Published on 31 January 2024
The new Chair has been promoted from the University of Malaga (UMA) by the Department of Social Psychology, Social Work, Social Services and Social Anthropology, in collaboration with the Municipal Observatory for Social Inclusion. The appointment builds on an agreement dating back to 2022 which included a financial contribution from the City Council of 20,000 euros per year, for 2022 and 2023. A similar financial contribution has been allocated for 2024.
The Chair’s research team is made up of 36 professors from the UMA, in collaboration with professionals from the City Council’s Social Services department. The team’s work is structured into three areas:-
In order to raise awareness of the objectives and approaches of the new Chair, both institutions designed a series of informative talks in the 12 Social Services centres of the city, at the Municipal Training Centre, and in different sections of the Social Rights Area. In all of these sessions, there was a great deal of participation by professionals from the respective centres. They contributed many ideas and proposals to improve social and community interventions through improved collaboration between the City Council and the University. This culminated in a broad range of potential actions to improve the overall coordination between the organisations, from aligning methodological approaches, to addressing practical challenges.
Each of the Chair of Social Inclusion’s three identified areas of focus involves a series of projects. In terms of the first priority around research, there are initiatives to address the prevalence of social problems by creating a map of the incidence of needs in different areas of the city; exploring the difficulties caused by bureaucratisation; and interventions aimed at breaking the isolation and lack of communication for homeless people. In addition, there are specific actions to tackle loneliness; school absenteeism; conflicts between migrants and the indigenous population; mistreatment of users of Community Social Services; and the digital needs of the elderly.
Under the second priority, the transfer and dissemination of knowledge, the agreement includes the production of a podcast with talks and interviews on the projects carried out in the different Basic Social Services Areas. This will be broadcast on Canal Málaga as well as through digital platforms and social networks. In addition, there will be a film forum with the screening of films on social issues, followed by debates involving Social Services professionals and teaching staff, as well as a Social Services and Social Inclusion Conference, the first of which was held recently.
Finally, in the area of training, actions are envisaged for professionals through the analysis of human capital and training needs, their quality of life, and through the implementation of a virtual classroom and an inter-professional forum . Students will be involved in the podcast and film forum, and through a ‘Researchers’ Night’, plus exhibition days for final degree and masters degree projects, including prizes for the best projects.