This study examines differences between international organization (IO) headquarters and field employee perceptions of the program they are involved in Southern Sudan and the Three Areas (SS3A). Though headquarters and field employees both aim for a successful program, they perceived the program politics, problem and solutions differently depending on their role. Field employees encountered competing demands from the organization and local stakeholders about program actions since they are "in the weeds" attending to the implementation details. Those managing the project in the field program office had to match the on-the-ground realities in a changing environment to the program grant objectives. Headquarters employees balanced donor requirements with their own organization and host government interests documented through "paper-trails" to ensure grant compliance. The nature of the varied perspectives staff hold of their program in the field, at the program office and in headquarters could help to explain patterns in programmatic change and adaption.
This mixed-method case study was comprised of phone interviews and an online survey of international organization employees on an educational program in SS3A. The study found the respondents perceived the program differently, largely associated with their roles. Identifying discrepancies in employees' perceptions of a program approach has implications to better support the needs and motivations of employees. The discrepant perceptions have implications for project design when considering strategies that will enhance long-lasting benefits of programs in conflict-affected countries, such as South Sudan.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2011. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: David W. Chapman and Joan DeJaeghere. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 202 pages, appendices A-J.
Eschenbacher, Heidi Josephine.
Staff perception within an international organization: a comparison of headquarters and field employee views of an educational program during implementation in Southern Sudan.
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