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TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

Rights-based approach to development: a response to J. Brian Atwood

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Hans Peter Schmitz responds on openDemocracy to J. Brian Atwood's assessment of the rights-based approach (RBA) and its potential to align development policies across disparate actors. Schmitz agrees that RBA holds much promise, but argues that international NGOs need to show more evidence regarding their own effectiveness (1), address problems of donor dependency (2), and expand their collaborative efforts in support of grassroots rights mobilization (3).

Event 11/20/13: Gabor Rona, Legal Director at Human Rights First

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Gabor Rona, Legal Director at Human Rights First, will be joining the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) for an informal jobs/networking discussion session for students interested in working in international human rights & humanitarian law/NGOs and other areas of international affairs, law, policy, and security.


They will be meeting at 4pm in Eggers 100A (the conference room inside the Department of Political Science) over appetizers. Please feel free to ask Mr. Rona any questions that pertain to his job, opportunities and networks in these fields, and other relevant items.

Event Today: Sunita Viswanath, Co-Founder and board member for Women for Afghan Women

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There will be an event today (November 19th) at 2:00PM in Eggers 341 entitled "Women for Afghan Women:Transforming Community from Within Community."  Sunita Viswanath for more information.


(Event, Nov. 20): Kateryna Pishchikova, Cornell Institute for European Studies

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Please note that the following event is not being organized by the Transnational NGO Initiative nor is it about TNGO related issues.  However, the speaker is an authority on women’s NGOs in Central Asia and Eastern Europe and we are announcing this event on behalf of the Moynihan European Research Centers (MERC). The TNGO Initiative will have an informal meeting with Kateryna at 2:30pm on November 20th in Eggers 341 to discuss her knowledge about women’s NGO issues in that region. Any interested students are welcome to attend.

Event Time and Location:

November 20, 2013 12:30 PM
341 Eggers Hall

Information about the talk:

"Ukraine Between East and West: The EU, Russia, and Ukraine’s Strategic Choice"

The European Union (EU) policy toward Eurasia is at a watershed moment. On November 28-29, leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, for a summit that is due to include the signing of a number of crucial new agreements. Yet, the success of the summit is far from assured. Russia has threatened trade sanctions, energy supply interruptions, and security reprisals against states choosing to sign new agreements with the EU. Ukraine is largely seen as a key country in this geostrategic game. The talk will address the issues at stake for Ukraine in its rapprochement with the EU and relations with Russia.

Information about the speaker:

Dr. Kateryna Pishchikova is a visiting scholar at the Cornell Institute for European Studies. She is the author of Promoting Democracy in Postcommunist Ukraine: The Contradictory Outcomes of US Aid to Women's NGOs (Lynne Rienner, 2011).

Please click here in order to access the event's poster.

Slideshow Presentation: Kris Torgeson's Opinions Without Borders: Reforming the Governance Structure of a Large International NGO

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Please click here to access the slideshow presentation from Kris Torgeson's October 22nd talk entitled "Opinions Without Borders."  

Information about the talk:


Nearing its 40th anniversary in 2011, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) found itself both proud of its achievements and growth as well as confronted by internal and external challenges that its governance structure could no longer adequately address. How does a large international non-profit confront such challenges and come to the consensus needed to reform itself? What are the steps taken, the risks faced, the choices made, and the lessons learned?

Kris Torgeson's Bio:

Kris Torgeson served as the Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from October 2008 to September 2012. MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, is one of the world’s most renowned humanitarian relief NGOs. MSF typically perform their role in emergency relief immediately following disasters and other forms of crises. Kris started working for MSF in 1998 and was Director of Communications for MSF USA before joining MSF International. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University and a master's degree in Chinese from Columbia University. Kris is currently working as a non-profit management consultant based in New York. 
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