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Report on IUSSP webinar series (September 2020)
- Reaching members across the globe 


IUSSP launched a webinar series in May 2020 to reach out to IUSSP members and others while we are confined to home and offices due to COVID-19. The webinars have focused on COVID-19 related topics, but we welcome topics on other research. The webinars have been an excellent way to reach out to a broad and geographically dispersed audience and include members who have not been able to participate in in-person seminars and conferences


The geographic breadth of participation has been impressive – 1,053 people from 97 countries viewed one or more of the five webinars IUSSP hosted.



The webinars have proven to be popular with those residing in Africa (26% of participants) and Asia (23% of participants) laying to rest concerns that attendees from the global South would be excluded because of insufficient bandwidth.  Many members who have never had the opportunity to participate in an IUSSP seminar have been able to attend a webinar.  Of course, some do have difficulties with connections, especially when using video, but overall, most attendees stay for the full duration of the 60-90 minute webinars.  


The countries with the largest number of attendees for all webinars were the United States (257), India (187), Brazil (99), Nigeria (90), South Africa (74), Kenya (54), the United Kingdom (47), Spain (35), Canada (33), and Italy (25). Geographic distribution of participants, however, varied with the webinar topic and speakers. 


Regional attendance by webinar: 


The webinars focused on different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the research, data and methods needed to measure impact over the long term (see more on the content of these webinars in the links below). The IUSSP Council and officers instigated most of these webinars, save one, which was proposed and organized by an IUSSP member. In addition to these open webinars, IUSSP Panels have continued their work with smaller, invitation-only virtual meetings to present work in progress or to conduct training activities.


The webinars have provided IUSSP with an opportunity to test webinar platforms and improve our ability to host virtual events. While we hope in-person meetings will be possible sometime soon, virtual webinars and hybrid events will likely become a permanent fixture as they reach many more members across the globe. Given this experience, we encourage you to send us your ideas for webinar topics and consider volunteering to organize one.


More webinars will be held in the forthcoming weeks, including one tentatively scheduled for 22 October on the Priorities in research on international migration and mobilities:  Implications of the COVID pandemic and its legacies.


Read more or watch video of past webinars: