by Editorial Desk March 20 2024, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 39 secs

Two days National Conference on “Practice Based Research in Social Work and Research Ethics” was organized by the Internal Quality Assurance Cell of the CSWNN, reports the #Newsdesk.

The Patron, Dr Lidwin Dias, Principal of College of Social Work (Autonomous) Nirmala Niketan (CSWNN), Mumbai, along with Convenor Dr Kalyani Talvelkar and Co-Convenor Dr Renu Shah and the IQAC Advisory Board members planned and executed the event in coordination with the faculty and staff of CSWNN on the 15th and 16th March 2024.

Research is part of a social work professional’s tool through the entire process of project planning, monitoring and evaluation. Action and Participatory research is closely linked to social work practice and contributes to new knowledge that influences social work interventions and social realities using various forms of innovative tools including social and digital media.

CSWNN through this National Conference had the objective of initiating a dialogue on the relevance and prospects of practice based research in social work by engaging practitioners academicians, research scholars and students in a reflective dialogue and discussion on different theories, ethical issues and dilemmas and methodologies used in practice-based research in social work at the individual, community, organizational or larger levels.

The Conference saw an engagement of 68 participants which consisted of Academicians, Researchers, Research Scholars, Practitioners from NGOs, and Post Graduate Students from across the country were present. The Conference Keynote Speaker, Prof. Surindar Jaswal, Former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Deputy Director (Research) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, spoke on ‘Practice Based Research in Social Work’ tracing the origins of social work research pointed out to translational research and reiterated that social work research needs to be rooted in theory and not devoid of the practice milieu. She emphasised the aspects of evidence, relevance and causal analysis are critical for implementation of practice-based research in social work.  

The first Plenary Address was delivered by Ms. Sangeeta Rege, the Director of CEHAT who spoke on ‘Planning and Implementing Practice Based Research, along with Dr Ruchi Sinha, Associate Professor from School of Social Work TISS, spoke on ‘Using Research for Social Work Interventions’. Dr Prof. Sebastian Michael moderated the Plenary. The Second Plenary on the second day was moderated by Dr Vaijayantha Anand, IQAC Convenor and Associate Professor of CSWNN. The Plenary Speakers were Dr Yamini Suvarna, Independent Consultant on Training, Research and Documentation, spoke on the ‘Use of Digital Tools in Practice Based Research’ and Ms. Vinita Ajgaonkar, Associate Programme Director from SNEHA, spoke on ‘Ethical Dilemmas and Issues in Social Work Research’.

There were two parallel Paper Presentations on both the days by 23 Paper Presenters from all over the country moderated by Dr Anita Machado, Dr Sonia Rodrigues, Dr Vaijayanta Anand and Dr Renu Shah. The Papers presented focused on topics of planning and implementing practice based research, how they used research for planning and strategizing social work interventions and how they used digital tools in practice based research in social work.

The Valedictory Address was delivered by Dr Geeta Balakrishnan, Former Principal of CSWNN. Using the various examples of research utilized from field work projects of the college she went on to share the findings of the challenges faced by ten practice based research organizations as they engaged with various stakeholders through the entire process of their research projects undertaken. Speaking on how to actualize the findings of research she spoke of engaging stakeholders and getting it translated into a policy forum. She ended aptly with the understanding of the theme of Social Work Day for 2024, which is “Shared vision for transformative change”, emphasizing the need to adopt transformative research which is practice based and which closes the gaps between research and application and of course colleges like CSWNN has a major role to play in this.

Dr Lidwin Dias in an effort to map out a way forward emphasised how ‘a research should lead to a transformation, not just proceedings but how we can make it part of the practitioners lexicon’. Further it should not be a one-time encounter, but a lifelong engagement. The Way Forward for this National Conference would work at initiating and actualizing a Research Exchange Program among Social Work Colleges, where research students can share their processes and learnings. The National Conference ended with a Vote of Thanks and the National Anthem.  

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