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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Information for delegates

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

Delegate information

Conference methodology

We can’t be all together all the time, we are in different time zones, have different needs, and can get tired and distracted by long hours in online calls. To ensure that the time we spend online together at DSA2022 is lively and focused on discussion and exchange, presentations for paper-based panels will be available to watch in advance. All participants will be strongly encouraged to engage with these advance materials before the actual session. You can then ask questions and engage in conversation before the session as well as during the conference. See further details about this on the conference methodology webpage.


Before the conference please:

  • Schedule the same time you would dedicate to an in-person conference. Go to your diary now and book the three days 6-8 July to ensure no other activities will spoil your conference experience.
  • That said, we don’t expect participants to remain online throughout the entire day. Presentations and any other materials will be available online one week before the conference. Allocate some time in your diary the week prior to the conference to look at the programme, choose the sessions you wish to attend, and watch/listen/read the materials associated with each session.
  • You must schedule sufficient time to engage with the online content ahead of the sessions you plan to attend (50 minutes per each paper-based session).
  • Do submit your comments or questions relating to the pre-session content in advance of the synchronous session. This will allow convenors to prepare for the synchronous discussion and allow authors to reply online and prepare for the discussion.
  • Information on how to submit comments and questions will be provided when the advanced materials are made available to delegates (mid June).
  • Update Zoom on your device and set a background image if that would make you more comfortable.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Zoom features you will be using during the live session, such as the chat, Q&A, and interactions such as raising your hand.

During the conference, please:

  • Avoid other tasks and emails during the synchronous conference sessions and keynotes
  • Actively participate during the synchronous sessions, including switching your camera on whenever possible. The purpose of the synchronous sessions is discussion. To be meaningful, these sessions require all participants to make an effort to join the conversation.
  • Ensure your microphone is on mute, and please only unmute if invited to speak by the Convenor.
  • Use headphones for better sound quality and less interference for everyone attending the live sessions.
  • Do participate in the numerous social activities, meet the keynote rooms, book launches, study groups meetings

In addition, if you are a presenter…

Before the conference please:

  • Ensure your contribution is uploaded no later than Wednesday 15 June, 3 weeks before the conference.
  • For information on how to create your pre-recorded presentation, read and follow all our advice here.
  • If you have your presentation ready and wish to upload it, you can find the relevant section via the link above or jump straight to our detailed instructions on how to do this.
  • Not uploading your presentation on time in an asynchronous conference is the equivalent of arriving at a conference venue after your scheduled session. Therefore, you may not be able to present your work. You will not be allocated extra time within the live session to present your paper.

A few days before your session:

  • Review comments or questions relating to your uploaded content ahead of your live session.
  • Watch/listen/read the presentations of other presenters in your panels and post and prepare questions.
  • Prepare a 2-minute pitch that highlights your main contribution and a question you want other participants to consider (check with the panel convenors if they have additional or different instructions). Please rehearse and check the time to ensure you do not go beyond your 2 minutes.
  • Check your internet connectivity and audio and video quality.

In addition, if you are a convenor and/or chair…

Once you have selected the papers for your session (April onwards):

  • Contact your session presenters to emphasise the new conference format and explain to presenters that they can not make full presentations during the conference.
  • Remind them that all pre-materials are to be ready three weeks prior to DSA2022 and send them to this page for full instructions on how to do this.

4 weeks before the conference (6 June):

  • Remind your session presenters that all pre-materials are to be ready three weeks prior to DSA2022.
  • Confirm that your presenters have checked their internet connections.
  • Confirm the format of the session and the session protocol with your session participants (for example, if you want them to prepare a two-minute pitch and a question).

3 weeks to go (12-15 June):

  • All pre-materials should be online.
  • Chase up any outstanding materials.
  • Remind presenters that they can not have full presentations during the conference.

1 week to go (29 June):

  • Engage with the pre-materials
  • Prepare for your live session
  • Remind presenters of the format of the session and the interaction protocol
  • 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.

At the start of your session:

  • Inform participants of the protocol for the session
  • Inform participants of the recording status of your panel and the conference

Further convenor responsibilities

It is the convenors’ responsibility to ensure that all panel participants are well briefed and that the panel continues to meet DSA2022 requirements. To that end, convenors should not only communicate their decisions over proposals to paper proposers, but also later in the process, email the panelists to:

  • remind them to pre-record their presentations and upload them to the panel explorer via the DSA conference website – see here.
  • remind them there are no live presentations this year but everyone should engage with the uploaded content ahead of the panel, where they can leave comments/ questions or note them to ask directly in the live session.
  • inform them of your planned structure/ order of discussion and questions during the live sessions.
  • inform them as to how much time will be allocated to questions and then discussion.
  • remind them to register (the registration status can be seen in the login environment)
  • inform them of any late changes or additional chairs/discussants, and give any other information related to the panel.
  • if panelists withdraw, convenors should mark these withdrawals in the login environment to inform the organisers or email us and we can do it for you.

Controlling/editing your panel

Panel convenors can use the ‘Log in’ link (see toolbar top-right above) to administer their panels via this login environment. Convenors should log in to add the names of chairs/discussants, to order the papers in their panel and to manage the paper proposals. Co-convenors cannot be added/removed nor can panels be withdrawn through this environment – please email us to do this (address in footer).

If an author emails between now and the conference to withdraw their paper, the convenors should mark the paper as ‘Withdrawn’ in the login environment, otherwise the conference administrator may not know of the withdrawal. If we hear of a withdrawal, we will do the same and notify the panel convenors updating you on the number of papers remaining and panel sessions allocated to your panel. The papers can be placed in order for each session via the login environment. If you have multiple panel sessions and you wish to move papers between those sessions, please email us as only we can move them for you.

Synchronous sessions

Each panel/workshop synchronous session slot lasts 40 minutes (except for a few slightly longer workshops/book launches). Convenors will communicate with authors how they plan to use this time. The organising committee suggests that each panelist starts with a two-minute pitch that highlights their main contribution and repeats the question they want participants to consider. Convenors need to ensure that a nominated chair/discussant has watched/listened/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.



  • All panel convenors must include a methodological note on which format/s will be deployed within their panel when mapping out the extended abstract.
  • Paper-presenters may be 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, except in certain agreed exceptions.
  • Delegates can be a co-author on multiple papers but not as lead/ presenting author on more than one.
  • In brief, each participant may convene one panel, present one paper, chair one panel and be discussant in one panel.
  • 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.
  • Once again the DSA adopted an open call for paper proposals from all-comers. The aim is to continue to open up the conference process to allow for the creation of new networks, putting people in touch with each other who have related research interests.
  • All accepted panels, except certain panels and workshops, were open to paper proposals through the website; panels could be proposed with specific contributors in mind, but during the call for papers, convenors were open to the possibility of other contributions arriving via the open call.
  • There is no General panel this year, all papers were proposed to one of the panels listed on the panels page.
  • All panels are grouped under various streams (themes) and this will be colour coded in the online panel timetable.
  • All convenors, authors, chairs and discussants and invited speakers to workshops and panels 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 and workshops to commit to their sessions and the 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.
  • If panel convenors have experienced unstable internet connections 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.

Acceptance letters

Formal acceptance letters (signed pdfs on headed paper) can be downloaded from the login environment (top right corner of the DSA website). Log in, proceed past your contact details with the “Proceed” button (located under the contact fields) and when the website reloads click “Logged in” where “Log in” was in the top right corner. A menu appears, click “Conferences” and on the next screen, Cocoa appears – our online environment for papers and panels.  Scroll down to your panel/paper for DSA2022. There will be an encircled A at the end of the panel/paper title line. Click on this, download the pdf and print your letter. Please note that we do not send such letters by post.

Your details

When logged into the site, click ‘Logged in’ and choose ‘Manage Account’ in the drop-down to ensure your contact details are the way you’d like them to be presented – especially your title, name, institution, as these are visible on panel pages and the conference programme.

Length of panels

Due to our attempt to keep online days shorter for delegates, panels with more than 1 session tend to run over multiple days. Each day will have a maximum of two 40 minute panel sessions, each of which may hold up to four papers for discussion. We have allocated every panel an appropriate number of sessions depending on the number of papers they received and accepted. All sessions are 40 minutes long. Up to 4 papers=1 session, 5 to 8 papers=2 sessions, 9 to 12 papers=3 sessions. One panel that received a larger number of papers was permitted to accept 16 papers (4 sessions). Most workshops will run for one session. Most panels have two sessions (i.e a max of 8 papers) and delegates appear to enjoy this approach.

Editing your paper

Paper authors can use the login link in the toolbar above (the head icon) to edit their own details or their own proposals. Make sure your contact details are the way you’d like them to be presented, particularly name, title and institution as these are visible on panel pages and will eventually appear in the online platform as well.

Pre-circulation of papers

We do not require full papers submitted before the conference. In fact, the DSA has no rule about this but many convenors are keen to pre-circulate completed papers. To facilitate this and save on loads of email traffic, authors can upload a PDF of their paper within Cocoa, and it will then show as a downloadable file beneath their abstract on the public panel page on this site. It is your choice whether you instruct your presenters to make use of this.

Timing of presentations

How convenors allocate the time in their sessions is largely their decision and will depend on the session format. With this year’s asynchronous approach, convenors will need to plan in advance to maximise the short session times allocated in order to allow for Q&A on each paper of that panel, as well as more broad discussion among the panelists and attendees.

Distribution of papers over sessions

We recommend that no panel session should include more than 4 papers for discussion and Q&A, but it can include fewer – this is up to the convenors to decide. For example, if the panel has received 7 papers, it can be split over two sessions as 4+3, but also as 3+4 etc. As the online panel pages do not indicate the session breaks, delegates will be working on the basis of generally 4 papers per session in terms of which sessions to attend. We therefore ask convenors, where possible, to stick to this distribution and order to allow people to join panels for specific papers if they wish.


Registration does not require instant payment but does indicate your commitment to attend the event. On registering, you will be sent an automated notification that your registration was received. We process your registration manually, getting back to you if there are any mistakes/questions, and emailing you an invoice with a payment information/link. You then have thirty days to pay. Once you have paid, the payment will be logged, and you will be emailed a receipt. So please do not put off registering just because you know your funding will arrive at a later date.

Communication between authors/convenors

Convenor/author email addresses are not shown on the panel pages for anti-spam and privacy reasons. However, there is an in-built secure email messaging system from the panel pages. If you cannot work that, please email us to obtain the relevant email addresses. You can also share via social media your panel or your paper from within the panel pages.

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