Coronavirus outbreak updates!

14th February 2020

The IDIA2020 organizing committee met last week to discuss the situation of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and to decide the plan of action for the conference.

In our discussions we took into consideration the following:

  • COVID-19 has been elevated to a global emergency (public health emergency of international concern) by the World Health Organization. Accordingly, countries are putting measures in place to limit the spread of the virus, including banning and limiting travel to China. Macau has also put in place a number of travel restrictions, including flight cancellations and ferry travel from Hong Kong. Several conference participants are affected by these travel restrictions.
  • We are aware that several institutions are also, likewise, restricting travel to China to deal with the situation.
  • It is difficult to predict how long it will take for the situation to go back to normal. However, based on the experience from SARS and MERS, it is not unlikely for the situation to continue beyond a couple of months (i.e., 2 – 4 months).
  • Some participants have already made plans to attend the conference and might be able to attend (depending on how the situation develops).
  • We also considered the fact that conference attendance is planned well ahead of time and that there are other ICTD/ICT4D conferences that are happening throughout the rest of the year.
  • We need to ensure the safety and protection of the IDIA2020 participants and to execute a successful conference.

Having considered these factors, we have decided to move to a virtual conference.

The virtual participation will not affect publication of author’s papers in conference proceedings. The only requirement is that the paper is presented during the conference. Paper authors are still required to complete the conference registration (at least one registration per paper) since the bulk of the registration fees cover the proceedings production.

In the coming days, we will circulate further information and plans regarding virtual participation.

As a community we generally believe that technology has some role to play in addressing major developmental challenges around the world – we are certain that all of us will likewise leverage the various technology tools to deal with this particular Coronavirus challenge 😉

If you have further questions about this matter, please feel free to reach us at

Looking forward to a successful IDIA2020!

24th January 2020

We are keeping an eye on the outbreak of the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, in particular paying attention to the advisories from the World Health Organization and the local authorities:

As the situation develops and more information becomes available, we will take into consideration necessary risk mitigation and contigency plans to ensure the safety and protection of the IDIA2020 participants as well as the successful continuation of the conference.

We will be posting further communication and updates regarding the Coronavirus situation on this page.

IDIA2020 Organizing Committee