Masters of Social Work
The details you should know
Though Social Work training in Uganda spans over several decades, this (Social Work) training has largely been a privilege of a few institutions (Makerere University and Nsamizi Institute of Social Development). However, this is gradually changing as many other institutions have joined hands in Social Work training. Relatedly, there are also evolving platforms (supported mostly by the donor community) to develop social development and policy fields in the country. Despite this interest and widening space for training social workers, most of these institutions only provide Social Work at diploma and bachelors level. This leaves the country largely without Social Workers with specialized training at Masters level. Kyambogo University wants to fill in this gap by providing specialized Social Work education at this level. The problems relating to social development in Uganda require specialized human resource. For example, in addition to poverty and some of its consequences, the country is also faced with a high burden of public health problems that require critical and specialized clinical skills. These human resources are largely not available in Uganda in particular and the East African region in general. This however, has large implications as the country makes efforts to become a middle-income country. The high public health burden is likely to wipe out some of the gains made in poverty alleviation. Kyambogo University intends to roll out a program that meets both national and regional demands for human resources to meet the national and global needs for human resources in Social Work: specifically, social development including public health areas.
This Master’s program will give a chance to students to specialize in an area of their interest. The program has two specializations: a) Social Development and b) Clinical Social Work. In both social development and clinical social work, students will undertake a multitude of papers that will turn them into specialists either in social development or clinical social work. The rationale for social development and clinical social work specialization is elaborated in some detail below:
2.2.1 Social Development Specialization
Investment in professional social development practice is essential today. The global social development agenda requires theory and specialized practice skills that can be crafted and deployed to address the current and emerging global challenges. Some of these global challenges include migration, civil conflict, disaster, global epidemics and starvation (among others) within and across contexts. This challenge (social development) is today real and has been described as a Global Social Crisis (United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, 2011). In the low-income context, social development challenges do exist and it is also a reality affecting a large part of the population. In Africa in general and Uganda in particular, social development challenges should be seen from a poverty context. Many countries in Africa are currently faced with structural development challenges. Poverty and inequality in living standards have been increasing social problems despite global and local efforts to address or alleviate them. In Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 50 % of the population depends on less than 1 dollar a day and because of inequality, many of the poor people are not able to participate in political, economic and social processes taking place in their communities in particular and countries in general (World Bank, 2019).
The most common indicators of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa are low/poor achievements in education, health, nutrition, housing, water and sanitation among other vital sectors and sub-sectors (World Bank, 2019). A lot of challenges still prevail in addressing the above-mentioned problems that affect the larger part of the population. For example, governance issues (and possibly the most important factor) have been a common hindrance in addressing these negative indicators as the poor are always exploited by the existing institutions of government and their voice (s) is normally excluded from the development efforts.
Poverty eradication and attaining social inclusion are today not only universal goals but also values. Addressing poverty/underdevelopment requires government and private sector interventions in various fields- the private sector working in unison with the public sector. These efforts should address challenges relating to policy, planning and practice in programs meant to fight poverty. It requires good grounding (among other disciplines and sectors), in the theory of social sciences, social welfare policies, social services and social services organization and more specifically social development.
Social development social workers are one of the social science professionals that have a big interest in responding to poverty and inequality in local and global context(s). The social development roles and intervention frameworks at micro, meso and macro levels requires a critical understanding of theory, policies, programs, and good skills in practice. These are currently lacking in most of the poverty eradication agenda(s) in many intervention areas. Kyambogo University through the Department of Sociology and Social Administration intends to position itself as a national leader in teaching and training, social development social workers that can work in multi-sectoral arena (s) in the context of poverty eradication- and within the general and specific rubric (theoretical and practice fields) of social development.