Vivek Trivedi


Role: Social Worker, Development Practitioner and Activist, established the Association of Professional Social Workers and Development Practitioners (APSWDP) 

Active in Country: India

DTP Program: 2004 Indigenous Youth Program, Sydney


Vivek Trivedi is a professional social worker by education, development practitioner by profession, social welfare administrator in government, activist by choice, global traveller by passion, motivational youth leader by experience, master trainer by skills, and volunteer, poet and human by heart and soul.


Vivek started his career with the United Nations Development Program and Government of India’s joint national programme “National Strategy for Urban Poor”. His core area of study and expertise is in Professional Social Work and Social Welfare Administration.


He attended the DTP training in Sydney in 2004, where he was invited to Oxfam International Youth Parliament at Sydney. At that time, he was an undergraduate in university with no understanding of social welfare or global development issues, including Human Rights, so it was only with the DTP training that he could begin to visualise the development sector. After his return to India, he pursued postgraduate studies in Social Work (MSW), developing his expertise in Social Welfare Administration. He then started his career with leading NGOs in the country, working for the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has also pursued a Ph.D. in Social Work from the Centre for Social Work, Panjab University, Chandigarh and completed a broader thesis on Informal Sector (Street Vendors) Welfare and Rights in December 2020.


Vivek is passionate about Social Action. He tries to instil learnings from what he studied and what he learned from DTP and other UN global training programs across the globe. He has included Human Rights as one of the technical core areas in the capacity building and training programmes he has organised in his voluntary and involuntary capacities, including the rights of persons with Disabilities, Transgender people, people living with HIV/AIDS and women.


Vivek has studied different methods of professional social work, such as how one can work for an individual, for a group, or for the overall community. Community Organisation is Vivek’s passion and favourite area to work in, and he has done a lot of work on community mapping and mobilising community resources. A recent UN training program helped him learn about Community-Driven Development (CDD), which advocated for the involvement of community in planning processes, decision-making and implementing.


Vivek is trying to create momentum among urban poor women by way of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) run by women, so that they can produce their own livelihood initiatives. He is committed to building women and social leadership at the bottom of pyramid.


Vivek instituted the Association of Professional Social Workers and Development Practitioners (APSWDP) in 2014 with a vision developed under the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Rajan M. Welukar (Former Vice Chancellor Mumbai University, India) and Aminul Islam Khan (Bangladesh). With Vivek’s sustained efforts, APSWDP has been conferred Special Consultative Status under the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. He has evolved a key mandate of APSWDP, which is ‘Promoting Social Education for Sustainable Development’ and adopted three of the five key priority action areas of Global Action Programmes (GAP) on the Education for Sustainable Development of UNESCO i.e., building capacities of educators and trainers,empowering and mobilising youth and accelerating sustainable solutions at a local level.


Vivek said, “government is formulating policies at national level by involving three pillars of democracy but in reality, citizen engagement and the role of civil society is limited to top brass and elite clubs in the formulation and revision of policy. There is a need to ensure the voices of marginalised and underprivileged groups are heard and given space during such processes of consultation.” He is gradually working on developing a cadre for Social Work Professionals and Welfare Administrators in the country so that such ministry and programmes can be administered by welfare and development professionals.


Vivek is working in government and sometimes he feels like he cannot deliver at the speed that both the programme and he are looking for. In the welfare sector, Vivek realised that sometimes there is a need for immediate intervention by simplifying procedures and protocols for sudden decision making and intervention in extreme emergencies for extending services and relief to marginalised and economically weaker communities. He is of the view that vast and diverse countries like India need robust networks of grassroots organisations because they have the vibrancy and dedication to take immediate action by involving communities, and such organisations have the first interface with the communities to connect and outreach.


Vivek always remembers a quote by Patrick Geddes 'Think Global Act Local’ and he has demonstrated the quote in a true sense in his life by building his capacity and social leadership at a global level and percolating his learnings and experiences acquired over the years at a local level.


Vivek has been widely recognised and published by leading mainstream media outlets in the country and received laurels and recognitions. He has been awarded the Hindustan Times Brightest Youth Climate Leadership Award 2010 by the British Council and the Arctic Holding. He was also twice awarded the State Award (Commendation Certificate) in 2014 and 2020 for his meritorious services in the social sector, including combating COVID-19. The utmost honour which he has accomplished is his selection as a Youth Representative in the UNESCO ESD World Conference 2014 and being nominated as a Drafting Committee Member for the UNESCO ESD Youth Statement, which has become a part of the Nagoya Declaration 2014.


Profile written June 2021.