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Education and training opportunities for local and indigenous social workers: case studies in disability-related fields from an international development perspective
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-09-14, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2021.1978966
Masateru Higashida

ABSTRACT

Many ‘non-professional’ and ‘non-certified’ social workers seem to conduct indigenous social work practices in low- and middle-income countries in Asia. From the perspective of international developmental social work, this case study explores the education and training opportunities for local and indigenous social workers in disability related fields. The data was mainly obtained through field work and practice conducted by the author, whose positionality was considered an international social worker in Sri Lanka and Mongolia. The field data was supplemented by literature. The findings reveal that some local workers in government and non-government sectors, who might not have received professional social work education, engage in practices that can be considered a part of social work using their indigenous and local knowledge and skills. In some cases, these workers also use their knowledge of international concepts and frameworks. Additionally, this study presents some instances of knowledge exchange between domestic and international stakeholders through dialogue-based practices and training in the field. The findings suggest that international social workers are required to explore reflective practice and collaborative knowledge creation with domestic stakeholders, including indigenous social workers and disabled people, through dialogue in the field.