National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge Development and Dissemination ...
National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge
Development and Dissemination
Dr. Murli Desai is Professor and Head, Social Work Education and Practice Cell
and Associate Editor, IJSW; Dr. Surinder Jaswal is Acting Head, Department of
Medical and Psychiatric Social Work and Book Review Editor, IJSW; and Ms.
Sudha Ganapathi is Assistant Manager and In-Charge (Publications Unit), Tata
Institute of Social Sciences.
The National Workshop on Social Work Knowledge Development
and Dissemination was planned on the event of the Diamond Jubilee
of the first journal of social work in India, The Indian Journal of So-
cial Work.
In these 60 years of development and dissemination of so-
cial work literature, social work can boast of two editions of the
Encyclopaedia of Social Work in India (India: Planning Commission,
1968, and Ministry of Welfare, 1987) and six journals (The Indian
Journal of Social Work, Social Work Forum [now terminated], Con-
temporary Social Work, Perspectives in Social Work, Social Work
Review and now a National Journal of Social Work). However, how
much of this literature contributes to a systematic body of social work
knowledge, to meet the needs of social work functions, remains to be
ascertained. Need for different forms of social work literature may be
determined by examining the need of different social work functions.
Some of the forms of literature needed for these functions are com-
mon, and some are specific, as proposed below.
The National Workshop, held from November 23 to 25, 2000,
aimed to assess the need for literature for social work knowledge, in
the Indian context, and issues with its development, review, produc-
tion, dissemination, acquisition, retrieval and utilisation, in the chang-
ing societal context; and identify socially relevant directions for the

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 259
same, through an exchange among concerned professionals. The pa-
pers presented at the workshop are summarised below:
Towards Socially Relevant Social Work Knowledge
Development and Dissemination: An Introduction

The recent understanding in social work, internationally, is that legiti-
misation of the social work profession has depended on social utility
rather than on its scientific base. Social work is a profession based on
organised practitioner wisdom and is not, and probably will not be, a
truly science-based profession in the foreseeable future. Social work
practice is an ever-changing and complex blend of theory, analogue,
wisdom and art.
In social work, high value has generally been attached to the Amer-
ican social work education model and American social work litera-
ture, which has now begun to be questioned. The American social
work literature travels round the world fast, following the adoption of
the American model for social work curriculum by different coun-
tries. Although there is value in learning from other countries, there
are problems inherent in adopting social work knowledge developed
in one country for use in social work practice in another country.
The ideology of postmodernism has brought about visibility to im-
portant ideological and structural forces, such as race, gender and
class by acknowledging the question of power and value in the con-
struction of knowledge and subjectivities. It provides forms of histori-
cal knowledge as a way of reclaiming power and identity for
subordinate groups. Social work education and literature has begun to
link such historical knowledge to social work intervention.
The extent to which the need for social work knowledge/literature
are met depends upon the systems that influence each stage of the pro-
cess of social work knowledge development and dissemination.
Knowledge is shaped by the socioeconomic, cultural and political
context of the systems that promote its content and structure. Sociol-
ogy of knowledge addresses such questions as how do social institu-
tions influence literary forms or writers, how do scientists decide
what counts as knowledge, to what extent are different socially con-
structed, and how does social power, especially when embodied in in-
stitutional practices, shape knowledge.

260 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
Social Work Functions
Users of Social Work
Types of Social Work
Knowledge Needed
Practice and
Practitioners and
• Practice resources:
Handbooks, manuals
and directories
• Updates from the field
not only on social
work education and
practice but also on
the field of voluntary
work, in general, and
government policies
and schemes, in
particular, through
newsletters, bulletins,
seminar reports, and
so on
• Current scholarly
literature on social
work and applied
social sciences,
through journals
resources such as
annotations, abstracts
and indexes aid
literature search
Educators and students
• Current scholarly
literature on social
work and applied
social sciences,
through journals
Course compendia
Case studies and other
aids for teaching and
All the social work
• Social work
• Dictionaries
The process of social work knowledge development and dissemi-
nation is identified in this paper as going through the following stages:
knowledge development, review and production, dissemination, ac-
quisition, retrieval, and utilisation. The systems that influence the
above stages for social work knowledge are the academic institutions,

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 261
government organisations, non-government organisations and inter-
national organisations.
Towards socially relevant social work knowledge development, it
is important to identify what is socially relevant social work knowl-
edge; analyse whether such knowledge and literature are valued by
the systems involved, what kind of infrastructure is made available
for its development and dissemination in these systems, and what are
the constraints faced; and draw directions for policies, infrastructure
and training and retraining the people involved at every stage of the
Philosophy of Knowledge for Social Change
Knowledge generation is a human activity and human beings live in
society. We try to make sense of the world around us, what makes it
work the way it does, why and how it changes and our place in it.
There have been many debates about how we acquire knowledge and
how we know that what we 'know' is true. One of our objectives is to
discover reality or truth and this raises questions like what methods
we use, whether one method is superior to another, and if there are so
many different versions of 'reality', which do we choose. These are
basically the fundamental philosophical questions. A second issue is
regarding the use of knowledge: who uses it and for what purposes,
who gains and who loses. A third problem is who has access to knowl-
edge that is known and who has the opportunity to participate in
knowledge generation, that is, who are excluded and who are in-
cluded. A fourth problem is, are we free to change things any way we
like, are there rules and if so what are they and who fixes them?
Finally, is the goal of knowledge merely to know or understand but
also to make human lives 'better' ?
There are three main positions in philosophy — empiricism, ideal-
ism and realism. Empiricism believes that the natural order is what is
given in experience, that is, observations through our senses. Idealism
holds that the world is what we make or construct — 'I think, there-
fore, I am'. While empiricism is optimistic about our capacity to ap-
prehend reality as it is, idealism makes that reality totally subjective.
Many philosophers of science hold that the truth really lies in be-
tween. It can be a comprehension of reality independent of subjective
views, but it is a contingent enterprise being based on our cognitive

262 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
resources. Reality is recognised as a pre-supposition of our causal in-
vestigations of nature, but our knowledge of it is socially produced
with the cognitive resources at our disposal on the grounds of the ef-
fect of those investigations.
A philosophy of knowledge that can promote social change has to
have some normative goals; knowledge has to be accessible to all so
those individuals can make informed judgements. Freedom is a pre-
condition for informed consent to universal normative goals such as
justice and equality. Justice and equality themselves are instruments
for increasing capabilities and thence to enlarged freedoms. Freedom
is essential for the promotion of free critical inquiry whereby rea-
soned judgements for scientific conclusions based on warranted evi-
dence becomes possible. Freedom opens the space for competing
theories and rational choice between these. Traditional authority
merely because it is traditional or cultural practices merely because
they are attached to a certain culture will not be defended. Both will
have to be tested against rational evidence and universal values.
Reaching Out to Audiences: A Key to Successful Publishing
There are a number of very good reasons to publish in the field of so-
cial work. The first reason is to give an Indian perspective on social
work knowledge and on development. The second reason for publish-
ing is that of building an institution's relations with the outside world.
Publications are ambassadors to the thinking going on inside an insti-
tution. Institutions, be they NGOs, academic institutions or govern-
ment institutions, which seek excellence in their work, all have
publishing as part of their capability.
There are two challenges in publishing. One is, you have to get the
book or the information to the reader and the second is you have to en-
sure that the book or information is read. Publication is communica-
tion and communication is not just something on a paper and sending
it to a printer. The book also has to be read. If the book just sits on your
library shelf, gathering dust, there is no communication. Where the
book is a joy to have and read, we ought to expect the highest values of
publishing whether it is academic publishing or consumer publishing.
The next thing is to document or capture social work knowledge or
development practice. Documenting good practice and disseminating
and sharing ideas are absolutely crucial. Then there is the question of
meeting the information needs of wherever they exist and the need for
information in our own work. Organisations, too, have need for

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 263
information to run successfully and the people we work with also
have need for information to work successfully.
Publishing starts with the reader and one needs to find out whom
they are before setting out to create a publication. One also needs to
understand the agenda to communicate with them, what will be done
as a result of that communication. The target groups for books are first
the professionals, in which you can include academics, professional
social workers, NGO professionals and activists. These are usually
educated people who have a good working knowledge of the subject
and their language of communication is English. The field workers
who undertake the practice to create change at the grassroots and will
be interested in more practical material that they will be able to use in
their work. They will require publication in an Indian language, rather
than English. Most people have not thought about publishing for peo-
ple with limited reading skills and who live in slums or villages. Mate-
rial needs to be developed just for this target group in local languages
and with limited vocabulary of words. Then there is the public at large
including supporters of causes and those who want to inform or influ-
ence. Young people, whose values and attitudes will be important to
the future, are yet another target group.
Utilising Qualitative Research Methodology for Development of
Social Work Knowledge: The Nature of Research Design
Practice wisdom needs to be brought into the formal body of social
work knowledge, without which, this can not be transmitted, to the fu-
ture generations of social workers. Building practice models includes
putting together cumulative experiences, which apply to a context of
practice. Developing a practice model would be taking that practice
which has developed from the field across different agencies and
across different practitioners and building an intervention.
Qualitative research (QR) plays an important role in putting to-
gether such practice models. The qualitative research methodology
(QRM) is not an established method of enquiry. It has a very young
history when compared to quantitative research methodology. QRM
is aimed at theory generation, while quantitative methodology is best
designed for theory confirmation. We need theory generation and we
need theory confirmation. Quantitative research designs are

264 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
pre-determined and fixed, while QR design takes the notion of a strat-
egy. They evolve as the research progresses. Heuristics or decision
rules guide the researcher in making a particular decision. It does not
tell you what decision to make; it tells you how to make a decision.
That is the basic difference.
QRM does not use the term respondents because it signifies a
one-way relationship and QRM is based on the assumption that there
is a two-way relationship in the enquiry process. Theoretical sam-
pling differs from statistical sampling, which is used in quantitative
research. Two things in theoretical sampling have to be understood —
it iterates with data collection, that is, it begins with a notion of enter-
ing the field and searching for certain concepts, looking for certain
lines of enquiry. QR enhances the validity of data because concepts
are developed from the field. Reliability is weak because we cannot
repeat the procedures identically as they can be in quantitative re-
search. For analysis, data should be integrated for each unit of analy-
sis, which QR refers to as the case.
Need and Methodology for Development of Knowledge by
Social Work Practitioners and Administrators
What a social worker needs are resource books, handouts, and serial-
ised information, which can add to the practice wisdom of a worker.
The agencies should take the trouble to create their own materials.
They should have a very well-defined profile of the organisation, the
history of the founders, with clearly stated objectives, which the staff
or anybody who comes there can refer to. This should be consistent
and should be interpreted in a similar way. There is a need for easily
available and enabling resource materials in the agencies such as re-
source directories, directories of funding agencies, and directories of
programmes and policies.
Manuals or guidelines on how to write an agenda, how to call a
meeting, what is the difference between an annual general body meet-
ing and an extraordinary meeting, how to write minutes and what a
practising administrator is supposed to do, should all be available.
When the social worker-turned-administrator takes over the job there
should be some information readily to him / her. The practising ad-
ministrator should be able to find his/her own answer instead of going
from person to person and wasting his / her time. There is also a need
for promotive material for continuing education. A practising social
worker needs to know what is happening in his / her field.

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 265
It is important to get the practitioners and social workers to write.
What the practitioner wants is not a scientific journal with incompre-
hensible jargon. The writing and the information should be presented
in a simple, easy, free-flowing language, which does not tax their in-
tellectual capacity. It should rejuvenate their thinking capacity.
Lastly, more exchanges are required between the practising social
workers and practising administrators and academics. Then, a much
better job will be done
Building Social Work Knowledge: Some Issues
There is a need for research in knowledge building because knowl-
edge building is a dynamic activity, which involves deconstruction of
various concepts. How do we strengthen research as a knowledge
building activity of social work? Thyer suggests that this could be
achieved by:
1. Talented and experienced clinicians and other social work
practitioners should be recruited into training programmes fo-
cussing on service research.
2. Talented and experienced researchers can spend study leave
doing social work practice, that they are able to bring coordi-
nation into practice and research.
3. A cadre of doctoral-level social workers to be trained as practi-
tioners and as researchers.
4. Specialised training in conducting outcome studies be pro-
vided. This is very important as, most often, we are not able to
conduct outcome research, because we intervene and say it is
effective. However, we do not know whether it is really effec-
tive or not from an objective point of view.
5. Doctoral programmes should make greater use of prac-
tice-based research and clinical-research internships.
6. Doctoral graduates should be given expertise in evaluative re-
search focusing on empirical testing of the outcomes of social
work interventions. If such studies are published, practitioners
will naturally turn to this functional, journal based literature
for guidance.
After building a knowledge base in social work, it should be trans-
ferred to the people who are practising social work by
* encouraging participation in inter-professional dialogues,
• using creative literature,

266 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
• internalising and keeping abreast of the literature for the orderly
acquisition of knowledge by the practitioners, and
• organising continuous education programmes.
Developing Knowledge for Social Work from Practice

Practice wisdom basically means three things — knowledge of the
social context of the people, the target groups that we are working
with, the social worker per se and the integration of the two in
achieving the mission of social work that is quality of life for all.
Why do we develop knowledge from practice wisdom? Social work
is built on practice wisdom in India as well as in other countries. It is
necessary to bridge the gap between the classroom teaching/educa-
tion and field work/practice by building knowledge of the creative
attempts of social workers in translating knowledge into action. One
way to do this is to localise it to the fieldwork training of students to
build practice knowledge into the training. Lastly, to build a body of
knowledge of doing social work, that is to stimulate and encourage
critical thinking and reflections, challenge the beliefs and assump-
tions in our culture and provide new solutions to personal and social
Why is practice wisdom not documented? Details of practice wis-
dom are often considered as too simple to be documented. Perhaps the
practitioner does not recognise that one's experience can benefit oth-
ers. There is a misconception that any kind of documentation is a
scholarly work of academicians and researchers. Further, academi-
cians have not shown them that their knowledge is useful and that it is
going to build the real base of social work.
How can this 'resistance to document practice wisdom' be over-
come? The rightful place of practice wisdom base in the evolution of
knowledge base should be restored. This can be done by:
• recognising the role of practice wisdom in generating new
theories and new knowledge,
• recognising knowledge from practice wisdom as a rich source of
indigenous knowledge,
• creating awareness on the utility of such knowledge,
• consciously integrating practitioners in social work education,
• increasing interaction among different functionaries and sharing

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 267
• disseminating research updates on target groups and applying
this knowledge to intervention,
• integrating research into practice, and
• evaluating practice.
Need and Methodologies for Development of Knowledge for
Professional Social Work Practice in India

Methodologically, social work literature is very weak. There is a need
for research in social work, particularly in methodology as to how to
intervene in problems and how to promote development, particularly
of the weaker and vulnerable sections of society.
At the level of school or department, a conducive atmosphere has
to be created in which social work researches may be promoted. This
is particularly so for the mental set or the attitude of the management
and administration, because if no credit is given for the researches that
people do in the field, especially in field action projects, people will
not be very highly motivated to go ahead with them.
There is a need for qualitative researches and this has been admit-
ted by different organisations, including the National Association of
Social Workers who say that there is greater need now and greater
scope for QRM. Secondly, the beneficiaries of social services should
also be actively involved in research, because they also have their
own wisdom and we should try to learn from this indigenous knowl-
edge and we should try to plan and organise programmes that they
think can be useful in tackling people's problems.
Production and Dissemination of Different Forms of Periodicals
for Social Work

Newspapers have a very high possibility of dissemination, but very
few newspapers cover social work on a regular basis, especially na-
tional newspapers. Regional and local newspapers publish such work
more often. The cost is very affordable.
Newsletters and circulars are usually produced by institutions and
organisations with varying periodicity— they may be fixed or may be
published as and when required or possible. They are generally pro-
duced by the regular staff of the organisation.
Magazines and journals are the third category of periodicals for so-
cial work knowledge. This kind of publication is usually regular and

268 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
has maintained a certain quality of content. They publish
well-researched studies and actual examples. Many of them are the-
matic or special issues and have general articles of interest.
The following pointers work for sustaining a periodical:
• Clarity of the objective and its fulfilment
• Pre-publication marketing
• Good editorial team
• Topical themes
• Editorial Board to improve the credibility of the publication
• Team of writers
• Attractive presentation
• Proper dissemination to sustain circulation and readership
• Low costs
Rethinking the Information Centre in Sociai Change: Towards
an Institutional Role for Documentation Centres in the
Voluntary Sector

While the perception of documentation centres is still the same as it
was about 30 years ago — as a second fiddle or a support role to activ-
ism or NGOs and playing support role, given the retreating prospects
of an 'overthrow' regime of social change, information centres have
an institutional role.
Three decades ago, the work of documentation centres, revolved
round small study groups, which were then considered the kernel of
revolutionary training for youth wanting to change society. The CED
started in 1975 as a reaction to the Emergency where four to five
groups came together to exchange information. The CED evolved its
systems of classifications, selection, and files oriented retrieval, based
on the actual evolution of social issues and problems of the day. The
sources of information were regularised from a pool of newspapers,
magazines, journals and papers. Today, the CED sees itself as a social
institution in the public domain, and not merely as a support organisa-
tion to NGOs or people's movements.
Information centres must be able to stay away from the turbulent
tides of development fashion. They must stand on their own and de-
velop a role and function that make access to information free and
easy. Such an exercise necessarily involves demystifying informa-
tion, creating new forms of information processing and popularising
open access systems of information, which reach larger sections of
the people. Till today, such attempts have been fragmentary or, at

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 269
best, isolated. There is a need to institutionalise such and more dem-
ocratic systems of information and information access, such that
space for dissent and for the concerns of the marginalised is ensured
and this effort slowly becomes part of the mainstream political
space; rest is all rhetoric. One should also not get stuck in a language
debate. The idea is to communicate and keep information in the pub-
lic domain.
Planning a Library for Institutions of Social Work
A library service for a social work institution, which is involved in a
mix of teaching, research, consultation and intervention activities, is
a challenge. Social work, an applied social science, is a
multi-faceted discipline whose knowledge base is a composite of
knowledge produced indigenously by the social workers themselves
and predominantly of that derived from other disciplines. One im-
portant difference between the resources used in social work and
those used in many of the other social sciences is the difference be-
tween an academic discipline and an area of action. Since social
work involves intervention at the individual, family, community and
societal levels, understanding the context responsible for the prob-
lems is the first requirement. The library, in an institution of social
work education, cannot be considered a place any longer — it is a
The traditional form of materials found in the institutional library
is paper based printed documents available through commercial
channels Besides, a social work library needs to acquire not only
non-book material like films and other material, but also develop cut
clippings, newspaper clippings and many other resources like bro-
chures, case studies, reports of organisations and so on. The wide va-
riety of information available on the Internet cannot be ignored —
electronic journals, data-bases, reports of international organisa-
tions, web pages, statistical data and so on. A library would do good
to use, to maximise the free literature, and free information available
on the net.
The services of a social work library are the same as in any other
library. The need for today's libraries is to be proactive. The special
services that can be offered relate to clippings and utilising informa-
tion that is in non-traditional form, books and others. Alerting ser-
vices are now being integrated with the regular services. Further,
value addition by undertaking information repackaging and

270 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
consolidation would help the social work institutions in their inter-
vention and consultation work. Creation of information gateways
and Internet gateways, seems to be a new area of service in the social
work library.
Development Resource Fairs as Means of Knowledge
The Comet Media Foundation has been producing materials related to
development and education since 1985, using print and film media,
the aim being to promote alternative visions for a more equitable soci-
ety. The Foundation has been organising a series of development re-
source fairs under the name of Vividha, meaning diversity, since
1997. The first three Vividha fairs were not theme specific and the ob-
jective of these fairs were to bring groups together to sell their prod-
ucts and share their experiences in building participatory rural
development organisations. Subsequently, theme specific fairs were
organised — the Bal Vividha and the Stree Vividha. The fairs have
also been very rewarding in terms of the scope for collaborations. The
Bal Vividha fairs were the outcome of collaboration with Bal Bhavan,
a nation-wide network of out of school centres for children. The Stree
Vividha fairs are about women's empowerment and are in collabora-
tion with the Indian Association for Women's Studies.
As a medium of communication, the fair format allows a number of
different activities to be carried out simultaneously within the same
physical space. Typically, a fair consists of an exhibition of books and
artefacts on sale, film shows, performances like puppet shows, poetry
reading, a cafe space for people to interact and talk in, a set of work-
shops on related subjects and a more visible event such as a public
consultation or a seminar. Interaction and learning takes place be-
tween the fair visitors, the fair exhibitors and the resource persons at
various levels, where the learning acquired is determined by the learn-
ers themselves, at the depth they choose, in the sequence they choose,
for the duration they want, making knowledge-gathering far more
flexible and meaningful than would happen in a formal,
pre-structured class or lecture
The Foundation does quite a lot of work for publicity and media
coverage. Publicity is done through posters (in college notice boards,
school notice boards and cinema halls); cloth banners (prominent
crossroads near the venues, and railway stations) and mailers. A com-
mon feature that marks these fairs is that the symbols and colours used

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 271
are such that it gives the fair a kind of an identity. Advertising is also
done, though it is expensive. Then we do very concentrated work with
journalists, which is the least expensive, but the most intensive in
terms of the efforts put in. Every single paper and TV channel is vis-
ited; correspondents specialising in the issues are identified, and so
on. The contact building starts much before the event.
Networking for Social Work Knowledge Development and
Dissemination in India
Information had a direct and proportional relationship to prosperity
and power and, therefore, stressed upon the importance of informa-
tion sharing through networking and linkage throughout the presen-
tation. Innovation, invention or experimentation is not possible
without sharing information. Besides being economical, it also
minimises duplication of efforts. Networking builds up a knowledge
base and not a knowledge bias. Knowledge leads to change in soci-
ety and social change brings in more knowledge. Networking is very
important to social work, as this discipline is very diverse. Net-
working should not just be intradisciplinary. It should be interdisci-
plinary to have a broader and wider interaction to understand the
various processes involved in building knowledge. Experiences of
non-social workers should also be included. There should also be a
step-by step interlinking between various levels to share knowledge
quickly — state, inter-state and then national. One should not com-
plain about lack of resources and make a beginning at least with
whatever is available.
Each school of social work should understand and participate in
the responsibility in sharing of social work knowledge. The vari-
ous schools of social work should start this with curriculum man-
agement. Universities and agencies should also share. If there is a
consortium at the state level, it will definitely help at the central
level also to play a serious role in information giving and informa-
tion sharing.
Future directions for social work knowledge development and dis-
semination were first discussed in two small groups. While Group
A discussed directions for development and utilisation of social
work knowledge, Group B discussed directions for review, pro-
duction, dissemination, acquisition and retrieval of social work

272 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
knowledge. The group reports were presented in the concluding
plenary session.
Report Of Group A: Directions For Development And
Utilisation Of Social Work Knowledge
Directions for Institutions of Social Work Education for Develop-
ment of Social Work Knowledge
Knowledge Sources
Prioritised practice needs for thrust areas of research
• People's knowledge that is the 'emic' perspective
• Dialogue/discussion between social work and allied disciplines,
academicians and practitioners, Activists to generate areas of
research - long term partnership
• Students' group research projects
• Oral histories, kathas, popular folk literature
• Field work agencies, students' field work assignments
• Adaptation of knowledge from social sciences for social work
• Validation of theories/models of intervention through action
Academic Autonomy with Accountability in Research
Autonomy with reference to:
• Area of research; Contents and methodology; and
• Composition of research team
Set up systems for accountability
Mechanisms for Minimum Standards
• Documents to be refereed by interdisciplinary teams
• Institutionalisation of the process of review at all levels
• Internal and external reviews to be constructive
• Teachers' appraisal/promotions criteria to include knowledge
Ethical Aspects
Need for articulation of ethical aspects in knowledge development:
• Authorship norms
• Researchers and the researched to associate as partners at all

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 273
• Ethical aspects within the research project (not harming clients,
taking their consent)
• Sharing findings with the researched
• Institution/Management/Administration/Education to be transparent
in terms of policies/procedures
Other Suggestions
• Balance of qualitative and quantitative research method at
master's level
• Inter-disciplinary research
• In-built measures within institutions to make it obligatory to
publish knowledge produced
• Sabbatical to work in field/consolidate earlier works
• Visiting fellowship
• Institutional support for undertaking research
• Interaction of faculty with field colleagues
• Translation facility
• Library facility including latest materials
• Computer centre
• Travel support for field trips
• Facilities for documentation and communication like typing
administrative letters, proposals, photocopy, phone, fax, email
• File cabinets, cupboards
• Space, funds and time
• Sensitisation of administrative staff
Training Programmes
• Qualitative methods from design to documentation through
• Participatory research and action research
• Creative writing workshops
• Practitioners' training for using peoples' knowledge
• Converting peoples' knowledge for publication in accepted
• Refresher course on developing course compendium and
teaching aids
• Writing conceptual, scientific papers and reference writing
• Handling print and electronic media

274 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
• Evaluating projects and reports
• Consultative meetings in various practice areas to identify
training needs
• Developing programmes as per needs identified
• Use of library, internet, and creating web sites
• Training of trainers
• Packaging research findings for different audiences in forms of
fact sheets, research summaries, press releases
Directions for Government Policies for Development of Social Work

The Publication Research, Evaluation and Monitoring (PREM)
Division of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment needs
to prioritise funding to practice-based researches.
• It should also fund publications of practice-based research,
manuals, handbooks and directories of NGOs for practitioners.
• The Advisory Committee of PREM Division needs to be
comprised of social work practitioners as well as educators.
• The University Grants Commission (UGC) needs to fund
development of course compendia and teaching/learning aids,
which need to be considered necessary for performance
appraisal and career advancement.
• UGC should also fund development of encyclopaedias of social
work in India and a dictionary of social work vocabulary.
• State governments also need to fund social work research and
publication, keeping in mind regional needs.
• A national level organisation is needed for promoting social
work research.
• Knowledge development needs to be included in the criteria for
accreditation of academic institutions.
Directions for Utilisation of Social Work Knowledge in Academic
Policies Needed
• For every course the teachers need to be asked to submit the
course objectives, weekwise content, methods of
teaching/learning methods of assessment, recommended
reading and teaching/learning aids to be used every year.

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 275
• Every five years, there should be a review of the above at the
institution level.
• In field work supervision, theoretical knowledge need to be
linked to practice situations.
• Research proposals of teachers and students should not be
accepted without a comprehensive bibliographic search.
• Knowledge developers need to monitor its utilisation and obtain
feedback on the same.
• Teachers should encourage students to buy books.
Training Programmes Needed
Training programmes are needed in bibliographic search and training
in using knowledge for curriculum and course planning.
Consumers of Social Work Knowledge
Schools, Industries, Hospitals, Residential institutions, Panchayats/
Municipal Corporations, Police academy, Non-Government organi-
sations, Action groups, Social movements, International organisa-
tions and others are consumers of social work knowledge.
Report of Group B: Directions for Review, Production,
Dissemination, Acquisition and Retrieval of Social Work

Directions for Review
• Set out the areas and the kind of material you want to publish.
• There should be different policies for reviewing different kinds
of publications. For example, academic journals, newsletters,
and so on.
• An 'Instruction Manual' should be prepared for authors
• Before sending for peer review, a professional editor should take
care of the first round of screening.
• 'Guidelines for Reviewing' should be formulated and every
reviewer must have a copy of the same before commencing on
the process of review.
• A 'Referee Bank' should be set up and maintained. Those
reviewers not following the guidelines for review, must be
• There should be a two stage review: Subject Expert and
Potential Reader and a designer who can 'visualise' the book.

276 Murli Desai, Surinder Jaswal and Sudha Ganapathi
Directions for Production
• There must be efforts towards production of low cost media like
posters, flash cards, and so on.
• Everything that is produced should have a fact sheet.
• Conference/Workshop/Seminar Reports should not be published.
Instead, these could be put up on the web.
• Have fewer pages to make the books price friendly. Use wood-
free paper.
• Books that are out of print should be put up on a CD-ROM.
• Small publishers could get together and purchase paper
Infrastructure needed can be endless with 'the sky being the limit.
However, the minimum requirement would be:
• A DTP Unit.
• Proper humanpower support
Directions for Dissemination
• If there is even a kernel of an idea. It should be DISSEMI-
NATED in some form.
• Every organisation should have a strategy for documentation
and dissemination.
• An Annual Bibliography of all social work literature published
(including theses)should be brought out.
• The pricing policy should be such that distributors find it
attractive to pick the publication up.
• Regular participation in exhibitions and book fairs.
• Co-publishing is a good way for small academic publishers with
commercial/semi-commercial publishers.
• Every organisation/institution should develop websites, which
should include information on projects, courses, faculty, alumni
and so on.
• Networking of social work institutions.

National Workshop for Social Work Knowledge... 277
• Catalogues, mailing lists and new book information should be
an ongoing activity.
• New marketing strategy - Books on wheels.
Directions for Acquisition
Explore the possibility of consortia for expensive journals and
data bases.
• Have bigger budgets for acquiring material on a per student, per
faculty basis.
• Avoid duplication of books.
• Acquire Indian literature first, where possible.
• Librarians should not make selections just on the basis of
catalogues received. They should make an effort to read books,
after getting them on approval, and then make a final selection.
• A library committee or an expert panel should be set up in
institutions for purchase of material.
• A network of social work/science librarians who could share
information on books and other material, should be set up.
Directions for Retrieval
• We need to develop our own set of descriptors (key words) to
supplement the existing international descriptors.
• Cataloguing and indexing of material should allow for wider
sampling to facilitate retrieval.
• On-line cataloguing for quicker retrieval.
• Cross-cataloguing.
THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK Volume 62, Issue 2,April 2001