Rodreck Mupedziswa (PhD), a Professor of Social Work, in 2021 accepted a post as inaugural Coordinator of the Centre for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups (EVGs) at BA ISAGO University in Gaborone, Botswana. The Centre offers education and training programmes (diploma, bachelor and masters degrees in gender-based violence); community outreach and advocacy; and conducting research with a bias toward vulnerable groups.
Prior to this appointment he was based at the University of Botswana (UB) for a period spanning 15 years: March 2007 to May 2021). At UB he served as Head of the Department of Social Work for six years (2008 – 2014), and (full) Professor of Social Work for the remainder of the period.
Previous positions held by Prof Mupedziswa include Director of the Forced Migration Studies Programme in the Graduate School for the Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg (2002 – 2004) and Deputy Director at the School of Social Work at the University of Zimbabwe (1989 – 2001). At Wits University he was responsible for the Masters and PhD programmes in Forced Migration Studies.
He is previous winner of the prestigious (British) Foreign and Commonwealth Scholarship (now Chevening). He has served as visiting professor to several academic institutions including Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, Minnesota State University, USA, Turku University (Finland) and National University of Lesotho. He has also served as external examiner for 13 institutions of higher learning in Africa, including, North West University; University of Fort Hare, University of Mauritius, Makerere University (Uganda), University of Malawi, Midlands State University, Bindura University of Science Education, Women’s University in Africa (Zimbabwe) and the National University of Lesotho. Other than that, he has also assessed PhD and Masters degree theses/dissertations for institutions that including University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, University of Witwatersrand, University of Western Cape, and University of KwaZulu Natal. He recently served as a member of a team that reviewed degree programmes offered by the Department of Social Development, University of Cape Town. A seasoned researcher, Prof Mupedziswa scooped the prestigious University of Botswana Researcher of the Year Award for 2010. Over the years, Prof Mupedziswa has authored/co-authored 8 academic books, and has published scores of journal articles, book chapters, monographs and occasional papers. Additionally, he has presented academic papers at over 120 conferences/workshops/symposia in 46 countries across the world, including in the USA, UK, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Peru, Japan, Hong Kong, S Africa, Uganda and Mauritius, among others. He has been key-note speaker at conferences in Melbourne (Australia); Bologna (Italy); Cambridge (United Kingdom), Kampala (Uganda) and Lisbon (Portugal). Prof Mupedziswa is an accomplished editor, having for 10 years served as Editor-in-Chief of the IBSS accredited Journal of Social Development in Africa. Currently he sits on editorial boards of 4 international scientific journals, including Ethics and Social Welfare (UK), and International Social Work (USA). He served on the seven-member Executive Committee of the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) whose headquarters is in Addis Ababa. Prof Mupedziswa is also an active member of a regional expert research grouping, the Southern African Social Protection Network (SASPEN), which holds its conferences annually in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other than that, he has sat on the Social Science board of the Pretoria-based National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. He has served as consultant for many international agencies, including World Health Organisation (WHO); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Help Age International (HAI), Swedish SIDA, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and Danish DANIDA. Much of the consultancy work accomplished has involved project evaluation, and this included an evaluation of UN-sponsored projects in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Dadaab at the border of Kenya and Somalia.
Prof Mupedziswa’s research interests focus essentially on themes that aim to empower vulnerable groups in society, including women and children. Of late he has researched and published on the theme of social impact of climate change (especially on vulnerable groups), with particular focus on the situation in Southern African region. He has an unbridled passion for empowerment of vulnerable groups in society.
Mupedziswa, R (2001) The quest for relevance: towards a conceptual model of developmental social work education and training in Africa. In International Social Work. Vol 44;3 Pages 285-300.
Mupedziswa, R (2006) Challenges and prospects of social work in Africa. In Okeibunor, JC & Anugwom, EE. (eds). The social sciences and socioeconomic transformation in Africa. Nsukka, Nigeria: The Great AP Publishers. Pages 271–283.
Hochfeld, T, Selipsky, L, Mupedziswa, R and Chitereka, C (2009) Developmental social work education in Southern and East Africa. Research Report. ISBN 978-0-86970-669-5. Centre for Social Development in Africa. University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Hochfeld, T., Mupedziswa, R., and Selipsky, L, (2010) The social development approach in social work education in Southern and East Africa. In The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher. Special Issue April p112-131 (South Africa).
Mupedziswa, R & Sinkamba, R (2014) Social work education and training in southern and east Africa: Yesterday, today and tomorrow; in Noble C. Strauss, H & Littlechild, B Global Social Work: Crossing Borders and Building Boundaries. Sydney: Sydney University Press. Pages 141 – 154.
Mupedziswa, R & Kubanga, K (2016) Developing social work education in Africa: challenges and prospects; in Taylor, I. Bogo, M & Teater, B (Eds) Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education. London: Taylor & Francis Group. Pages 119-130.
Mupedziswa, R; Rankopo M & Mwansa, L-K (2019). Ubuntu as a Pan-African Philosophical Framework, in Twikirize, J and Spitzer, H (Eds.) Social Work Practice in Africa: Indigenous and Innovative Approaches. Fountain Publishers: East Africa. ISBN: 978-9970-617-92-0.