Accountability, responsibility, and 'success' among medical NGOs in Central America

Lightner, Hannah
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Nancy D. (Nancy Dianne), 1963-
Kinchy, Abby J.
Gordon, Tamar
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Science and technology studies
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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This paper seeks to examine how registered, 501(c)3 short-term medical missions (STMMs) create and define accountability, responsibility, and success within their organization. To explore this question, a survey measuring volunteer motivations was cross-analyzed with volunteer-written blogs to identify common themes and motivations among volunteers. These themes were then compared to coded interviews of STMM representatives to see how STMMs are holding themselves accountable and responsible, and if their accountability measures were consistent throughout their mission and vision statements or through the perception of volunteers. The results of this study found that STMMs seem to be holding themselves mostly accountable to their volunteer base and communities they are serving, while also catering much of their STMM ‘experience’ to their volunteer base. A secondary finding of this study was that although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed international volunteering for the time being, it likely will have profound effects on the international volunteering community as they have rapidly evolved to meet the challenging demands of the pandemic. Overall, this study highlights the need for emphasizing, while simultaneously changing, traditional methods and measures of accountability within the international development field
May 2021
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Dept. of Science and Technology Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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