The 17th Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists (ESSSWA)


                      17th Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists (ESSSWA)

                            In collaboration with Wolkite University College of Social Sciences and Humanities

                                                         Department of Sociology

                            Conference Theme: Current internal conflicts and Coping Mechanisms in Ethiopia.


                                                                                                                           March 18-19, 2022

                                                                                                                          Wolkite, Ethiopia


I. Introduction


The Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists (ESSSWA) was founded by its volunteer professionals drawn from the three sister disciplines in June 1996. The society received its first legal registration in 1997 from the then Ministry of Justice. As per Proclamation No 621/2009, ESSSWA obtained certificate of registration from the former Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency in November 2009. In December 2019, following the proclamation of the new CSO legislation (1113/2019) ESSSWA has also received a re-registration certificate as a local organization with a registry number of 0350 from the renamed Ethiopian Civil Societies and Organizations Agency (ECSOA).

ESSSWA strives to develop members’ professional competence and enhance their contributions to the country’s socio-economic development and assist government, civil society organizations, the private sector and communities in translating the various development policies and strategies into actions.

Over its 25 years of services, ESSSWA has built its center of excellence in research and training activities and provisions of system strengthening and workforce development services for government, community structures and CSO partners.  Its activities give special emphasis on improving members’ research competence and training and help deploy cadres of social service workforce that provide basic services at community level in social protection of vulnerable groups and in the protection of children at risk.  

ESSSWA has strong networks with social and child protection policy forums and is working closely with training and research institutions all over the country. Since its establishment, ESSSWA has beendevoted to the social wellbeing of the Ethiopian people through policy debates using its responsive and proactive research findings. Currently, ESSSWA has 1308 registered ordinary and 6 institutional members. Most of its current members are working in various organizations including higher learning institutions and universities, civil society organizations, government offices, UN organizations, bilateral donor agencies and grass roots institutions and communities.  ESSSWA operates in all regions and 2 city administrations.  Its eight regional chapters affiliated to public universities (Bhairdar, Gonder, Hawassa, Addis Ababa, Jimma, Arbaminch, Mekele, Debremarkos, Haramaya, Wolkite and Jigjiga) are serving as liaisons with its partners and support the smooth implementations of planned project activities.

ESSSWA has also been serving as a platform of professional debates on long established social problems and emerging socio economic challenges of the country through annual conferences in which its members who are practitioners, policy makers and academicians take part and deliberate on various thematic issues. Thus far, the Society has organized 16 annual conferences. Following the conferences, depending on the availability of funds ESSSWA has published proceedings so as to document, disseminate and share the knowledge generated to the wider public. 

The planned seventeenth ESSSWA conference is aimed at bringing together its member personalities, institutions and relevant stakeholders and deliberate on various societal issues which have national significance.

II. Theme of the Conference

The seventeenth Annual Conference of the Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists (ESSSWA) is planned to be held for two days, from March 18 to March 19, 2022. In line with its mission, vision and strategic objectives, ESSSWA, in its previous 16 annual conferences has given adequate emphasis to pertinent issues of national significance like vulnerabilities, social change, social protection, social and behavioral maladjustments, conflict situations and peace building. Assessing the current pressing challenges of the country, ESSSWA has come up with a conference theme that is related to the wave of internal conflicts that the country is going through The seventeenth annual conference theme is “Internal Conflicts and Coping Mechanisms in Ethiopia” which will emphasis on the current internal conflicts of  the country and the implemented coping strategies. It further focuses on the social crisis caused by the conflict and the way out.

  • Objectives of the Conference
  • Create opportunities for knowledge transfer for university students, practitioners and academicians with sociology, social anthropology and social work backgrounds;
  • Discuss on the current conflict situations in the country and address the possible means and ways of managing conflicts and restoring peace
  • Enhance the contributions of the three interlinked disciplines to assess and respond to the current internal conflicts of the country
  • Create opportunity for problem identification and  further research undertakings;
  • Undertake research based professional discussions on the on-going social crisis and coping mechanisms in Ethiopia;
  • Create an opportunity where different stakeholders and members of the association get to know and connect each other, which will in turn create means of collaboration and partnership.
  • Create a platform for thematic papers that would enhance academic and practitioners’ debates related to conflict resolution and peace building
  • Enable conference participants to reflect views and share practices on the underlying causes, consequences and means and ways of addressing them.
  • Come up with responsive strategic directions and program and policy recommendations that would help resolve conflicts and maintain peace.
  • To understand the community engagement activities of Wolkite University an get acquainted  with the socio cultural situations of Gurage Zone
  • Target Audiences and Participants

Up to 100 ESSSWA’s ordinary and institutional members, regional chapter representatives, partners and other relevant stakeholders will take part in the upcoming annual conference. Also, 30 participants from Wolkite University and Gurage Zone will take part in the conference. 

  • Conference discussion forums and topics

The conference will follow two different but interrelated forums/approaches. In the morning session 4 papers will be presented and discussed in plenary. Under the broad Conference theme mentioned above, the following discussion topics are identified for paper presentations and discussions.

  • Trends of current internal conflicts in Ethiopia
  • Impact/consequences of current internal conflicts
  • Emergency response
  • Displacement and reintegration
  • Conflict management and/or resolution
  • Local coping mechanisms/strategies

The paper presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with expertise in the areas of conflict, conflict management and resolution. 4 individuals will be selected to discuss the social crisis