On 24 February, 2017, the Department of Social Work and Social Administration Makerere University, with support from the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) and the Austrian Development Cooperation, launched a Centre for Research and Innovation in Social Work. The launch held at Makerere University was part of a regional consultative forum on “Social work, social policy and human rights in East Africa” that brought together social work scholars, educators, practitioners and representatives of national associations from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Austria, and USA. It was presided over by Mr. Günter Engelits, Head of Office of the Austrian Development Cooperation in Uganda and witnessed by among others, the Principal of CHUSS, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, the Dean School of Social Sciences, Assoc. Prof. Andrew Elias State, and the Head, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Dr Eddy Walakira.
The East Africa Centre for Research and Innovation in Social Work (CRISOWO) is a joint initiative between 6 schools of social work in East Africa and Austria and is located at Makerere University. Partner Institutions include the University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Rwanda, the Institute of Social Work (Tanzania), Hope Africa University (Burundi) and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria). Established under the auspices of the PROSOWOII project (Promotion of Professional Social Work in East Africa), CRISOWO is a centre of excellence in social work research and innovation in East Africa. The Centre provides a forum for mutual learning, innovation and knowledge sharing at local, regional and international levels; creating dynamic partnerships between educators, social work and social development practitioners, policy makers, organizations and communities to support and advance learning, applied research, innovation and solutions that transform the lives of communities through sustainable social change.
In future, CRISOWO is supposed to serve as an attractive partner for international agencies and national social policy stakeholders who want to utilize the research skills of the Centre. It is also planned that joint proposals will be submitted and projects implemented under the umbrella of the Centre.