Partnership to Empowerment: A Case Study of an International NGO and Public Schools in Belize

By Shea Kerkhoff.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 11, 2016 $US5.00

At the time of this exploratory case study, less than 50 percent of primary school teachers in Belize had any pedagogical training. The purpose of this study was to understand teachers’ and students’ desires, or lack thereof, for international nongovernment organization (INGO) support. In order to respect the autonomy and dignity of the four communities in the case, INGOs should continually ask beneficiaries: Do you want help? And if so, what help is needed? And afterward, what was the impact to your community? This study asked these questions in order to understand teachers’ and students’ desire for support from INGOs. Specifically, the study looked to understand teachers’ and students’ attitudes about resources, access, and equity in their public school to see what parallels and disconnects existed between stakeholder perspectives and the current INGO programs operating in their schools. Data sources comprised anonymous teacher questionnaires with seventeen teachers, semi-structured interviews with four teachers and three former students, and four follow-up focus group sessions. The study found participants desired assistance, but only perceived INGOs in a resource delivery role. The findings have implications for future INGO and public school partnerships as INGOs serve as mentors and connectors.

Keywords: International Organizations, Community Development, Empowerment, Professional Development

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.23-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 11, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 525.679KB)).

Shea Kerkhoff

Doctoral Student, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA