Role of National Institute of Social Development:
A Centre of excellence
The National Institute of Social Development (NISD) is recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as a degree awarding Institute, under Section 25 of the Universities Act No.16 of 1978. It functions under the purview of the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare. It is the premier institution in Social Work education in Sri Lanka producing professional social workers to serve the social welfare system and to promote social development. This Institute operates under the provisions of the National Institute of Social Development Act No.41 of 1992. In 2005, the Government declared the National Institute of Social Development as a degree awarding institute.
The Master's program in Social Work, commenced under the sponsorship of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), implemented by the Queen's University, Kingston, Canada in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare. In September 2008, the Queen's University of Kingston, Canada submitted a proposal to commence a PhD program in Social Work. Following several deliberations on this proposal, the Governing Council/NISD appointed a Planning Committee to develop a five year plan (inclusive of a PhD program) to enhance the quality of the human resources at the NISD.
Training program in progress at National Institute of Social Development. Courtesy: Google
The Vision and the Mission of NISD is to be a centre of excellence, nationally and globally in Social Work Education, Training and Research and to enhance human resources for social development through the preparation of competent manpower in social work at all levels, generate and disseminate new knowledge and technologies for social work practice, provide specialized services for social welfare and social development.
The Governing Council is the apex body and the Academic Affairs Board functions under the Council as an advisory body on all academic matters. The functions of the Institute are carried out by four integrated divisions namely; The Sri Lanka School of Social Work, The Training Division, The Social Policy Research and Publications Division and The Administration and Finance Division.
NISD is equipped with a large auditorium with all multimedia facilities. The library holds over 25,000 publications and it is at present the largest library in Sri Lanka on reading material related to social work.
The library provides membership to members of the faculty and students following the Diploma program in Social Work, the Bachelor's degree students and Master's Degree students. Both lending and reference facilities are available.
The Queen's University in Kingston, Canada has made available e-access to the resources available on the World Wide Web. The computer lounge has also licensed copies of quantitative and qualitative data analysis software, SPSS and NVivo. The NISD official website was launched in Colombo on March 20, 2009.
Mahapola Award Ceremony was held on June 11, 2009, 10 students of the BSW program and 14 students from the Diploma program received Mahapola Scholarship Award Certificate.
Training Division of NISD conducts programs on Short Training Program for Government Officers, Capacity Building Training Program (in collaboration with National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organization) and Diploma in Child Protection Program.
We have held a series of islandwide programs this year upto end of September and a similar number of programs are earmarked to be conducted in the remaining months of the year. The training programs cover a wide range of topics such as Counselling, Social Welfare, Institutional
Care, Community Based Potential Development, Project Writing, Conflict Management, Leadership and Communication Skills Development. These programs are conducted both in Sinhala and English.
The Social Policy Research and Publications Division has conducted several research projects successfully and at present it is engaged in a research project on Family Policy for Sri Lanka.
Much has been done by the National Institute of Social Development and the Institute is potentially strong to perform the services entrusted to it which will enhance the opportunities for the citizens of the country to be sustainable partners in the development of the country.
The writer is Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry Secretary and Chairperson, Council of the National Institute of Social Development.