4th International Conference on Practice Research
22 - 24 May 2017
Jockey Club Innovation Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Plenary Talks

Download the PDF Version of Plenary Talks

22 May 2017 (Monday)

Time Description
10:30 - 11:00 Plenary Talk 1
Title: Defining the Elements of Practice Research: Implications for Conducting Research and Teaching Practitioners
Speaker: Professor Michael Austin
Abstract: The international attention given to social work practice research over the past decade in conferences like this one provides a foundation for identifying the common elements of practice research. This introductory plenary provides a brief overview of our progress to date in order to identifying the emerging contexts and processes of practice research. It includes a discussion of roles, relationships, practice research questions and methods, research dissemination and utilisation, and the knowledge building processes of theory-informed practice and practice-informed theory. The presentation draws upon 25 years of research collaboration with public and nonprofit human service organisations in the San Francisco Bay Area with implications for beginning and advanced forms of practice research.
11:00 - 11:30

Plenary Talk 2
Title: Engaging and Supporting Women through Participatory Action Research
Speaker: Professor Lena Dominelli
Abstract: Women often find themselves at the receiving end of research into their lives and experiences of key events. They are usually treated as objects in other people’s research. However, there are methods which engage women as equals in the research process and involve them in research design, data collection, data analysis, writing up and dissemination activities. Key amongst these is Participatory Action Research (PAR). This presentation discusses involving women as subjects in research processes and focuses on the Affirming Women Project which I conducted, to highlight the opportunities and challenges encountered in working with women for their benefit by making them comfortable with research processes and as co-producers of research-based knowledge and solutions to life’s problems.


 23 May 2017 (Tuesday)

Time Description
09:00 - 09:30 Plenary Talk 3
Title:A Multi-level Participatory Approach in Building Resilience in Households Affected and Infected by HIV and AIDS
Speaker: Professor Antoinette Lombard
Abstract: Children and families affected and infected by HIV and AIDS experience severe social and economic risks which make them vulnerable and potentially excluded. They nevertheless demonstrate resilience in coping with these adversities. This is a result of bridging their abilities and strengths with capacity building, empowerment and opportunities. This presentation discusses the experiences of service users, care workers, team workers and professionals in building the resilience of households and communities. It includes a discussion of the participatory multi-level intervention model of the NGO, Future Families, and how it informs best practice for environmental and community sustainability.
09:30 - 10:00

Plenary Talk 4
Title:Applied Sociology and Practice Research: Diversity, Consistency or Just Doing it All Over Again?
Speakers: Professor Kjeld Hogsbro
                  Professor Lars UggerhØj
Abstract: By following the core issues and development of social work research and applied sociology, and identifying the basic political and diverse meta-theoretical issues of this history, one part of the presentation explores if the discussion of Practice Research is substantially different from the one taken more than 50 years ago. Another part of the presentation seeks to identify the elements that distinctively characterise social work practice research and discuss how it is different from, similar to or a development of applied sociology.


24 May 2017 (Wednesday)

Time Description
09:00 - 09:30 Plenary Talk 5
Title:Co-creative Trans-disciplinary Knowledge Creation through Reflexive Practice Research in Health
Speaker: Professor Lynette Joubert
Abstract: Social workers in health and mental health settings are challenged by the need to demonstrate their contribution to better outcomes for patients and their families within an evidence based health services context. The social science systemic perspective is not synchronous with a linear health paradigm. However, this difference can be bridged through the use of practice research methodologies which offer an opportunity for social workers, as both the ‘users and producers’ of practice research, to link their practice to organisational systems and policy innovation. This presentation will describe the development, implementation and evaluation of transdisciplinary practice research that studied an assumed, but infrequently evaluated, component of the services received by women being treated for gynecological cancers. The results have informed service developments, and most importantly, contributed to an improved patient experience for women and their families.
09:30 - 10:00

Plenary Talk 6
Title: Trans-disciplinary: Easier Said than Done?
Speakers: Dr Timothy Sim, PhD
                  Mr John Young
Abstract: The uniqueness of the trans-disciplinary approach lies in the partnership between researchers from different disciplines and other stakeholders including government and non-government organisations and the community. Also the evolution of ideas and actions throughout the project. This plenary talk, based on two on-going trans-disciplinary earthquake disaster risk resilience projects in China, will introduce good practices in trans-disciplinary collaborate and examine the challenges of working across disciplines, across borders, across cultures and across different stakeholder group, as well as the potential benefit of greater impact.