Fall 2019  |  PA 5151 Section 001: Organizational Perspectives on Global Development & Humanitarian Assistance (33064)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Meets With:
PA 8151 Section 001
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/03/2019 - 12/11/2019
Tue, Thu 01:00PM - 02:15PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 25
Enrollment Status:
Open (27 of 32 seats filled)
Course Catalog Description:
Organizational analysis of international development and humanitarian assistance, including perspectives from sociology, political science, psychology, public administration, and management. Examines efforts of multiple organizational players, including NGOs, governments, bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations, corporations, foundations, and international organizations. Critical analysis of aid organizations, especially regarding ways in which they reflect and create power and privilege, the manner in which individuals' needs and desires interact with, support, or challenge the needs of the organization, and how all of this is influenced by forces outside the boundary of the organization. Students practice developing actionable recommendations to improve the effectiveness of international aid organizations in the context of multiple (and often contested) understandings of global development needs and conflicting stakeholder demands. Readings, class discussions, mini-lectures, simulations, case analyses, group projects, oral presentations, memo writing, opinion writing.
Class Notes:
Class Description:
Taking an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, this course examines the efforts of multiple organizations within the international aid "industry", including NGOs, governments, bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations, corporations, foundations, and international organizations. We cover some of the major theoretical approaches to organizational analysis, including concepts from sociology, political science, psychology, public administration, and management. Learning to use multiple perspectives is critical. By gaining insight across different theoretical perspectives, students will develop an understanding of how theories provide distinctive windows into understanding behavior in complex social settings. Throughout, you will come to see that organizations provide opportunities and constraints as well as power and privilege within particular contexts.
Preparation & Participation (35%)
-Reading Notes 15%
-Class Participation 10%
-Seminar Facilitation 10%
Reflective Essays (10%)
-Final Version 10%
Op-Ed (25%)
-Second Draft 5%
-Oral Briefing 5%
-Final Submission 15%
Management Consulting: Organizational and Field Analysis (30%)
-Environmental Mapping 10%
-Case Analysis Memo 5%
-Management & Logic Memo 15%
*All assignments will be docked a full letter grade for each 24 hour period they are late.
Class Format:
This seminar is divided into three parts. In weeks 1-3 we will gain an overview of the complementary fields we are drawing upon for this field of study. Beginning with a grounding in the broad field of global development, humanitarian relief, and international aid, gaining familiarity with the critiques of this sector, and then familiarizing ourselves with the conceptual tools from management, sociology, and political science that assist in an analysis of this sector from an explicitly institutional and organizational perspective. Weeks 4-7 provide context for the external environment in which development organizations operate. Weeks 9-11 delve inside organizations. Weeks 13-14 conclude by looking at some current management topics within international aid, especially around measurement and funding. We will meet these objectives through readings, participation in class discussions, mini-lectures, simulations, case analyses, group projects, presentations, and the sharing of students' own experiences. You are encouraged to monitor Moodle and your email for all course updates. Class will be organized with one topic a week. We will generally spend one session discussing the readings, seminar-style, and the other with a guest speaker, doing a simulation, or some other engaged exercise. Generally, at the beginning of class on Tuesdays, I will review major points and add comments designed to elaborate on key concepts, fill in historical background, raise alternative perspectives, or draw connections to contemporary events. We will then have a discussion of the readings, facilitated by student discussion leaders. On Thursdays, we will generally discuss an organizational case, listen to a speaker, or participate in an in-class exercise or activity. However, given the small and intimate nature of a seminar class, I reserve the right to adapt what we cover based upon the group's interests. This will be an evolving course shaped by all of you.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/coelberg_PA5151_Fall2017.pdf (Fall 2017)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/coelberg_PA5151_Fall2016.pdf (Fall 2016)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/coelberg_PA5151_Spring2016.docx (Spring 2016)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
7 October 2016

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2019 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Carrie Oelberger

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