Forum 2019 Call for Breakout Session Proposals

Submissions closed on January 9, 2019

Overview and
Submission Instructions

InterAction is seeking breakout session proposals for InterAction Forum 2019. We strongly encourage submissions that explore the theme of the conference “Strengthening our Collective Impact.”

We are seeking a variety of submissions to build a portfolio of breakout sessions with diverse representation in topics, institutional affiliations, and speaker diversity. Accepted sessions will be scheduled for presentation on June 12-13, 2019. Please confirm your availability to attend Forum before submitting a proposal.

Proposals must be in the form of an abstract/summary for publication (max 150 words). The proposal should reflect innovative, cutting-edge content and evidence-based practice. The session itself should be designed to stimulate and provoke discussion and audience engagement and provide diverse approaches for different types of learners. Finally, the proposal must include three learning outcomes for the session.

  • All proposals must be submitted using the online form. You will need to either create an account on the online system or logon if you submitted a proposal last year. Applicants with similar proposals/topics may be asked to combine sessions. The planning committee reserves the right to change or edit the title and description for clarity and marketing purposes.
  • Plan your submission in advance. We recommend that you collect the information you need before going to the online form.
  • The primary contact is the person submitting the proposal. InterAction will communicate with the primary contact who must share information as needed with co-leaders and/or panelists.
  • Limit to two sessions. To ensure diversity of thought, the planning committee will select a maximum of two proposals from any session organizer or organization. You may submit more than two proposals, but a maximum of two will be selected. Please be sure to coordinate proposals within your organization.
  • Avoid commercial bias. Breakout sessions are intended to educate the Forum audience; not to promote a specific product or service. Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available for promotional purposes. If you are a supplier of products or services, please be sure your content is educational in nature, neutral and unbiased and free of commercial motive/intent.
  • Observe published deadlines. You must be committed and responsive to working with InterAction by adhering to deadlines including submitting program materials and speaker registration.
  • Speaker agreement. The primary contact must ensure that speakers are compliant with copyright laws and have ownership or permission to use all materials used in conjunction with the presentation. Speakers must demonstrate high standards of professional conduct and not discriminate against learners based on gender, age, socioeconomic or ethnic background, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Primary contact and speakers must register. All speakers, moderators, organizers, assistants, etc. must register to attend Forum. Individuals will have the option to register at a discounted rate for the full conference or one day of the conference (the day of their presentation).

Evaluation and Review Process: Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Forum Planning Committee, comprised of InterAction members and staff with expertise in a range of topic areas. Each proposal will be evaluated according to the general criteria listed below.

  1. Overall quality of proposal
  2. Relevancy of content to Forum audience
  3. Well defined learning outcomes
  4. Diversity among organizations and proposed speakers
  5. Does the proposal address the conference theme?
  6. Does the proposal include a plan for audience engagement?

Timeline: So that you can plan accordingly should your proposal be accepted, please make note of the timeline below.

  • Call for Proposals deadline: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern
  • Invitations/notifications sent: By February 15, 2019
  • Speaker list due to InterAction: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
  • Speaker registration deadline: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
  • Session materials due: Wednesday, May 29, 2019
  • Forum 2019 Dates: June 11-13, 2019

Sample Submission Form

Please use this sample to gather your details before logging on to the proposal submission system.

Step One: Personal Information

Primary Contact/Session Organizer: This person will serve as primary contact and will be responsible for coordinating the session, scheduling the sequence of speakers, and communicating with speakers prior to the presentation date.

This information will be suppressed for the Forum Planning Committee review process.

First Name: ___________________________________ Last Name: ____________________________

Job Title: ____________________________________________________________________________

Organization: ________________________________________________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________________________________________

Office Phone: _________________________________ Mobile Phone: __________________________

Organization Website: _________________________________________________________________

□  Is your organization a member of InterAction?


Step Two: Proposal Information

Please take the time to submit a thoughtful proposal that clearly articulates the intent of the session. Priority is given to new program content that is unique to InterAction Forum.

Title of Session: Limit 10 words


Short Description: Pitch this session to Forum attendees in one sentence


Long Description: Abstract/summary. Limit 150 words. Please provide enough detail so that reviewers will have a clear idea of the session content and its overall organization.



Has this proposal/topic been submitted for InterAction Forum in the last two years?

□ No         □ Yes         □ Don’t know


Has this proposal/topic been presented at InterAction Forum in the last two years?

□ No         □ Yes         □ Don’t know


Learning Format: To provide the best educational experience, learning formats support a range of instructional methods.

□  Case Study (60 minutes)

A formal Presentation given by 1-2 content leaders, highlighting one or more case studies and lessons learned.

□  Deep Dive (90 minutes)

A highly-interactive session presented by 1-2 content leaders, developing skills through collaborative learning.

□  Express Talk (20 minutes)

TED-style talk given by 1 content leader that explores a single idea with practical tips through story telling.

□  Facilitated Panel Discussion (60 minutes)

A discussion with 1 moderator and up to 3 panelists presenting perspectives around a specific topic.


Learning Outcomes: Minimum of three required. Must be quantifiable and should use active verbs. Example: “Participants will be able to identify four obstacles to the successful use of WASH” rather than “Participants will discuss the obstacles…”





Speakers: Including yourself, you can have a maximum of four speakers, presenters, moderators, etc. Each individual attending the session, even in a support role, must register for Forum.

Proposed Speakers and/or Organizations: ________________________________________________


This session fits into one of the following general areas (Check only one):

□  Accountability & Learning

□  Humanitarian Action

□  International Development

□  Policy & Advocacy


Topics (Select all that apply):

□  Accessibility/Inclusion of Diverse Profiles

□  Agriculture/Food Aid/Food Security/Nutrition

□  Aid Reform/Evaluation/Program Effectiveness

□  Animal Welfare/Biodiversity

□  Climate Change/Environment

□  Communications

□  Conflict Prevention and Resolution

□  Data and Open Information/Technology/Transparency

□  Democracy/Rights/Governance

□  Disaster Risk Reduction

□  Economic Recovery/Development

□  Gender Equality

□  Health/Health System Strengthening

□  Human Resources/NGO Management

□  Humanitarian Response/Disaster Preparedness

□  Innovative Finance/Resource Development for NGOs

□  NGO Security/Risk Management

□  Preventing Sexual Exploitation/Abuse

□  Protection of Civilians

□  Refugees and Migration

□  Regulations Governing NGOs/ Shrinking Civil Society Space

□  Shelter/Settlements/Housing

□  Sustainable Development Goals

□  Water/Sanitation/Hygiene

□  Other (Please describe): _____________________________________________________________

□  Is this an InterAction Working Group generated session?

     Working Group Name: _______________________________________________________________


Step Three: Target Audience

Professional Level of Your Target Audience:

□  Beginner (0-5 yrs. experience)

□  Intermediate (5-10 yrs. experience)

  Advanced (10+ yrs. experience)

□  All Levels

To whom and where should we advertise/promote this session? _______________________________

Please provide contact information for the individual within your organization who is responsible for communications.

First Name: _________________________________ Last Name: ______________________________

Job Title: ____________________________________________________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________________________________________

□  Would you like this proposal to be considered for the CEO track?

The CEO Track allows leaders of InterAction member organizations to engage with experts and peers to address the most pressing challenges. Sessions in this track are specifically designed for CEO level participants (speakers do not need to be CEOs) and are open only to InterAction member CEOs. Proposals considered for this track will undergo an additional level of scrutiny.

Once you’ve submitted your proposal, you will have the option to send yourself a summary of your submission. Click on the “Email” button in the top right corner of the submission page and then click “Send Email” This is the only confirmation message you will receive, as the system does not automatically send a confirmation.

For general questions about the breakout session program, please contact Denise Stone at

Highlights from:  Forum 2018 | Forum 2017 | Forum 2016 | Forum 2015 | Forum 2014 | Forum 2013