IFSW concluded its two-year consultation on the 2020 to 2030 Global Agenda themes yesterday at the IFSW online World Conference. By the conclusion of the conference more than 20´000 people had registered from 185 countries.
The consultation process was launched in 2018 to develop the next Global Agenda themes as a strategy to advance the profession’s focus and impact in the coming decade. The two-year consultation commenced with a dedicated online process enabling all people to submit proposals, followed by national and regional workshops and the World Conference finale. The conference brought all parts of the social work system together: Political leaders, People who have experienced care, community leaders, educators, social service leaders and social workers from throughout the world. IFSW also welcomed new partner organizations into the leadership of the conference to strengthen the process.
The resulting IFSW themes contributing to the 2020 to 2030 Global Agenda for Social Work are:
Valuing Social Work as an Essential Service
Realising the essential role of the social work profession to connect people, communities and systems, to co-build sustainable communities and to contribute to liveable futures.
Resourcing the profession with legal recognition, respectful working conditions, education and continuing professional development and supporting professional associations.
Co-building Inclusive Social Transformation
Co-building with people, families, communities, social movements and governments to achieve inclusive social transformation locally, nationally, regionally and globally.
Promoting participatory democracy, gender equality, action to address racism, economic sustainability and climate justice.
Ubuntu: ´I am because we are´
Nurturing relationships are central to the social work profession in all aspects of our work.
Promoting indigenous knowledge and the decolonisation of the social work profession.
Transforming Social Protections Systems
Transforming social protections systems to secure the human dignity and rights of all peoples.
Strengthening connections for security and change. Promoting harmony in relationships and a way of living between peoples, communities and mother earth.
Promoting Diversity and the Power of Joint Social Action
Celebrating the strengths of all people and their active role in leading social development.
Working together to co-design and co-build thriving communities and societies for people and the environment.
When announcing the themes, the conveners of the consultation process Rory Truell and Rose Henderson said, “That the themes are not in an order of preference or importance – each theme is equally important and they are integrated together as a framework” In her conference closing speech IFSW President Silvana Martinez said “Never before in the 92 years history of IFSW has there been such an inclusive and democratic process. The conference enabled all people to contribute to the next Global Agenda. Without a doubt, it has been a historic and successful event”.
The next stage involves working with IFSW’s longstanding partners – The International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International Council on Social Welfare that had respectfully declined to be partners to the IFSW conference but continue to be engaged in the broader Global Agenda processes. IFSW will now formally take these outcomes to these partners in the hope that they can see themselves in and support this framework. The outcomes of this process will be reported later this year.
Commenting as IFSW Secretary-General, Rory Truell said, “The World Conference, which concluded the consultation strategy, confirmed the social work role in advocating that formal social protection systems need to change focus from providing services for people in crisis to becoming agencies of social transformation that prevent social crisis. The Themes Framework clearly highlights the approach of co-building and co-designing with communities along with the message that social work is essential for every country´s economic and social development. These significant outcomes and the online platforms that enabled them will have far-reaching effects bringing forward a new era”.
See the video presentations:
Results of the conference
Closing ceremony with IFSW President, Silvana Martínez
Movie of images during the conference