Academics / Concentrations

Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society Concentration

The explosive growth of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide has fostered demand for deeply committed staff with solid development policy and organizational management skills. This concentration focuses on how NGOs drive social change and enable participation and empowerment, especially among vulnerable and excluded groups. It gives students the skills they need for careers in NGOs and social-change organizations including foundations, social movement coalitions, community organizations, non-profit associations, and social enterprises.

Key topics of study include NGO management, program design and evaluation, advocacy, community participation and social movements, project and financial management, fundraising and grant writing, geographic and information systems (GIS), and policy analysis, in addition to wide-ranging policy issues at the heart of NGO work, such as food security, health policy, human rights, migration and refugees, poverty and inequality, and environmental sustainability.

NGO students learn to apply essential organizational and management skills to address these and other important policy issues in diverse contexts around the world. NGO students also develop valuable direct experience through NGO internships, benefiting from the GSPIA-to-DC pathway for internships with national and international organizations in the nation’s capital and the option to study at GSPIA’s DC Center, GSPIA’s dedicated support for a wide range of international NGO internships and study abroad experiences, and local opportunities within our own vibrant nonprofit community.

This concentration is offered within the Master of International Development (MID). To learn more about the MID program and to access the Plan of Study for this concentration as well as five other concentration options, click here.

Major Courses and Plans of Study

With the nongovernmental organizations and civil society concentration, you will choose from a range of core courses tailored to you interests as well as taking a set of required degree courses.  A set of required degree courses are outlined in the MID plan of study for this concentration.

Faculty Experts

Work with faculty whose academic backgrounds, fieldwork, and research are at the nexus of environmental policy and practice.

Nuno themudo

Nuno Themudo 
Associate Professor

A fluent speaker of Portuguese and Spanish, Themudo’s research focuses on the impact of the nonprofit sector on development, especially on the fight against corruption and environmental protection. 

Paul Nelson

Paul J. Nelson
Associate Professor

With 13 years of experience working as a policy analyst for several NGOs, Nelson brings a wealth of real-world knowledge to issues of international development.

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili

Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili
Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Governance and Markets

Murtazashvili's cutting edge research is based on more than two decades of extensive field management experience in challenging environments.