The project "Localisation of Social Work in Arab Countries (LOSWAC)", funded by the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) funding programme “DAAD Transformation Partnership Program 2019-2020”, is implemented within existing cooperation relations between four universities, namely
- University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS), Germany,
- German Jordanian University (GJU), Jordan,
- Yarmouk University (YU), Jordan, and
- Lebanese University (LU), Lebanon.
The project period is from 1 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.
LOSWAC intends to respond to needs that have been identified in previous projects by the four universities. One of the most pressing needs is the lack of localisation of Social Work theories and methods into the Arab context. All too often, Arab countries have adopted Western-style Social Work without adequate adaptation to the Arab context and without adequately integrating indigenous knowledge into theory formation. In addition, Arab Social Work many times lacks scientific research and knowledge transfer structures. Furthermore, young academics in Arab Social Work are scarce, academically socialised mostly in Western instead of Arab States. This marks a bottleneck for the development of Social Work in the Arab region.
LOSWAC is not limited in focus to Jordan and Lebanon but looking to collect expertise from other Arab countries and disseminating the project results there as well. Hopefully, this will lay the foundation to sustainably and independently carry on the project idea after the funding period has ended. Moreover, this aims for sustainable scientific structures, which will have a positive effect on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and exchange, as well as networking between and within the regions.
LOSWAC carries out several activities, the main ones being the following:
- Establishment of a Research Cluster with a graduate college "Localisation of Social Work in Arab Countries" with one scientific research assistant at each partner university, including five mobilities and curriculum development; sustainability shall be reached by the acquisition of consistent third-party funds during the project period.
- Conducting three thematic Conferences, integrating external expertise from other Arab countries but also European (esp. Germany) and dissemination the results there.
- Assignment of Student Exchange Scholarships for the integration of Arab students in the FHWS Master Programme "International Social Work with Refugees and Migrants".
- Assignment of Thesis Mobility Scholarships for research stays of Master’s students from Arab countries in Germany and vice versa to work on their thesis or, alternatively, project/term papers.