The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations E-News
ISSUE #44, July 2008
1. Hauser Conversations: Mary Robinson on "Worker Protection"; NGO Leaders on "Global Poverty and the next US President"
2. Featured Research: Philanthropy, Civil Society, and Development Breakthroughs
3. Upcoming Workshops and Opportunities: Tools for Nonprofit Start-Ups; Online Programs for NGO Managers
4. Hauserites in Action: Awards for Gabriele Bammer and Alnoor Ebrahim; Martha Chen in Mexico, Thailand, Philippines
5. New Publications: Blog on "International Development and Humanitarian NGOs"; Working Paper on "Maximizing Success"
6. In the News: "Famed Organizer" Marshall Ganz; Peter Dobkin Hall's critique of the Red Cross
7. Hauser Summer Fellows: Entrepreneurship in China; Arts in America; Human Rights in Spain
1. HAUSER CONVERSATIONS
The Future of the Nonprofit Sector Panel Series
As part of the launch of the second decade, the Hauser Center hosted a series of panel discussions in which scholars and practitioners explored together questions crucial to the future of the sector.
In April, Martha Chen moderated a JFK Jr. Forum event with Mary Robinson, Chair, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), President of Ireland (1990-1997), John Ruggie, Weil Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs, and Richard Freeman, Herbert S. Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Forum, entitled "Worker Protection in Global Value Chains: The Role of Government, Business, and Civil Society," provided insight into each of these areas of society. The event was co-sponsored by the Institute of Politics, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies. Earlier in the day, the Hauser Center organized a luncheon seminar and, with the Institute of Politics, a late-afternoon reception in honor of Mary Robinson. After the luncheon seminar, Chen met with Robinson and her staff to discuss collaboration between WIEGO and Realizing Rights-the Ethical Globalization Initiative around issues of decent and productive work for the working poor in the informal economy.
The seminar on "The Future of Nonprofit Organizations in China" drew a lively audience of more than a hundred participants on May 14th. Moderated by Dave Brown, the panel included presentations from Ai-ling Zhuang, Director of the Shanghai NPO Development Center; William Alford, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, Director of East Asian Legal Studies, and Peter Geithner, the first Ford Foundation Representative in Beijing. This seminar reflects the emergence of nonprofits in China as a major domain for future Hauser Center activities. The event was co-sponsored by East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.
The stimulating panel discussion "Are NGOs Changing World Politics?", held May 21st, revealed differing perspectives on the extent to which international humanitarian NGOs can affect world affairs. Peter Bell, senior research fellow and former president and CEO of CARE USA, traced the emerging political consciousness of NGOs over the past two decades and noted their strengths: 1) their on-the-ground experience, which provides a critical perspective giving voice to the aspirations and concerns of the poor; 2) their impartiality and objectivity, which allows them to bring testimony to both sides in a civil conflict; and 3) their scale, which provides heightened potential for influence when working in coalition. Jackie Smith, associate professor of sociology and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, highlighted the ability of NGOs to bolster civil society challenges to state power and to democratize global politics and institutions, pointing to the role played by the Red Cross in promoting the Geneva Conventions. Robert Paarlberg, professor of political science at Wellesley College, was skeptical and cited the examples of Myanmar, Darfur, Somalia, and Rwanda to demonstrate that 1) world politics is still primarily state-centric and 2) NGOs are relatively powerless to influence states that are determined to keep a distance from international civil society. The seminar, moderated by J. Bryan Hehir, Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Hauser Center, was co-sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
NGO Leaders Forum
In April, Peter Bell, Tony Pipa, and Ellen Levine organized and facilitated an NGO Leaders Forum at the Greentree Estate in New York. Ten CEOs of leading US-based humanitarian NGOs 1) engaged foreign policy advisors of U.S. presidential candidates about the strategic importance of elevating global poverty on the next President's agenda; 2) considered joint advocacy for policies to mitigate the worsening food crisis and advance food security worldwide; and 3) examined, together with CEO counterparts from leading international conservation NGOs, ways to facilitate the adaptation of poor populations and endangered environments to the consequences of climate change.
First International/Third Regional Conference of Waste Pickers
In January 2007, WIEGO set up an international steering committee to plan the first-ever international conference of waste picker organizations, which took place in Bogotá, Colombia from March 1-4th. The conference was attended by around 250 people from 34 countries - waste picker representatives from MBOs, supportive NGOs and agencies/foundations, researchers, and government officials. On the first day local waste pickers from Bogotá attended as well, with around 600 people present to celebrate the Colombian day of the Waste Picker. The key outcomes of the conference are an expanded and consolidated Latin America Network of Waste Pickers and a commitment and enthusiasm to continue working together globally. For more details and photos of the conference, see www.recicladores.net.
SEWA/Cornell/WIEGO Exposure Dialogue Program
For the past four years, WIEGO has been involved in a series of Exposures and Dialogues with the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in India and Cornell University. The objective of this initiative is to promote a dialogue between mainstream economists from Cornell University, activists from SEWA, and researchers from the WIEGO network around key assumptions of neo-classical economics – and neo-liberal economic policies - which trouble ground-level activists and researchers working on issues of employment and labor. From March 16-21st, the SEWA-Cornell-WIEGO group held a series of events in India as part of this on-going program: a reunion with the SEWA members who hosted the first Exposure visit in January 2004, a technical dialogue with SEWA organizers, a field visit to a National Rural Employment Guarantee field site in Gujarat; two policy dialogues in New Delhi (on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the report of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector); and a launch in New Delhi of the book Membership-Based Organisations of the Poor edited by Martha Chen, Renana Jhabvala, Ravi Kanbur, and Carol Richards.
2. FEATURED RESEARCH
Philanthropy, Civil Society, and Development Breakthroughs
A new initiative at the Hauser Center, entitled "Philanthropy, Civil Society, and Development Breakthroughs," examines the contributions of NGOs and US foundations in shaping poverty reduction strategies in developing countries. According to the Hudson Institute's "Index on Global Philanthropy," produced in collaboration with the Foundation Center, of the $3.8 billion in international philanthropic giving from US foundations in 2005, $2.2 billion was earmarked for developing countries. In principal, foundations have particular advantages as private donors that enable them to support innovative approaches to development, that if successful can lead to what we are calling development breakthroughs, or systemic changes in how key institutions understand problems and deploy resources to address them. One of these advantages arises from the fact that foundations as private organizations are better able to bear risk, and a certain measure of failure, than other kinds of donors, such as governments and bilateral and multilateral funding organizations such as USAID and the World Bank. Likewise, NGOs may be particularly well-situated, by virtue of the knowledge and experience of their leaders and staff of the needs, constraints and opportunities faced by poor communities, to shape new, promising development interventions. The conditions, then, for innovation—donors with tolerance for risk and grantee organizations with a knowledge of local problems and capacities—would appear to be present. A number of anecdotal cases would suggest this is a valid hypothesis. The research initiative examines the extent to which the relationship between foundations and civil society does indeed foster breakthroughs in how societies understand poverty problems and adjust policies and redirect resources to address them.
The project is led by a team consisting of Steven Lawry, Dave Brown, and Christine Letts. Current plans provide that the research will be carried out in Brazil, South Africa and India, in collaboration with national research institutes in each country.
3. UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND OPPORTUNITIES
New Initiative! Craft Workshops on Nonprofit Start-Ups
As the Hauser Center enters its second decade, we are excited to launch a new series of non-credit Craft Workshops on Nonprofit Start-Ups. Starting in Academic Year 2009 we will offer these workshops which will be open to all Harvard students and recent alums interested in learning the nuts and bolts of starting, leading, and sustaining new or existing nonprofit organizations. The workshop series will focus on developing individual, trade skills such as developing business plans, proposal writing, board development, fundraising, and financial management and budgeting, to name a few. In May, we pilot-tested this idea by offering two workshops: (i) "Managing Financial Resources in Nonprofits " presented by Jim Honan, Aviva Argote and Stew Uretsky; and (ii) "A Primer on Fundraising for Nonprofits" presented by Steven Lawry and Matt Wilson.
We envision these Craft Workshops to continue in future years as a component of a full service Nonprofit Incubator which we plan to launch in AY2010. Our goals for the Nonprofit Incubator are three-fold: (i) to give Harvard students and recent alums a platform from which to launch and incubate business plans for new and innovative nonprofit initiatives addressing public problems or enriching community life; (ii) to provide Harvard faculty a base of data for management and leadership research on nonprofit start-ups; and (iii) to both provide an opportunity and take advantage of skilled Harvard alumni with experience in nonprofit management and leadership to coach the "incubatees."
Details on the AY2009 workshop series will be available on our website by the first week in September. For information, contact Anne Mathew at email@example.com.
New Online Executive Education Programs
These online programs are designed to reach an audience of nonprofit and NGO managers from around the world, who, given the costs and distances, are not able to attend residential Executive Education programs offered by Harvard Kennedy School.
Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Financial Management
September 2 – October 24, 2008
An online program designed to help nonprofit and non-governmental organization managers improve their financial literacy. This program is designed to help managers in nonprofit organizations understand the tools, techniques, and concepts of good financial management. Faculty on this program includes Jim Honan and Ann Thornburg. For more information, please visit www.harvardEE.org/nfs.
Nonprofit Governance: Mobilizing Your Board
October 27 – December 19, 2008
An online program designed to help executives of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations engage their boards in more consequential and meaningful work that produces greater value for their organizations. The program is designed specifically for executives in nonprofit and non-governmental organizations who want to tap into the full array of talent and energy within their boards. Faculty on this program includes Bill Ryan. For more information, please visit www.hks.harvard.edu/ee/myb.
The Hauser Center will be posting employment opportunities for 3 program managers and 1 staff assistant. Please check our website in late summer for information on the positions and work.
4. HAUSERITES IN ACTION
Gabriele Bammer received the Ertas Transdisciplinary Scientists and Engineers Award, which recognizes distinguished achievement in transdisciplinary science and/or engineering as evidenced by contributions to transdisciplinary education and/or research with the use of creative and innovative methods and visionary leadership. Bammer also gave several presentations on her award-winning research including a keynote "Integration Science: Principles, Methods, Examples" at the CSIRO-ASSA (Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia) Symposium "Integrating Social Sciences in the CSIRO National Research Flagships" from May 12-13th in Canberra, Australia, and a keynote "Do We Need a New Discipline to Document and Transmit Problem-based Learnings?" at the11th World Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology from June 1-6th at Asia University in Taichung, Taiwan.
Christine Letts, Dave Brown and Bill Ryan presented the workshop "Strategic Management for Leaders of NGOs" at the Athens Information Technology Institute in Athens, Greece from March 25-29th. The workshop drew almost 50 participants from Southern and Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. This was an experimental Executive Education program in cooperation with the Kokkalis Foundation and the Middle East Initiative, but the response suggests that there is a lot of interest in enhancing the capacities of NGOs in the region. Dave Brown and Srilatha Batliwala helped convene and facilitate the sixth annual meeting of CEOs of International Advocacy Organizations and Networks in Berlin, Germany June 1-3rd. This gathering has produced the International NGO Charter of Accountability, now signed by many of the large international NGOs, and has been the meeting ground on which a number of advocacy alliances have been created.
Marshall Ganz conducted a number of public narrative workshops for a variety of audiences. Public narrative is a process of developing "action speech" through which individuals, communities, and movements construct identity, make choices, and inspire action. On March 7th, Ganz conducted the workshop with the 2006-2008 Prime Movers cohorts, participants in a multi-year fellowship for national social movement leaders sponsored by the Hunt Alternatives Fund. From April 3-4th, Ganz worked with the Wexner Fellows, Israeli public officials selected to pursue an MPA at the Kennedy School in partnership with the Wexner Foundation, on their public narratives. On May 9th, Ganz conducted a workshop with the Mercy Corps Georgian Momentum Program, a group of twelve Armenian leaders participating in a program on negotiation and leadership tools for crisis management. Also, on April 2nd, Ganz delivered the keynote address at the Leadership, Strategy and Social Change Symposium at the Jepson School of Leadership. The symposium focused on the history of social movements, and Ganz spoke on best practices from a theoretical and field perspective in community, issue and political organizing.
Alnoor Ebrahim received a "Dinner on the Dean Award" for teaching excellence from the Kennedy School of Government, for his fall course on "Accountability and Policy: Challenges in the Public, Nonprofit and Private Sectors." He presented preliminary findings of survey responses from 75 executive directors in the Washington DC on "Tensions and Tradeoffs for Nonprofit Leaders: Accountability, Performance and Learning" at the Hauser Center on April 16th and at Tufts University on March 5th. On March 31-April 2nd, Ebrahim participated in a bi-annual conference on "Frontiers in Innovation," organized by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, for senior managers, elected officials, and nonprofit leaders. Ebrahim will be joining the faculty of the Harvard Business School in July as an associate professor in the Social Enterprise Initiative, where he will continue to work with colleagues on issues of nonprofit accountability, performance, and organizational learning.
Peter Dobkin Hall delivered the keynote address "Nonprofit Academic Centers: Past and Prospects" at the Summer Meeting Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) on June 17th at the Mandel Center, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He also gave two seminars on "Nonprofit Classics" at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas at Austin, June 9-10th. Dobkin Hall has been appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Center for the coming year, during which he intends to complete on-going projects on the history of board governance and continue work with Harvard colleagues on federated organizations. He will be teaching in the Baruch College of Public Affairs, CUNY, beginning in the fall.
Martha Chen helped plan and delivered the keynote, "The Informal Economy in Latin America: A Global Perspective" at a conference May 22-23rd on the informal economy organized by HKS and Monterrey Tech in Mexico. A key collaboration between grassroots leaders, academics, and policy makers led organizers to invite representatives from informal worker organizations; the secretary generals of the national federations of self-employed workers in Mexico and Venezuela and the leader of an association of street vendors in the historic district of Mexico City were invited to speak at the conference; and four other women street vendor leaders from Mexico actively participated in the conference. Chen also delivered various seminars on the informal economy, including at the ILO Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand on "The Informal Economy Worldwide: New Perspectives and Initiatives," at the University of Philippines School of Social Work, in Manila, on "Working Poor Women in the Informal Economy: Increasing Voice and Visibility," and the Asian Development Bank in Manila on "The Informal Economy: A Comparative Perspective."
Suerie Moon has received a Hauser Center Research Fund for Pre-doctoral Students Award. Moon is a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Harvard University. Her research is entitled, "David and Goliath: North-South Negotiations Over Patents and Access to Medicines."
5. NEW PUBLICATIONS
The Hauser Center recently began hosting a blog about International Development and Humanitarian NGOs, written by Tony Pipa. The blog highlights the latest thinking on development and humanitarian issues and analyzes the implications for the NGO community, with lively and provocative commentary that seeks to advance dialogue in the field on important issues and elicit a range of perspectives. Recent posts on fund raising in times of crisis (relevant to the Myanmar and China disasters) received mention in Philanthropy 2173, an award-winning blog written by Lucy Bernholz, and Give and Take, hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Bammer, Gabriele and Michael Smithson (eds), Uncertainty and Risk: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, London: Earthscan, 2008. This is the most comprehensive overview of different disciplinary perspectives on uncertainty completed to date. The book starts to untangle the types of uncertainty involved in three fields: environmental management, communicable diseases and illicit drugs. The editors started to lay out major conceptual strands in uncertainty thinking and to develop an integrated view of the nature of uncertainty, uncertainty as a motivating or de-motivating force, and strategies for coping and managing under uncertainty.
The Global University Network for Innovations annual volume, Higher Education in the World, was focused this year on "Higher Education: New Challenges and Emerging Roles for Human and Social Development." Dave Brown wrote a chapter for this year's volume titled "Practice-Research Engagement for Human and Social Development in a Globalizing World" and presented it at their 4th International Conference in Barcelona in April.
Ebrahim, Alnoor, "Learning in Environmental Policymaking and Implementation," in K. Ahmed and E. Sanchez-Triana (eds), Strategic Environmental Assessment for Policies: An Instrument for Good Governance, Washington DC: The World Bank, 2008.
Brody, Evelyn, and Marion R. Fremont-Smith, "Draft Model Nonprofit Corp. Act Needs Coordination with Tax Code," Tax Notes, Volume 119, Number 6, May 12, 2008: 617-619.
Bammer, Gabriele, "Enhancing research collaboration: Three key management challenges," Research Policy, 37, 2008: 875-887. This conceptual paper explores three areas of research collaboration: (a) effectively harnessing differences, (b) setting defensible boundaries and (c) gaining legitimate authorization. The focus is on their potential lessons for individuals leading and managing
research collaborations, evaluation of research partnerships and areas for further investigation. The paper provides a framework for systematically thinking about integration of different perspectives and other elements essential to any particular collaboration.
Cohen, Steven D., Haviva Y. Kohl, and Allison A. Van, "Social Sector Business Ventures: The Critical Factors that Maximize Success," Hauser Center Working Paper # 43, The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University, June 2008.
Pirson, Michael and Deepak Malhotra, "Unconventional Insights for Managing Stakeholder Trust," MIT Sloan Management Review, Volume 49, Number 4, Summer 2008: 43-50.
6. IN THE NEWS
Gabriele Bammer's research and recent publications on uncertainty were promoted in several news outlets. On May 7th, she was interviewed for the ABC 666 Canberra "Drive" program, and on May 8th for the ABC Radio National "Breakfast" program (download the audio program). Bammer and co-editor Michael Smithson also authored the May 19th ABC News Online opinion piece, "Uncertainty need not be such a risky business," and the research was profiled in the May 7th PhysOrg.com article "Not sure? Don't sweat it: Embrace uncertainty."
A Hauser Center panel was featured in the Kennedy School News on May 23rd. The article, "Hauser Center panelists discuss impact of NGOs on world politics," was written by Sarah Staley and profiles the event which took place on May 21st.
Tony Pipa's blog on Humanitarian and International Development NGOs was highlighted in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's "Give and Take" blog column on June 5th in the article "Protecting against national disasters."
Marshall Ganz's work training members of the Episcopal Church on the use of public narrative as a leadership tool was described in the June 14th Episcopal Life Online article "Executive Council briefed on proposed changes to discipline canons." Ganz's interesting life story was also profiled in the Los Angeles Times June 15th article "Famed organizer Marshall Ganz sees history in the making."
In the June 16th Washington Post article "Red Cross Disaster Fund is depleted" Peter Dobkin Hall is quoted as critiquing the charity's credibility as a factor in its fundraising challenges.
7. HAUSER SUMMER FELLOWS
This year we have created a new Hauser Summer Fellowship program to support Harvard students working with the Hauser Center or in nonprofit organizations across the globe.
Risa Ward is the first Hauser Summer Fellow Intern and is working at Harvard jointly with the Hauser Center and the Program in Criminal Justice. Ward just finished her sophomore year at Harvard College with a concentration in Social Anthropology. She has a strong interest in nonprofit organizations and in past summers has had the opportunity to work at the Harlem Children's Zone and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship.
Ying Zhang is an intern for Soho-Ku New Vision, a public service NGO in Shanghai. Zhang is setting up a curriculum for high school teenagers on entrepreneurship in western China. Through business-competition among students, they hope to match-funds through microfinance institutions to put into practice.
Sayeun Park is working for Americans for the Arts, a policy and research NGO in Washington, DC., which is a leading nonprofit for advancing the arts in America. Park works with the President and CEO and will have the opportunity to experience, first hand, the kind of day to day work that is required for the management of an arts organization.
Syon Bhanot is interning for the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) in Madrid, Spain. This international NGO was founded by Harvard graduates and conducts research on and advocates for human rights.
Jung Park is interning in Indonesia with Ashoka, an organization that works with international development and social entrepreneurship in developing countries. Park is working in community-based health clinics in a rural and under-serviced community for a program that trains local women in healthcare practices, works to reduce infant mortality and improve all healthcare in villages.
The Hauser Center E-News provides updates of Hauser Center research, events, activities, people and publications. The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations is a University-wide research center based at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Center is not a degree granting institution. Please e-mail Laura Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org with E-News questions and feedback.
The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
tel: (617) 496-5675
fax: (617) 495-0996