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Civil Society Legitimacy and Accountability: Issues and Challenges

January 1, 2007

University education rarely focuses its attention and imagination on teaching students how to turn a vision into reality; how to design, develop, and lead social change organizations. The author co-created the Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (SE Lab) at Stanford University and then Harvard University as a model educational program designed to achieve this goal. The SE Lab is a Silicon Valley influenced incubator where student teams create and develop innovative pilot projects for US and international social sector initiatives. The lab combines academic theory, frameworks, and traditional research with intensive field work, action research, peer support and learning, and participation of domain experts and social entrepreneurship practitioners. It also provides students an opportunity to collaborate on teams to develop business plans for their initiatives and to compete for awards and recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Students in the SE Lab have created innovative organizations serving many different social causes, including fighting AIDS in Africa, promoting literacy in Mexico, combating the conditions for terrorism using micro-finance in the Palestinian territories, and confronting gender inequality using social venture capital to empower women in Afghanistan.

Civil Society Actors as Catalysts for Transnational Social Learning

November 1, 2005

This article explores the roles of transnational civil society organizations and networks in transnational social learning. It begins with an investigation into social learning within problem domains and into the ways in which such domain learning builds perspectives and capacities for effective action among domain organizations and institutions. It suggests that domain learning involves problem definition, direction setting, implementation of collective action, and performance monitoring. Transnational civil society actors appear to take five roles in domain learning: (1) identifying issues, (2) facilitating voice of marginalized stakeholders, (3) amplifying the importance of issues, (4) building bridges among diverse stakeholders, and (5) monitoring and assessing solutions. The paper then explores the circumstances in which transnational civil society actors can be expected to make special contributions in important problem domains in the future.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 28. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.

Organization Development for Social Change

May 1, 2005

The field of organization development (OD) has emerged from efforts to improve the performance of organizations, largely in the for-profit sector but more recently in the public and not-for-profit sectors as well. This paper examines how OD concepts and tools can be used to solve problems and foster constructive change at the societal level as well. It examines four areas in which OD can make such contributions: (1) strengthening social change-focused organizations, (2) scaling up the impacts of such agencies, (3) creating new inter-organizational systems, and (4) changing contexts that shape the action of actors strategic to social change. It discusses examples and the kinds of change agent roles and interventions that are important for each. Finally, it discusses some implications for organization development intervention, practitioners, and the field at large.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 25. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.

Social Entrepreneurship and Social Transformation

November 1, 2002

This study provides a comparative analysis of seven cases of social entrepreneurship that have been widely recognized as successful. The paper suggests factors associated with successful social entrepreneurship, particularly with social entrepreneurship that leads to significant changes in the social, political and economic contexts for poor and marginalized groups. It generates hypotheses about core innovations, leadership, organization, and scaling up in successful social entrepreneurship. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for the practice of social entrepreneurship, for further research, and for the continued development of support technologies and institutions that will encourage future social entrepreneurship.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 15. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.

Accountability, Strategy, and International Non-Governmental Organizations

April 1, 2001

Increased prominence and greater influence expose international non-governmental development and environmental organizations (INGOs) to increased demands for accountability from a wide variety of stakeholdersdonors, beneficiaries, staffs, and partners among others. This paper focuses on developing the concept of INGO accountability, first as an abstract concept and then as a strategic idea with very different implications for different INGO strategies. We examine those implications for INGOs that emphasize service delivery, capacity-building, and policy influence. We propose that INGOs committed to service delivery may owe more accountability to donors and service regulators; capacity-building INGOs may be particularly obligated to clients whose capacities are being enhanced; and policy influence INGOs may be especially accountable to political constituencies and to influence targets. INGOs that are expanding their activities to include new initiatives may need to reorganize their accountability systems to implement their strategies effectively. This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 7. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.

Globalization, NGOs and Multi-Sectoral Relations

July 1, 2000

This paper seeks to make sense of the impact of globalization on nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations. We argue that globalization processes have contributed to the rising numbers and influence of NGOs in many countries, and particularly in the international arena. International NGOs and NGO alliances are emerging as increasingly influential players in international decision-making, and we discuss some of the roles they can be expected to play in the future. We consider whether the emergence of domestic and international NGOs as important policy makers strengthens or weakens the future of democratic accountability, and we suggest several patterns of interaction among civil society, government and business in future governance issues.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 1. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.

Transnational Civil Society Coalitions and the World Bank: Lessons From Project and Policy Influence Campaign

January 1, 1999

This paper draws on case studies of efforts by transnational civil society coalitions to influence projects and policies of the World Bank to develop lessons about policy influence campaigns. The paper argues that transnational coalitions that succeed in influencing multilateral institutions (1) fit campaigns to their targets, (2) open up the "cracks" in the system, (3) recognize various forms of impact, and (4) create footholds that give a leg up to those who follow. Accountability within coalitions depends on (5) building local bases, (6) building interorganizational "chains" to bridge gaps among coalition members, (7) using face-to-face negotiations to build trust and shared expectations, and (8) recognizing the power of small actors in the right chains.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 3. The Hauser Center Working Paper Series was launched during the summer of 2000. The Series enables the Hauser Center to share with a broad audience important works-in-progress written by Hauser Center scholars and researchers.