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Research projects

Towards indigenous social work practices to better address elder abuse in Uganda

About this project

Project information

Project status



Thomas Strandberg

Research subject

Understanding and addressing elder abuse in the global south is complex as this phenomenon occurs in different context and cultures. This demands for indigenous theories, concepts and models rooted in the people’s cultures and world views to fully grasp and tackle this problem. While substantial efforts are being made to indigenize social work especially in the African region to tackle local challenges, there is less effort to integrate indigenous conceptions and theories into gerontological social work practice. This study sets out to propagate indigenous social work practices as better alternative social work practices to address the rising cases of elder abuse in Uganda. It seeks to answer the principal question; how can social work practice develop indigenous social work practice to address elder abuse? The overall aim of this study is to gain an in-depth understanding on how social work practice can develop indigenous social work interventions to effectively address elder abuse.

This project answers four specific questions: (1) In what ways do older people in Uganda experience abuse and how do they make sense of their experiences? (2) how are social work professionals responding to elder abuse in Uganda? (3) how do social workers perceive indigenous social work practice? (4) how can social work practice develop indigenous social work strategies to better address elder abuse? Theoretically, the study is underpinned by Ubuntu, an African philosophy which advances that community strength is derived from community support and that human dignity and social functioning are attained through the values of mutualism, empathy, reconciliation, caring, wholeness, and harmony. The study relies on qualitative interviews and analysis.

PhD student: Charles Kiiza Wamara
Principal supervisor: Thomas Strandberg
Assistant supervisor: Maria Bennich

Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University