Institute of Education


Connecting Capabilities: the HDCA Conference 2019

09 September 2019–11 September 2019, 8:30 am–5:30 pm

HDCA conference 2019

The 2019 Human Development and Capability Approach (HDCA) conference takes place over three days in London at the UCL Institute of Education, on the theme of ‘connecting capabilities’.

Event Information

Open to





Centre for Education and International Development


Logan Hall, Jeffery Hall and multiple rooms
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

Watch again 

Professor Amartya Sen in conversation with Professor Elaine Unterhalter 

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/25162424

The theme of connection has been chosen as it is an important capability that needs further consideration. March 2019 was the original date 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.

About the conference

The Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) is a global community of academics and practitioners focused on people-centred development and the capability approach. The mission of the association is to promote both research and policy in the area of human development and well-being. The HDCA consists of members from many disciplines and professions, including economics, philosophy, development studies, health, education, law, government, and sociology, among others.

The 2019 conference will be hosted by the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) at the UCL Institute of Education, in partnership with SOAS, Birkbeck, the University of East London and the London International Development Centre (LIDC). 

The 2019 HDCA Program Committee 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, findings from major research projects, and book panels relevant to conference theme or more broadly related to human development/capabilities approach, will be presented.

Important deadlines
25 February 2019 Submission of proposals
15 April 2019Announcement of acceptance/rejection
30 April 2019Deadline for scholarship applications
15 June 2019Deadline for conference registration at early-bird rates
15 July 2019Submission of full papers/posters and entries for the UCL Grand Challenges and Kuklys prizes
22 August 2019Final deadline for conference registration at standard rates
Keynote speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Martha C. Nussbaum – Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago. The title of Professor Nussbaum’s keynote address is 'Reconciliation after Conflict: Britten's WAR REQUIEM and the Body’.
  • Dr Vandana Shiva (Sen Lecture) – Scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate and author
  • Professor Leif Wenar (Nussbaum Lecture) – Chair of Philosophy & Law at King’s College London
  • Panel with activists and practitioners reflecting on using the capability approach including Dr Gautam Bhan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and Johannes Krassnitzer, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Ms Stefania Giannini – Assistant Director-General for Education, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Registration and fees

Online registration is now open. Book your place via the link above.

Concessionary rates and a limited number of scholarships will be available. Please see the HDCA conference website for details.

Join the Connecting Capabilities conversation on Twitter at #HDCA2019