Country Representative

Dr. Zena Mnasi Mabeyo (Institute of Social Work);

Institute of Social Work (ISW)

Colourful illustration and lettering © ISW/The Rector

The Institute of Social Work (ISW) is a public higher learning institution located in Dar es Salaam – a metropilitan city of Tanzania. It is the first and most experienced institution in the country in providing social work education and training. It was established in 1973 by the Act of Parliament number 26 of 1973 as amended by Miscellaneous Act to 3 of 2002 that mandated it to conduct training and other academic activities in social work, community development and other related fields. Hence, it started operations in 1974 by conducting training in social work only and continued to expand into other related fields from 1982 to date. By 2020 the Institute runs programs in the fields of social work, human resources management, labour relations and public administration at Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor Degree levels. It also runs two Postgraduate programs and has two Master Degree programs in the fields of social work and strategic human resource management. By January 2020 ISW had a total of 2477 students.

Apart from producing competed professionals in its areas of specialization, the Institute boosts of having partnerships and collaborations with different institutions within the country, in the East African and African Region as well as beyond. Since 2000, it established links and cooperative ventures with institutions such as Bergen University College, Norway; Jane Adams School of Social Work and Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center of the University of Illinois strain Chicago, USA; Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria. These partnerships have enabled it to enrich some of its training programs, initiate specific tailor made programs to respond to various problems such as HIV and AIDS, conduct joint research, publications and training, implement students and staff exchange programs and increase its visibility and contribution to the development and promotion particularly of the profession of social work. A very significant milestone was achieved through its partnership with four schools offering social work in East Africa namely Makerere University, Uganda, University of Nairobi, Kenya, Hope Africa University of Burundi and Rwanda University and one Austrian University – Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. Through this partnership an APPEAR (Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development) funded project of Promotion of Professional Social Work in East Africa (PROSOWO) was implemented from 2011 to 2018 where a total of 8 local books in social work in East Africa were produced 2 focusing on Tanzania.


Founding member
Membership: Since 2020


Dr. Zena Mnasi Mabeyo

Dr. Zena Mnasi Mabeyo, PhD is a Senior Lecture of the Institute of Social Work who has lead the Directorate of Planning, Finance and Administration of the Institute at the capacity of an acting Deputy Rector from 2013 to 2015 and from July 2019 to date. She was a substantive Deputy Rector in the same Directorate from July 2015 to December 2018. She acted as the Rector of the Institute from January 2018 to April 2019. She was the Country Coordinator of the APPEAR funded Project (PROSOWO 1 and PROSOWO 2) since 2011 to 2018. Through this project two country specific studies on the role of social work in Poverty Reduction and the Realization of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Indigenous and Innovative approaches were conducted. Two locally based social work books were produced and findings disseminated within Tanzania and books shared with other local social work schools and other partner countries.

Prior to the posts above Dr. Zena also held other leadership positions. She acted as the Head of Social Work Department in 2007/2008. She was the Head of Links and Cooperation Unit of the Institute of Social Work from 2006 to 2008. She was a Chairperson of the Tanzania Association of Social Workers from 2012 to 2018. She is the East African Representative of the African Association of the Schools of Social Work (ASSWA).

Moreover, Dr Zena Mabeyo is a member of the National Board of Coordination of NGOs and the Board of Tanzania Correctional Training Academy (TCTA). She is an experienced researcher and author who co-authored several social work books and contributed chapters in several books.