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Oxford University Press Inc
20 August 2020
Geopolitical shifts, increasing demands for accountability, and growing competition have been driving the need for change within transnational nongovernmental organizations (TNGOs). As the world has changed and TNGOs' ambitions have expanded, the roles of TNGOs have shifted and their work has become more complex. To remain effective, legitimate, and relevant in the future necessitates organizational changes, but many TNGOs have been slow to adapt. As a result, the sector's rhetoric of sustainable impact and social transformation has far outpaced the reality of TNGOs' more limited abilities to deliver on their promises. Between Power and Irrelevance openly explores why this gap between rhetoric and reality exists and what TNGOs can do individually and collectively to close it. George E. Mitchell, Hans Peter Schmitz, and Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken argue that TNGOs need to change the fundamental conditions under which they operate by bringing their own forms and norms into better alignment with their ambitions and strategies. This book offers accessible, future-oriented analyses and lessons-learned to assist practitioners and other stakeholders in formulating and implementing organizational changes. Drawing upon a variety of perspectives, including hundreds of interviews with TNGO leaders, firsthand involvement in major organizational change processes in leading TNGOs, and numerous workshops, training institutes, consultancies, and research projects, the book examines how to adapt TNGOs for the future.
By:   George E. Mitchell (Associate Professor Associate Professor Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College City University of New York), Hans Peter Schmitz (Associate Professor, Associate Professor, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego), Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken (Five Oaks Consulting, former director of Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   660g
ISBN:   9780190084714
ISBN 10:   0190084715
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   20 August 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Preface Chapter 1: Confrontation Chapter 2: Soul Chapter 3: Strategy Chapter 4: Power Chapter 5: Legitimacy Chapter 6: Digital Chapter 7: Measurement Chapter 8: Governance Chapter 9: Leadership Chapter 10: Collaboration Chapter 11: Mergers and Acquisitions Chapter 12: Change Afterword by Barney Tallack Note on Sources Abbreviations Notes Index

George E. Mitchell is an associate professor at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York and a founding member of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. His current research focuses on NGOs, human rights, and global philanthropy. Hans Peter Schmitz is a professor at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. He is also a co-founder of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. His current research and teaching focus on digital advocacy, human rights, and philanthropy. Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken has worked on international development and civil society issues for 30 years in development practice, academia, and as an independent consultant. Before launching her consulting practice, Five Oaks Consulting, she was the director of the Transnational NGO Initiative at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Reviews for Between Power and Irrelevance: The Future of Transnational NGOs

This a must read for INGO leaders and senior staff of INGOs, particularly in the Global South, so that they can understand what is going on in the power-centres of their INGO organizations [...]. * Ramesh Kumar Singh Malla, Independent Consultant, former COO, Greenpeace, and former CEO, ActionAid International * For those of us that acknowledge the critical role of TNGOs to preserve equality, human dignity, justice, environmental balance and solidarity, the comprehensive analysis provided by the authors, deconstructed in key dimensions such as context, organizational grassroots, strategy, governance, leadership and digital transformation is an outstanding tool to redesign the present and future of non-governmental organizations. * Joao Diniz, Regional Leader, Latin American and the Caribbean Region, World Vision * It is a perfect antidote to the abundance of over-hyped, but paper-thin discussions around the disruption of the global development sector. * Chris Proulx, Global Director, Humentum * It is required reading for practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and those seeking an informed glimpse into the impending forks in the road facing these historically powerful development actors. * Amy Coughenour, President and CEO, Cadasta Foundation * This book is a must read for all TNGO practitioners. It is both provocative, and well argued. The questions raised cannot be ignored if authentic impact is sought. Buy it, read it as a group and consider the changes that are truly necessary. * Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International * This book does not disappoint. The authors have clearly drawn from deep research knowledge of this sector, drawing from cases and examples throughout. I highly recommend it for anyone working in transnational NGOs today. * Ashley Bishop, Senior Technical Specialist, Measurement and Evaluation, Winrock Group * A provocative and clear-eyed look at the challenges facing transnational non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as they seek to fulfill their ambitious missions while staying relevant and ethical. The book connects to the academic literature but is written for both practitioners and academics in a straightforward and compelling style. The authors have been working with and studying these organizations for many years and their insights are embedded in the real-life dilemmas of these NGOs. * Mary Kay Gugerty, Nancy Bell Evans Professor of Nonprofit Management, University of Washington * By leveraging the extraordinary breadth and depth of their collective experience and research, Mitchell, Schmitz, and Bruno-van Vijfeijken articulate a series of fundamental dilemmas confronting transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) which, if not addressed, will erode the sector's credibility, impact, and...relevance. * Ed Boswell, Co-Founder and CEO, Conner Advisory * The blend of a researched and data driven academic approach combined with parallel experiential research and real NGO stories is compelling. The practical approach provides insights to tools, choices and mindsets meant to assist development practitioners and leaders navigate our uncertain NGO landscape. It is evident that the authors have listened deeply to the hopes, challenges and realities of practitioners in the field. * Marcia Scheffler, Vice President, People & Culture, MEDA * It is a deep, carefully threaded, evolutionary analysis and reflection of the civil society sector, focusing its attention on the so-called Transnational NGOs which, as the largest and widest reaching, have enjoyed a leading role within the civil society sector for a considerable time. The book constructively brings attention to the challenges faced by the Transnational NGOs, delves into how they have been addressed in the past and challenges the stability of this leadership position -even its mere survival- unless the original architecture of the sector is questioned and adapted to meet the challenges of the 21st century. * Patricia Moreira, Executive Advisor and former Managing Director, Transparency International * With many practical examples and an in-depth understanding of the sector, the authors show what potential the large development organizations continue to have, especially in times of shrinking civic space, but also what challenges arise from the emergence of new social movements and expectations arise. * Wolfgang Jamann, Executive Director, International Civil Society Centre and former Secretary General, CARE International *

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