Over the past few weeks, we have been keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, as well as on the early stages of the vaccination campaign. While the quick development of vaccines is a cause for optimism, the realities of deploying them around the world are complicated.
We have come to the realisation that it is unlikely we would be able to hold a conference in 2021 in which participants from around the globe would be able to gather in person at the University of Antwerp, even in combination with online events and streaming. Rather than having an "online-only" conference, we feel it is worth postponing the conference, to enable us to offer the fullest possible conference experience for all. That is why we have decided to postpone the Antwerp conference to 19-22 September 2022, when we expect there to be far fewer restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings.
We're aware that this decision may interfere with the preparations you were already making for the September 2021 conference and we apologize for this. If you've already sent in a proposal, you are free to withdraw it, or, alternatively, to keep it in the Conftool archive. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with via e-mail (contact details below).
Tom De Herdt, chair of the Programme and Organising Committee of the HDCA Antwerp Conference.
Johan Bastiaensen, chair of the Institute of Development Policy (University of Antwerp).