International Organizations: NGOs

PADM-GP.2216, 4 points.

Semester: Spring


The role of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) in relief and development has grown more complex and urgent in recent years. From the shocking poverty of sub-Saharan Africa, stabilization of Afghanistan, earthquake relief in Haiti, floods in Pakistan, and the youth bulge throughout the developing world, INGOs ability to tackle issues cross disciplines in a coordinated and sustainable way is central to their success. This course is designed to help students increase their knowledge and understanding of such organizations -- what they do, how they operate, the complex issues they face, and how they can be more effective in achieving their development goals. This includes analyses of the implications of international structures, human resources, cultures, the role of global politics, key management skills needed and career possibilities. Throughout the course, we will analyze and discuss various structural and management issues central to working at an INGO including:

• The changing role of INGOs in international development, including the growing role of contractors, security issues,
• Civilian-Military relations (whether and how INGOs should work with military agencies)
• INGOs role vis-à-vis donors and governments
• How INGOs are structured operationally and programmatically (the HQ-field divide) and how to manage the tensions
• Working in diverse cultures and on dispersed teams
• Living the agency’s values: ethical dilemmas

The course will use a mixture of cases, experiential exercises, debates, and classroom discussions to elicit these themes so that students can wrestle with the complexities of working in an INGO.

Prerequisites: none

Semester Instructor Syllabus Link
Spring 2008Syllabus
Spring 2009Syllabus
Spring 2010Syllabus
Spring 2011Syllabus
Spring 2012Rebecca WolfeSyllabus
Semester Instructor Evaluation Link
Spring 2012Wolfe, RebeccaEvaluation
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