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Recent happenings from the TNGO Initiative

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.

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