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Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

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

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