CHECK IT OUT! APASWE: No. 33 (2019)

No.33 (2019) from President Office – January, 2019
An International Conference
Andayani, MSW, Head of Social Work Department, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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Social Welfare in the Digital Age: Challenges, Opportunities and Implications
Social Work Department of UIN (State Islamic Unversity) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta Indonesia in collaboration with ASPEKSI (Indonesian Association for  Social Work and Social Welfare  Education) and APAWE has conducted an international conference with a  general theme : Social Welfare in the Digital Age: Challenges, Opportunities and Implications on November 7, 2018.   The conference was one-day conference, inspired by a fact that in this contemporary era whereby, social, politic, economy are dependent so much on the cyber technology and so the topic is very relevance. It is no doubt that this kind of technology potentially lead either positive or negative outcomes. Nevertheless, there is a need to discuss and explore how we should be responsive in a way that we are abto utilize the positive meanwhile eliminate the negative ones.The conference delivered  3 sub-themes:

  1. Digital Advocacy and Empowerment,
  2. Hoax, Hate Speech and Media Literacy
  3. Disability and Social Inclusion.

This conference was attended by academics, researchers, and professionals, from various campus throughout Indonesia, such as Universitas Muhamadiyah Malang, Universitas Negeri Solo, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, etc. As well, this conference was also attended by activitis and communities, such BRTPD (Disability Rehabilitation Centre), BRSTW (Elderly People Center), Dr. Sardjito Hospital, etc. The quota for the participants was 150 peoples and the total participants who attended the conference was the same number.  This showed tremendous enthusiasm from people from diverse backgrounds to attend this conference.


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The conference invited various resource persons who are competent and resourefull from multidisciplines as follows:

  1. Dr. David Rose (APASWE )
  2. Dr. Margareth Spencer (Sydney University, Australia)
  3. Prof. PuchongSenanuch (Thailand)
  4. Adrian Pereira, B. Eng.( Malaysia)
  5. Prof.  Dr. Bambang Shergi  (University of Indonesia)


The opening was carried out by the Deputy Rector III of Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University, Dr. Waryono, with previous greetings by the Head of IKS Department and Dean of the Da'wah and Communication Faculty. Then the keynote speaker was Dr. David Rose who delivered the interesting material with the theme “Social Work in the Digital Age- Opportunities and Challenges”.  He said that the digital revolution has opened new opportunities for social workers and social work practice, while presenting a range of issues and challenges.  According to him, social workers technology provides new ways to intervene and to act such as harnessing the power of the web and social media for campaigns and advocacy, online networks to improve social connection, and tele-mental health approaches for more accessible mental health intervention.  

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The second material presented by Dr. Margaret Spencer from Australia. Dr. Margaret Spencer delivered the material entitled “Connected and Included Access and Equity for Person With Intellectual Disability In The Digital Age”. She is a  Director of Field Education in the Social Work Program at the University of Sydney,  said that Information and communication technologies (ICT) with the Internet at the forefront, has profoundly changing the way we live.  ICT poses give effectfor people with disabilities, and more specifically people with intellectual disability (ID).  Her presentation also discussed people with ID’s engagement with social media.  For people with intellectual disability social networking provides the opportunity to project a preferred identity to the online world which may be different to their identity both projected and imposed in ‘real’ social contexts.

After that the main speaker was Adrian Pereira, from Malaysia. Adrian presented the material with the theme Digital Advocacy and Empowerment. The title of Adrian's paper is Digital for Tools for Migrant Workers Right. He said that Migrant Workers face various struggles at various points in the labor migration cycle. As labor migration it self is a very huge business, coupled with low literacy rates of millions of migrants, poor protection policies and many other loopholes, migrants become victims of forced labor and trafficking very easily. And hence, as human rights activist, we must ensure that despite the hype of digitalization, we can still use digital tools to ensure migrant workers are protected

  1. Dr. Puchong Sennanuch presented material entitled: Social Work and Social Welfare in Thailand. Digital Age: Challenges, Opportunities and Implications. There are 4 issues which delivered by Dr. Puchong:
  2. Emergence of Social Work Practice and Education in Thailand
  3. Social Welfare System & social problems in Thailand
  4. Government preparing & dreaming for Digital Age: Challenge, opportunities &implications
  5. Issues and challenge of social work profession in Digital Age

At the end of his presentation, he said he had a dream to win the digital era. The dreams are unemployment reduction, jobs, products and services creation, growth of GDP. Reducing of social inequality between urban and rural; schools, hospitals.Corruption reduction with e-biding, etc.

Prof. Bambang Shergi delivered 3 arguments in a paper entitled: Digital Communication Means, Utilization Of Social Condition And Justice”. His threee arguments:are  first, inclusiveness needs to linked to general regional soci-economic connectivity. Second, digital inclusion need a firm and clear road-map and third, Indonesian local context needs to be understood that will determine the ‘push’ motivation, community empowerment strategy and information usage optimation.

For information, before the conference a call for paper was held. There were 12 abstracts that submitted to the committee and all were presented. Abstracts from each participant have been published in the international conference abstract book.