POLICY AND GUIDANCE: IASSW REGIONAL RESOURCE CENTRES
The IASSW promotes the development and expansion of social work education in accordance with its mission statement; the establishment of IASSW Regional Resource Centres is one manifestation of this aim. IASSW supports the establishment of Regional Centres from amongst institutional members with strong regional networks in the geographical areas that the IASSW and Regional Associations have prioritised for capacity building.
Expected Role of the Regional Centres
To develop and implement a regional strategy to provide high quality capacity building programmes, lead region-relevant research projects and offer learning opportunities for academic staff and students in the social work arena.
Each Regional Resource Centre will be expected to:
• Lead and foster regional communications and exchange on social work education
• Work closely with the Regional Association
• Work closely with the IASSW and promote the vision and mission of IASSW through its activities
IASSW will involve the relevant Regional Association and will require applicants to engage with them. Once established Regional Resource Centres are encouraged to enter into partnerships with their Regional Associations in order to promote further activities.
Eligibility for consideration
All institutional members are welcome to apply for recognition as an IASSW Regional Resource Centre for its respective region. Members applying for IASSW Regional Resource Centre status will need to demonstrate the following in their application:
• Institutional membership of IASSW for at least three years
• Accordance with the vision and mission of IASSW
• Support from their respective IASSW regional and/or national associations and proposed methods for collaborating with them
• Synergy with the Global Agenda themes in their programmes and proposed activities as Resource Centres
• Evidence of being an accredited institution, recognised by the local government/ professional association, signifying their mandate to offer social work education programmes at the postgraduate level and above
• Strong track record in offering high quality social work education and training programmes
• Commitment to regional development and culturally appropriate practices based on a demonstrable track record of such activities
• Commitment and capacity to offering capacity building programmes to IASSW member institutions on a regular non-profit making basis (though the programmes can be fee-charging in order to cover the administrative and actual costs incurred)
• Access to venues and facilities suitable for accommodating capacity building programmes for IASSW member institutions and participants from the region.
• Clear rationale for identifying the geographical area identified for the Centre’s capacity building activities and an outline of methods for future collaboration.
• Detailed plan of how the budget will be spent and plans for generating further funds on the basis of being designated an IASSW Regional Resource Centre
Further guidance on the criteria can be found in Selection Criteria for IASSW Regional Resource Centres
Monitoring and reviews
All Regional Resource Centres will submit an annual report to the Education Committee to include:
• The activities achieved during the last year, targets planned for the next year with clear outputs highlighting the contributions made by the Resource Centre and future challenges.
• A financial statement demonstrating how the budget has been spent, planned expenditure for the following year and plans for generating further funds
Procedure to assess applications
The Education Committee (Capacity Building) of IASSW will be responsible for inviting suitable IASSW Board Members and external experts to form a selection committee which will evaluate applications and prioritise them in light of the IASSW’s capacity building priorities and resources. The Assessment Committee will consist of the following members:
• Chairperson of the Education Committee of IASSW (Chair of the Assessment Committee)
• Two Board members (one from the same Regional Association of the applying university, and one from another Regional Association)
• One experienced social work educator appointed by the President
• Ex-officio: President of IASSW
Acknowledgement and Financial Support
Each appointed Regional Centre will receive a plaque from the IASSW to acknowledge the partnership with IASSW and its strategic role in the region for advancing social work education and training. Seed money of USD 4,000 will be given to each designated Regional Resource Centre to support its start-up. Funding will be sent in two tranches, 60% after formal recognition of the Regional Resource Centre and the remaining 40% after receipt of a satisfactory first year report. The Centre is encouraged to seek additional financial support from its own institution, government and other non-profit foundations and organizations. IASSW can offer support, with endorsement and other advice if needed for raising funds.
Length of service
The appointment is normally for three years, with the proviso that this can be shortened if the annual review raises concerns. At the end of the third year’s appointment, a thorough review of each Regional Centre will be carried out by IASSW to make sure that the Regional Resource Centre has fully fulfilled its assigned role and to decide on the continuation of the appointment where appropriate. It is envisaged that Resource Centres will continue in their role beyond three years but without further funding from the IASSW.
Applications should be submitted to the Education Committee of IASSW for consideration. Invitations should come from Schools of Social Work or a lead School if several intend to work in partnership. With recommendation from the Selection Committee, IASSW will make the final selection of suitable member institutions and will announce the appointment through its global network. Initially, the IASSW hopes to establish at least two Regional Centres each year, with a view to eventually establishing a total of 12 Regional Centres in different parts of the world, forming a network of Regional Centres which are interlinked and mutually supportive of each other.