The “Voices for Development” Conference opens today, Wednesday, at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa. Around 600 social workers are gathering from South Africa, the wider African region and more widely to participate in 3 days of presentations and discussion on 25th – 27th September 2013.
The conference is linked to the process for building the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. It aims to ensure that the views and voices of the people who are targeted by international policy, as well as the social workers working within those frameworks, are heard in the debate about the 2015- Post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The event is organised by the National Association of Social Workers – South Africa (NASW(SA)), (the professional association for social workers) in partnership with the International Federation of Social Workers Africa Region (IFSW).
Speaking before the conference, Daniel Asiedu said ‘The conference is taking place as the United Nations convenes for its annual General Assembly. It comes at a crucial moment in the worldwide debate about what will replace the MDGs, which were agreed in 2000 as a programme ending in 2015. The UN has been steering a global consultation about the development objectives for the next 15 years and the global commitments to succeed the MDGs. The MDGs have certainly energised the focus on development and much progress has been achieved, but the global effort will fall short in many of them.’
NASW(SA) President Civil Legodu said ‘The United Nations has recognised the importance of including civil society (people and communities) in the planning of the post 2015 MDG agenda and has asked civil society groups and NGOs, including NASW(SA) and IFSW, to offer their ideas and recommendations to the forthcoming policy framework. This conference gives social workers in Africa and their development partners an opportunity to shape the MDG debate.’
Speaking before the conference, Ms Civil Legodu and Mr Daniel Asiedu said ‘As Presidents of professional social work bodies in Africa, we pledge the energies of our organisations to contribute to this global evaluation of the MDGs, taking into account their successes and shortfalls, and to harvest best practices. Working through this conference and The Global Agenda process, we will ensure that we identify distinctive African ideas and recommendations to inform the post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda and that social work and community voices are heard in development.’
24 September 2013
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
For further comment, background information and interviews, please contact:
NASW(SA) – Ulene Schiller, NASW Secretary, Phone: +27-828-558913
IFSW – Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary General, Phone: +49-17671-697916,
Note for Editors
Ms Civil Legodu is the President of the National Association of Social Workers – South Africa.
Mr Daniel Asiedu is the African President of the International Federation of Social Workers, based in Ghana.
IFSW, along with its sister global bodies, the International Council for Social Welfare (ICSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), launched ‘The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development: Commitments to Action’ in 2012. This strategy promotes international and regional collaborations to strengthen social development capabilities and sits alongside the MDGs.
The National Association of Social Workers – South Africa (NASW(SA)) is a voluntary organisation which supports the professional development of Social Workers, Social Auxiliary Workers and Social Work and Social Auxiliary Work Students in South Africa. The Association draws its membership throughout the country from Social Work Practitioners, Educators and Managers within the Social Work sector who are self-employed, or work in Non Profit Organizations or Government Departments. There are currently at least 1,000 signed up members.
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is the global federation of national social work organisations, including around 90 national associations consisting of more than 750,000 individual social workers. IFSW is divided into 5 regions with the Africa region consisting of the following countries; Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Lesotho, Morocco, Niger and Zimbabwe, Senegal, Egypt, and Mozambique. IFSW remains true to its focus and belief that development should not only be sustainable but also be able to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
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