Professional Social Work in East Africa - Towards Sustainable Impact | PROSOWO II

International Social Work Conference 2014 in Kampala © Decent Africa

Project Coordinator: Helmut Spitzer

Coordinating Institution: Carinthia University of Applied Sciences

Partner Institutions: Makerere University (Janestic Mwende Twikirize), University of Nairobi (Gidraph Gachunga Wairire), Hope Africa University (Jacqueline Murekasenge), University of Rwanda (Charles Rutikanga), Institute of Social Work (Zena Mnasi Mabeyo)

Partner Countries: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi

Project Duration: 1st of January 2016 – 31st of March 2019


PROSOWO II is an extension of activities that were successfully implemented under the PROSOWO project (2011–2014) in order to promote professional social work in East Africa. The overall objective of the international cooperation between partner institutions from Austria, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda is directed towards the formation and strengthening of mechanisms for social work education and practice to more effectively contribute to social development, poverty reduction and social inclusion.

The project has six major components:

  • Empirical research on indigenous and innovative models of social work practice.
  • Establishment of a regional center for social work and social development research.
  • Capacity building of tertiary social work institutions through research, training, joint publications, and networking at national, regional and international levels.
  • Efforts towards the legislation of social work in East Africa.
  • Increased engagement of social work professionals in social policy and advocacy for human rights.
  • Multidirectional knowledge transfer and sharing of lessons learnt within Africa, with stakeholders in Austria and the international scientific community.

Key outcomes of the project will be disseminated through national workshops, regional meetings and international conferences, and through an open access policy with regard to journal articles and internet-based distribution of knowledge, particularly through a new project website.Country-specific research reports will be produced, and an empirically based book on social work practice in East Africa will be published.

A major social work conference in East Africa will be launched, bringing together practitioners, educators, scholars, students and policy makers.Finally, all project activities are geared to have a tangible impact on the lives of poor and marginalized people by highly qualified social workers and improved social services.

  • Publications
  • Events and media

Promotion of PROSOWO publication © African Books Collective, PROSOWO II project

The new publication Social Work Practice in Africa. Indigenous and Innovative Approaches as the latest outcome of the PROSOWO II project is now available.

Get your copy at African Books Collective, Oxford

General meeting of NASW-Burundi in October 2018 © Susan Muchiri

Good news from Burundi

An update about the National Association of Social Workers in Burundi – NASW-Burundi.

International Social Work Conference 2018 in Kigali © Elke Stinnig


This podcast is dedicated to the genozide in Rwanda. It contains original sounds and interviews with project partners and other participants at the social march and conference "Professional Social Work and Sustainable Development in Africa" that took place in Kigali in March 2018.

Podcast is in German with original sounds in English.

Global Conference on Social Work Dublin 2018 © CRISOWO

PROSOWO team shares insights at Global Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development

Wisdom from the South: From the 4th until the 7th of July a team of six from the PROSOWO project participated in the Global Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development at the Royal Dublin Society International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ireland.

Current and former APPEAR scholars presented at the International Social Work Conference 2018 in Rwanda © Elke Stinnig

Save the date: International social work symposium on 29th of June 2018

The PROWOWO II team invites you to attend the international symposium which will take place at FH Kärnten in Feldkirchen / Carinthia.

Position Paper on Social Work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as concrete outcome of the PROSOWO II conference in Kigali

Note d’orientation Sur Le Travail Social en République Démocratique du Congo (RDC)

Read an article about the International Social Work Conference in Kigali published in 106/2018.

Verantaltungseinladung FH Kaernten, April 2018 © FH Kärnten

Event at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences

23rd of April 2018

„Ruanda: Soziale Arbeit nach einem Völkermord“ – mit Impressionen einer Studienreise ins Land der tausend Hügel.

International Social Work Conference 2018 in Kigali © Elke Stinnig

Watch the conference video that provides highlights of the event

Final programme and book of abstracts

for international social work conference in Rwanda now available.

'Professional Social Work in East Africa' extended to Eastern Congo

With funding from the state government of Carinthia (Austria) and the NGO 'AfriCarinthia", new project activities in Eastern DRC will be started soon.


Social Work Conference 2018: Call for abstracts

The conference will take place from 19th to 22nd of March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Abstracts can be submitted until 15th of October 2017.

Conference website


Book review

Professional Social Work in East Africa: Towards Social Development, Poverty Reduction and Gender Equality, the book that was published in 2014 in the framework of the PROSOWO project, was recently reviewed.

Students in Feldkirchen/Austria at World Social Work Day 2017 © Carinthia University of Applied Sciences

World Social Work Day 2017 celebrated in Austria; inspired by similar happenings in East Africa.

Find more information here.

CRISOWO announcement © PROSOWO project

CRISOWO – the newly established East African Centre for Research and Innovation in Social Work

was officially launched on the 24th of February 2017 at Makerere University.

Read a report of the launch.

CRISOWO | East Africa Centre for Research and Innovation in Social Work

CRISOWO - under the auspices of PROSOWO II project - launched its website.

Click here to open the website and learn more about the centre's objectives, its efforts and activities towards achieving excellence in social work.

Article in Austrian newspaper "Kleine Zeitung" | May 2016

„Ubudehe“ statt Abschotten" is the title of the article that highlights that Social Work is becoming increasingly popular in East African countries.

PROSOWO features prominently in regional reports on Africa

The PROSOWO project is referred to in two recent reports namely, the IFSW Africa regional report and the second report on the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. Both reports were presented at the World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2016 in Seoul.

Social workers as "angry reminders"

Report on the PROSOWO II kick-off workshop and international social work conference in Arusha, Tanzania.

Download report Arusha

Call for Action