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Beyond the Pandemic: Exploring social work ethics and values as a contribution to a new eco-social world

This report summarises the findings of an international project on the theme of ‘Beyond the pandemic: Exploring social work ethics and values as a contribution to a new eco-social world’. This was undertaken during March – July 2022 as a followon to an online survey on ethical challenges for social workers during Covid-19 conducted in May 2020 (Banks et al, 2020a; b). The 2020 survey showed social workers rethinking their values and ethics in a time of crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The rationale behind this second phase of research was to review the learning from two years of practice during the pandemic, considering its relevance to other global crises linked particularly with climate change, also political conflict and various types of natural disaster. It was designed to contribute to the online People’s Global Summit (‘Co-building a new eco-social world: leaving no one behind’), co-organised by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and multi-disciplinary partners from 29th June to 2nd July 2022 (

The aim of the project was to consider how social work ethics and values can contribute towards sustainability and justice for people and the planet. The objectives were to understand and identify: • What are the ethical dimensions of rethinking the role of social work in contributing to a new eco-social world? • How can learning from the pandemic be used to tackle other social and environmental crises? • What is or should be the role of the social work profession in working towards a sustainable world?

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