Reducing global inequalities: an applied social science appoach

PhD-students with a social work or applied social science background met for the first IWAAC-academy at Frankfurt UAS to discuss inequalities within and among countries. The students came from four partner universities (University of the Western Cape, National University of Malaysia, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and Frankfurt UAS), and had various nationalities (Afghan, German, Indian, Malaysian, and South-African).

At the centre of the seminar discussions were theoretical approaches and disciplinary concepts regarding social inequalities, as well as research ethics and participatory, community-based approaches. Podcasts had been produced prior to the meeting to introduce basic concepts; more podcasts are in the making from round-table, panel discussions as well as student’s engagement with the teaching assistants from the four countries. In addition, the students presented their research interests as well as theoretical and methodological approaches in an engaging and encouraging transnational setting. Many of the participants were first generation students, and some for the first time abroad.

Another focus of the week, was the request of the partner universities towards emerging researchers to publish in indexed journals. Opportunities for (joint) open access publications were explored with the help of librarians from Frankfurt UAS, and data-management options were discussed in the light of very strict rules for the approval of research projects by ethical committees in the universities of the Global South.

The IWAAC-academies are part of a four year, DAAD-funded project (IWAAC-10) that addresses targets and indicators under the social development goal 10 (reduced inequalities), namely inclusion of all (10.2), eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices (10.3), and assess migration and refugee policies (10.7). The next IWAAC-academy will take place in August 2023 in Malaysia. Until then, workshops that look into data evaluation and interpretation from a transnational and intersectional perspective will take place online.

Prof. Dr. Dagmar Oberlies and Dr. Beatrix Schwarzer
Email: schwarzer(at)


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last updated on: 02.17.2021