Social Work and International Development


ISWD strives to promote social work as a necessary component of international development. Social workers are trained to work with various stakeholders at community, national and international levels. Social workers are already engaged in a number of professional positions in the field of international development and are making meaningful contributions. ISWD recognizes that creating a centralized base or reference site on “social work and development” to these individuals is imperative.

ISWD believes social workers can ensure the “human aspect” is incorporated into international development efforts. Social work focuses on the process, the people, and the environment in the international development process which affects directly and indirectly on the well-being of all people who are involved.

ISWD strongly supports the professional and ethical conduct of social workers to ensure democracy throughout the development process of identifying the needs, planning of interventions as well as monitoring and evaluation is critical for effective development, it also sets the direction for “Inclusive Development” that reflects the community’s best interests.

ISWD considers the social work core skills of assessment, planning, organization, negotiation, resource mobilization, management, monitoring and evaluation as critical to successful international development. The ability to bring different activities and individuals into collective efforts maximizes the effectiveness of aid efforts and other development activities that empower people in the development process.

ISWD in its work promotes the involvement of social workers in the development process because social workers assure the inclusion of psychological and social needs of the individuals. The success of development programs is guaranteed because the psychosocial aspects of the beneficiaries are addressed.

ISWD recognizes that many international development programs are spasmodic interventions. Social workers provide a “continuity of development” which is often lacking in international development efforts. Social workers provide a bridge between the development donor and the in-country beneficiaries and ought to be considered as an integral part of donor funding. Advocating for current community needs would be another role of the ISWD in coordination with the “local” community social worker and “national” and “international” social workers.

click here to visit UN website on MDG