about the conference

The International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) is looking forward to welcoming you to the 22nd Biennial Conference, which will be our first online conference, in July 2021. We are excited about the potential to expand access to the conference through technology and connectivity.


Poverty and inequality are longstanding social challenges, greatly increased by the global Covid-19 pandemic, and overlaid with other social, economic and political crises, mass population movements, racial injustice, the digital divide, and climate change. This combination of circumstances has had devastating impacts on people‚Äôs everyday lives and their livelihoods in different parts of the globe, an impact which is unparalleled in modern history. How governments, societies and social development actors respond to this conjuncture will shape the direction of social development and human development outcomes for years to come. 

Despite significant global advances in societies and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, the poverty and inequality fault lines are unlikely to be redrawn or removed unless bold new and innovative solutions are developed, implemented and evaluated based on the best available scientific knowledge. The 22nd Biennial Conference of the ICSD in 2021 will bring together practitioners, researchers, students, communities, organizations and policy makers to think deeply and carefully about the challenges we face, critically appraise past responses and advance new and novel ways of responding to these difficult challenges. The intention is to promote more inclusive and engaged societies, human rights and further social and economic justice. 


The International Consortium for Social Development  (ICSD) is an organisation of interdisciplinary scholars, practitioners, and students that aims to build knowledge and capacity to bring about social, economic, and environmental improvement tin the lives of people and their communities.


The COVID-19 pandemic has once again put poverty and inequality fault lines under the spotlight and it is evident that these are unlikely to be redrawn or removed without bold and innovative thinking and practice.

The International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) invites all social development scholars, activists, practitioners or policymakers to be part of developing a new narrative for Social Development in the post pandemic world. Come and share the new and cutting-edge insights and solutions you are researching, implementing and evaluating with like-minded social development thinkers and practitioners.

The Conference will facilitate engagement and networking with other social development solutioneers!

Submit your abstract by 15 February to be considered for this exciting programme.

conferEnce tracks 

1. Social development responses to global challenges: pandemics, migration, racial injustice, the digital divide, and economic crises

Under this conference track we are interested in showcasing social development policy and practice innovations that have responded to global pandemics succahs Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS; major economic crises; population movement; racial injustice and the digital divide. Presenters could consider responses relating to social protection and other innovative social development responses to human insecurity for example, health, mental health, livelihoods and vulnerability. Social development interventions that emerge from the state, civil society, and the private sector, or which draw actors together across different disciplines and sectors are welcomed.

2. Social Development responses to Climate Change and Environmental challenges 

In this track we invite presenters to frame climate change and environmental challenges as social development issues and to present on the effects of climate change for vulnerable groups, including on food and nutrition security, agriculture, and livelihoods. Policies and social interventions responding to these issues and promoting community resilience and adaptive capacities are welcomed.

3. Inequality, gender and social inclusion 

Under this track we are interested in papers that assess progress towards inclusion of vulnerable groups (including women, rural communities, migrants, people with disabilities); methods and measurements in assessing and tracking social inequality and inclusion, and profiling social and economic responses to promoting social inclusion, particularly to promoting inclusive cities.

4. Youth transitions to education, employment, civic engagement and livelihoods

The vulnerability of young people, particularly in the context of protracted transitions to work, is an increasing global concern. Under this track we invite papers that profile the nature of youth exclusion and vulnerability; and social development interventions that respond to promoting youth livelihoods, training and education, and civic engagement, gender equality, and that foster agency and youth engagement in leadership and governance.

5. Social development for promoting the wellbeing of children and families

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of supporting families and children. Healthy and supported families and households are important units of care to enhance the wellbeing of children and society more broadly. Under this track we invite papers that engage with vulnerabilities amongst families with children, interventions that support resilience and wellbeing of children and families, and considerations for especially vulnerable children (including children in care). Intergenerational support, gender equality and care of older persons and persons with disabilities as integral to the family unit, will also be considered.

6. Financial Capability and Asset Building 

Financial inclusion is a core feature of social inclusion and an important social development intervention. In this track we invite papers that profile global innovations in promoting financial capability; highlight policy and programs that support asset building; and how to build the capacity of social workers and other social development practitioners in enhancing financial capabilities and asset building.

7. Politics, institutions, and capacity building for social development 

Politics, institutional arrangements, capable states, development organization sand transformational leadership are crucial in advancing social development around the world. Under this track we invite papers that engage with these ideas theoretically; analyse how politics and institutional arrangements influence social development policy and practice; understand what the institutional barriers to social development are; and that show case innovation.

8. Future directions in social development and social development innovations 

Under this track we welcome papers that generate insight into lessons for the future of social development policy and practice, including new directions in social protection, lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic for the future of social development policy and practice, and digital innovations in social development interventions.

Conference Host

Conference Co-Hosts

Conference Funding Partners

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor