Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

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What is Development Studies

What is development studies, why it matters, how you can study and career prospects

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Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

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Find out about our constitution and how we are run

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Meet our Council members and other stuff who support the running of DSA

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The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

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Our conference this year is themed "Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile world"

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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

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Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

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Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

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Call for Panels and Conference Methodology

6-8 July 2022: Online Conference at University College London

Just sustainable futures in an urbanising and mobile world

Justice and equity, just futures in an urbanising and mobile world, facing a climate and ecological crisis in a pandemic or post-pandemic context

UCL logo


The Call for Panels is now OPEN. Call will close 20th December 2021.

This is not the call for papers! This will open in mid-January 2022

DSA2022 invites proposals for panels and workshops that engage critically with dimensions of Just Sustainable Futures in an Urbanising and Mobile World. The lenses of justice and equity will be used to explore the development challenges and possibilities thrown up by an urbanising and mobile world, facing a climate and ecological crisis in a pandemic or post-pandemic context. The conference explores the interconnections of these three major processes and their implications for just futures.

Following the success of DSA’s online Annual Conferences in 2020 and 2021, DSA2022 will once more be held online. This will enable us to maintain the high levels of participation of recent years, particularly of colleagues based in the global South. It will also mean we can ensure equity of experience and a small carbon footprint.

However, DSA2022 will adopt a range of different approaches in order to get the most from the online format and make it even more inclusive. There is growing evidence about zoom fatigue, shorter online concentration capacity and the need for online sessions to be shorter. Lengthy synchronous online attendance has been proven to have negative effects on our wellbeing. In contrast, there is extensive pedagogical evidence to show that the quality of engagement between participants in synchronous sessions is greatly improved when all have been able to access the content to be discussed in advance and that this approach is more inclusive of a broader range of learning styles.

Inspired by the digital pedagogy expertise of our conference hosts at UCL, we want to reduce the downsides of spending too many passive hours on screen and maximise the time we have together to discuss and debate new evidence, approaches and ideas, from across different time-zones. DSA2022’s methodology will therefore exemplify some of the values underpinning the theme, including: equitable access, global engagement, knowledge exchange (across disciplines and geographies), and climate action.

All sessions will be limited to 40 minutes, with panel convenors free to choose from a range of formats, including paper-based sessions and a variety of different kinds of workshop, including roundtables and other more interactive formats. Importantly, colleagues wishing to convene paper-based sessions must ensure that participants upload their papers and/or presentations in advance, as there will be no time for full presentations during the conference itself.

Such an approach will allow us to timetable the conference to suit a wide range of time zones to maximise global engagement and will support flexibility for attendees, particularly attendees with a disability and/or caring responsibilities.

Paper-based panels
Contributors will upload their materials three weeks before the conference itself. These contributions can take multiple forms, including video, video with slides, slides with audio, podcast/audio only and text only. The input should be between 8 and 12 minutes (or equivalent in words, i.e. between 1,200 and 1,800 words, excluding references). Speakers are encouraged to include a question aimed at provoking discussion at the synchronous session. We will also ask presenters who submit videos/audio recordings to either submit a written version OR edit the automatic captions (using very easy-to-follow instructions). This will enhance accessibility.

All session participants will be encouraged to access these materials in advance and to pose their questions in the online space allotted for this. During the online session, each panellist will start with a two-minute pitch that highlights their main contribution and repeats the question they want participants to consider. Convenors will need to ensure that a nominated chair/discussant has read across all contributions to the panel and can field any questions/comments submitted by participants in advance as well as those asked during the session. This approach will enable us to focus our time together on discussion and debate.

This format can be adapted for brief roundtables, focused discussions or other more interactive formats within a 40 minute slot dedicated to the discussion of a particular issue. Convenors can invite submissions from people who would like to contribute, invite specific speakers or leave the session open for anyone who would like to discuss the topic of the session. Convenors must submit a proposal about the contents of the session and also about how they plan to use the allocated slot. In exceptional circumstances, convenors may request two slots for their workshop as long as this is justified in relation to a methodology aimed at ensuring a high degree of interaction and discussion.

All panel convenors must include a methodological note on which format/s will be deployed within their panel when mapping out the extended abstract.


  • Panel convenors may be graduate students.
  • Convenors may also present a paper during the conference, either in their own panel or another.
  • Due to the ‘competition for time’ within such a conference, colleagues are allowed to convene no more than one panel and present only one paper during the conference. This does not prevent you from making multiple proposals, but in the case of multiple acceptances we will ask you to make a choice.
  • The DSA requires all accepted panels to be open to paper proposals through the website; you may of course propose a panel with specific contributors in mind, but when the call for papers opens, you should be open to the possibility of other contributions arriving via the open call.
  • Panels convenors and paper presenters need not be members of the association. However, the DSA welcomes new members. Members of the association can register for the conference at a discounted fee.
  • All convenors, authors, chairs and discussants will be expected to register online in advance of the event and pay a registration fee to attend.
  • The DSA expects convenors of accepted panels to commit to the panel and conference: convenors will need to observe deadlines for action requested by the conference organisers, communicate with all those proposing papers to their panels to inform them of their decisions, and continue to communicate with the accepted presenters as the panel prepares for the event.
  • Panel convenors will need to select which papers they wish to accept to their panel during the period 17 February – 7 March 2022. So it is important you are able to do this during that time period.
  • We encourage submissions from convenors who reflect a diversity of institutions and geographies, and which involve colleagues from policy and practice as well as academia

Conference format – online
Due to the ongoing pandemic and COVID-19 threat, the conference is taking place online and therefore it is crucial to make sure that panel convenors have a stable and fast enough internet access.

If panel convenors have experienced unstable connection with previous video calls and/or have been unable to share screen via Zoom (for example), please make sure to find a co-convenor with a strong internet connection. So, if the worst happens and the primary convenor is unable to lead the panel, the co-convenor can take over.

If you do not have previous experience and wish to make sure that your computer and internet connection are enough, please let us know ahead of time, so we can arrange a tech test during a preparation period.

Any queries, please email conference(at)devstud.org.uk