Critical Analysis of Non-governmental (NGO) and Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) Mission Statements and Relevance
Learners will be exposed to a variety of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) whereby they will develop and build awareness of viable resources they can draw upon currently and, in the future, to help achieve their goals. This lesson will help prepare learners to identify a nonprofit organization’s mission statement and learner’s will employ critical thinking skills to connect that mission statement to one of the nonprofit’s past/current/future projects. Learners will orally present their findings to their peers. This lesson will apply the universal intellectual standard of relevance as learners will write a reflective analysis of their own research experience and explain which NGO/IGO is most relevant to their lives. The lesson activities can be adapted to different classrooms depending on available technologies.
Learner Audience / Primary Users
This lesson has been designed for a learner audience within secondary education. The primary users are teachers and students.
- Curriculum / Instruction
- Informal Education
- Professional Development
English and can be translated into French
- Instructional Material
- Lesson Plan
- Style Her Empowered
- 21st Century Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Reflective Analysis
- Non-governmental Organization (NGO)
- Intergovernmental Organization (IGO)
- Nonprofit Organization
- Mission Statement
- Public Speaking / Oral Communication
Time Required for Lesson
This lesson will take approximately 80 minutes (plus an additional 30 minutes if showing documentary). The required time is flexible. The lesson can be completed in a single session or in two sessions (there is a natural break between the guided practice and assessment).
Key skills covered in this lesson include:
- Reading Comprehension
- Public Speaking / Oral Communication
- Written Communication
- Identifying NGO/IGO Resources
- Critical Thinking
- Reflective Analysis
By the end of this lesson, the learner should be able to:
- locate and accurately write the mission statement of a NGO/IGO and describe how that mission statement relates to a past, current, or future project of that NGO/IGO.
- orally present research findings to their peers and describe how their assigned NGO/IGO could benefit their community in a logical and concise manner.
- write a personal reflective analysis of their learning experience during this lesson on the following topics: conducting their own research, their oral presentation and those of their peers, and a statement indicating which NGO/IGO is the most relevant to their life with an explanation as to why.
Learners must understand the concept of an organization (of people). They must have basic computer skills to navigate one NGO or IGO website (technology permitting). Basic literacy is required to complete this lesson as-is, however, a learner should not be excluded from this lesson’s activities due to illiteracy. It is highly encouraged to accommodate learners of various academic abilities.
- A large space for brainstorming (See warm-up activity)
- Paper for student note taking
- Computer(s) with internet OR printed material to handout
- Projector (not necessary, but would be helpful for the demonstration and showing the optional documentary)
- List of NGOs and IGOs
- Guided Practice Student Worksheet
Lesson Author & License
- Lesson Author: Jessi L Orth
- License: Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license
Instructional Strategies and Activities
Time: 5-10 minutes
To initiate a group brainstorming activity, the teacher should pose this question to the learners: What do you think of when you hear the word “community”? Visually represent the group’s ideas. The visual representation can take various forms depending on available technology: a large piece of paper, projector, smartboard, chalkboard, whiteboard, etc.
Time: 10 minutes
Introduce the idea of a global community. Our learners have various goals of cultural and environmental change. It is important to verbalize to the learners that a goal of this lesson is to ensure they understand (1) they are not alone, and (2) organizations exist that can provide aid and assistance, opportunities for employment, and be sources of knowledge, skill building, and inspiration. Ask learners if they’ve heard the following key terms (do they know the definitions?): organization, nonprofit organization, Non-governmental Organization (NGO), Intergovernmental Organization (IGO), mission statement, and relevance. Then provide succinct definitions of key terms to the learners (Definitions are in the "Key terms and Concepts" section of this lesson). It may help the students to provide written definitions either on paper or a board. Introduce a short roadmap of the upcoming activities: learners will be (1) locating a mission statement and connecting it to a past/current/future project of their NGO/IGO, (2) giving an oral presentation, (3) writing a reflective analysis, and (4) viewing a documentary (optional, dependent on time and resources).
Presentation / Modeling / Demonstration
Time: 15 minutes
Using Style Her Empowered’s website, or a printout of its website, the teacher will model finding a mission statement. Ask the learners what the mission statement means. Then locate a past/current/future project of S.H.E. and discuss how that project connects to the mission statement. Then model an oral presentation including Style Her Empowered’s mission statement, how the project of S.H.E. connects to the mission statement, and describe how S.H.E. benefits the community.
Note, if using printouts, if possible, print enough copies to ensure each student has access to one in order to follow along.
Time: 15-20 minutes
The teacher may choose to conduct the guided practice in several ways depending on the number of students in the class, the class dynamics, and the available technology. The teacher will assign an NGO or IGO to a small group of 2-3 learners. Alternatively, the teacher may allow the learners to choose an NGO or IGO. A list of NGOs/IGOs is available in the "Required Resources" section of this lesson plan. If internet access is available, learners will explore their NGO/IGO’s website and identify the mission statement. Learners will then find a past/current/future project of their NGO/IGO and describe how it connects to the mission statement. Occasionally, identifying a mission statement can be difficult, learners may need guidance. If there is poor or no internet access, the teacher needs to prepare printouts of NGO/IGO websites to distribute to the learners. The teacher should circulate the classroom and check in with students regularly to ensure understanding and to assess progress of the class. The product of the guided practice should be a student write up containing 1) the name of their NGO/IGO, 2) its mission statement, 3) a brief description of a past/current/future project of their NGO/IGO and analysis of how it relates to the mission statement, and 4) how the NGO/IGO could benefit their community. A "Guided Practice Student Worksheet" is available in the "Required Resources" section of this lesson plan for student use for organization.
Extension Activity: if learners complete the above requirements before their peers, have them further explore their NGO/IGO. Encourage them to write down additional interesting facts that they can include in their oral presentations. Let the learners' curiosity and interests lead them but examples of additional facts are the date of NGO/IGO creation, location of headquarters, how they are funded, additional projects of the NGO/IGO.
If illiteracy is an issue, the teacher can group students strategically to work together or even lead the entire class in the exploration of NGO/IGOs' mission statements and the connection between mission statements and NGO/IGO projects.
Time: 2-3 minutes (per learner presentation - total time will vary depending on class size)
Learners will deliver an oral presentation sharing what they’ve discovered with their peers. Learners must provide the name of their NGO/IGO, its mission statement, their analysis of how a past/current/future project of their NGO/IGO relates to its mission statement, and a description of how their NGO/IGO could benefit their community.
Time: 15-20 minutes (+ 30 minutes if watching documentary*)
Learners will write a reflective analysis of their learning experience during this lesson on the following topics:
(1) conducting your own research - how was the experience of navigating a NGO/IGO website (omit if internet wasn’t used) and researching its mission statement? Did you have any challenges? Did you discover anything exciting or inspiring? If so, please describe.
(2) your oral presentation and those of your peers - what did it feel like speaking in front of your peers? What was it like being in the audience when your peers were presenting?
(3) of all the NGOs/IGOs covered in the lesson, which one (besides S.H.E.) seems the most relevant to your life and explain why.
The length requirement of sections (1), (2), and (3) can vary depending on learner ability. Generally, a minimum of 4-5 sentences per section is suggested. Also, if computers are available, consider having students type their reflective analysis for practice.
*Optional, at the end of the lesson show the short documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” (26 minutes) and have a group discussion after. Information on accessing the documentary for viewing, general information, and the trailer can be found at The Pad Project. It is also currently available on Netflix.
Key Terms and Concepts
- Intergovernmental Organization (IGO): an organization created involving two or more nations to work in good faith, on issues of common interest. Examples of IGOs are The United Nations (UN) and The African Development Bank (ADB). (Harvard Law School, n.d.)
- Mission statement: a succinct expression of an organization's essential reason for existence or core purpose. Some mission statements may include other elements, such as references to how an organization achieves its impact or what it most values. (The Bridgespan Group, n.d.)
- Non-governmental Organization (NGO): a nonprofit organization that operates independently of any government, usually with a purpose to address a social, political, or environmental issue. (Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.)
- Nonprofit organization: an organization that does not generate revenue (profit) for the purpose of increasing the income of its founders or members. Nonprofits typically serve a scientific, religious, educational, or charitable purpose. (Machuca, 2017)
- Organization: a group of people who work together, like a neighborhood association, a charity, a union, or a corporation. (Vocabulary.com, n.d.)
- Relevance: the quality being directly connected with and important to something else. (Macmillan Dictionary, n.d.)
Harvard Law School. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/opia/what-is-public-interest-law/public-service-practice-settings/public-international-law/intergovernmental-organizations-igos/
Machuca, L. (2017, July 28). What is a nonprofit organization? [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/nonprofit-organization/
Macmillan Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/relevance
Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ngo
The Bridgespan Group (n.d.). Mission and vision statements. Retrieved from https://www.bridgespan.org/insights/library/nonprofit-management-tools-and-trends/mission-and-vision-statements
Vocabulary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/organization