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TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

E-PARCC Competition for Teaching Cases Development in Transition and Conflict Societies: Effective Use of Collaborative Methods in International Development

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Parcc LogoAre you an international development academic, researcher, or practitioner, with a range of experiences in development management in transition and conflict countries? If so, the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at the Maxwell School is hosting a new E-PARCC competition for teaching cases: the Gelndal E. and Alice D. Wright Prize Fund for Conflict and Collaboration Case Studies in International Development. The best teaching case will win a $5,000 prize, and runner up will win a $1000 honorable mention. The competition is open to academics, researchers, and practitioners that are or have been actively involved in development projects through international multilateral and bilateral donor organizations, national and local governments in transition and conflict countries, and international and national civil society organizations. All cases must be original and not yet published elsewhere. Winning cases are published online and downloadable free of charge on the E-PARCC website, with full credit given to authors. Click here for more information.

Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change

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The Harvard Kennedy Schools Executive Education Program is offering an engaging online community organizing course that specializes in the development of leadership in civic associations, advocacy groups, and social movements. Over a 14-week period, the program supports participants in identifying, recruiting, and developing leadership; building community around that leadership; and enabling that community to translate its resources into the power it needs to achieve its goals. The course, which begins on February 5th and runs through May 20th, is accepting applications until December 5th, 2017. To apply, or for more information on program dates, tuition, and curriculum, visit the Leadership, Organizing and Action: Leading Change website here.

This NGO Thinks We Can Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Won the Nobel Peace Prize for It

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nuclear weapons

“People think nuclear weapons are like a natural disaster or an asteroid hitting Earth, because the consequences are so awful. But we need to see them as just weapons; we can control them. They’re just really giant, expensive, dirty bombs that could end us all. We built them; we can take them apart.” Click here to learn how Beatrice Finn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

Presentation Slides, Amnesty International’s Efforts to ‘Move Closer to the Ground’: the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Its Global Transition Program

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Screenshot MinarMinar Pimple, Senior Director for Global Operations at Amnesty International, spent two weeks as a visiting TNGO Moynihan Fellow during which he gave a very engaging public talk titled: Amnesty International’s Efforts to ‘Move Closer to the Ground’: the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Its Global Transition Program. He discussed the current context and catalysts prompting these change, lessons learned, and the critical need for changes in the areas of culture and behaviors during Amnestys next strategic phase, called ‘Fuerza’ (Spanish for ‘force’). View the presentation slides here.

Interview: TNGO Initiative at the 2017 Global Perspectives Conference

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TNGO logoIn this live interview at the 2017 Global Perspectives conference hosted in Mexico City, Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director of the TNGO Initiative addresses some of the issues concerning the future relevance of CSOs and the need for organizational change in an "overcrowded" sector. Organized by the International Civil Society Centre, the conference brought together CEOs from key national and leading international civil society organizations with high level representatives from politics, the corporate sector and academia to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges and how they impact international CSOs.

How Twitter Killed the First Amendment

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Is more speech always better? Twitter and Facebook are beginning to change the public sphere, allowing for the perversion and weaponization of speech and debate in ways we have not dealt with before. From cyberstalking and harassment of journalists to accusations of foreign states intervening in our elections, America's 'marketplace for ideas' has never seemed so prone to manipulation. This confronting article questions the First Amendments relevance and protection in this cyber era.

Career Talk with Amnesty International's Senior Director of Global Operations

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minar pimple 2

Why Doing Good Is Healthy for the Do-Gooder

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Volunteering graphicScientific research has proven that not only does it feel good to volunteer and give back regularly, it can also improve your health. Acts of generosity on a regular basis have been linked to health benefits such as lower blood pressure and decreased mortality rates among do-gooders. These positive emotions we feel during acts of kindness are more enduring, provide us with a sense of purpose, and change our brain chemistry for the better. This New York Times article highlights the scientific evidence that volunteering may be just what the doctor should order.

Perett Laver Scholarship Program and the TNGO Leadership Institute

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Elzabeth Leadership

Ms. Elizabeth Missoika, an esteemed participant of this year’s TNGO Leadership Institute was selected as 2017 sponsorship honoree by Parett Laver, an international executive search firm that works to identify outstanding leaders for organizations that are solving the world’s biggest challenges.

Coming from Tanzania, she was a co-founder and former Executive Director of HakiElimu, a nonprofit with a vision for an open, just and democratic society in Tanzania. Prior to this she worked for USAID as the Gender Advisor and Program Management Specialist for two years; and prior to that, she worked with CARE International in Tanzania as the Project Manager for Basic and Girls’ Education Unit for nine years.  

As one of 15 participants in this year’s cohort, Betty was said to be a valuable contributor.  One of the staff members commented, “Betty is awesome and an equally good representative of small, global south based orgs, which was a really important voice to have in the room.” Full Story

Congratulations Elizabeth!

Amnesty International’s Efforts to ‘Move Closer to the Ground’: the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Its Global Transition Program

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Minar PhotoInternational NGO’s (INGOs) are rapidly changing to stay relevant in a new global context. Come learn about Amnesty International’s recent change process: the Global Transition Program (GTP), also known as ‘Moving Closer to the Ground’. Minar Pimple, Senior Director for Global Operations in Amnesty International, a longtime Indian social movement activist and visiting Moynihan TNGO Fellow will discuss the current context and catalysts prompting these changes, as well as Amnesty’s lessons from GTP. He will also cover the critical need for changes in the areas of culture and behaviors during Amnesty’s next strategic phase, called ‘Fuerza’ (Spanish for ‘force’).

When: Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:30pm-2:00pm
Where: 341 Eggers Hall

Minar Pimple has focused on the consequences of social discrimination, marginalization and exclusion due to the caste system in India since his youth. He was the founder and executive director of YUVA (Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action) in India, Minar also was the Founder Chair of Oxfam India, and Peoples Decade for Human Rights Education, where he was Chief Executive, and led the Human Rights Cities program at the UN Development Program (UNDP). More recently, he was the Regional Director of the UN Millennium Campaign for the Asia Pacific region. He currently is Senior Director at Amnesty International for Global Operations, where he leads the organization’s ambitious roll out of 15 Regional Offices across the globe, among others, as part of Amnesty’s large organizational change process. 

2017 Global NGO Technology Survey Needs You!

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nptech pirNonprofit Tech for Good and Public Interest Registry need the help of 1,700 nonprofits, NGOs, and charities to participate in the 2017 Global NGO Technology Survey. This seeks to gain a better understanding of how NGOs and NPOs worldwide use technology to create social change and engage their supporters and donors. Click here for the survey.

Organizational Change and Conflict: The Case of Amnesty International

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Bruno Lux

TNGO's Leadership Institute Featured in Maxwell

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Leadership Institute photo

The annual Leadership Institute accommodates fifteen rising top NGO leaders on campus to take part in training that will assist their "leap" into top leadership posts. Amongst the range of organizations that the leaders represent, some large, well-known NGO's such as Save the Children, Amnesty International, Childfund International, and the Indian Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement are attending the program. Attendees receive state-of-the-art knowledge about NGO leadership, traits analysis, collaborative skills, organizational change, strategy and performance measurement, and team building. Click here for the full story.

Are You Keeping up to Date? A Resource for CSOs

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inter Action photoInter Action provides a useful tool for Civil Society Organizations to scan their external environment for drivers of change, useful in strategic planning for the future. Click here for the website.

Top-down Cultivation of CSOs in a Strong-government Context? A Community-level Case from China

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yuxin lanA “Practical Paradox”: can civil society be cultivated by governments in a top-down way, especially in a country with a strong-government context like China?  Based on a local case of the “LeheFamily Land Program” in western China which is focused on cultivating self-help organizations in rural communities, this talk will analyze the dilemma confronted by local governments.

Yuxin Lan is an assistant professor at the School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University, China, where he works in the NGO Research Center, one of the earliest and most prestigious institutes on third sector research in China. He is also an editorial member of the journal China Non-profit Review. His research on the Chinese third sector covers the theory and practice of civil society organization cultivation, state society collaboration, philanthropy and social innovations.

When: Thursday, September 21st, 12:30-2pm
Where: Eggers 341

Best Intentions: When disaster relief brings anything but relief

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"When nature grows savage and angry, Americans can get generous and kind. That's admirable. It might also be a problem." In the wake of such extreme weather patterns, many Americans wish to donate resources to be of help. However, few acknowledge that sometimes we may get in the way more than we think. Full article

Ambassador Mark Storella Presents: The Global Refugee Crisis –The Roles of Governments, Civil Society and International Organizations

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Mark Storella Photo The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that today 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, of which over 22 million are refugees who have fled across borders to escape persecution and conflict.  This unprecedented level of forced displacement is one of the defining challenges of our time requiring a global response.  Ambassador Storellawill discuss the nature of the current crisis and the roles governments, international organizations, and civil society organizations play.

Ambassador Mark Storella joined the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in June 2016 with responsibility for admission of refugees to the United States and refugee programming in the Near East and Asia regions. Previously, Ambassador Storella served as Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy Brussels where he was deeply involved in counterterrorism and countering violent extremism efforts. He has also served as the Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Baghdad from 2009-2010 and served as Counselor for Refugee and Migration Affairs and engaged with over 50 UN agencies as Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission in Geneva from 2006-2009. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has written on multilateral arms control and humanitarian action in conflict situations.

When: Friday, September 8, 2017 1:30pm –3:00pm 341 Eggers Hall

From 12-1pm there is also a scheduled Career Talk featuring Ambassador Storella, to discuss experiences, tips and insights.
Where: Eggers 352

Not-for-profits and online security – How Can We Help?

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NGOs are increasingly at risk of attacks on their online presence and effectiveness. As a board member of Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit that operates the .ORG and .NGO Internet domain names, Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, director of the Transnational NGO Initiative, has been learning about these Internet related threats. Some are outlined in this blog post by PIR’s CEO and former Moynihan NGO Fellow, Brian Cute. Link to blog post 

“Will Millennials Turn Your Cause Into a Movement?”: Results from The Millennial Impact Report on How Millennials Shape Movement Success

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In recent months, the changing American political climate has ignited waves of mass mobilization nationwide, raising questions about how such shifts affect civic engagement amongst younger people. Phase 1 of the 2017 Millennial Impact Report was released in June, revealing findings based on interviews and focus groups with 16 millennials. The report does not exactly answer this long-standing question about the extent to which youth drive todays social movements, however it does offer some useful insight on the theory.
Click here for the blog post
Click here for the full report

Global Problems Aid Groups Should Prepare For, If They Want To Survive

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Evolution is an omnipresent force in our world, especially when it comes to instances of global crises. Climate change is making it easier for new disease epidemics to emerge, cyberattacks heighten political tensions, and ever new economic instabilities threaten collapse. How do our aid groups respond to new and emerging threats? NGOs must see their role differently, and adapt or be left in the dust. This article highlights some of the weaknesses that aid communities are currently displaying, and highlights the “fundamental, not incremental” changes that must occur. Please click here for the full article 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - It's What the Public Want: Even for Charities

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QuoteThe EU recently passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will have significant implications for nonprofits and NGOs. Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken is on the board of Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit wholesale operator of the Internet domain name .ORG which is widely used by NGOs across the world. An increasing number of NGOs are showing an interest in improving their protection of their data – data on beneficiaries as well as donors, as well as their internal organizational data. This article addresses the increasing demand from donors to have better protection of their data. Please click here for the full blog post

People Power, Populism and the Internet By Dr. Nina Hall

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Global Policy: Nina Hall's paperPeople Power, Populism and the Internet written by Dr. Nina Hall, a fellow at the Hertie School of Governance and Assistant Professor in International Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS (Europe), is an interesting comment on the use of the Internet by political parties, and advocacy organizations to develop people-powered campaigns. She cites that the critical challenge in today’s political and technological context is “how should progressive advocacy organisations use digital platforms to spread messages further and faster when they are being co-opted so cunningly by populist and alt-right forces?” This is especially relevant as populism rises around the world. Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director of the Transnational NGO Initiative, is quoted in this blog as stating “if we want citizen agency and activism to be strengthened through digital means, then we cannot complain that it works in both political directions: that is the nature of democracy.” Dr. Hall has been collaborating with Transnational NGO Initiative in our study on the strategies, tactics, organizational attributes and leadership of digitally enabled NGOs. This study examines digital, internet-based organizing platforms and organizations such as, Avaaz, ONE, Ushahidi, Kiva, Watsi and others.

Please click here for the full blog post

Leading Nonviolent Movements for Social Progress

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Leading Nonviolent Movements for Social Progress 

Program Session(s): October 9, 2017 - November 10, 2017  
Application Deadline(s): September 9, 2017   
Program Fee:$2,100

An online program. 
This program qualifies for an Executive Certificate.

Faculty Chair: Douglas Johnson

Program Director: James Brockman

Apply Now

Throughout history, social and political movements have had a significant impact on the world– shaking and shaping our society. In recent years, new social movements have stunned the world with their ability to spawn conversations, shape politics, and serve as a conduit for change. Many believed such accomplishments and results were impossible.

Leading an effective nonviolent struggle demands new ways of thinking and strong collaboration among many diverse groups. The Leading Nonviolent Movements for Social Progress executive program explores the conceptual frameworks for effective leadership through learning modules focused on building collaboration, strengthening the strategic capacity of leadership teams, tactical flexibility and innovation, and negotiation.

Presented in 10 online modules, the program will focus on:

  • Developing the frameworks and skills essential to a successful nonviolent struggle.
  • Examining the tactics and strategies needed to build numbers in a non-violent struggle.
  • Providing a systematic opportunity for nonviolent social movement mid-level leaders to learn from the experiences of peers and through the coaching of Harvard/CANVAS* faculty.

This course is a unique opportunity for those involved in social movements around the world to interact with their peers engaged in similar efforts. The cohort includes leaders and activists from social movements, communities building alternative institutions, and those working at both local and national levels to affect social change.  Highly interactive, this program will challenge you to think strategically and help develop the skills necessary to lead a successful campaign.

*CANVAS, the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, is an educational organization that trains activists from around the world in the strategies and tactics on nonviolent struggle.

The Private Sector and SDG's Implications for Civil Society

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The Private Sector and SDG's Implications for Civil Society

The following is an exert from the Civicus State of Civil Society Report 2017. For the full report, click the link above.

civil society report 2017

"Civil society had a strong showing during the negotiations of the SDGs and the related Financing for Development (FfD) agenda.
Yet many of civil society’s collective efforts, such as the Beyond 2015 Campaign, ended with the adoption of the SDGs, leaving
the challenge of shaping the private sector’s sustainable development role and contributions unaddressed. While the question
of engaging the private sector is one of the most contentious questions among civil society, it’s an unavoidable one if we want
to make the SDGs count.

Importantly, this is a two-way street. Business should have an interest in having a strong civil society at the table if it wants to
operate in thriving societies. Business success without civil society as a counterweight of organised citizen participation will
likely exacerbate the cleavages and inequities that mark many countries today. Instead, the private sector should help defend
the space for civil society to act as an expression of collective citizenry. There are incipient signs of companies speaking out
against governments that target civil society activists, and in support of business regulation, but the scope and frequency of
these actions remains scarce.4 However, it is this kind of action that can be one of the most powerful contributions of business
to the SDGs."

The evolving role of CSR in international development: Evidence from Canadian extractive companies’ involvement in community health initiatives in low-income countries

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The evolving role of CSR in international development: Evidence from Canadian extractive companies’ involvement in community health initiatives in low-income countries

2016 TNGO Initiative Leadership Institute (LI) alumni Johnathan Jennings has been busy in the last year. After joining the TNGO Initiative for the LI over the summer, Jennings found it difficult to stay away from the Maxwell School for long. Jennings visited in November to deliver a public lecture and career talk, and is now overseeing a capstone project for MPA students at the school. Jennings also recently changed jobs. When we saw him last, Jennings served as the Deputy Executive Director of MSF Canada. Recently, Jennings took the helm of Health and Harmony as Executive Director.

The full article can be found here.   


Overseas development agencies and international finance organisations view the exploitation of minerals as a strategy for alleviating poverty in low-income countries. However, for local communities that are directly affected by extractive industry projects, economic and social benefits often fail to materialise. By engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), transnational companies operating in the extractive industries ‘space’ verbally commit to preventing environmental impacts and providing health services in low-income countries. However, the actual impacts of CSR initiatives can be difficult to assess.

We help to bridge this gap by analysing the reach of health-related CSR activities financed by Canadian mining companies in the low-income countries where they operate. We found that in 2015, only 27 of 102 Canadian companies disclosed information on their websites concerning health-related CSR activities for impacted communities. Furthermore, for these 27 companies, there is very little evidence that alleged CSR activities may substantially contribute to the provision of comprehensive health services or more broadly to the sustainable development of the health sector.

CARE’s 2020 transformation process: lessons in change leadership and change management

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CARE’s 2020 transformation process: lessons in change leadership and change management

By Tosca Bruno van-Vijfeijken

From 2013 to 2016, the Transnational NGO Initiative team at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University (USA) worked with CARE International to reflect on the first phase of its organizational transformation process, CARE 2020.[1]  The team conducted a wide range of interviews and engaged in periodic reflections with the change management team over a two and a half year period to track the change journey.  CARE International’s leadership asked for their reflections on the process to date to inform the way the next phase of their change unfolded.

CARE has accomplished some items on its ‘2020’ agenda thus far: for example governance reform which allows it to make bolder decision making and separates managing from governing roles, and growth  of its Southern membership. CARE should feel good about this progress. Notwithstanding, people both inside CARE as well as outside observers noted that CARE also struggled to accomplish other important agenda items. In our analysis as Maxwell team, we found the concepts on ‘leadership framing’ by Lee Bolman and Terrance Deal’s to be exceptionally useful in understanding the strengths as well as weaknesses of CARE’s approach to change leadership and management. In their work, Bolman and Deal identify four frames – human resource, structural, political, and symbolic – and the need for leaders to choose their leadership behaviors strategically by integrating these frames:

The Structural frame emphasizes the organization as a machine, a set of structures, management processes, policies and systems. The Human Resource frame emphasizes the need to understand the organization as a ‘family’, with employees who need motivation and job satisfaction in order to be productive. The Political frame sees the organization as a ‘jungle’, emphasizing the importance of power, political arenas, and struggles among factions for access and resources within organizations. The Symbolic frame emphasizes the organization as a ‘stage or temple’, in which perceptions, appearances, rituals and meaning making are important and in which due attention is paid to organizational culture. 

In our assessment, CARE excelled on the structural frame, with its highly sophisticated formal change planning instruments and its initial focus on restructuring country office line management. This managerial approach detracted attention somewhat from the equally important political and symbolic frames. This meant that CARE’s change coalition made insufficient use of power analysis, bargaining (trading your support for that of another), the addition or detraction of stakeholders (player strategy), and conflict management skills to overcome political resistance. Accounting for the fact that CARE’s member pool is fairly unbalanced in political weight and resources did not make leading change easier. Moreover, in the first phase of CARE’s 2020 process, CARE did not fully leverage opportunities for culture change, such as hiring, onboarding, task assignment, promotion and (formal and informal) reward practices that could have been seized upon more to drive culture change. CARE needs to be applauded, however, for the intentional ways in which it built learning into its change management process and it is already applying that learning into phase 2 of CARE 2020.


[1] The Transnational NGO Initiative has undertaken case studies and/or evaluations of change leadership and management responses to large organizational change processes in Save the Children, Oxfam, CARE and Amnesty International. For more information, check [HYPERLINK]

2017 Global NGO Tech Report

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2017 Global NGO Tech Report

See the full report here.

2017 digital ngo capture

Short-term deployments with Peace Corps & UNV

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Short-term deployments with Peace Corps & UNV

One of the latest posts at the Jayne Cravens Blog discusses opportunities for short-term volunteer work through the UN volunteer program. To read the whole story, click this link.

What effective short-term international volunteering looks like

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What effective short-term international volunteering looks like

The TNGO Initiative recently shared a post from the Jayne Cravens Blog about the harm of short-term voluntourism. Today, we offer reasonable alternatives to make real impact with your dollars and time. The Jayne Cravens Blog recently posted an article titled "What effective short-term international volunteering looks like," chronicling options for want to be change-makers. The full article can be found here. However, below we offer short exempts which may be useful.

"...not all pay-to-serve programs are purely voluntourism: there are some terrific programs that require volunteers to pay their own way, such as Bpeace traveling business mentors and Humanist Service Corps (more on pay-to-serve programs I think are worthwhile here). There are also examples like this: students from the College of Engineering at Oregon State University going to Kenya to help a small village create a series of water projects to give them sustainable, ongoing access to clean water; the local Kenyan people benefited from the project because they defined what they wanted, and they worked alongside the students so that they could take on more and more responsibilities themselves."

The harm of orphanage voluntourism (& wildlife voluntourism as well)

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The harm of orphanage voluntourism (& wildlife voluntourism as well)

"Think about it: these organizations are claiming that foreigners, who may or may not be appropriate to be around children, who may or may not have any experience working with children, who may not even speak the local language, should come interact with orphans, and that an ever-changing group of foreign volunteers, coming in for a few days or weeks at a time, can somehow transform the lives of vulnerable children. Or wildlife. The only thing those foreign volunteers need is the ability to pay all of their transportation, accommodation costs, and program fees to the trip organizer. No criminal background check, no verifiable, needed skills – just money and will."

Read the full blog post here.

‘Rage Giving’ Fills Coffers Of Groups Opposing Trump

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‘Rage Giving’ Fills Coffers Of Groups Opposing Trump

Groups like Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Unions are reporting an uptick in giving since the election.

David Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, said the challenge for nonprofits is to turn those first-time donors into regular contributors. "When you want to message and communicate with new donors, you want to demonstrate very quickly that you're using the money efficiently and effectively and it's really focused on a goal," said Van Slyke, who studies nonprofits. "And then you come back ... and you say, 'Look, we think we're in a real battle and we think we're making progress.'"

"This kind of resistance to the president will be sustainable for a small group of people," Van Slyke, but the donors he calls "the indifferent middle" may start to drop off when campaigns move from opposing Trump to supporting a particular issue.

Read the full story from the Hartford Courant here.

Humanitarian Affairs: Thoughts on Working in the Field

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Humanitarian Affairs: Thoughts on Working in the Field

Monday, April 17th, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs will be hosting Masood Hyder, former Director of the World Food Programme, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in Eggers Hall 209.


Citizenship in Interdisciplinary Perspective

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Citizenship in Interdisciplinary Perspective

Poster here

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The Business Case for Women’s Empowerment

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The Business Case for Women’s Empowerment

Christine Lagarde makes the case, “the moral case for greater gender equity is clear, and so is the economic case.”

Full Story here

Below: Christine Lagarde chats with local Peruvian women in Pisac, Peru, October 4, 2015 (Photo: IMF/Stephen Jaffe)

Linked-in pic

Dave Karpf - Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy

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Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy


What academics can tell us about why some protests succeed (and others don’t)

(Research, Education, Practitioner Engagement) Permanent link

What academics can tell us about why some protests succeed (and others don’t)

Thoughtful Campaigner brings us 7 key points to make a protest successful. Full article here.

1. The size of your protest matters, but so does who is involved

2.  Make your protest appeal to others

3. Be innovative and flexible

4. Academics can’t decide on the best form of organisation

5. People will get involved for surprising reasons

6. Prepare for the day after the protest

7. All movements need to overcome the ‘coordination problem

Real Dollars: Realities of NGO Funding

(Research, Education, Practitioner Engagement) Permanent link

Real Dollars: Realities of NGO Funding 


Patagonia: A Cutting Edge Social Enterprise and Its Evolving Relationship with Civil Society

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Katz Poster

8 Men now Control the Same Wealth as Poorest 50%

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8 Men now Control the Same Wealth as Poorest 50%

billionaires transport

Oxfam now reports that just eight men now control as much wealth as the poorest fifty percent of the world. This is down from the estimated 62 who controlled an equivalent amount of wealth as the poorest fifty percent last year. For the full story read on here.

Picture from the original post.

Narendra Modi’s Crackdown on Civil Society in India covered in recent New York Times Opinion

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Narendra Modi’s Crackdown on Civil Society in India covered in recent New York Times Opinion

NYT Opinion Pic

Picture from the original story which appeared on January 9th, 2017.

TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken named 'Program Enabler' on Aritra Indian Leadership Development Program

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TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken named 'Program Enabler' on ARITRA Indian Leadership Development Program

ARITRA is a highly selective leadership development program. TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken was recently selected as a program enabler to contribute her expertise as a mentor, expert, panelist, and/or guest speaker.

Learn more by visiting the ARITRA website and by watching the video below.

TNGO Leadership Institute mentioned in December issue of Maxwell Perspective

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Maxwell Perspective


Nominate Your 2016 NGO Hero

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Nominate Your 2016 NGO Hero

The guardian in collaboration with InterAction, Bond, Civicus, and Concord wants to celebrate the 2016 NGO Superstars. 


Chakra - The Invincible, an Indian animated superhero. Who is your 2016 NGO hero? Photograph: POW! Entertainment/Cartoon Network India

To nominate your hero, contribute via GuardianWitness or email with “NGO hero” in the subject line, including:

  • Who are you nominating? (No nominating yourself, one submission per person)
  • Why? What have they done to impress you this year? Be specific and personal.
  • And don’t forget a photograph of your hero!

For inspiration, read about 2015’s heroes and see the highlights of this year’s nominations on the #NGOhero hashtag.

No prizes, just glory!

Nominations will close on Tuesday 20 December.

For more information

Hinari Access to Research for Health programme facilitates low and middle income countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of biomedical and health literature

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About Hinari

Hinari Access to Research for Health Programme provides free or very low cost online access to the major journals in biomedical and related social sciences to local, not-for-profit institutions in developing countries.

Hinari was launched in January 2002, with some 1500 journals from 6 major publishers: Blackwell, Elsevier Science, the Harcourt Worldwide STM Group, Wolters Kluwer International Health & Science, Springer Verlag and John Wiley, following the principles in a Statement of Intent signed in July 2001. Since that time, the numbers of participating publishers and of journals and other full-text resources has grown continuously. 180 publisher partners and up to 400 publishers’ content are offering more than 60,000 information resources in Hinari and many others are joining the programme.

For more information visit the website.

Transnational Education: The role of NGOs in Teaching abroad Video Available

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Transnational Education: The role of NGOs in teaching abroad

The video from our recent student panel is now available.

Education – both formal and informal systems -- are a key component of development throughout the world. Curriculum and teaching styles vary in different regions, which creates unique cultural challenges for education practitioners. Capacity building and education are key to programming in many transnational NGOs. These organizations face unique challenges but also high reward. Join our student panel to learn from your peers about challenges in teaching and implementing educational practices across different cultures and the issues that can arise within NGOs as well as within the classroom.

Announcing Program Assistant Opening at TNGO Initiative

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Program Assistant

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening.  To apply for the position, please follow this link.

Posting Details

Job #033235
Department Code22020-2022
DepartmentMidcareer & Executive Education
Job TitleProgram Assistant
LocationSyracuse, NY
Pay Rangecommensurate with experience
Salary GradeS4
FLSA StatusNon-exempt

Standard University business hours

8:30am -5:00pm (academic year)
8:00am – 4:30pm (summer)

Hours may vary based on operational needs.

Job TypeFull-time
CampusSyracuse, NY
Unionized Position CodeNot Applicable
Job DescriptionFulfil program management responsibilities as required for sponsored training, grants, and fee based programs within Executive Education Programs at the Maxwell School. Current initiatives requiring support include work associated with NGO leadership development programs and the Indian and Chinese government official training programs. The person filling this position is also expected to provide administrative support to the Moynihan Institute’s Transnational NGO Initiative. Specific work duties include program management, curriculum development, marketing and communication, project logistics support (travel arrangements, training room set up, participant support), budget control, and supervising the work of support staff, graduate assistants, and volunteers completing assignments for our work.
Qualifications• The minimum educational experience is a Bachelor’s degree with at least three to five years of professional experience.
• A master’s degree in public administration and/or international relations is preferred.
• There are no specific designations, licenses, or registrations required.
Job Specific Qualifications 
Responsibilities• Manage tasks related to a number of different Executive Education training programs (Leadership Institute, Senior NGO Leader Development Program, India Program Training, China programs, and others). This includes marketing communication (web, email, reaching out to clients), curriculum development, engagement of faculty who present in programs, conference logistics (travel, venue rental, participant support, technology support), and follow up including alumni interaction. 
• Provide administrative support and technical expertise (research methods and analysis) for sponsored applied research and evaluation projects for clients such as Save the Children, Amnesty International, Near East Foundation. 
• Provide administrative support to the Moynihan Institute’s Transnational NGO Initiative that includes TNGO practitioner speaker series, visiting fellows, graduate student working groups, and capstone projects. 
• Provide coordination support for NGO networks engagement (Interaction, NGO change group, LINGO) that market the School and help us develop client relationships.
• Manage and supervise the work of support team, graduate assistants, and volunteers who assist with training research and evaluation programs. 
• Other duties as assigned
Physical Requirements
Application Instructions

In addition to completing an online application, please submit a cover letter and resume.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university, with over 14,000 full-time undergraduate and over 4,000 full¬time graduate students representing the 50 states and 124 foreign countries. Founded in 1870, it is home to 11 schools and colleges offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Human Services and Health Professions, Information Studies, Law, Management, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Public Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts. Syracuse is a medium-sized city situated in the geographic center of New York State approximately 250 miles northwest of New York City. The metro-area population totals approximately 500,000 and offers many social, cultural, and recreational options, including parks, museums, festivals, a symphony orchestra, professional regional theater, and numerous malls and movie theaters. Syracuse and Central New York present a wide range of seasonal recreation and attractions ranging from water skiing and snow skiing, hiking in the Adirondacks, touring the historic sites and wineries along the Finger Lakes to biking trails along the Erie Canal. According to the latest edition of the Places Rated Almanac, Syracuse ranks in the top 10% of Best Places to Live.


Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

Commitment to Supporting and Hiring Veterans

Syracuse University has a long history of veteran support through education, transition, and hiring. Syracuse University was ranked #1 in New York State and 17th in the nation at the end of 1947 in veteran enrollment as a result of participating in the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 – the original GI Bill. Today, SU is strongly committed to the Yellow Ribbon Program which is a provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to assist in tuition educational benefits and other support. In addition, SU provides a career path for veterans to become Syracuse University employees.

Job Posting Date11/29/2016
Application Deadline
Full Consideration By
Job CategoryHourly Staff
Message to Applicants

Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter

Optional Documents

    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

    1. * Please let us know how you heard of this position.
      • Chronicle of Higher Education - newspaper
      • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
      • Academic Keys
      • Syracuse Post Standard - newspaper
      • LinkedIn
      • The Academic Network
      • Twitter/@sujobs
      • Colleague recommendation
      • Other
    2. * If "other",please let us know how you heard about this position. (or enter N/A)

      (Open Ended Question)

    Jennifer Earl shares perspective on Flash Activism

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    Digital Change-making: New Sources of Power and Hybrid Realities

    Digital Change making

    Jennifer Earl makes a compelling case for new forms of digital activism creating additional power structures and opportunities for influencing, as opposed to displacing preexisting forms of activism. Increasingly the real and digital worlds are become inseparable and as such new forms of activism in digital spaces should be promoted and explored to understand how this integration will affect civil society. 

    If you are further interested in the role of digital NGOs and/or digital activism please explore the research being carried out by the TNGO Initiative at the Maxwell School.

    Full Story 

    TNGO Initiative Director Tosca Maria Bruno-VanVijfeijken will be speaking at a panel titled, Is Bigger Better or Smaller More Beautiful? The tradeoffs around growth and size of INGOs

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    AR Logo

    Is Bigger Better or Smaller More Beautiful? The tradeoffs around growth and size of INGOs

    Thu, November 17, 3:45 to 5:15pm, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Bryce
    Session Submission Type: Colloquium


    The conference theme indicates “the size, reach, and scope of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors have never been greater” and continues to expand. The growth of some INGOs remains unabated, concentrating resources within a few big organizations. What should we think of this ‘Walmartization’ of INGOs? Under what conditions is growth – such a strong institutional imperative for organizations –a good thing? Conversely, when do we romanticize smallness without much validity? This colloquy, using an innovative World Café Format, will ponder the tradeoff of INGO growth through four overarching concepts: external impact; internal management; accountability and partnerships; and innovation and risk.


    Cristina Balboa, Baruch College - CUNY,

    Tosca Maria Bruno-VanVijfeijken, Syracuse University


    Susan Appe, Binghamton University

    Cristina Balboa, Baruch College - CUNY

    Tosca Maria Bruno-VanVijfeijken, Syracuse University

    Li Yang, Beijing Normal University

    Click here to add it to your online conference schedule:

    Deborah Doane recently wrote on Eroding Rights of Civil Society in The Guardian

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    guardianDeborah Doane, in response to a recent Guardian article wondering why civil society has seemingly given a pass to government on development policy, proposes that the erosion of NGO's right to criticize governments is to blame. Recent changes to how government funding can be spent in the UK essentially prevents a portion of civil society from raising opposition to certain policies. Read on for more here

    Transnational Education: The role of NGOs in teaching abroad

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    student pannel

    TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken to speak at American Evaluation Association Conference

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    TNGO Director Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken 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.”

    Bruno-van Vijfeijken will present at two sessions: 1) Agency Level Measurement in INGOs (Fri Oct 28 8-9:30am); and 2) Developmental Evaluation and its utility in large organizational change processes in INGOs (Fri Oct 28 1:45-3:15).

    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)


    6 JULY, 2016 ISAAC OLSON

    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.

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