2016 News

CSD celebrates, highlights global partners’ work in Asia, Africa

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to share news from and highlight ongoing collaborations with our global partners the Centre for Social Development Asia, at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Centre for Social Development in Africa, at the University of Johannesburg.

Among other work, the Centre for Social Development Asia, directed by Associate Professor Corinne Ghoh, has a successful program developing capacities for effective management of nonprofit organizations. In addition, our Center for Social Development (CSD) and the Centre for Social Development Asia are collaborating to bring the Financial Capability & Asset Building curriculum to Singapore, and Professor Margaret S. Sherraden is leading from CSD’s side.

On March 21, as the visiting S.R. Nathan Professor at NUS, I had the pleasure of presenting a public lecture on “Social Innovation: The Renewal of Social Work Practice and Policy.” In this lecture, I said—as I almost always do—that humans are highly social, and being social is our best thing. Social innovation is not a luxury but a necessity. It is the creation of new forms of social relationships, responding to constantly changing circumstances, and the long process of turning purposeful social innovations into “public goods” that benefit everyone, and we eventually take almost for granted.

In South Africa, Professor Leila Patel leads the Centre for Social Development in Africa. Oxford University Press Southern Africa recently published the second edition of her groundbreaking book Social Welfare and Social Development. This book originated as the White Paper for Social Development at the time of South Africa’s democratic transition. Among other work, the Centre for Social Development in Africa has a project with Associate Professor Gina Chowa, a Brown School graduate and CSD faculty director, at the University of North Carolina that focuses on youth employment and asset building.

On April 4, Professor Patel and I both spoke at the University of California, Berkeley, during an event honoring the outstanding career of social development scholar Professor James Midgley, dean emeritus of the School of Social Welfare.

Our ongoing collaborations with our sister centers have grown with each passing year. The vision at CSD is lasting relationships for applied scholarship and social innovation, standing on a foundation of effective partnerships, and contributing long into the future.


Michael Sherraden
Director, Center for Social Development