PONPO exists to foster interdisciplinary
research aimed at developing an understanding of nonprofit
organizations and their role in economic and political life.
After more than 25 years of attention primarily to the domestic
American scene, PONPO is now re-focusing its efforts on the
study of international non-governmental organizations and
the not-for-profit sector in developing countries.
With increasing globalization and the political shifts resulting
from the end of the cold war, recent decades have seen a proliferation
of both international aid agencies and "third sector" organizations
within developing countries and nations experiencing political
transition. These organizations are increasingly recognized
as significant actors in the economic and political development
of their nations. They play major - often dominant - roles
in health care, environmental protection, economic development,
human rights, democratic governance, and the fight against
corruption. Despite their significance, the academic study
of the role of these entities is in its early stages.
PONPO thus now turns its attention to international nongovernmental
organizations and the not-for-profit sector in countries other
than the United States.
Participating Yale faculty and visitors to PONPO will study
foreign and international nongovernmental organizations from
many different perspectives. They will look at the role not-for-profits
play in the fields mentioned above and the managerial, financial
and mission dilemmas they face. Scholars will also look at
the birth, growth, and death of these entities under various
conditions and at their interaction with national and local
governments and the business community.
It is hoped that this activity will be carried out in cooperation
with other academic centers in this country and abroad.