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David Okech

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Associate Professor School of Social Work
Director, MSW Program

David Okech conducts research on human trafficking – the exploitation of men, women, and children for the purposes of labor and sex. He focuses on designing evidence-based interventions and policies to inform programs and policies that will improve psycho-social and physical health, increase economic empowerment and put survivors on a path to recovery, stability and social integration. He has published on human trafficking and PTSD, financial capability and trafficking, as well as conducted a review of social work literature on the subject. Dr. Okech serves on the International Steering Group of the Antislavery Knowledge Network at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and is also a founding member of the African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES).

Congratulations to Dr. David Okech (Associate Professor, Social Work) and the UGA African Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES) on the successful co-hosting of the Reduction Innovation Forum in May, 2020. The forum, a virtual gathering of leaders, researchers and policy experts from around the world dedicated to the fight against human trafficking was presented by the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) and APRIES. David is the Director of APRIES with projects in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Senegal in West Africa.

Research Interests:

Teaching and Research Interests
Human trafficking
Community development
Asset development
Social work administration
Social welfare policy
Social work research
Advanced statistical methods

Of note:

Selected Publications

Okech, D., Choi, Y.J., Elkins, J., & Burns, A.C. (2017). Seventeen years of human trafficking research in social work practice: A review of the literature. Journal of EvidenceInformed Social Work,

Okech, D., McGarity, S. V., Hansen, N., Burns, A.C., & Howard, W. (2017). Financial capability and sociodemographic factors among survivors of human trafficking. Journal of EvidenceInformed Social Work,

Okech, D. & Danikuu, A. (2016) Providing a Lifeline for female survivors of human trafficking in Ghana, in M. Gray. (Ed.). The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa, Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Okech, D., Kim, J., & Little, T. D. (2015). Recent developments in structural equation modeling research in social work journalsBritish Journal of Social Work, 45(2), 685-704. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bct154

Barner, J. R, Okech, D., & Camp, M. (2014). Socio-economic inequality, human trafficking, and the global slave trade. Societies, 4(2), 148-160. DOI: 10.3390/soc4020148 

Okech, D., Kim, J., & Little, T.D. (2014). Recent developments in structural equation modeling research in social work publications. British Journal of Social Work, DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bct154

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