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TNGO Updates

Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

Visiting TNGO Practitioner, Ricardo Gomez, to give public lecture

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The TNGO Initiative is excited to host Ricardo Gomez, former Country Director of Plan International in Guatemala, next week!  Mr. Gomez will give a public talk on Wednesday followed by a career talk on Thursday. 

Ricardo Gomez, Former Plan International Country Director in Guatemala 

Public Talk:  How Do Human Rights Change an NGO's "Driving Force"? 


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


341 Eggers Hall


What motivates transnational NGOs?  What are their driving forces?  Increasingly, a human rights framework determines how TNGOs think and function.  This talk will offer the personal perspective from a country level leader in Plan International, a major child-focused development NGO.

Career Discussion with Ricardo Gomez 


Thursday, March 4, 2010


352 Eggers Hall


The TNGO Initiative & Student Group present an opportunity for students to explore the TNGO career sector with visiting fellow Ricardo Gomez of Plan International who has worked extensively in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Colombia.



Panel Presentation at ISA

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George Mitchell presented "The Transnational NGO Initiative: Crossing boundaries and mixing methods" on February 20th at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association in New Orleans. Hans Peter Schmitz, Paloma Raggo and Jesse Lecy were also in attendence answering questions and discussing the research project. We're grateful to Shareen Hertel and Gerard Clarke for their helpful comments. The presentation is available here.


Please check back for future announcements about the release of the TNGO dataset.

TNGO Student Group Presents How TNGOs Begin

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The TNGO Initiative and Student Group Present:

How TNGOs Begin

Thursday, February 25th, 2010


341 Eggers Hall

Join Pan-African Studies student David Mwambari and Maxwell student Clint Misamore for an interactive program on initiating and maintaining a transnational NGO.  Mwambari and Misamore, co-founders of Sanejo, will share their perspectives on starting a transnational NGO and the detailed steps involved in assessments, financing, registration, and structuring.  Following their presentation, discussion will be moderated by Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken, Director for Education and Practitioner Engagement at the TNGO Initiative.

*Sanejo is a TNGO working to support communities transiting from war to peace or facing abject poverty, through the promotion of education.  For more information, visit or email David or Clint






Leveraging Project Finance for Development: The Chad-Cameroon Oilfield Development and Pipeline Project

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In Leveraging Project Finance for Development: The Chad-Cameroon Oilfield Development and Pipeline Project, George E. Mitchell offers an incisive and balanced assessment of this critical development project case. He adroitly points to the governance mechanisms and culture that lead to unique relationships and decision-making processes between the World Bank, the IMF, donors and transparency NGOs. He traces the consequences of balancing—or not—generational views of development, capacity and pressing security concerns. We see a parallel with concerns for capacity and security issues in alternative development programs raised in an earlier article in this Volume 1 of JCSST with the “War on Drugs” in Bolivia. Mitchell’s article is excellent read for anti-corruption activists, development scholars, donors and students of development administration. Read the abstract and follow the link to the full article.

“The Chad-Cameroon oilfield development and pipeline project was a major attempt by the international community to leverage an extractive industries project to promote development in a fragile state. The project is notable for its size and ambition, and for the intensive participation of multilateral institutions, multinational corporations, governments, and civil society. The centerpiece of the project was an elaborate revenue management program designed to funnel oil revenues to priority sectors in Chad. However, unanticipated developments, including a deteriorating security situation, gradually eroded the Chadian government’s compliance with the program, resulting in disbursement suspensions and renegotiations. The program was prematurely terminated when the government of Chad fully prepaid its remaining financial obligations to the World Bank after just seven years of the project’s anticipated 20-30 year lifespan. Once hailed as a newly emergent model for development, the project now offers important lessons stressing the need for greater pragmatism in the future”.


International Studies Association, New Orleans, February 17-21

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TNGO Research Group 2010: Challenges Facing Leaders of Transnational NGOs. New data from a Cross-Sectoral Study; Paper presented at International Studies Association (ISA) Meetings, New Orleans, February 17-21.

Raggo, Paloma and Hans Peter Schmitz 2010: Governance Challenges of Transnational NGOs; Paper presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) Meetings, New Orleans, February 17-21.

The Role of Alternative Development in the War on Drugs: The Case of Bolivia

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In The Role of Alternative Development in the War on Drugs: The Case of Bolivia, Emily Phan-Gruber traces the case of alternative development in Bolivia. With over 2,500 NGOs in United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s database and more than 130 NGO partners, there is a clear and pressing need to understand lessons at the intersection of civil society and states conceptions of alternative development. The author is especially astute at detailing the conditions and context under which the Bolivian case matches the intent and expected results of alternative development programs. Read Phan-Gruber's abstract bellow and follow the link for the full article.


“This paper covers alternative development (AD) programs in Bolivia from the mid-1980s to the present day. Though the War on Drugs is highly complex, this paper argues that in certain situations alternative development programs, despite their imperfections, offer a longer-term solution that should be emphasized and coupled with eradication. The major programs implemented by the U.S., the UN and the EU and their impacts are explained in detail. Recommendations for improvement of alternative development programs include: making programs more participatory, having less stringent conditionality requirements, improving upfront planning about crops and markets, and increasing the number of cooperatives that are able to offer loans to farmers to improve long-term sustainability of programs. The need for government control of an area before AD programs can be effectively implemented and the need to work with the local populations are two of the lessons that can be derived from the Bolivian experience and applied to other locations”.


New Issue of The Journal of Civil Society and Social Transformation

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Volume 1 of the Journal of Civil Society and Social Transformation is now available online.


The articles in the first volume of the Journal of Civil Society and Social Transformation (JCSST) apply social science theories and concepts to significant humanitarian, aid, conflict resolution, human rights, environmental and develop­ment issues. The arguments demonstrate the diversity and relevance of graduate students’ research at the Maxwell School and in partner schools across Syracuse University. For practitioners and donors, or for civil society, development and NGO scholars, this research offers theories and cases that cut across disciplines and civil society governance dilemmas: from alternative development, to international political economy, to electoral assistance and democratic governance, to rights-based approaches for development, to project finance, and, to comparative impact as­sessment for program evaluation. The contributors are Parvathy Binoy, Jesse D. Lecy, Josh Kaufmann, George E. Mitchell, Emily Phan-Gruber, and Olga Zatepilina. Follow the link to find out more about the authors and their current work and research.


The Journal’s Editorial Board and its peer reviewers come from a number social science disciplines and domains of civil society governance ensuring both analytic rigor and accuracy in reference to transnational civil society governance context and situations.


We hope you find the articles stimulating and informative.


Christiane Pagé

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Civil Society and Social Transformation


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