in the proposed panel session are evaluated favorably, the approved papers will be regarded as individual academic papers and may be allocated to the sessions in point 1.)
  4. Author-meets-critics sessions, in which an author presents a summary of a recent book or larger piece of research. Each author should send a 500-word synopsis of the relevant book or research project, along with 3-5 keywords. The submission should also include the names of one or two confirmed discussants. Discussants can be researchers, but we particularly encourage including at least one practitioner (or organization) as proposed discussants.
  5. Roundtables, which are intended to engage policymakers or (non-)governmental stakeholders, or to organize discussions with practitioners about practical approaches to dealing with the problems that are the focus of the conference. Please send a 500 – 1,000 word abstract, plus 3-5 keywords. Also include information on the roundtable participants, affiliations, and whether the participation of each of them has been confirmed. Submissions can be academic-led or practitioner-led.
  6. Young-scholar-meets-senior-scholar sessions, intended for graduate students to present their research plan or work in progress (paper proposals should be 500-1000 words, with 3-5 keywords). Senior scholars, including HDCA Fellows, will provide feedback and chair the discussion.
  7. Documentaries – If you would like to present and discuss your film or documentary during this conference, please send in a proposal with background and motivation (500-1000 words).
  8. Poster, for which dedicated time slots will be available in the program so that authors can communicate their ideas to the circulating audience. Posters could present a research project, some completed fieldwork, a case study, or an early-stage research proposal. Please send an abstract of 300-600 words, with a list of 3-5 keywords.

Conference Format

The Kolkata conference will be open to both in-person and online participation. A variety of sessions, events and panels will be organized during pre-conference days and three conference days.

  Open Access Participation through online platform In-person participation
Pre-conference Day 1 Yes
Pre-conference Day 2 Yes Yes
Keynote Lectures

Public events

Yes Yes Yes
Plenary sessions Yes Yes
7 Parallel Sessions Yes Yes
Poster exhibition Yes
Meetings Yes
Documentaries Yes
Conference Dinner Yes
HDCA Membership and Journal subscription Yes Yes


Keynote Speakers

Information to come

Travel and Visa Information


All participants are requested to check for visa requirements to enter India and you may qualify for the e-conference visa or via-mail or in-person depending on where you are located.

For specific details on what documentations are expected from the embassy please visit the local Indian embassy. For example, Indian embassies in China, Australia, Germany and US are listed below:

All government agency links in India end with “gov.in” so you know the authenticity of the website as being governmental (or federal – as it is called in many countries).

List of Indian Embassies and Consulates  https://embassies.net/india-embassy

Recommended Types of Visas

  • Tourist Visa
    Valid for – Five years
    Type of Entry – Multiple
    Extendable in India – No
    Tourist e-visa- 25$-80$
    Documents Required for Application – Applicants need to provide proof regarding their financial standing, that is, return ticket and sufficient money to spend during their stay in the country
  • Conference e-Visa
    Valid for – 30 days
    Extendable in India – No
    Documents Required for Application – Invitation letter,  Clearance from MEA and MHA
    Fee – 13$ -113$

How to Apply for a Visa?

You can apply for a visa both online and offline. In the case of offline visa applications, usually you need to download the application form and fill it with the required details. Then, you have to submit the filled application form supported by all required credentials at your concerned visa application centre. Different countries may have different application procedures for applying for visas. Many countries may not accept offline visa applications. Also, the cost involved in applying for a visa also differs from country to country.

How to Complete an Online Indian Visa Application

  • Step 1: Begin by visiting the official website of the Indian Bureau of Immigration. https://boi.gov.in/boi/ The link for visa application is: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/
  • Step 2: Choose the ‘REGULAR/PAPER VISA APPLICATION’ section. Fill out the application form attentively.
  • Step 3: As you progress, make sure to periodically save your application and upload the necessary documents and images. Once you’ve completed the process, click the ‘Submit’ button.
  • Step 4: Next, select a suitable date and time for an appointment and proceed to pay the visa application fee.

e-Conference Visa to India – Definition, Eligibility Criteria and Provisions

The major requirement for the e-conference is the production of the invitation letter to the seminar, workshop or conference even if one is not presenting a paper.

  • The stay days in India one-Conference Visa will be 30 days.
  • Single entry is permitted for Indian e-Conference Visa.

Unlike other visas, the e-conference visa has a validity period of three months. The duration is counted from the day you are issued with the visa and not from the time you enter India.

Application Process for the e-Conference Visa

You can find information about the process and eligible countries here – click on ‘Countries/Nationalities who are eligible to avail eVisa’ on the left hand menu.: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. The application process is online https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ / You need to be sure that you have the following:

  • A passport with at least six months validity
  • Scanned copies of your recent colored photo. The size should not exceed 10 MB and the dimensions should be 2in. X 2In. Otherwise, you will not be able to upload the file until you get the correct format.
  • A copy of your passport
  • Enough money to pay for the visa. The charges range from USD 13- USD 113. The specific amount will be indicated as you complete the form. Payment method: VISA and MasterCard.
  • Proof of the address of your residence
  • Following letters
    A formal letter of invitation from India.
    Evidence of political clearance by MEA
    Evidence of MHA event clearance or an NOC

Link to the Google Form – Invitation  Letter -HDCA 2024 

For us to secure political Clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) please fill in the required Invitation letter form for HDCA 2024 to facilitate your  e-visa by getting the requisite clearances. Once these clearances are secured they will be made available on the links.

Sample e-Conference Visa Form

Please continue to follow the proper protocol for conference visa application and visit your local Indian Embassy’s website for specific details on what documentations are expected from the embassy.

Prior Reference Categories (PRC): https://conference.mha.gov.in/FAQ.aspx#
Traditional challenges exist and additional paperwork is required.
Below are suggestions for the following countries. You are encouraged to complete the below form.
Afghanistan Canada – Please contact your local Indian Embassy/Consulate for details regarding application for a conference visa.
Iraq China – Please contact your local Indian Embassy/Consulate for details regarding application for a conference visa.
Pakistan/Pakistani Origin Hong Kong – Please contact your local Indian Embassy/Consulate for details regarding application for a conference visa.

Submissions are applicable to the countries listed above. Please continue to follow the proper protocol for conference visa application and visit your local Indian Embassy’s website for specific details regarding which documents are expected from the embassy to apply for a conference visa. You will not receive an update regarding the form submission. The information will be submitted to one of the Indian ministries which will distribute the information internally to the corresponding embassy/consulate.

How to check your Visa Status Online?

Visa status checks can be done online. In order to check your visa status online, you need to visit the visa status enquiry section of a particular consulate and keep certain information handy with you. To know your passport visa status, you may be required to put the following information:

You can also track your visa status by visiting a third-party website and entering your passport number and date of birth. It is very easy to track your visa status by using your passport number.


Visa approval can take a few months, and so we strongly encourage you to apply well in advance.

Registration, fees, and scholarships

On-line conference registration will open in April 2024 Students and scholars from low- and mid-income countries will pay reduced registration fee, and some concession rates will be available for participants from high-income countries. 

Registration rates are as follow:

  In-person Online
Resident in High Income Country
Early bird $320 $160
Standard $360 $200
Concessions° + students early bird $190 $120
Concessions° + students standard $230 $160
Resident in Low- or Middle-Income Country
Early bird $160 $80
Standard $200 $120
Concessions° + students early bird $90 $50
Concessions° + students standard $130 $90

°NGO worker or similar or unwaged


The HDCA and the local organising committee will award a limited number of scholarships to scholars with limited or no resources to attend the conference. The demand for scholarships usually far exceeds the available funds and therefore we encourage only those who really need financial support to apply.

Details will be made available in due course