The Annual Meeting of the ICSW Board
The annual meeting of the ICSW Board was convened on 22- 23 October 2017 in Madrid, Spain. The regional presidents of the ICSW are ex officio members of the Board, along with the President, the Vice-President and the Treasurer. Such annual meetings represent an opportunity for this decisionmaking body of ICSW to review existing programmes and to identify the areas of the proposed future activities. The meeting was chaired and conducted by Eva HombergHerrström, the President of ICSW.
The meeting started with a moment of silence in memory of Miloslav Hetteš, the former President of ICSW-Europe (Slovakia), who passed away in January 2017. He was fondly remembered by the attendees.
The Board warmly welcomed the new Treasurer of the ICSW, Mr. Emmanuel Ndlangamandla from Swaziland (Executive Director of CANGO—Coordinating Assembly of NGOs), who assumed his new global duties with ICSW recently.
In the substantive discussion of the proposed Agenda the participants focused on the most pressing issues that the Organization is facing, trying to identify the existing options and policy solutions. Both the annual report for the preceding calendar year and the compilation of the 2016 financial records, submitted to the participants in advance, were approved (the Annual report is available on the website (icsw.org)).
Using the SWOT template (analysis of Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), the participants were able to uncover new opportunities and suggest innovative ways to improve the strategy and functioning of the organization, addressing the challenges in each of the above directions, “looking at ourselves” through a strategic lens. They also dealt with core issues stemming from the implementation of the ICSW Global Programme 2016-2020. The need to focus consistently on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of all ICSW activities around the world was underscored as an important priority.
The participants of the meeting were also in favour of forward-looking approaches to emerging issued on the global social development agenda, as well as analyzing lessons learned from the existing regional practices. It was felt that the transfer of promising new policy approaches used by a particular ICSW region to other ICSW regions would be a sign of mutual learning and cross-fertilization, and should be actively encouraged.
The Board also discussed the preparations for the Joint World Conference on social work, education and social development, scheduled to take place on 3-7 July 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. It was stressed that the above event provides an excellent opportunity to convene during that conference an international symposium to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ICSW (created in 1928 in Paris). The rich history of our organization, its activities reaching across geopolitical borders and aimed at improving the human condition and well-being in the face of socio-economic uncertainties and risks, provides an appropriate occasion for providing highlights of the priority themes throughout the years, presenting some results of our transnational activism, and focusing on existing opportunities and challenges in the world of today.