Students explore the contributions of organizations to internationalism as they assess the effectiveness of an assigned organization in addressing global issues.
Explore scope of international organizations
Invite students to brainstorm the names of international organizations that deal with various global issues:
- providing international aid; e.g., UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders
- resolving conflict; e.g., NATO, UN Security Council
- promoting free trade; e.g., WTO, FTAA
- protecting human rights; e.g., World Court, International Court of Justice.
Record the ideas the students generate.
Assign specific international organizations
Students will be assessing the effectiveness of various organizations at promoting internationalism and making a positive impact on global issues. Explain to students that the purpose is to prepare a recommendation to the Canadian public about support for organizations that promote internationalism. Organize students into small groups and assign each group one of the following organizations to research:
Note: Above Web sites were accessed October 2007.
Research an assigned international organization
Instruct the groups to conduct an Internet search to find information on their assigned organization. Invite students to begin their search on the organization's own Web site and scan the information found on that Web site to determine the organization's international mandates; i.e. prevent or resolve conflict, reduce poverty, lower international debt, prevent/cure disease, protect the environment, protect human rights, protect cultural identity. Suggest that students develop a profile of their assigned organization using the following questions to guide their report:
- Who is the group?
- What does it do?
- Where do its projects operate?
- Why does it undertake these initiatives? (its goals and mandate)
Establish criteria for effectiveness of an organization
Once students have established the primary objectives of their assigned organization, discuss what makes an organization successful. As a class, list possible indicators on the board and reduce the list to three to five criteria that all students will use to assess their international organization. These criteria might include the following:
- clearly established, worthwhile goals
- evidence of success in meeting its goals
- responsiveness to stakeholders' needs
- indicators of long-term or sustainable results.
Assess the organization
Once the criteria have been established, direct students to assess the organization's success in dealing with the identified issues. Encourage students to consult a variety of sources beyond the organization's Web site to gather information to help assess their assigned organization's success in addressing the relevant global issue.
To structure and assess this activity, you may want to adapt one of the charts and assessment rubric in Rating Options (Support Material).
Present the assessments
Once groups have completed the assessments of their organizations using the above criteria, ask them to present their conclusions with supporting evidence to the larger group.
Make a recommendation
Ask students to write a recommendation that Canadians should or should not support the international organization. Encourage students to offer a clear position and provide reasons for the recommendation, and to anticipate and address reasons that might be offered against their recommendation.
To structure and assess this activity, you may want to adapt a chart and assessment rubric in Justifying My Choice (Support Material).