Special Issue "Ecosocial Work and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Komalsingh Rambaree
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Social Work and Criminology, University of Gävle, Gävle 801, Sweden
Interests: ecosocial work; community development and practice; international social work; youth work; computer aided qualitative data analysis
Dr. Sandra Engstrom
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
Interests: ecosocial work; community resilience; trauma; international social work
Dr. Jennifer Boddy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences and Social Work, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4222, Australia
Interests: social work practice; environment and climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecosocial work is a holistic approach to practice that considers human beings as an integral part of the ecosystem. This perspective in social work education, practice, and research focuses on the person-in-environment interconnectedness to promote a fair and sustainable use of resources in enhancing the well-being of all in the planet. The concept seeks a transformative shift requiring more concreate actions/commitments towards sustainability. The Brundtland Report of 1987 on sustainable development, called for the wellbeing of all over an indefinite period. It emphasised the importance of ensuring that any contributions towards progress in society need to not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in sustainability within social work education, practice and research. However, most of the social work discourses have focused on social sustainability and not much on sustainable development. Sustainable development is a broad and holistic concept that requires social workers to engage in collaborative and interdisciplinary social work education, practice and research. It provides a holistic model for social work, which seeks to integrate social, economic and ecological aspects in addressing human challenges in promoting/enhancing the wellbeing of people and the planet. Specifically, there is lack of literature within social work discourses that focuses on certain sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Within this context, this special issue on ‘Ecosocial work and Sustainability’ calls for contributions from academics, practitioners and students from social work and related disciplines, reflecting on multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary practice and research on ecosocial work related to SDGs of 2030 Agenda. The purpose of this special issue is to seek examples of good practices on ecosocial work practices related to SGDs of 2030 Agenda.  It particularly encourages papers that are focused on actions oriented towards specific SDGs that have largely been overlooked in social work literature including Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation; Goal 7: Affordable Clean Energy; Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; Goal 14: Life below Water; Goal 15: Life on Earth. This call for papers also encourages articles from early career researchers that is those up to five years post-PhD.

Papers could focus on social work practice as it relates to the following themes:

  • Initiatives that seek to expand international cooperation and capacity-building of local communities to support access to safe and affordable drinking water for marginalised and impoverished communities, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
  • Work that seeks to protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes, as well as social work practice that seeks to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials
  • Programs that supports women and girls in vulnerable situations to access adequate and equitable sanitation

Work that promotes indigenous initiatives and world views as related to water and sanitation, clean energy, responsible and sustainable production and consumption, industry and innovation, life below water and life on earth.

Dr. Komalsingh Rambaree
Dr. Sandra Engstrom
Dr. Jennifer Boddy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • anthropogenic disturbances
  • clean energy
  • ecosystems
  • indigenous initiatives
  • sustainable development

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


Co-Creating a “Sustainable New Normal” for Social Work and Beyond: Embracing an Ecosocial Worldview
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10941; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910941 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 978
We have an opportunity to help shape new systems and structures that redress injustices and course correct us for a trajectory that is infinitely better than the one on which we are now set. We can co-create a sustainable new normal, intentionally and [...] Read more.
We have an opportunity to help shape new systems and structures that redress injustices and course correct us for a trajectory that is infinitely better than the one on which we are now set. We can co-create a sustainable new normal, intentionally and mindfully, alongside those who are most impacted by factors of oppression, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a new trajectory would mitigate both the unintentional harm and blatant atrocities done to people and our ecosystem, as well as heal and promote holistic, mutual well-being. Since the dawn of the profession, many social workers have practiced using an expanded understanding of the person–environment framework (i.e., social, political, economic, and environmental) and have drawn upon Indigenous worldviews. However, our current mainstream professional models are entrenched in the growth ideology, which perpetuates the very injustices that we seek to eliminate. Therefore, we need to embrace an ecosocial worldview, shifting conversations and actions towards alternative approaches and establish new policies and practices. In order to equip the profession to meet these roles and responsibilities and address these interwoven injustices, we highlight examples of real, successful alternatives implemented across the globe and pose considerations for re-envisioning and co-creating a sustainable new normal, for the profession and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosocial Work and Sustainability)
Back to TopTop