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CASE STUDIES IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND DECISION MAKING

IN INTERNATIONAL NGOs

CASE #1. Food for the children—or bribes for the Minister of Education?
Food for the Children, an international NGO based in the UK, provides foodgrains and
powdered milk to families where children are at risk of malnourishment or starvation. It
has provided food to families in the small South Pacific Island nation of Papua Tuyua for
the past eight years, utilizing the school system as the means of identifying needy
children and distributing the food. The Minister of Education in Papua Tuyua has
approved the involvement of the school system in this project, though each year the
process of approval has become more cumbersome and drawn out. Sarah Britton has
arrived from London for a one week visit as the representative from Food for the
Children sent to negotiate the arrangement, and she quickly comes to the opinion that the
Education Minister is delaying the process in hopes for a bribe. The local school officials
are eager for the food supplies and assure Sarah that they can distribute the food on their
own with or without the Minister’s approval.
Sarah sends an email to the executive committee in London requesting instructions on
what she should do. The food has to be supplied within the next several days before the
monsoons come.
ROLE PLAY. You are members of the executive committee. What should Sarah do?

As sarah was sent to negotiate with the authorities. And she QUICKLY comes to the
opinion that the minister of education is delaying the process in hopes for a bribe.

After reading the case I came to an opinion that sarah should give few time to negotiation
with the education minister, understand the process of approval and then analyses what is
delaying it.
2ndly she should also work out with the school officials on their offer of distributing the
food on their own with or without the minister’s approval.
As it may be difficult for the schools to go against education minister because of laws and
regulations.

CASE #2. Combatting AIDS can be fun—or not?


Jessica Eager is a young American working with a group of international interns in the
President Clinton AIDS-Awareness Campaign—a US-based educational NGO operating
in Africa—that has sent the team out after a slide-show introduction to African culture
and instructions to be creative. She thinks she has the perfect approach to getting the
word out about condom use to young people in the village of Northern Nigeria.
Remembering how AIDS education was effectively conducted when she was in college
in Santa Barbara, Jessica thinks that the best way to reach young people is through a
positive approach. Rather than promoting the health benefits of condoms and scaring
young people with the threat of disease, she and her fellow interns create a local
campaign based on skits that describe the fun of condom use in sexual situations. One of
the more amusing skits involves a young woman attempting to put a condom on a banana
and then on a large gourd while talking to the vegetable as if it were her naughty lover.
Initially Jessica is delighted that the skits appear to be such a huge success. Enormous
crowds gather, and the young men in the village seem to be especially delighted with the
presentations. But the Muslim elders in the village meet secretly and decide that this
nonsense has to be stopped. They demand that Jessica and the interns leave the village
immediately and that the Clinton AIDS-Awareness Campaign be reprimanded for
promoting immorality. New York staff members rush to Nigeria to deal with the crisis.
ROLE PLAY. You are in one of the following three groups:
1. Sarah and the interns
2. The Muslim village elders
3. The NY staff of the Clinton Foundation
Explain your position and see if it is possible to come to a compromise or a resolution
of the conflict.

CASE #3. Human rights or human wrongs?


A factory owner in the Southeast Asian country of Malaria, Mr. Ikan Sacrudakids, was
severely criticized by an international human rights organization, Human Rights
Watchout. After undertaking a summer research project involving scores of college
interns from Europe and the US, HRW wrote a report claiming that Mr. Sacrudakids was
exploiting his workers, relying on young children of a minority ethnic group to work long
hours at substandard wages. The report is published in the national newspaper, the
Malaria News Press. The very next day Mr. Sacrudakids submits his own expose—of the
Human Rights Watchout organization. It is also published in the News-Press. Mr.
Sacrudakids’ article points out that the HRW organization itself is hardly equitable: the
organization consists almost solely of one ethnic group, white Europeans and Americans;
the young, previously unemployed workers often toil 60-hour work weeks to file their
reports; HRW provides no job security or benefits, and offers salaries—especially to
interns—at pathetically low wages relative to their peers. Some are paid hardly at all.
ROLE PLAY. The Malaria Times-Press invites HRW to respond. You are part of the
HRW public relations team. What are the main points that you would like to present in
your counter to Mr. Sacrudakids’ article?

As a part of HRW, i think its kind of a privilege to work with such an


organization... its policy is to hire young and fresh people as interns.
Internships usually do not guarantee job secuirty or special benefits. so
Mr Sacrukids'stance in this regard is rejected!!! As far as wages is
concerned, it is the company's policy and has nothing to do with
illegalities!

On other hand, Mr Sacrukids exploits his workers who belong to


another ethinic group particularly the younger age people! so he is
being unethical by being biased ethinically or racially!
so, he should take a look at his own deeds and try to mend them
instead of pointing out lame matters of otherS!

We strive to provide our employees with productive working conditions


and want to help them derive satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment
from their jobs.
Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer that does not
discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest
possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

CASE #4. The high cost of doing good.


The board of directors of the Winds of Change international hurricane relief agency are
listening to a proposal for a new advertising campaign. The proposal is to use direct mail,
jeeetelemarketing, spot ads and television infomercials that will focus only on the most
appealing aspects of the WOC organization’s work—rescuing pets and children affected
by a tsunami—even though much of the aid is for prevention and reconstruction
following seasonal storms. The advertising campaign is estimated to bring a huge
increase in donations: at least 100%, doubling the organization’s 2 million dollar yearly
budget to 4 million dollars. The costs of the increased advertising, mailing and
promotional staff costs are high, however—rising 1000%, from only $200k to $2 million
(it also takes a larger percentage of each dollar contributed—from 10 cents to 50 cents on
the dollar). Still, the net gain is considerable, an additional $200,000 for relief work (ie,
from $1.8 to 2 million) which is a 20% increase in the WOC net and significant
additional funds for those in need.
ROLE PLAY. You are a member of the board of directors as it heatedly discusses the
proposal. You are part of one of the follow cliques within the board:
-A third of the members of the board who think that this expenditure is justified.
-A third of the members of the board who think that this approach is wrong.
-A third of the members of the board who are undecided, and will be swayed by the
arguments of one or other of the two sides.
What issues does each clique raise to the board, what questions does the undecided
group ask, and how do the other members respond? Is a compromise possible?
MJ Nov28/07