Sixth Annual Social Service Workforce Strengthening Symposium: Evidence for Action

Global Social Service Workforce Alliance


The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance hosted the 6th Annual Social Service Workforce Strengthening Symposium on the topic of using evidence as a catalyst for advocacy efforts to support the social service workforce. Held on May 7, 2019, in Washington, DC, and via live webcast, a total of 313 individuals and 13 watch parties participated from 42 countries across NGOs, practice, government, academia, associations, foundations, UN agencies and other experts in the field. They heard speakers share experiences and lessons learned from recent comprehensive social service workforce mappings and assessments in 32 countries. Representatives provided an overview of the mapping process, trends, recommendations and next steps for using this evidence toward developing workforce strengthening strategies.

Collecting and analyzing data to better understand the social service workforce is fundamental and foundational to creating informed advocacy. Regional panels of speakers representing a variety of stakeholders provided examples of how they have used new evidence and recommendations to better support advocacy efforts and to design and implement strategies to better plan, develop and support the workforce. Speakers and breakout work sessions also made connections to global trends and progress toward achieving the recommendations within the Call to Action.

The Symposium included the launch of the 2018 State of the Social Service Workforce Report which provides a comparative look at social service workforce development in four regions. 

Click the link above to download the presentations and read a summary of the event. Scroll down to watch the full video recording of the event.


The objectives of this symposium were to:

  • Facilitate discussion and information sharing of regional and national coordination efforts to strengthen the social service workforce and improve the lives of in children, families, individuals and communities
  • Share promising examples from various country contexts on how comprehensive, participatory assessment and mapping processes can lead to improved planning and development for the social service workforce
  • Launch the Alliance’s 2018 State of the Social Service Workforce Report 

Event Organizer 

The Symposium was organized the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, a non-profit network with more than 2200 members in 134 countries, that aims to promote the knowledge and evidence, resources and tools, and political will and action needed to address key social service workforce challenges, especially within low- to middle-income countries. Tides Center acts as the fiscal sponsor and host of the Alliance. A 13-member Steering Committee oversees and guides the direction and development of the Alliance and provides support to the Alliance Secretariat.