Monday, March 9, 2015

Project Prospectus

On a path to successful NGO: a strategic plan for running an effective organization


In my capstone project I will develop a business plan for establishing a nongovernmental organization called The Global Diplomacy Network. This organization will promote global well-being through diplomacy and negotiations. It will provide diplomatic solutions and it will work towards sustainable dispute settlement. The Global Diplomacy Network will foster collaboration between nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, governments, and stakeholders in order to provide an assistance in disputed areas. 
For this organization, I will create a guide that will examine what are the requirements for establishing a NGO and what is the procedure. Once the organization is established, it will look at the effective management, leadership and organization. Moreover, it will also explore how to maintain the organization and how to successfully deliver its mission through marketing, fundraising and different campaigns. To get better insight to the function of the NGO,  I will conduct several interviews with particular NGOs in the area.

For the project, I will be producing a written plan with different sections and visuals. It will be more engaging than a regular report. Along with the plan, I will create a logo of the organization and also I will create basic website that will have the main information about the organization. The website will help with visualizing the operation of the organization.

This project is interdisciplinary because it draws from the common ground theory. There are different viewpoints and beliefs that conflict with each other and this interdisciplinary project aims to create a common ground between them. The common ground theory is crucial for diplomacy in order to achieve a resolution. Thus, this project is a great example of common ground theory in a real life environment. Diplomacy is constantly searching for common ground because all the conflicting actors need to achieve a solution. This project will also involve common ground between conflicting disciplines because they will have different perspectives and assumptions. There is need for creation of common principle that will become a foundation for integration. 

I am expecting to use fields of Political Science, Business, History and Law.

a) The Political Science is closely related to nongovernmental organizations in terms of the impact on political processes. If there is a dispute between governments, then the organization has to closely work with them as a mediator. The Political Science also influences the effect of the organization. The NGO can many times have higher impact on the dispute than actual governments. It is also a significant contributor to the development process by governments and official agencies.
b) The Business discipline will look at the operation of the organization. For example, it will deal with organization’s administration, planning, financing, marketing and management. It will look at the big picture and it will provide a focus and a framework on which to base important decisions. Developing a business plan for the organization should help to limit unforeseen circumstances and therefore make the organization well prepared.
c) The History discipline will look at the historical patterns. It will examine history of diplomacy and particular events in the past that could affect the dispute resolution. The history will help to better solve the problem based on historical events in the past. It can make theories based on historical patters and events that will help with the settlement.
d) The Law discipline looks at the legal procedure of the NGO. It explores the legality and what are the laws regarding establishing a NGO. Furthermore, it is important in terms of having a clear set of By-Laws because they provide clarity to an NGO's structure and functioning. The Law discipline is also related to dispute settlement because there are certain norms and rules that have to be followed. It provides the legal framework, with a focus on legal barriers affecting civil society.

Timeline of the project:

3/11- Conducting first research of the topic and finding relevant sources
3/12- Creating a website domain
3/24- Working on designing the logo for the organization
3/31- Literature Search- focusing on sources from particular disciplines 

4/1-Going back to the website and start with design and structure
4/2- Read 2 articles, take notes and fill in chart
4/6- Starting with writing the introduction and mission of the organization
4/7- Read 2 articles, take notes and fill in chart
4/11- Interview with NGO 
4/20- Interview with NGO
4/28- Adding new sections to the plan and adding marketing and fundraising strategies
4/29- Adding information to the website

5/5- Prepare first draft of the project
5/7- Work on screencast
5/8- Finalize the project and make sure everything is ready and it is proofread
5/12- Post a screencast of the project PPT and a copy of the final project paper in a single post by 4PM


  1. This is fabulous work, Iveta. Let's talk about the website, since you will want to figure out how "public" you want this work to be, given that the organization won't ACTUALLY exist (what would happen if someone stumbled across the site and wanted to use your services?). I am excited about you using the web, both to get your work into the world and because I think the multimedia capabilities will enable you to do some inventive work that would be harder to accomplish in a paper, but we will just want to tease out how it will function in the public arena. I am excited for your project! This really came together since we chatted, and I like the specific direction of the org. Well done!

    1. Dr. DeRosa,
      I have already created a website that is only accessible through password. The password access will avoid any confusion caused by an organization that actually doesn't exist in the real world.

  2. Hello Iveta, This is a fascinating topic! I wonder what types of conflicts you are using as templates here? I would expect that different kinds of conflicts might require different mixes of disciplinary expertise....have you thought about how this might impact your approach? -Dr. O'Donnell

  3. Iveta, this looks like a great project and seems very interesting. It seems really thought out and looks like it will be rather successful.
    I agree with Robin about how public you'll be making this, but it might be cool to have it open for anyone to see as long as you post that it does not actually provide services yet. This way future employers can see what you have done and get a good idea of how you may work.
    Cannot wait to see how it turns out! Good luck!

  4. How the first 4 steps of Broad Model affect my plans:

    1. The first step of Broad Model is to define or state the research question. The research question has to have two qualities. The qualities are that it must be complex and researchable in an interdisciplinary sense. In terms of my project, my research question would be focusing on how does successful NGO work? It is a clear question that defines what I am doing for my project. This type of question is complex as well as interdisciplinary because there is need to draw from different disciplines in order to comprehensively understand the problem. The project has also different parts that are studied from different disciplines. For example, the operation of an organization would be studied from one discipline and the mission from another. Each part is very specific and complex.

    2. The second step deals with justifying an interdisciplinary approach. My project is interdisciplinary because there is no single discipline that would address the project. It includes multiple disciplines and some of the disciplines depend on what is the mission of the organization. It also requires working with stakeholders which leads to crossing disciplinary boundaries.

    3. The third step is to identify relevant disciplines. There are so many other disciplines that could deal with my project but I will focus on the most relevant ones. I have to narrow the potentially relevant disciplines into most important. My NGO is focusing on promoting diplomacy in disputed areas around the world. The most relevant disciplines to my particular topic are Political Science, Business, History and Law. If my NGO would have different mission, then some of disciplines would change.

    4. The forth step is to conduct a literature research. I have already started and I found good amount of relevant and useful resources. I look at resources in the disciplines I am focusing on. My project requires to find variety of sources. It includes primary, secondary and also tertiary sources. I have to make sure I will pick the most useful sources and get the information I need more effectively. I think that developing the Data Management System by Repko is very helpful.

    Source: Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. N.p.: SAGE, 2014. Print.