This course centers on roles of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the U.S. and globally. The course reviews mission, scope of work, and activities of NGOs as they pertain to poverty alleviation, health promotion, community development, violence reduction, and disaster relief in different geographic and cultural settings. The course includes how NGO interventions and activities affect families, and how this varies across NGOs by sector and type (for example, human rights and political NGOs, community-based organizations, and faith-based NGOs). Students considering professional careers with NGOs will benefit from the theoretical foundations of the course as well as the practical application of concepts.
This course examines the following questions, among others: What are the strengths and limitations of NGOs in local and global settings? What are the negative and positive effects of aid distribution during violent conflict? To what extent are NGOs’ practices reflective of the needs and desires of the families and communities served? What is the voice and role of community members in NGO activities?