The Role of Social Work in Advancing Capacity in Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Kingdom of Eswatini


  • Wassie Kebede Addis Ababa University
  • Clement Dlamini University of Eswatini
  • Julie Drolet University of Calgary
  • David Nicholas University of Calgary



autism spectrum disorder, Eswatini, empowerment, capacity-building, Africa, social work


This reflection article, which positions itself within an ecological systems approach, focuses on advancing the capacity for effective responses to autism spectrum disorder in Eswatini. Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with impacts ranging from mild to severe. Knowledge about this condition in Africa is limited, as exemplified by a very small body of research conducted in African countries. This article presents the developmental work underway in the Kingdom of Eswatini to raise awareness and to build capacity in autism spectrum disorder. It focuses on (1) increased understanding and recognition of the need and direction for capacity-building, (2) collective learning for proactive change, (3) policy and practice advancement, and (4) disciplinary development in social work in the service of this advancement. Recommendations for ongoing advancement are offered.


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Author Biographies

Wassie Kebede, Addis Ababa University

Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Development, School of Social Work

Clement Dlamini, University of Eswatini

Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Work

Julie Drolet, University of Calgary

Professor, Social Work

David Nicholas, University of Calgary




How to Cite

Kebede, Wassie, Clement Dlamini, Julie Drolet, and David Nicholas. 2021. “The Role of Social Work in Advancing Capacity in Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Kingdom of Eswatini”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 33 (3):19 pages.



Received 2020-04-09
Accepted 2021-07-09
Published 2021-11-21