Call for Papers: Conference on Human Language Technology for Development (HLTD 2011)

Alexandria, Egypt
2nd May – 5th May, 2011

Human Language Technology (HLT) is a growing field of research and development, converging multiple disciplines including computer science, engineering, linguistics, sociology and cognitive sciences, striving to develop a natural, easy and effective user interaction. HLT, including localization, is particularly relevant for addressing access to information by the disadvantaged communities, including the illiterate, the rural poor, and the physically challenged population, especially in the developing countries.

The Conference aims to promote interaction among researchers and professionals working on language technology, language computing industry, civil society engaged with deployment of language technology to end-users, and policy makers planning the use of HLT in national development projects. It aims to provide a single platform to engage these stakeholders in a dialogue over a wide range of relevant issues, to show-case state-of-practice in HLT and its use in development, and to identify needs and priorities of the end-users. It is hoped that the Conference will highlight HLTD challenges in the developing regions, especially in Asia and Africa.


Original unpublished research papers are invited for two tracks: (i) HLT Development track, focusing on engineering challenges and solutions for HLT, and (ii) HLT Use track, focusing on challenges and models for dissemination and adoption of HLT. Specific topics include, but are not limited to, the following areas, with special focuses on Asia and Africa.

HLT Development
Linguistics and linguistic resourcesEducation
Language computing standardsHealth
HLT (MT, TTS, ASR, OCR, IR, Dialogue systems)Rural development
HLT technology, people and process challengesAccessibility
Commercialization modelsCulture
Technology policyLanguage and culture policy

In addition, proposals are also invited for workshops, tutorials and product/project demonstrations.

Submission details are available at the Conference website


Submission Deadline: 7th Feb. 2011
Acceptance Notification: 7th Mar. 2011
Camera ready paper: 23rd Mar. 2011
Conference dates: 2nd - 5th May 2011


The Conference will be held at Bibliotheca Alexandrina at Alexandria, Egypt (


A small number of grants are available on a competitive basis for travel support and Conference registration fees for authors. Further details are available from the Conference website.


Dr. Adel El Zaim, International Development Research Centre, Middle East Office, Egypt
Dr. Ananya Raihan, D.NET, Bangladesh
Dr. Chafic Mokbel, Balamand University, Lebanon
Dr. Chai Wutiwiwatchai, NECTEC, Thailand
Mr. Dwayne Bailey, Zuza Software Foundation, South Africa (co-chair)
Mr. Donanl Z. Osborn, African Network for Localization, USA
Dr. Florence Tushabe, Univ., Uganda
Dr. Guy De Pauw, Univ. of Antwerp, Belgium
Dr. Hammam Riza, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, Indonesia
Dr. Key-Sun Choi, Korean Advance Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
Dr. Lamine Aouad, Univ. of Limerick, Ireland
Dr. Lisa Moore, Unicode Consortium, USA
Dr. Magdy Nagi, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt
Ms. Manal Amin, Arabize, Egypt
Dr. Miriam Butt, Univ. of Konstanz, Germany
Dr. Mirna Adriani, Univ. of Indonesia
Dr. Mumit Khan, BRAC Univ., Bangladesh
Dr. Peter Waiganjo Wagacha, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya
Dr. Rajeev Sangal, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India
Dr. Roni Rosenfield, Carnegie Mellon Univ., USA
Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, Univ. of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka
Dr. Satoshi Nakamura, National Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Japan
Dr. Sarmad Hussain, Univ. of Engr. and Tech., Pakistan (co-chair)
Mr. Solomon Gizaw, Univ. of Limerick, Ireland
Dr. Steven Bird, Univ. of Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Tim Unwin, UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, Univ. of London, UK
Dr. Tunde Adegbola, African Languages Technology Initiative, Lagos, Nigeria
Dr. Virach Sornlertlamvanich, NECTEC, Thailand
Dr. Wanjiku Ng'ang'a, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya


Dr. Adel El Zaim, International Development Research Centre, Middle East Office, Egypt (chair)
Dr. Ananya Raihan, D.NET, Bangladesh
Mr. Dwayne Bailey, Zuza Software Foundation, South Africa
Dr. Magdy Nagi, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt
Ms. Manal Amin, Arabize, Egypt
Ms. Maria Ng Lee Hoon, International Development Research Centre, SE&E Asia Office, Singapore
Dr. Peter Waiganjo Wagacha, Univ. of Nairobi, Kenya
Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, Univ. of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka
Dr. Sarmad Hussain, Center for Language Engineering, KICS, Univ. of Engr. and Tech., Pakistan


The Conference is jointly organized by the PAN Localization Network (PAN L10n, of Asia and the African Network for Localization (ANLoc, It is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC,

PAN L10n is network of Asian professionals and organizations, collectively working to develop local language computing capacity and its use across developing Asian countries, since 2003. It has been developing linguistic resources, language technology, human resource capacity and relevant language computing policy in the region. It has also been active in disseminating language technology to end users, and investigating effective training and adoption models. The network is coordinated by the Center for Language Engineering (, Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science, University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan.

ANLoc has the vision to empower Africans to participate in the digital age by removing “the last inch” barriers to language usage. The project is working towards overcoming this by creating a network of African language localizers who through various projects are developing translation and localization tools, linguistic resources, standards and software in several African languages. Building local capacities and disseminating knowledge are also essential for achieving the mission. The network is coordinated by Zuza Software Foundation ( in South Africa.

PAN L10n and ANLoc are funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.


The new library of Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, aims to be a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and to be a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples.

For Further Queries:

Asia coordinator: Sarmad Hussain, sarmad [at] cantab [dot] net
Africa coordinator: Dwayne Bailey, dwayne [at] translate [dot] org [dot] za
Egypt coordinator: Manal Amin, Manal [dot] Amin [at] arabize [dot] com [dot] eg