22nd Biennial Conference of the International Consortium for Social Development

22nd Biennial Conference of the International Consortium for Social Development

22nd Biennial Conference of the International Consortium for Social Development

Poverty and inequality are longstanding social challenges, greatly increased by the global Covid-19 pandemic, and overlaid with other social, economic and political crises, mass population movements, racial injustice, the digital divide, and climate change. This combination of circumstances has had devastating impacts on people’s everyday lives and their livelihoods in different parts of the globe, an impact which is unparalleled in modern history. How governments, societies and social development actors respond to this conjuncture will shape the direction of social development and human development outcomes for years to come.

Despite significant global advances in societies and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, the poverty and inequality fault lines are unlikely to be redrawn or removed unless bold new and innovative solutions are developed, implemented and evaluated based on the best available scientific knowledge. The 22nd Biennial Conference of the ICSD in 2021 will bring together practitioners, researchers, students, communities, organizations and policy makers to think deeply and carefully about the challenges we face, critically appraise past responses and advance new and novel ways of responding to these difficult challenges. The intention is to promote more inclusive and engaged societies, human rights and further social and economic justice.

We call for papers that bring together these ideas and actions that are novel solutions to the social challenges of our times. All kinds of innovation will be considered whether they be methodological, social, technological or organizational, are of local relevance, and/or have the potential for large scale replication. Lessons learnt from the adoption and implementation of evidence-based solutions as well as how politics and questions of good governance shape social development outcomes are pertinent to this call. Learning across disciplines and forging partnerships for social change and finding solutions that are contextually appropriate as well as critique of current solutions, are welcome.

Against this background, we invite abstracts for papers and poster presentations, and proposals for sessions to be presented or convened at the 22nd Biennial Conference of the International  Consortium for Social Development under the theme

Poverty, Inequality and Social Development Innovations around the World.

Deadline for abstract for papers/ session proposal submissions: 30 November 2020
Please submit abstracts to icsd22ndconference@uj.ac.za

Please note that the conference will most likely be held as a hybrid (in-person and online) conference with the option to move completely online if necessary.

Abstracts that connect with one or more of the following sub-themes are especially encouraged:


1. Social development responses to global challenges: pandemics, migration, racial injustice, the digital divide, and economic crises

Under this conference track we are interested in showcasing social development policy and practice innovations that have responded to global pandemics such as Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS; major economic crises; population movement; racial injustice and the digital divide. Presenters could consider responses relating to social protection and other innovative social development responses to human insecurity for example, health, mental health, livelihoods and vulnerability. Social development interventions that emerge from the state, civil society, and the private sector, or which draw actors together across different disciplines and sectors are welcomed.

2. Social Development responses to Climate Change and Environmental challenges

In this track we invite presenters to frame climate change and environmental challenges as social development issues and to present on the effects of climate change for vulnerable groups, including on food and nutrition security, agriculture, and livelihoods. Policies and social interventions responding to these issues and promoting community resilience and adaptive capacities are welcomed.

3. Inequality, gender and social inclusion

Under this track we are interested in papers that assess progress towards inclusion of vulnerable groups (including women, rural communities, migrants, people with disabilities); methods and measurements in assessing and tracking social inequality and inclusion, and profiling social and economic responses to promoting social inclusion, particularly to promoting inclusive cities.

4. Youth transitions to education, employment, civic engagement and livelihoods

The vulnerability of young people, particularly in the context of protracted transitions to work, is an increasing global concern. Under this track we invite papers that profile the nature of youth exclusion and vulnerability; and social development interventions that respond to promoting youth livelihoods, training and education, and civic engagement, gender equality, and that foster agency and youth engagement in leadership and governance.

5. Social development for promoting the wellbeing of children and families

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of supporting families and children. Healthy and supported families and households are important units of care to enhance the wellbeing of children and society more broadly. Under this track we invite papers that engage with vulnerabilities amongst families with children, interventions that support resilience and wellbeing of children and families, and considerations for especially vulnerable children (including children in care). Intergenerational support, gender equality and care of older persons and
persons with disabilities as integral to the family unit, will also be considered.

6. Financial Capability and Asset Building

Financial inclusion is a core feature of social inclusion and an important social development intervention. In this track we invite papers that profile global innovations in promoting financial capability; highlight policy and programs that support asset building; and how to build the capacity of social workers and other social development practitioners in enhancing financial capabilities and asset building.

7. Politics, institutions, and capacity building for social development

Politics, institutional arrangements, capable states, development organizations and transformational leadership are crucial in advancing social development around the world. Under this track we invite papers that engage with these ideas theoretically; analyse how politics and institutional arrangements influence social development policy and practice; understand what the institutional barriers to social development are; and that show case innovation.

8. Future directions in social development and social development innovations

Under this track we welcome papers that generate insight into lessons for the future of social development policy and practice, including new directions in social protection, lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic for the future of social development policy and practice, and digital innovations in social development interventions.

The conference will be held as a hybrid conference July 13-16, 2021. The closing date for abstract submissions in 30 November 2020. Please submit abstracts to icsd22ndconference@uj.ac.za. Various formats including paper, poster, roundtable, and workshop presentations are welcome.

Conference paper and poster presentation abstracts of 300 -500 words should be submitted in 12 point Times Roman font in single spacing.

Session proposals for roundtable discussions or workshops should include a 500 word abstract outlining the aims and objectives of the session, and how it connects with the conference theme and track.

The organisers of the conference are Centre for Social Development in Africa at University of Johannesburg, Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, Global Social Development Innovations at University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill.

For further enquiries please contact Zoliswa Ntsoko on icsd22ndconference@uj.ac.za

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