Spring for 2015-2016
Please refer to individual sections for course descriptions.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '15: Beale, John Scott (description, file download)
Fall '15: Kritz, Jessica (web site, file download)
Fall '15: Toma, A (description, file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
GOVT-505-01 Topics: Advocacy Skills
Spring for 2015-2016
Designed to be interactive and practice oriented, the course will inform students of the key concepts and elements of effective advocacy - with attention to theories of change principles, articularing advocacy goals, target audiences, coaliton building and networking, messaging, presentations and funding raising. I will share examples of international and national level efforts, and provide an opportunity for students to explore and develop their own ideas and designs.
BIO: Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini
Sanam is co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN). Between 2005-14, she was a Research Associate and Senior Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies. In 2011, she was the first Senior Expert on Gender and Inclusion on the UN’s Mediation Standby Team. For nearly two decades she has been a leading international advocate, researcher, trainer and writer on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. In 2000, she was among the civil society drafters of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
Between 2002 and 2005, as Director of the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, Ms. Anderlini led ground breaking field research on women’s contributions to conflict prevention, security and peacemaking in 12 countries. Since 2005, she has also provided strategic guidance and training to key UN agencies, the UK government and NGOs worldwide, including leading a UNFPA/UNDP needs assessment into Maoist cantonment sites in Nepal. Between 2008 – 2010, Ms. Anderlini was Lead Consultant for a 10-country UNDP global initiative on “Gender, Community Security and Social Cohesion” with a focus on men’s experiences in crisis settings. She has served on the Advisory Board of the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), and was appointed to the Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) on Resolution 1325, chaired by Mary Robinson in 2010. In 2013, she was appointed to the Working Group on Gender and Inclusion of the Sustainable Development Network for the post-2015 agenda.
Ms. Anderlini has published extensively on gender, peace and security issues, including Women building peace: What they do, why it matters (Lynne Rienner, 2007). She holds an M.Phil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. Iranian by birth, she is a UK citizen, and has twin daughters.
GOVT-505-02 Topics: Building a Sustainable Nonprofit Organization
Spring for 2015-2016
The course aims to expose students to the major ideas, trends, processes, and unique qualities animating successful non-profit organizations. Students will experience developing the analytical and relational skills at the foundation of being an effective leader and thinking strategically about applying the toolbox of management approaches to building a contemporary sustainable non-profit organization. These skills include, but are not limited to, leadership, social entrepreneurship, mission development, business planning, project planning/design, budgeting, board development and management, branding/marketing/technology utilization, networking, presentation skills, and launch plans.
Bio: Cameron M. Chisholm
Cameron M. Chisholm is President, International Peace & Security Institute: Extensive experience in program management for international participants and a career focused on global peace and security issues; President and Founder of the International Peace & Security Institute (IPSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to training leaders in the peace and security fields to be ready for the challenges that confront them in the real world. IPSI curricula are designed to be rigorous, substantive learning experiences that give our trainees the tools they need to make peace reality. Before founding IPSI, Cameron worked with the World Bank, CEWARN, the U.S. Department of State, and The Carter Center. He has a B.A. from Emory University and a M.A. from the University of Bradford, UK. Cameron is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Elliott School and is a Rotary World Peace Fellow Alumnus. Cameron was named as one of the 2012 "top 99 under 33" most influential foreign policy professionals and is a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.
GOVT-505-03 Topics: Writing for Govt Grants & Contracts in Intl Development
Spring for 2015-2016
This course is intended to help students to understand the process of government funding for international development programs and to help prepare them to write proposals and applications for government contracts and grants in international development and related fields. It is designed to encourage the development of practical skills that will be directly relevant and useful in writing proposals and applications. Students who take this course should be more marketable and better prepared to work at consulting firms/government contractors, NGOs, government agencies, intergovernmental organizations or other places involved in international development or other government-funded fields.
The course will meet once a week for five weeks beginning in late January. We will begin with an overview of government contracting (acquisition) and grants (assistance), including consideration of the policy, legal and regulatory environment governing U.S. government funding, with a particular focus on the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State. Next, we will consider the scopes of work or program descriptions of actual USG requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for applications (RFAs). Then, we will focus on the instructions and evaluation criteria from particular RFPs, which govern the process of responding to such RFPs, and we will compare the corresponding requirements from particular RFAs, all drawn from actual solicitations in the international development field. We will also touch on other mechanisms, such as Annual Program Statements, Broad Agency Announcements, Requests for Information and Requests for Statements of Interest, among others. Throughout the course, we will work on practical writing issues that are particularly relevant to proposals and applications for U.S. government funding.
Bio: Eric Bjornlund
Eric Bjornlund is a lawyer and is co-founder and president of Democracy International (DI), a U.S.-based firm that provides technical assistance, analytical services, and project implementation for democracy, rights and governance (DRG), conflict-mitigation, transition initiatives, and other international development programs worldwide for the U.S. government and other funders. He is also adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University and teaches in the graduate program in Democracy and Governance.
Over the past 25 years, Mr. Bjornlund has designed, managed and evaluated development programs in more than 50 countries and in all regions of the world. He has expertise across the full range of DRG, conflict and transition programs. He also has extensive experience with evaluation methodology and survey research and has led projects in emerging democracies and semiauthoritarian and conflict-affected countries. At Democracy International, he oversees a rapidly growing organization with more than 200 full-time staff members, five overseas offices, and active programs in more than 20 countries.
Mr. Bjornlund has written and spoken extensively about transitional and postconflict elections, democratization, legal reform, and international democracy promotion. He is author of Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy (2004; Arabic edition 2013) and has also written and published numerous book chapters, articles, essays, and reports. At Georgetown, he has taught courses on Democracy Promotion and Democratic Theory and on DG and Postconflict Political Reconstruction. Mr. Bjornlund has testified on a number of occasions before the U.S. Congress and at the United Nations and has spoken at conferences and universities throughout the world. He has served as an expert on elections, election monitoring, and civil society for the U.S. State Department and various U.S. embassies and has appeared often on television and radio in the U.S. and abroad.
Mr. Bjornlund worked previously in senior positions in the U.S. and abroad for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Carter Center, and he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Earlier in his career, he practiced corporate and international law at Ropes & Gray, one of the largest law firms in the U.S.
Mr. Bjornlund earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia University, a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.A. magna cum laude in Economics from Williams College.
GOVT-505-04 Topics: Technology for Social Change
Spring for 2015-2016
New technologies have fundamentally changed the way that NGOs, governments and companies engage with communities around the world. Tools like mobile phones, digital maps, and social media platforms have already demonstrated tremendous value in addressing a range of social problems and yet so much more potential exists on the horizon. This one credit course will explore some of the ways technology is being used to respond to crises, improve healthcare delivery, monitor elections, provide banking services, ensure effective governance, expand educational opportunities, and more. It will also address some of the key challenges these new tools present, such as lack of access, underdeveloped infrastructure, implementation issues, as well as obstacles for scale-up and evaluation. The course is designed for Georgetown University students to assist them in developing concrete strategies and technological skills to work amid this rapidly evolving landscape. Participants can expect an immersive and interactive learning environment with a variety of real world examples from organizations working in the field.
Featured Skills and Tools
- Using Mobile phones to improve agricultural, finance, and health outcomes
- Leveraging social media tools to build campaigns and drive change
- Collecting, managing, and visualizing data more effectively
BIO: Nicholas Martin
Nicholas Carl Martin is an American technologist, entrepreneur, and educator best known for founding the international organization TechChange: the Institute for Technology and Social Change.
Martin has delivered a number of speeches at the United Nations, The US State Department, and USAID on the role of technology for international development, online learning & capacity building and m-learning His work has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Guardian, The Economist, Dowser.org and more.
Nick is a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow and an International Youth Foundation Global Fellow.He graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in English Literature and Education and from The University for Peace with a masters in Peace Education.
Prior to founding TechChange, Martin started an award-winning conflict resolution and technology program for DC elementary schools called DCPEACE.
As of November 2013, Nick is also an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University.
GOVT-505-05 Topics: Storytelling for Influence
Spring for 2015-2016
As institutions and organizations evolve, everyone has a role and responsibility in ensuring that their messages break through the information superhighway to enable the changes they want to see in the world. Communications is no longer a specialized skill set to increase visibility and build a brand, it is something all people in an organization must use to achieve its mission. Storytelling for Influence will enable students to hone their ability to educate, motivate, and persuade specialized audiences for policy advocacy, programming, and public outreach, i.e. write something that will get read and say something that will be heard. The course will be based in experiential learning, where students will be telling/writing their own stories and/or critiquing/improving existing communications products using acquired knowledge/tools.
Bio: Jennifer Lentfer
Jennifer Lentfer is a Nebraska farm girl turned international aid worker. As the creator of the blog, how-matters.org, she was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine's "100 women to follow on Twitter" in 2012. Jennifer has worked with over 300 grassroots organizations in east and southern Africa over the past decade, serving with various international organizations in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, and the U.S. including the Red Cross, UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, and Firelight Foundation. Jennifer is currently Senior Writer on Oxfam America’s Aid Effectiveness team and a lecturer in Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication.
GOVT-505-10 Topics: Leadership
Spring for 2015-2016
*This course will be taught by Scott Beale in Fall 2015.*
Leadership for Social Change is a one-credit course taught by Scott Beale, the Founder & CEO of Atlas Corps, an award-winning international nonprofit, that teaches civil society professionals leadership skills through a one-year fellowship in the United States. The course will teach key principles of social change leadership, provide examples of social change leaders who embody these principles and compare and contrast social change leadership with other types of leadership. Students will read case studies of global social change leaders, watch videos of how social change happens, and participate in group activities to practice principles of leadership. This course will lead students through a self-discovery of their leadership style and teach them several different leadership theories so that they will be able to choose the most appropriate for the variety of leadership situations and contexts they may encounter. The course is specifically designed for students who aspire to government and nonprofit leadership positions. Scott has held numerous leadership positions in the nonprofit sector and in the government, including the White House, State Department and state government.
GOVT-505-11 Topics: Social Media for Social Change
Spring for 2015-2016
*This course will be taught by Aaron Sherihan in Fall 2015.*
Social media has quickly taken its place on the global stage as an important element of social change. From their use in advocacy on key policy issues to grassroots political mobilization to community building and activism, social media platforms are now part of what some people refer to as "new power." Social media is credited with raising awareness of issues such as poverty and disease and driving actions that influence policy and political decisions. This dynamic is re-defining the way that the public relations, philanthropic, public engagement and lobbying sectors approach grassroots mobilization. But are these platforms driving more transparent, bottom-up, nimble social movements or are they merely a tactic used by movement makers?
This course will explore the power and promise of social media for social change. It will attempt to define what is the role and who are the actors of the new "social good" community. It will cite case studies from around the world as the basis for a discussion of five core questions: 1) What impact has social media had on key social change issues? 2) What makes for successful use of social media for social change initiatives? 3) What are the dangers or pitfalls of social media in today's political and economic environment? 4) How can its effectiveness be measured? 5) What is the future of social media for social change, and which global issues could it impact?
GOVT-505-12 Topics: Communicating for Influence
Spring for 2015-2016
How do we change one another's minds? It is clear in the research that logical argument and reasoning is not the only, or even primary, way people reach conclusions and become motivated to act. What does this suggest about how to communicate ideas effectively, and how do these dynamics play out in our politics? How different is a research-based vision of political behavior from the picture Publius painted in The Federalist Papers?
This course will look at modern politics through the lens of modern psychology and communications research. We will examine a variety of heuristics people use to form opinions about issues in lieu of conducting extensive first-hand research, and consider the range of emotional drivers of political behavior. Then we will look at a variety of communications techniques used by political actors and consider their efficacy in different situations. These will include such phenomena as storytelling, dodging, charisma, appeals to authority, purity and empathy, the “Big Lie,” and the social proof behind the lazy journalist's favorite phrase, “Some say...” Finally, we will tackle the performative aspect of communication, with each participant practicing selected techniques on camera to get a working sense of their personal communication style and how to develop it further.
This one-credit course will be taught by John Neffinger, who is the co-author of the book Compelling People and previously taught the History of Presidential Debates seminar.
GOVT-505-20 Topics: Strategic Collaboration
Spring for 2015-2016
Strategic and cross-sector collaboration is a necessary solution to complex development challenges. While the practice and research of cross-sector collaboration is extremely challenging, there has been extraordinary growth in the developed-country literature. Since 2006, the literature has expanded dramatically with hundreds of empirical and theoretical articles published. By contrast, in developing countries, the practice of cross-sector collaboration has far outpaced the research. While cross-sector collaboration is desired by governments, required by funders and recommended by policymakers—and most fields, including the global health and conflict resolution fields, work extensively across sectors, memorializing these activities through various types of documentation such as contracts and memoranda of understanding—this policy and practice has not been supported by a commensurate level of research focus. This class will highlight and begin to address this crucial knowledge gap. We will investigate the existing literature and analyze key areas where attention is needed. Students will leave the class equipped with cutting-edge tools to build and research cross-sector collaboration in a developing country setting. Case studies will be drawn primarily from the global health and conflict resolution sectors.
GOVT-505-21 Topics: Philanthropy and Fundraising
Spring for 2015-2016
*This course will be taught by Alex Toma in Fall 2015.*
Although philanthropy has existed for millennia, many people are still
baffled by the foundation and philanthropic community. What is this
sector? Why does it exist? What does it do? Why is it important vis-a-vis
policymaking? Yet ¬ whether your career leads you into policymaking or
³policy shaping² (e.g., corporate sector, think tanks, advocacy
organizations) ‹ foundations will provide a necessary base for your work.
The past decade has seen both a dramatic rise in public-private
partnerships between the U.S. Government, World Bank, corporations and
foundations, and a desire for foundation leaders to be more transparent
about their work. Understanding how to successfully engage with the
foundation sector is critical for any emerging policymaker/shaper.
This course will cover the critical issues one needs to succeed in
leveraging and engaging with the foundation world to be an effective
change maker. Topics will include: what are the
pros/cons/upsides/downsides of foundations; why do foundations exist; how
has the foundation world changed over the past decade and why does this
matter to modern-day policymaking/shaping; what does the current
foundation ecosystem look like; what are current trends (functionally,
issues-wise) in the foundation world; and best practices for approaching
foundations and foundation partnerships.
Through taking this course, students will be better prepared to approach
foundations in any aspect of the work they set out to do. The course is
more skills-based and offers real-world case studies to illustrate key
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: