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TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

TNGO Director Tosca Bruno to speak at American Evaluation Association Conference

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TNGO Director Tosca Bruno to speak at American Evaluation Association Conference

Evaluation Conference

The American Evaluation Association’s mission is to improve evaluation practices and methods, increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession, and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action. This year the Association's annual conference will be held on October 24-26 and 29th in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The theme of the conference is Evaluation + Design.

According to the conference website, “Everything we evaluate is designed. Every evaluation we conduct is designed. Every report, graph, or figure we present is designed. In our profession, design and evaluation are woven together to support the same purpose—making the world a better place. This is the inspiration for the 2016 theme: Evaluation + Design. In 2016, we will be diving into this concept looking specifically at three areas—program design, evaluation design, and information design.”

More information about the event can be found here.

InterAction Releases An Open Letter to the Next President of the United States

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The full text of the letter is available below as is a downloadable version here.

An Open Letter to the Next President of the United States

To the Next President of the United States:

Today our country is engaged in a historic and monumental national election—a time of heated political campaigns and intense partisan debates. But soon the sloganeering, ads buys, and public rallies will end. No matter who wins, at that time it will be important to remember that many things transcend politics, and that elections, while vitally important for our democracy, are the beginning, not the end of your work.

For then the real challenge starts, as you turn your attention from striving for victory to overcoming daunting, current U.S. foreign policy challenges, from the humanitarian crisis in Syria to the ongoing struggle against hunger around our world. And as leaders of our nation's foremost international development and humanitarian civil society organizations, we stand ready to work with you.

The world is waiting to see what you do and is a little worried. The legacy of international aid and development led by the United States is truly enormous and there have been some remarkable successes. If you ignore the suffering of those outside your borders you risk diminishing the very cloth that has made this country so great in the eyes of those whom it has helped. And the cost of turning away from pressing global development challenges, over the long term, would be far more than the cost of continuing to help empower the poorest among us to create better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. As they are lifted up, so is the entire global community.

Alleviating poverty and suffering is not only possible, it is the morally right thing to do and vital to our own national interest. Every war and every unstable country, every region stricken by disease or crop failure, every city hit with flooding or famine is a potential source of instability. In today's interconnected world America cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. Walls and borders will not keep us safe.

But the bulwarks against global instability cannot come just from civil society organizations, such as ours, or the millions of generous Americans who support our efforts. We must work in active partnership with you, your cabinet, and the leadership of the new Congress. Wise leaders understand that by helping others they also help their own citizens. And the calling to respond to the struggles of others is one that crosses many of political, religious, economic, and other lines that too often divide our nation.

Every stable country, every nation lifted out of poverty, every region assisted through a time of natural disaster is a potential trade partner, a possible geopolitical ally, a future friend. Leaders ignore such challenges at the risk of spurning opportunity. Some will say that the burden is too great, that we can't afford to help everyone, that the world's greatest problems have always been thus and forever will be so. This is the ultimate in shortsightedness.

Without long-range vision, strategic leadership, and generosity, we wouldn't have solved the worldwide scourge of smallpox, which once killed millions, or brought polio to the point of vanishing. We wouldn't have seen devastated nations arise from the ashes of deadly wars and rebuild to become firm allies and major trading partners. We wouldn't have assisted millions around the globe in gaining the resources and training that would help them lift themselves out of lifelong poverty.

We see the results of concerted action all around us. The World Bank recently reported that in 2013 world poverty decreased by 114 million people—in just one year. Over a decade ago almost a billion people globally were considered undernourished; today the number is just under 800 million. Six million children lived last year that in 1990 would have died of preventable causes. And a courageous partnership between NGOs and leaders in the public and private sectors successfully fought the deadly 2014 Ebola outbreak. True, many challenges remain, An Open Letter to the Next President of the United States but clearly progress is possible. The only problems that are certain never to be solved are those that are never tackled.

So on the cusp of launching your administration; we urge you to pause and consider what kind of president will you be and what will be your legacy on confronting today's most pressing international development and humanitarian challenges. Will you build strategic partnerships to tackle pressing global challenges? Will you support us in our efforts to uphold the dignity and power of all marginalized people, from women to people with disabilities? Will you work with civil society leaders to help empower those seeking to lift themselves and their communities out of extreme poverty? Will you take action against clear violations of international humanitarian law and urge world leaders to do better? Will you act promptly to appoint qualified leaders to run our country’s development agencies?

America has a long and proud bipartisan legacy of leadership on issues of international development and humanitarian assistance, a tradition you soon will inherit. And as leaders of our nation's foremost civil society organizations dedicated to making the world a more peaceful, just, and prosperous place we—and the millions of Americans who support our work—will be watching to see how your future administration acts to proactively build on this vital U.S. foreign policy legacy.

Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction*

Lindsay Coates, President, InterAction

Amy Coughenour Betancourt, NCBA CLUSA

Anwar Khan, Islamic Relief Bob Kelty, AMREF

Caroline Crosbie, Pathfinder International

Daniel Wordsworth, American Refugee Committee

David Beckmann, Bread for the World

David Miliband, International Rescue Committee

David Offensend, Education Development Center

Donald Steinberg, World Learning

George Guimaraes, Project Concern International

J Ron Byler, Mennonite Central Committee US

Jacinta Tegman, World Concern

Jeanne Bourgault, Internews

Jeff Meer, Handicap International

Jim Mitchum, Heart to Heart

John Lyon, World Hope International

Kate Schecter, World Neighbors

Kathy Calvin, United Nations Foundation

Leo O’Donovan, Jesuit Refugee Service USA

Linda Hartke, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Linda Pfeiffer, INMED Partnerships for Children

Lucy Sullivan, 1000Days

Majd Isreb, SAMS Foundation

Mark Hetfield, HIAS

Melanie Greenberg, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Michael Deal, Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance

Mischelle Rudzinski, Spoon Foundation

Pape Gaye, IntraHealth International

Rebeca Middleton, Alliance to End Hunger

Rick Santos, IMA World Health

Robert Radtke, Episcopal Relief and Development

Rod Brooks, Stop Hunger Now

Sarina Prabasi, WaterAid America

Scott Sabin, Plan with Purpose

Thomas Dente, InsideNGO

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Transnational NGO Initiative

William Abrams, TrickleUp

William Reese, International Youth Foundation

*All organizations are listed for identification purposes only

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, advocates for making the digital revolution a force for good.

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World Economic Forum

Recently, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, made the case that we are at a turning point in the world. After introducing the concept of the fourth industrial revolution, a technological revolution, Schwab urges social inclusion and greater equality this time around. It is critical, according Schwab, to "embed positive values" in the technological systems that are being created. It will be up to everyone to play a part in creating a more equitable world.

To learn more about Klaus Schwab's perspective, read the article here

TNGO Director Tosca Bruno Speaks at 2016 Public Diplomacy Symposium October 13th and 14th.

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The Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars, a group of public diplomacy graduate students at Syracuse University, recently hosted a Public Diplomacy Symposium to discuss emerging trends, topics and events within the field of Public Diplomacy. This year the theme was "New Public Diplomacy," a concept from Geoffrey Wiseman's book Isolate or Engage: Adversarial States, US Foreign Policy, and Public Diplomacy. TNGO Director Tosca Bruno co presented with Sanjay Srivastava this year on the topic of education. For more information visit the Public Diplomacy Symposium website

Dan Bobkoff writes about why some NGO's in Nairobi pay locals to attend meetings.

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Summary of "Some NGOs in Nairobi have to pay locals to attend meetings" by Dan Bobkoff appearing on August 25, 2016

In at least one Nairobi community, a secondary labor market has emerged consisting entirely of NGO workshop attendance. The amount of NGO activity and duplicity of services has necessitated additional incentive to attract locals. Pioneering locals have capitalized on the opportunity, though, provided by the cash meant to compensate for assumed time loss.

Read more

Image used appeared in the original article

Amanda Taub of the New York Times recently shared her thoughts on why some wars garner more attention.

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In a recent New York Times column, Amanda Taub argues that America's attentiveness (or lack thereof) to international conflict is highly irregular. The shear scale, global security threat presented by, and America's direct stake can help explain widespread interest in the Syrian conflict. However, many wars around the world share these impetuses, yet lack American attention or even media attention. 

Read on

How academics and NGOs can work together to influence policy: insights from the InterAction report

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InterAction Fig

Despite the public's willingness to trust publishings from academia, the academy's work is not perceived as easily accessible and the academy's walls seem impenetrable. To facilitate knowledge transfer outside the academy, we need connectors that bridge different institutions and different types of institutions. NGO's can serve this purpose by synthesizing, distributing, and transforming research.

Read more commentary from the London School of Economics' Post

Tosca Bruno to speak at LINGOs' Global Learning Forum on September 28th.

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During LINGOs' Global Learning Forum, Profesor Tosca Bruno will share the following:

The Leader as Learner

Transitioning to top leadership in INGOs

How can NGO leaders help the organization and its employees to learn if they cannot? How can NGO top leaders maintain a “learning agility and commitment to learning”? What are the challenges to individual learning that top NGO leaders face and how can they overcome them? This interactive session will share observations across the cohorts of INGO alumni of the past five years of the Transnational NGO Leadership Institute.


LINGOs helps organizations grow their impact and potential through their membership network, training, capacity building, and consulting services. The Global Learning Forum is the largest conference focused on learning & development in the NGO sector.

LINGOs Website

Global Learning Forum Program


Running for Cover: Politics, Justice and Media in the Syrian Conflict

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Running for Cover

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2016, 9:00 AM

Link to Newhouse School Center for Global Engagement event page.

Jonathan Jennings of MSF/ Doctors Without Borders to give Career Talk September 19th

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Jennings Career Poster

Tosca Bruno Speaks at Seminar on NGO's Joining Forces

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Tosca Bruno Speaks at Seminar on NGO's Joining Forces

Transnational NGO Director, Tosca Bruno, will be speaking at the “Joining forces: the power of networks in civil society and social enterprise” Euro-Atlantic Open Seminar on the topic of joining forces and crossing borders. The seminar will focus on European and US Euclid Network member best practices for collaboration, and will take place this year on September 15th and 16th.

Professor Bruno’s session, occurring on Thursday, September 15th at 11:00 am EST, will cover how NGO’s can work creatively, coherently, and influentially when joining forces and working across borders.

Seminar host, Euclid Network, promotes social enterprise and civil society in Europe through creating connection between members and partner organizations. The organization believes civil society organizations and social enterprises are critical to democracy, social cohesion and sustainable development, and that their effectiveness relies upon acting as a collective force.

Click for more information about the event.

Tosca Bruno Gives Advice On Working In International Relief & Development

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Click Here (or read below)



Suhyeon Lee (MAIR candidate) interviewed Director of the Transnational NGO Initiative in the Moynihan Institute, Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken. Tosca continually  brings a wealth of international resources to the PAIA Department and has assisted  innumerable students.

Nice to meet you, Ms. Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken. Could you introduce yourself?

I am the director of the Transnational NGO (TNGO) Initiative. I engage both in academic work and do a lot of works with NGO practitioners. I have worked on international development and civil society issues for over 25 years. Some people call people like me a ‘pracademic’ and I call myself sometimes jokingly an ‘accidental pracademic’, which means a practitioner who accidently ended up in academia. I didn’t plan to end up in academia, but it happened by chance, and I started enjoying playing a bridge building role between the theory and research around transnational NGOs and the practice of the NGO practitioners who lead and manage these organizations.

Could you explain what you teach at Maxwell School?

I teach Global Governance and Civil Society and in addition to that, I advise a couple of MPA Workshop projects each year. Sometimes, I am an advisor for independent study projects. We also offer opportunities for students to volunteer in our research and practitioner work through the TNGO Initiative.

Can you tell me more about the Global Governance and Civil Societycourse?

Global Governance and Civil Society is a survey course on the role of civil society in how the world is governed.  It is neither a theoretical course nor a management course; it is somewhere in between. We focus on what civil society organizations do and what civil society as a concept stands for. And then we unpack a couple of different sectors: human rights, environment, and conflict resolution, and look at the functions NGOs play. We also look at a number of challenges facing organizations (governance, effectiveness, leadership, coordination, accountability, evaluation and assessment, capacity building issues, etc.).

How did you start your career?

These things, as I sometimes say to students here, are often a mixture of planning, pure coincidence, luck, and unplanned events. I started out working for a year in a small management consulting company in the Netherlands. It was internationally-oriented and focused on small business promotion in developing countries.  I was not happy with it, so I moved to a think-tank called the European Center for Development Policies Management (ECDPM). I worked there for four years as a program officer. We focused on governance issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. And then I wanted to get more field experience which is typically what most young international development practitioners need. I found an opportunity as a UN Volunteer for the UN peacekeeping operations under United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).  I was in charge of the preparation for and holding of free and fair elections in one remote district. I also worked for the headquarters of the World Bank for two and a half years, and for four years I was at the World Bank in Hanoi, Vietnam. Those were my sixteen years of international development experience.

As you said, field experience is what most international development young practitioners really need. I also want to have field experience before graduating from Maxwell. Did you have memorable experiences while working in the field in Cambodia?

I think the most memorable experience was that during the year of preparing for the elections, both the Khmer Rouge and bandits engaged in attacks on some foreigners who were in Cambodia as part of the peace keeping operation. Within our large contingent of district electoral supervisors, one person was murdered and four were kidnapped in the last couple of months before elections when political tensions were high.  A significant number of Cambodians also died during this tense period. During the elections, when I changed my role from preparation for elections in my district to independent monitoring of polling stations, I found myself for the first time needing a bodyguard because of these political tensions and violence. This was a very new experience for me and it will stay with me since I came from a country (The Netherlands) where governance is not a matter of the power of the gun.

Tosca Bruno & Cambodian Translator

Tosca and former translator in Cambodia, Sokhany Prak, whom she worked with from 1992-1993. In 2014, Prak was able to attend the TNGO Leadership Institute. “Quite a wonderful and miraculous reunion.” according to Tosca.

What is the role of NGOs in the development sector in the 21stcentury?

There will likely always remain a role for TNGOs in humanitarian relief, although government, the private sector and national NGOs are stepping up their roles. And there will continue to be a contingent of small TNGOs that have a classical charity model. Generally speaking, most mid to large size TNGOs still play some roles in direct delivery of services, though this is generally declining, and nowadays often complemented by advocacy and capacity building. Some are evolving their role to that of being a broker and convener between government, the private sector and national NGOs; sometimes, their role evolves to that of knowledge provider. Western TNGOs increasingly work on strengthening their domestic legitimacy as well as playing a stronger role in domestic policy advocacy as well as service delivery work in the countries where they were founded. Because many NGOs by now have been set up by citizens in the countries where formerly primarily western NGOs used to work, these NGOs in the ‘Global South are now able to play the roles that Western or ‘Northern NGOs’ used to, with considerably lower cost models. There is thus more and more pressure on the northern NGOs to get out of the business of delivering services except for humanitarian relief which as I said will always be needed. Therefore, most analysts are foreseeing a big role change in the 21st century.

I’ve seen that you are on the board of InterAction. What is this organization?

InterAction is a membership organization of US international development and relief NGOs and thus plays the role of national platform here in the US. We, as the TNGO initiative, are an associate member, and I am on the board of InterAction as an independent ‘person of stature’.  The board position gives me a bird’s eye view of the sector, which is interesting from a research as well as a networking perspective.

What advice you want to give Maxwell students?

I think it is increasingly difficult to find a job in the international NGO sector. In terms of ‘Northern’ NGOs, it’s increasingly hard for American and other western students to find a job because there are more people with a high level of education in the international development sector than there are NGO jobs. In addition, donor levels in certain countries in the ‘North’ are decreasing while there is an increasing supply of students from ‘Global South and East’ countries who also come from good universities. To some extent it is therefore an increasingly crowded and very competitive market for finding a job. You should therefore definitely not put all your eggs in one or two baskets in terms of finding a job. Also, some students tend to come to Maxwell thinking that they want a job at the World Bank, where I used to work, or the UN, and I actually try to make them less single minded about that. Big organizations are not only extremely competitive to get into but also very bureaucratic. If you enter as a junior person, you may find the organization to be very internally oriented – a lot of navel gazing. You also may experience a lot of ‘paper pushing’.  It’s not necessarily that interesting to work in such a large, bureaucratic organization at a junior level. If you can work in a small or medium sized organization like an NGO, think rank, social enterprise or impact investor company, I would argue that this will offer you a better job experience with more hands-on work. Later on, you can then be considered for a mid-level job at one of these large organizations. Also, having field experience at the country level continues to be indispensable –without it you will not compete very well in the job market — but at the same time it is increasingly hard to come by.

Overall, something that I want to encourage you to do is to intern in development organizations or complete field work or volunteer experience. And then, do research about a sector you want to work in, look at what organizations and why you want to work for them, and then reach out to them for informational interviews. This will show that you really understand that organization well.

One more thing, keep your eyes on job opportunities in other cities other than Washington, DC and New York because the competition is harsh in these cities and not as many people would apply to jobs in other cities. Power is so distributed in the world that NYC and DC should not be the only choice.  Also, don’t just look at NGOs, government, and think tanks.  Look at social enterprises, which are corporations that are set up to make profits but invest that profit into social goods, impact investments, and digitally operating campaigns. There are various types of agencies in international development. Look at them in terms of looking for internships and looking for a job.

Tosca Bruno

Tosca listening at the June 2016 Leadership Institute.

A previous version of this article stated that Tosca was a “Professor of Practice”, which is inaccurate. This was an oversight on the part of the Editor.

The Role of Transnational Medical NGOs in Response to Global Problems

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Jennings Presentation

Check Out the Latest Publications!

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Measuring International NGO Agency-Level Results

International non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work in numerous countries and are engaged in many sectors, providing services, building capacities, strengthening systems, and influencing policy and practice. While they are increasingly able to provide evidence of the effectiveness of their project and program-level investments, they are still figuring out how to demonstrate the difference they are making as organizations. In response, many international NGOs create agency-level measurement systems, with varying degrees of success. 

To examine whether or not the building of agency-level measurement systems is a worthwhile endeavor, under what conditions it delivers benefits and what are its potential challenges, NGOs wanted to learn from each other’s experiences. Eleven international NGOs as part of InterAction’s Evaluation and Program Effectiveness Working Group (EPEWG) commissioned this study to enhance their understanding of these systems, what works, and for what purposes. 

The paper describes motivations for creating such systems, the expectations and assumptions associated with them, and the nature of the systems. It includes three brief cases as examples. The paper then analyzes what it takes to build and maintain them, their use, key challenges, benefits, risks, trade-offs, and costs. Based on that analysis, the paper offers a series of recommendations to help NGOs decide whether or not agency-level measurement makes sense for them, and, if so, how to develop systems that meet their needs.

Read the Exective Brief, "So, What Does It All Add Up To? Measuring International NGO Results At The Agency Level" Here

Read the entire White Paper Here .

TNGO Director Speaks at InterAction Forum

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On April 19, TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, took part in two panels at the 2016 InterAction Forum Workshops in Washington, D.C. For the past three decades InterAction's Forum has convened leaders from a variety of sectors, becoming one of the largest gatherings of international development and humanitarian professionals. Bruno-van Vijfeiken was a panelist for the forum's "Measuring Agency-Level Results: Can it Work, and Does It Matter? Findings From an InterAction White Paper" panel and the "How Does Digitally Enabled Activism Change the Type, Quantity and Quality of Citizen Support to Your NGO’s Cause?" panel.

Learn More

Can NGOs, International Organizations and the Private Sector Work Together?

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Christiane Poster

Wounded Warrior Upheaval Shows Perils of Fighting Charity Watchdogs

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The firing of two top executives at Wounded Warrior Project may have been inevitable, some observers said, because the leaders misjudged the public’s reaction to excoriating criticism of its spending practices. The incident may hold important lessons for other nonprofits that plan to continue the fight against those trying to pressure nonprofits to reduce administrative expenses. Read More

Trends in NGO Advocacy and Campaigning: Opportunities, Threats and Paradoxes

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Poster for Uwe Gneiting

Public Interest Registry Presentation: Enabling NGOs and Civil Society Through the Internet

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Enabling NGOs and Civil Society Through the Internet

Missed out on TNGO's presentation with Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry? Don't worry. You can view Brian's powerpoint by clicking here.

The Future of Aid: Will International NGOs survive?

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The Future of Aid: Will International NGOs Survive?

By: Deborah Doane

My first job in the international NGO (INGO) sector was working with the British Red Cross on a project to improve accountability of humanitarian action to beneficiaries. It was the mid 1990s, and humanitarian NGOs were reeling in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, concerned about their failure to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. 

Read More

Plan International’s Transformation through Transparency(1)

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Plan International’s Transformation through Transparency

The first decision I took as the new CEO of Plan International was to open my calendar so all my colleagues could see my activities and book time with me directly, without going through a gate-keeper. I encouraged all senior executives across Plan International to do the same. It was a small step on a journey to transform Plan International into one of the most transparent and trusted players in the international development community. Judging by the reaction – which ranged from horror and shock to victory dances – we still have a long way to go, both internally and externally. Read More.

Public Talk with Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of Disability Rights International

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Eric Rosenthal

Please note the event time has changed to 1:00PM

Public Talk with Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry

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Brian Cute

Career Talk: Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry

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Brian Cute Poster

From cluster meetings to sunsetting: how to speak development (jargon)

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Pity the poor development professional. Not only are we underpaid and under-appreciated compared to our friends in the private sector, now we’ve started to lose our language, as aid-speak has become overrun with corporate buzzwords. Read More.

Exploring the mythology of NGO creation

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When the young English woman Eglantyne Jebb decided to hand out leaflets in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1919 protesting the continuing post-war blockade of Greece and the resulting serious food shortages, she was quickly arrested. At trial, she was found guilty – but the prosecuting council was so impressed with her that he offered to pay her fine of five pounds. That money became the first ever donation to Save the Children. Read More

Shrinking Civic Spaces

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George Soros, Binaifer Nowrojee, Mburu Gitu, and other experts discuss the decline in civil spaces—and how civil society can unite to prevent it.

Watch the Video

2016 – Year of transformative change in ICSOs?

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Making 2016 the year of exciting innovation, the year of prudent risk taking, the year in which transformative change takes hold in international civil society organizations.

Three ideas for transformative change in international civil society organizations.

Read More

40 Under 40: Young Leaders Who Are Solving the Problems of Today — and Tomorrow

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Philanthropy has long suffered the reputation, rightly or wrongly, that it is a stuffy, formal field of conservative approaches. No more. The nonprofit world today is getting pulled in all directions by a host of new ideas about how work for the common good can be carried out and financed.

Read More

Mark Zuckerberg’s $45 Billion Loophole

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Much of the Internet is giddy over Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s “pledge” to give “99%” of their Facebook stock to “charity.” Bill and Melinda Gates said, “The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world.” Unfortunately, it’s not a very good example.

Read More

The Transnational NGO Leadership Institute 2016

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The Transnational NGO Leadership Institute 2016

June 12 - June 17, 2016

Syracuse, New York, USA

The Transnational NGO Leadership Institute welcomes global NGO professionals to a five-day, intensive and interdisciplinary program to gain skills to make their next leadership “leap”.  The Institute is hosted by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, America’s highest rated graduate school of public affairs (US News and World Report, 2013). Maxwell has been hosting executive leadership programming for global public and nonprofit/NGO leaders since 1964.

What are the leadership “leaps”?

The program will address the following issues critical to transnational NGO leaders at the second tier of responsibility who wish to make the 'leap' to top leadership:

Leading in a Complex Context: the impact of your individual leadership styles; strategic leadership behavior choices that increase your effectiveness; leadership vs. management; the broader landscape of actors and issues; your personal preparation for making the next ‘leadership leap’

Leading and Managing Organizational Change: leading dramatic useful change, and managing organizational change processes; organizational design; leading boards; organizational culture change

Collaboration and Crisis: the leader as communicator, team facilitator and mentor; collaborative leadership skills; leadership in crisis situations; leadership and stress

Politics, Power Relationships, Negotiation and Persuasion: leadership from a political frame; compromise versus collaboration

Strategic Decision-Making and Performance Management:  emergent versus planned strategies; resource planning, allocation and management

Program Takeaways

Understand the effect of your individual leadership style and receive customized insight

Expand and apply specific leadership competencies

Learn from your peers as well as from experienced Maxwell faculty and NGO practitioners who have made the leadership ‘leap’

Integrate your learning through experiential and hands-on exercises, individual as well as small group work, cases and simulations

Engage with your peers, examine shared leadership challenges and expand your global network through participating in a diverse, cross-regional and cross-sectoral cohort

Reap actionable benefits to address your leadership and organizational challenges

Information on program details, contributors, testimonials, eligibility criteria, costs, application details, logistics, etc. can be found on the Leadership Institute website.

apply now 3


Shreeya Neupane
Program Manager
Leadership Institute, 2016
Transnational NGO Initiative

Volunteer Research and Networking Opportunity with the 2016 Moynihan TNGO Fellow: BRIAN CUTE, CEO, Public Interest Registry

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Announcement of Exciting Student Volunteer Research and Networking Opportunity with the 2016 Moynihan TNGO Fellow:
BRIAN CUTE, CEO, Public Interest Registry

The Transnational NGO Initiative hosts 1-2 senior transnational NGO leaders each year through our Moynihan NGO Fellows program: these leaders spend 2 weeks of ‘intellectual rest and recreation’ at the Moynihan Institute, researching a topic which poses a challenge to them as NGO leaders and which is aligned with our research interest in the governance, leadership and effectiveness of transnational NGOs. 
This Spring semester (Feb 15-26, 2016), Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry (PIR) is visiting us. He will be conducting research on the topic:

What is tomorrow’s NGO donation currency?
Online monetary donations show interesting growth and areat a relatively early stage of development.  Also of interest is the observation that donors volunteering time through online platforms do so at a higher volume than in the past. Signing up for petitions on, volunteering their time for projects and contributing influence by leveraging their sphere of influence on social media are all new currencies. What do these behaviors and trends foretell and how will NGOs make the most of this to create support and sustainability for their missions? These will be some of the questions Brian will seek to answer during his Fellowship at Moynihan.
Public Interest Registry is a not-for-profit , which is the operator of the .org Top Level Domain (TLD) on the Internet since 2002.  Public Interest Registry acts as the wholesale provider of .org domains to a broad distribution channel that sells domains directly to the public.  Public Interest Registry’s mission is “to empower, through the Internet, those who dedicate themselves to improving our world.”
In 2015, Public Interest Registry launched OnGood, an exclusive suite of online services revolutionizing the way NGOs and nonprofits worldwide raise awareness, funds and support for their missions.

  • NGOs of all sizes and reach now have access to an exclusive online identity and membership to a community website with a searchable directory to improve visibility, raise funds, and connect with other NGOs.
  • OnGood’s validation process reassures Internet users worldwide that websites with .ngo and .ong identities represent genuine NGOs.
  • Membership includes a customizable online profile within the OnGood community where NGOs showcase campaigns, share activities and information, and collect donations

With the introduction of OnGood, Public Interest Registry is offering a service that allows NGOs to be visible and connect with donors online.  OnGood gives donors the ability to find genuine NGOs, learn about the NGOs and their missions and choose to make a donation directly to OnGood NGOs
We are seeking students who are interested in volunteering to do preparatory literature research on behalf of Mr. Brian Cute from mid-January through mid February, as well as conduct follow-up work as necessary during his stay at Moynihan February 15-26. You will have an exciting opportunity to interact with this important leader throughout his stay which can help with networking and career development. We are hoping to count on approx.  5 hours a week of your time to devote to this assignment, for at least 4 weeks from mid January through mid February. 

If you are interested and available, please send your indication of interest, CV and time frame for availability during this period to Shreeya Neupane, Program Associate, Transnational NGO Initiative, Moynihan Institute (; phone 443-5073) by Fri Dec 11. Please copy Fariha Sarawat (, Graduate Assistant and TNGO volunteer team lead for this assignment on your application. For questions, please feel free to contact Fariha who will coordinate the Fellowship. Fariha can also send you the detailed research brief for a more elaborate description of the research questions. 

Thank you for your consideration!

AEA Think Tank 2015 - Developmental Evaluation approach to Evaluating INGO Organizational Change

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Join the American Evaluation Association for a session that explores how development evaluation can support organizational change within International NGOs.

TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken to facilitate.

AEA Think Tank 2015 

Developmental Evaluation approach to 

Evaluating INGO Organizational Change

Skyway 265 --  Sat, Nov 14, 2015 (09:45 AM - 10:30 AM)

Session description

Several large INGOs are currently undergoing significant organizational change processes. These are emergent and complex in nature, take place in a highly dynamic environment, and involve many interdependent factors as well as feedback loops. 

Developmental Evaluation (DE) documents and interprets dynamic developments, interactions and interdependencies that happen as the intervention occurs. Thus, DE approaches naturally come to mind as a way to assess and support organizational change processes.  But what is their utility? This session is an open space to explore this question. 

The Question: 

Can DE help organizations respond to the evaluation questions and need for learning that INGO leaders and staff express? Can it help evaluate both change planning and management approaches as a process, as well as their emergent outcomes? How to apply systems and complexity thinking without it becoming overly ‘theoretical’ to busy practitioners? 

The Invitation: 

What are session participants’ experiences in encouraging organizational learning about change processes? What has worked and what has not? What are the contexts in which DE can be useful, and what are its limitations? How to develop collaborative, evaluative ways of sense- and meaning- making and pattern spotting in INGOs, while being realistic about the amount of time and effort that can be invested in this? 

These questions will be the focus of this exploratory, ‘open space’ Think Tank, which is facilitated by people who do not claim to be DE specialists at all – we merely are interested in offering this space and are curious about the answers participants will come up with.

Learn more here.

The Nonprofit Leadership Development Deficit

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Succession planning is the No. 1 organizational concern of US nonprofits, but they are failing to develop their most promising pool of talent: homegrown leaders. Read more here.

2015 #PublicDiplomacy Symposium - Building a More Secure World: Public Diplomacy for 21st Century Actors

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*Please note that this is not a TNGO sponsored event*

The Public Diplomacy Symposium is an annual meeting that provides an environment in which critical and collaborative discussion and networking can occur between students and professionals in order to advance the field. This year, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the ways in which public diplomacy is addressing the rising influence of new, 21st century actors.

Questions to be addressed in the 2015 Symposium:

1. How are traditional institutions – Governments and IGOs -- dealing with new challenges, new communication vehicles and far broader, youthful, and engaged audiences?

2. What are the successes and shortcomings of non-traditional PD?

3. What are opportunities for improved cooperation between traditional PD institutions and transnational NGO networks?

4. What are the limits and boundaries to government-NGO cooperation?

5. How can their efforts help advance a more secure and just world?

Each panel will have a moderator and 3-4 speakers, each of whom will be selected for their expertise in the public diplomacy/communication dimension of the highlighted issues. Brief presentations addressing a mix of PD process and contemporary policy concerns of approximately 10-15 minutes per panelist will be followed by audience Q and A.

Moderators and Panelists:  Sam Worthington, President and CEO, InterAction; John Prendergast, Founding Director, Enough Project; Robert Bole, Director of Global Strategy, BBG; Dr. Beatrice Edwards, Government Accountability Project; Marie Harf, Strategic Communication Adviser to the Secretary of State;  Macon Phillips, Coordinator for the Bureau of International Information Programs; Ken Harper, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University; Dr. Jennifer Clinton, President, Global Ties; Shanthi Kalathil, Georgetown University; Dr. R.S. Zaharna, American University

Panel 1: How have governments, NGOs and international institutions adapted their public diplomacy efforts to respond effectively to growing threats to security?

Moderator: Shanthi Kalathil, Georgetown University

Panel 2: How are transnational NGO networks advancing human security goals of social justice and well-being through public diplomacy and global engagement?

Moderator: Dr. R.S. Zaharna, American University

Panel 3: How can Civil Society engage in public diplomacy to address issues of human and national security?

Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Clinton, President, Global Ties

Thursday, November 5, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Center for Strategic and International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

Space is limited. RSVP here!

Dicussion on civil society organizations

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Missed out on our discussion on civil society organizations and their role in global governance? No worries!

You can download Dr. Pallas' powerpoint here!

Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime

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Chef and Activist @AshaGomez shares the importance of having access to healthy and nutritious foods during World Food Day

Click here to watch the video.

The Burning Platform and Civil Society: Transformational Changes in Civil Society Organizations

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In this brief discussion, Burkhard Gnärig, Executive Director of the International Civil Society Centre in Berlin and Daryl Conner,  author of the 1992 book "Managing at the Speed of Change," discuss whether transformational change within civil society organizations requires fear or can be achieved in other ways. 

You can watch the video here.

Discussion with Ken Berger, Former CEO of Charity Navigator

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Missed out on our discussion last week on the challenges and opportunities within the U.S. nonprofit and NGO sectors with Ken Berger, former CEO of Charity Navigator? Don't worry!

You can view download his powerpoint presentation here.

Climate change and hunger: El Niño could push us into unchartered waters

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"El Niños don’t necessarily cause serious climatic disruption but...What makes this year’s El Niño especially dangerous is that it is happening on top of rising global temperatures."

Read More

Discussion on the Role Faith-Based Movements in Global Civil Society

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Missed out on Dr. Alsandogan's discussion on the role on faith-based movements in global civil society?

Click here to download his powerpoint presentation

Alp 1      Alp 2

Alp 3      Alp 4

Alp 5      Alp 6

Alp 7

Undemocratic Activism? Transnational Civil Society the World Bank, and the Democratization of Global Governance

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Join @TNGOInitiative and Chris Pallas, Asst. Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, for a discussion on civil society organizations and their role in global governance.

Chris Pallas

(Event -Tuesday October 6) Ken Berger, former CEO of Charity Navigator

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Winning the Battle for the Soul of the Social Sector

Join Ken Berger, former CEO of Charity Navigator for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities in the US nonprofit and social sector.

Tuesday, October 6, 341 Eggers Hall, 12:30pm-2:00pm

 Updated Ken Berger

How are disasters linked to inequality? Review of ‘The Disaster Profiteers’

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Debbie Hillier, #Humanitarian Policy Advisor for @Oxfam reviews The Disaster Profiteers: How natural disasters make the rich richer and the poor even poorer, by John C. Mutter.

Read More

On the Red Couch With Doctors Without Borders Executive Director Jason Cone

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Check out the latest interview from Inside Flipboard with MSF Executive Director and @TNGOIniative Leadership Institute alum Jason Cone!

Tuesday, September 22, 12:00pm - How Do Faith-Based Movements Fit Into Global Civil Society: The Case of the Gülen/Hizmet Movement

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Gulen Hizmet Movement Event Poster

The Transnational NGO Initiative (@TNGO Initiative) invites you to a talk on September 22 by Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan, the President of the Alliance for Shared Values (@AfSV_US), a non-profit serving as the umbrella organization for the dialogue and cultural organizations associated with the Gülen/Hizmet Movement in the United States.

Dr. Aslandogan will talk about the transnational activities of the movement, with a focus on organizational structures including both social and institutional leadership, NGO governance and effectiveness. 

Tuesday, September 22, 12:00pm 220 Eggers Hall

The Fortune Change the World List

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Check out Fortune's new "Change the World List", which highlights companies around the globe helping to address some of the greatest social challenges. 

Dutch court, spurred by citizens, requires government to cut emissions.

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The Guardian reported that 866 Dutch plaintiffs have successfully sued their government to change their stance on climate change. Other national courts may follow suite. 

Consider this before posting your resume.

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3 things to consider when posting your resume online include: 1. Know whether the site has a privacy policy. 2. Find out who is behind the site. 3. Do not share any sensitive information that an identity thief could utilize.

Volunteering still an important path to dream job

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"The Guardian’s piece on how to start your career in the nonprofit or charity sector is refreshingly clear."    -Nonprofit Quarterly

New Listserv Aims to Connect Environmental Scholars

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The 2015 Wesley Conference on Environmental Politics and Government took place on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle, WA. The participants expressed a strong desire for a platform to foster excellence (theoretical and empirical rigor) in social science research on environmental issues. This platform welcomes scholars located in any discipline, working at any level of aggregation (village, city, province, country, regional, or global) and studying any sort of actor (individuals, communities, governments, firms, international organizations, etc.).

To join the listserv follow this link: EnvironmentalGovernance

Nonprofit fundraisers forgetting about Gen-X donors?

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While fundraisers are honing in on the digital preferences of Millenials, members of Gen-X are approaching their peak income earning and donating years. 

10 reasons why Gen-Xers are still important


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The Hedgehog and the Beetle – Disruption and Innovation in the Civil Society Sector. -By Burkhard Gärig, Executive Director of The International Civil Society Center, a sister organization of the TNGO. Comment on the book here!

New Crowdsourcing Platform Launched for Human Rights,,

 Permanent link, launched by Advancing Human Rights. Check out the interview with their ED, David Keyes here. Digitally enabling innovation in the realm of civil society, such as this application for human rights, is an important research interest for the TNGO Initiative.

Check out our new youtube videos!

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TNGO has been busy this semester with two visiting fellows as well as guest lecturers and out Digital event in DC.

Catch up with some of our videos on the Maxwell School Youtube channel.

Career Interviews: Richard Marshall, Josephine Oguta

Practitioner Interviews: Sophie Delaunay, Richard Marshall, Josephine Oguta

Guest Lectures: Sophie Delaunay, Richard Marshall, Josephine Oguta 

'Breaking Digital' Debate Video Recording Now Available

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Special thanks to all those speakers and organizers that made this event possible! Check out the full video here.

Disrupt&Innovate website launched by International Civil Society Center

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This new site maintained by International Civil Society Center seeks to extend the discussion about the future of the sector beyond the realm of their usual audience of leaders and experts. New blog posts will become live discussion sites every Tuesday, and Dr. Burkhard Gnarig (Executive Director of ICSC) will publish his new book, The Hedgehog and the Beetle on the site on April 21. Anyone will be able to comment on specific parts of the book. Find the site here: Disrupt&Innovate and follow ICSC on Twitter and LinkedIn.

TNGO Initiative and Moynihan Institute present NGO debate in Washington DC!

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DIGITAL AND 'BRICK AND MORTAR' NGOS DEBATE. April 2nd, 1:30-5:00 pm and CSIS in Washington DC and the Global Collaboratory at the Maxwell School.

NGOs Debate! for more information.

The Innovator’s New Crystal Ball: Crowdfunding

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The TNGO Initiative is researching the potential as well as limitations of digitally enabled civil society platforms and organizations as compared to those of traditional, ‘brick and mortar’ NGOs. This article is an example of how digitally enabled crowdfunding is able to produce tangible social goods and enables customer and citizen involvement at the same time:  Crowdfunding

Falk College Research Brown Bag Forum with International HIV/AIDS and TB Institute

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Falk College presents: "How Ukrainian Social and Public Health Interventions are Adapting to War-related Environment: Challenges and Opportunities" given by SU alumni Yuliya Chorna and Iuliia Pylypas of the International HIV/AIDS and TB Institute. The talk is from 12:30-2:00 Tuesday March 31st in 101 White Hall. Lunch is provided so it is necessary to RSVP to


TNGO Initiative Presents: Sophie Delaunay

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Sophie Delaunay is the Executive Director of MSF USA, also known as Doctors without Borders, and will deliver a talk titled 'Keeping Core Values, Adapting to New Realities: The Case of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders.' this Thursday, March 26th, at 12:30pm in Eggers 341. MSF is one of the largest actors in humanitarian relief operations. Delaunay's talk will speak to the organization's core identity and goals and how it strives to maintain a field driven mantra while adapting to the professionalization and internationalization of MSF. She will also deliver a career talk at 2:30pm in Eggers 209.

Thought Piece produced by TNGO Fellow Richard Marshall

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Richard Marshall, Senior Director of People and Culture at World Vision International, spent two weeks with us at the TNGO Initiative back in February to try and ask the question: What are the most important characteristics for the CEO of the future? Now that he has returned to his post here are the 5 Characteristics that he thinks a good CEO cannot be without. 

Grant-Maker Pay Outpaces Inflation for first time since Recession.

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Salaries for CEOs and program officers of grant making foundations have grown in the last year and turnover has decreased, according to the Council on Foundations. This high rate of retention may be coming to an end however. The report found that 40% of foundation employees are over 50, and 7% are already over the retirement age.

For more information on demographic salary differences and specific pay ranges read the article on The Chronicle of Philanthropy

New Corporate-NGO Partnership Allows Individuals to Direct Charitable Giving

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Viewers to Volunteers, by Ecomedia, allows individuals to direct how corporations contribute to NGOs by viewing sponsored media highlighting a cause or organization, amassing points and then spending them on their favorites.

"What we want to do is open up giving to virtually everyone, because brands are underwriting the giving opportunity," -Paul Polizzotto, President of EcoMedia. 


Continued relevancy of UK NGOs; a practitioner panel weighs in.

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The next ten years will present new challenges for NGOs based in the global North, whose relevancy is already being challenged by some civil society actors. This article from the Guardian takes a look at what current practitioners think will allow their organizations to evolve with these changes.

14 Changes

What would persuade the aid business to ‘think and work politically’?

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Form Oxfam's 'Poverty to Power' blog, this post looks specifically at the the goals of TWP (thinking and working politically) while asking poignant questions like "how do strategies along this line of thinking define political?" Are they advocating for political analysis in determining the delivery of aid, or are they talking about empowerment and transformation? Check out the full post here


Young Professional's Summit to be held at InterAction Forum 2015

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The Forum 2015 will feature a special opportunity for young professionals and students interested in working with NGOs to network with leaders from some of the largest organizations in the field. The forum runs from June 22-24 2015 with the summit on June 23. The Summit includes a networking lunch, workshop sessions and a ticket to the Forum's Gala event. This is a great opportunity to network with senior level members as well as other young professionals working in NGOs.

To register online or find out more: InterAction Young Professionals Summit

Organizing Through Social Media: Mobilizing, Slacktivizing, or Fetishizing?

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Social media has received attention for its role mobilizing movements in recent events such as the killing of Michael Brown and civil unrest in Egypt. Some traditional activists think that this form of "hastag activism" is simply a low risk way of expressing complaints against a system that doesn't care. The tension presented in this article from Non-profit Quarterly relates specifically to the TNGO Initiative's ongoing research on digital NGOs. 

'Partnering with big business: 4 key lessons'

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Oxfam and Unilever started Project Sunrise in 2010 to assess how effective corporate-NGO partnerships have been in improving livelihoods. A blog summary of 4 specific lessons gleaned from the support so far is available here:


New 4-Week Citizen Engagement Course to be Offered Online

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The World Bank Group, the London School of Economics, the Overseas Development Institute and Participedia have come together to offer a four week online course. The course begins by synthesizing the theories and concepts that underlie citizen engagement, and goes on to explore how citizens can engage in both policymaking and public service delivery. Finally, it investigates how recent innovations are shaking up the field, through detailing both successes and failures of these new approaches. The course begins March 15th but registration is already open.

For more information on the syllabus and instructors: Citizen Engagement

Powerpoint presentation from Josephine Oguta's talk on the role of board governance.

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If you missed our talk from visiting TNGO Fellow Josephine Oguta (of World Vision International) last week, or simply want to view her presentation, the Powerpoint presentation can be found below:

Oguta Presentation

Powerpoint Slides from Richard Marshall's talk on CEO derailment and psychology

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In case you missed our visiting fellow from World Vision International give his talk last week his presentation can be accessed below

Marshall presentation

Act fast for early, discounted registration for InterAction's Forum 2015 taking place this June.

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Early registration ends this February 13th! This is a great networking and learning opportunity for those interested in not-for-profits, philanthropy and civil society collaboration.

Register and learn more here.

Billions Go To Victims Of Disaster And Disease. Does It Really Help?

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NPR 'follows the money' to see if recipients of humanitarian aid really benefit  from programs or are essentially utilized for marketing purposes.

Read here: Does it Really Help?  

Short Term Consultancy Opportunity with FHI.

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This paid short term consultancy opportunity runs through March 31st (deadline to apply is February 6th) and consists of conducting institutional interviews by phone.

Please inquire directly with FHI if interested.

Position Information

Organization website 

'52 reasons not to date an aid worker'

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Humorous compilation published by the Guardian looking at some of the odd habits and outlooks of aid workers.

52 reasons not to date an aid worker

Why CEOs of NGOs fail when their ‘dark side’ gets in the way

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Richard Marshall, visiting TNGO Fellow, will draw on his career at World Vision International as Senior Director for People and Culture to reflect on how leadership traits change under increased strain. Marshall, a trained occupational psychologist as well, will also draw on the applied research of Dolitch and Cairo to discuss some of the examples of failures in transnational NGO leadership. Lunch will be provided.

Date: Thursday, February 5th

Time: 12:30-2:00pm

Location: Eggers Hall 341

Coming Together or Falling Apart? Trends to Internationalize Northern NGOs May Come with Trade-Offs.

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Sarah Stroup, professor of political science at Middlebury College, outlines some of the challenges that arise with the new trend to internationalize and decentralize NGOs away from donor base countries to those which have larger target group populations. Access to funding, of course, is the most blatant, and Stroup discusses others in the article below and her book Borders Among Activists.

Maxwell Faculty work with Amnesty International to review the NGO's shift in organizational structure.

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Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director of the TNGO Initiative and Steve Lux, Head of the Executive Education Program at Maxwell are working on an external review of Amnesty International's  organizational reconfiguration attempt "Moving Closer to the Ground."

The following article outlines the need for the organizational shift and challenges that the initiative faces. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy Outlines: '6 Trends to Watch in 2015'

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More eye-popping gifts like Gerald Chan's $350-million donation to Harvard, a chance for Generation Xers to shine as leaders, a focus on nonprofit privacy issues, and more are in store this year. The Chronicle of Philanthropy 

What social-sector leaders need to succeed.

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Chronic under-investment is placing increasing demands on social-sector leaders. New research suggests ways they can meet the leadership challenge.

A look by McKinsey&Company

Launch Dates Announced for .ngo and .ong Domain Names.

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Sunrise and limited registration for domain names ending with .ngo and .ong (the Spanish language equivalent) will start March 17th of this year. General registration begins May 6th 2015. These designations will serve to develop better communication channels between NGOs, donors and businesses to ultimately improve local communities and help appease social issues. Follow this link for more information.

TNGO Initiative Co-Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken will speak on 'Organizational Change in Transnational NGOs: Collaboration, Conflict and Unpleasant Conundrums'

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This talk is part of the Program for Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration's (PARCC) Conversations in Conflict Studies Series. NGOs are forced to initiate organizational change to counter threats to their future relevance, credibility and effectiveness. Tosca will share her reflections on how this has led to both collaboration and conflict in her experiences working with and leading diverse NGOs. The talk will take place Wednesday, January 14th from 12:30-1:30pm in the PARCC conference room Eggers Hall 400. Pizza will be served and attendee participation and discussion is encouraged.   Announcement here: PARCC Conversations

Billionaire Silicon Valley couple pioneers new approach to philanthropy through how they give and how they decide who to give to.

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Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook co-founder, 30 years old) and Cari Tuna ( age 29) are giving away their fortune with the intention of redistributing their wealth during their lifetimes. This has led them to found their own foundation, Good Ventures. They have also taken a systematic and analytic approach to best determine where their money can have the largest impact on humanity through partnering with GiveWell.

Follow the Washington Post article for more details on how they are evaluating causes and grant petitions. 

Would you like to know how many people around the world helped a stranger in 2014? Or how many people donated money or volunteered time? What are the top giving countries around the world?

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Check out Charities Aid Foundation's (CAF) World Giving Index full report here or view the summary.

Why the 'conventional wisdom' is wrong and development NGOs are too quick to scale up projects.

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Stop Trying to Save the World: Big ideas are destroying international development.  Michael Hobbes takes a detailed and supported look at why national governments and development NGOs are too quick to scale up programs while shunning continual program evaluation measures. Out of this Hobbes also looks at why minimal overhead spending shouldn't be the primary criteria for donors.   

Funny look at some of the common social situations NGO practitioners find themselves in.

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25 Situations Only Nonprofit People Can Understand: You’re dedicated, filled with optimism, and you want to make the world a better place. So you get a job at a nonprofit, where your talents will be appreciated and you’ll be paid handsomely to improve our world, right? Here are 25 reasons working at a nonprofit is a little different.

The UN launches its biggest ever humanitarian appeal; 5 factors tell us why

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This month, the United Nations launched its humanitarian appeal for 2015, just like it always does around this time of the year. Except this time, it is the biggest appeal in the history of the organisation, calling for $16.4 billion to assist 57.5 million people in 22 countries over the coming 12 months. Humanitarian appeals increase annually, click here for observation into why and what this means for future development efforts.


How “vanguard” countries might lead an unexpected transformation in setting Sustainable Development Goals next year.

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"Who might change the rules of global development?" Oxfam America speculates about the changing role of vanguard countries in setting long term Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the shifting nature of which countries can be considered potential vanguards. 

Red Cross uses misleading overhead ratios in reports

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Scholars at the Transnational NGO Initiative have been among the many voices that have called in the last 5-10 years for ‘busting the overhead myth’ that claims that nonprofits should primarily be assessed on what their program-overhead cost ratios are. Overhead ratios tell us nothing about the effectiveness of the nonprofit or about the cost effectiveness of outcomes it produces. However, transparency about the true overhead costs of a nonprofit continues to be important of course and this articles showcases how the American Red Cross recently has received critical media coverage about its apparent attempt to significantly understate its true overhead ratios.

Read the article here

Activists are divided by aim and by geography, with goals of justice for Michael Brown or an end to lethal police force against minorities.

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This New York Times article illustrates the difficulties in civic mobilization, including how to unite around common 'asks' and mobilization methods while preserving internal diversity of views and strengths.

Protesters United Against Ferguson Decision, but Challenged in Unity

'The United Nations needs a shorter, stronger game plan for humanity.' -The Washington Post

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The UN gears up to debate the global priorities that will be focused on for the next 15 years. Click the link to read why its better to limit this number of priorities.

'The Ice-Bucket Racket'

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This NY times article explores the peculiarities of successful fund raising trends such as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and why other similar imitations have not produced the same results.

The Ice Bucket Racket

The 2015 TNGO Fellows are set to come Feb 1st-13th with the opportunity for student collaboration.

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Josephine Oguta and Richard Marshall, both of World Vision International will tackle the question "What does the CEO of the future look like." Student input is needed and there are opportunities to help with research. See the full announcement for details or contact Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken or Carlo Abuyuan for more information.

Interested in how NGOs affect accountability and human rights standard setting? Check out Janet Lord's attached paper.

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Lord's paper below explains the 'boomerang scrutiny' that NGOs face and explains how this is actually a measure of the success of NGOs is affecting decision making processes.

 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Voice Accountability and NGOs in Human Rights Standard Setting

Powerpoint presentation for Janet Lord's talk on Human Rights Law and the drafting of the CRPD

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Find Janet Lord's Presentation here.

Video Available for Dave Karpf's Analytic Activism talk

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For those of you that missed or enjoyed Dave Karpf's talk on Analytic Activism this past October 23rd, please find the link to both the formal talk and interview below.

Analytic Activism

Interview with Dave Karpf

'Is the Mexican Summer rooted in the Spring Protests?' Protesters demanding explanation for abducted missing students in Mexico organize through social media

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“Twitter was our velocity, Facebook our formal organization and YouTube our ideological reinforcement."

Student activists and Mexican civil society lobby the federal government for information and action surrounding the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, in the the state of Guerrero. The #yosoy132 slogan has been conceived as a denunciation of the current lack of government responsiveness. The TNGO Initiative is currently researching similar virtual social movements and digital NGO platforms.  Click here for full article by Rafael Fernandez de Castro

Powerpoint presentation from Dave Karpf's talk on social petition through online campaigns

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The presentation attached below is from George Washington University's Dave Karpf from a recent talk at Syracuse University hosted by the TNGO Initiative on October 23rd. Dave Karpf is an Assistant Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs at GW University and has written one book, The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, and is working on another book about analytics and activism. (Karpfpresentation)
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