Hosting the IAFFE Annual Conference

IAFFE’s annual conferences are crucial for nurturing the organization, the members, and our mission. They offer a unique opportunity for members to engage in active intellectual exchange, facilitate mutual learning, and develop a sense of the collective purpose of the organization. Hosting an annual conference offers the hosting organization a platform to a) showcase the institution and its work to a wide network of academics, activists and advocates, b) raise the profile of the institution nationally with the government and donor communities, and c) create a learning environment for institution’s faculty, researchers and students.

Below is some general information about hosting the IAFFE Annual Conference:

  • It is IAFFE's main venue for promoting research dissemination, networking and collaboration among members and potential members.
  • It typically brings together approximately 250-400 individuals who participate in plenary and concurrent paper sessions, workshops, and business meetings.
  • It usually takes place over two and a half days (preceded by a day of business meetings and a pre-conference workshop) typically in late June or July.
  • It is most often held at university campuses or institutes during periods when the campus is under-utilized.
  • IAFFE policy is to rotate the site of the annual conference among locations in Europe, North America, and developing and transition economies.
  • Site selection is made 2-3 years in advance.

Role of IAFFE and Host Organization

Holding an annual conference is a significant undertaking for both IAFFE and the host organization. IAFFE recognizes this and is committed to shared responsibility for the hosting of the conference.

Responsibilities of IAFFE

The IAFFE Board (and in particular the Outgoing President and Conference Chair) take a lead role in a) defining the theme of the conference, b) organize the content of the conference program through a conference program committee, c) finalizing and printing the conference program (in consultation with the host organisation regarding plenaries and scheduling sessions), d) setting the overall conference fee structure (with input from the host organization regarding local participant rates), and e) fundraising for travel bursaries and hosting the opening reception.

Responsibilities for the Host Organization

The host organization takes the lead to a) provide input to conference program and nominate members to the conference program committee, b) actively organise a plenary and other activities focused on key local policy and research themes, c) organize the logistics for conference including providing meeting venues and technical support, d) identify range of accommodation options and negotiate special conference rates, e) arrange for all catering needs of the conference including the conference dinner, and f) provide up to date visa information and coordinate additional support as needed. Additionally, the host organization can leverage the presence of leading researchers to organise public lectures with IAFFE members attending the Conference.

Guiding Principles for Annual Conference Plenaries

In the discussion on the 4th Amended and Restated Bylaws introducing a 3 year role for the IAFFE president, an issue of the role of Conference Host in organizing the opening and closing plenaries emerged as a concern for some members. Upon the adoption of the Bylaws, the Executive Committee requested the Long-Term Site Committee to consider and develop a set of principles to help guide the Outgoing President and Conference Chair, the Program Committee and the Conference Host in organising the plenaries of the Annual Conference.

1) IAFFE as an organisation is committed to a true partnership with the Conference Host in sharing intellectual, administrative and logistical responsibilities. To reflect that intellectual partnership, the topic of the opening or closing plenaries should reflect key discourses or matters of urgent priority within the national/regional context in dialogue with the Conference Host.

2) All decisions should be guided by respect for local research/expertise, by transparent and participative process, and by consideration of the added benefit/value for the host (e.g. raising the profile of the host institution) and for IAFFE (e.g. widening the network of academics across disciplines).

3) As per the 4th Amended & Restated Bylaws, the Outgoing President and Conference Chair has the responsibility for organizing the opening plenary and the President for organizing the closing plenary of the Conference in consultation with the host institution.

4) To ensure acknowledgement of local expertise as well support of high-level Government officials or institutional leaders where the Conference is being held, the opening plenary should include both international and local voices as appropriate to the theme of plenary. The involvement can be as limited as welcome remarks, or a more active role as panellists or discussants.

5) Additionally, the Conference Host should seriously consider organizing a third plenary to showcase the work of the host institution or a particular political or policy issue, such a possibility can be explored and included in the Conference Programme.

Site Proposal Questionnaire

We have developed a Site Proposal Questionnaire (see link below) to help assess the resources available at your institute or university to host an IAFFE conference. This information will be utilized by the IAFFE Board of Directors to better review proposals and make a site selection.

Thank you for your dedication and willingness to serve IAFFE. Hosting a conference is a significant commitment, and we appreciate the hard work and effort of the people who are willing to take on this important task. The annual conference is very important to the life of IAFFE, and the contributions of local hosts are a real gift to the organization.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the IAFFE office,, with questions or requests for assistance as you create your proposal. We look forward to hearing from you!

Site Proposal Questionnaire (243.9 KB)


1. What is the value added for my institution to host the conference? Hosting an Annual Conference of the IAFFE brings significant advantages to the hosting institution. IAFFE is a network of 600 academics, policy makers, and activists who focus on the complex interaction between gender, economy, development, and social change. The members of IAFFE have been leaders in developing new conceptual frames for understanding these interactions, innovating new teaching tools, advocating for research agenda that speak to the concerns of women, minorities and other marginalised communities, and driving policy change at multi-lateral institutions. Hosting the Annual Conference would provide your department/institution: 1) an increased profile within an international network, 2) a platform for interaction with internationally recognised thought leaders for your community of researchers and students, 3) an opportunity to highlight department/institution to the national government and national policymakers and 4) increased visibility to multilateral and bilateral donors.

2. Does the hosting institution have any substantive input into the Conference program? While the theme of the Conference and the call for papers is guided by the Outgoing President and Conference Chair of IAFFE, the host institution does organise at least one plenary to highlight themes of concern and research debate in the region. In terms of review of abstracts and finalising the Programme, the host institution will provide input through nominated members to serve on the Conference Program Committee. Additionally there is also opportunity to organize specific activities in the Pre-Conference workshops that focus on expanding learning opportunities for doctoral and postgraduate students, activists and advocates.

3. Is my institution responsible for all the associated costs of holding the Conference? The costs associated with holding the Conference shared will be jointly shared with IAFFE. Often IAFFE meets all the resources required for registration, finalising and printing conference programme, hosting opening reception and some of the lunches and coffee/teas. Hosting institutions often meet some of the catering expenses, and provide a gift/token for participants.

4. Does my institution have to provide the venue – lecture halls, seminar rooms, conference rooms – free of charge? Most institutions provide the rooms equipped with required the technology at subsidised rates as a form of in-kind contribution to the Conference. The university will have some income flow as there is no expectation that facilities are provided free of charge. Any technical support is also provided, and at a subsidised rate if possible.

5. Is the institution responsible for facilitating visas to the country? The host institution is responsible to provide up to date and accurate visa information including documentation requirements, and any specific rules for specified regions. IAFFE will on that basis provided visa letters for registered participants and may request the hosting institution to provide any specific invitation letter, if required.

6. What is the institution’s responsibility in terms of accommodation? Ideally, if the institution has on campus accommodation, organisers could negotiate block of rooms to hold on priority basis for Conference participants. Additionally, the Conference organisers should develop a list of accommodations (hotels, guest houses, B&Bs) available near the venue site in various price ranges. If the hosting institution has any discounted rate agreement with these facilities it would great if organisers could negotiate the same would apply to Conference participants.

7. Is the institution responsible for providing transport between accommodation facilities and the venue? There is no obligation on the part of the host organisation to provide daily transport facilities. It would a welcome gesture, depending on resources of the hosting institution, if transportation for vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities or older participants with specific needs could be arranged.

8. Is the Conference dinner sponsored by IAFFE or the host organisation? Typically the Conference dinner is paid by participants. Usually the host organisation identifies possible venues, their menus and average price. The final decision is made in consultation with the President and administrative staff of IAFFE.

9. Is entertainment expected with the Conference dinner? There is no expectation that entertainment will be part of the Conference dinner. Different host organisation have worked with local authorities and local artists to arrange an entertainment program highlighting local cultural traditions and history. The fundraising for this is separate from the budget of the Conference and usually driven by the host organisation.

10. Are tours to local attractions, shopping, etc. expected? Outside Conference activities are at the initiative of individual participants. It would be welcome if the host institution would provide a package of tourist information to post on Conference website and in the welcome pack for participants. Additionally if host institution has interest, time and resources to arrange local tours for a specified price that would be also be very welcome.

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