Category Archives: Leadership of International Organizations

Displacement, Development, and Climate Change: International organizations moving beyond their mandates

In 1951 in Geneva, at the heart of Europe recovering from a devastating war, states negotiated the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a landmark agreement which offered protection to those forced to flee across borders due to persecution. States tasked the newly created United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with overseeing and supervising this convention. A small office was established in Geneva for international refugee lawyers to advise states and ensure refugee law was adhered to. In that same year, states established another new international organization: the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME). Its purpose was to organize the relocation of thousands of labor migrants from post-war Europe to the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand. To perform these tasks PICMME had a fleet of ships and officers with experience in the mass movement of
migrants across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These two organizations were just the tip of the iceberg of a growing population of inter-governmental organizations, created in the aftermath of World War II.

Download the first chapter of the book here.

Assessing the Effectiveness of International Organizations

States and multilateral organizations are increasingly assessing the effectiveness of multilateral development organizations (MOs). Assessments vary widely in their definition of effectiveness and their overall purpose. These assessments may encourage organization accountability, foster learning, and inform donor strategies and/or financing. In parallel a large body of international relations (IR) scholarship also examines multilateral effectiveness. Scholars have noted the importance of: commanding stakeholder support, effective delegation and legitimate governance, internal management of the bureaucracy and delivering results on the ground. However, this IR scholarship has not contributed to, nor been cited, in the on-going policy debates. This working paper seeks to bridge the gap between the IR and policy literature on multilateral effectiveness. It draws on a review of the primary and secondary literature, and discussions with expert practitioners and academics on the topic. The paper makes a significant contribution to the field by identifying: how policy and scholars have assessed effectiveness; the challenges of assessing effectiveness; and outlining future research
avenues for scholars to pursue.

Download the full working paper here.

How to Select the Next UN Secretary-General

When the United Nations elects a new secretary-general next year, the world will face a crucial choice. With crises erupting in every region of the world, the need for strong, decisive leadership is self-evident. And yet the selection process for filling important international posts has often been characterized more by political horse-trading than a meritocratic search for the best candidate.

Read the full article here.