DAS Effective Management of IOs and NGOs 2019

The program empowers participants to take on leadership roles in their organization and provides a deep understanding of the socio-economic and political environments in which International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprises function.



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36 ECTS credits
288 Teaching hours






+41 (0)22 379 89 71


Uni-Mail, Geneva


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Modules can be followed individually


CHF 15000.-


  • Master advanced management skills and practices applicable to intergovernmental, public and non-profit organizations
  • Strengthen your skills in leadership, communication and team management
  • Access an extensive network of professionals and build strategic connections in a competitive international environment
  • Bridge the gap between corporate business and international cooperation and examine out-of-the box approaches


The program is designed for professionals who work for – or aspire to work for – IOs, NGOs, NPOs or Social Enterprise in managerial positions as well as professionals from the private sector looking for a career shift.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand risk analysis and decision-making mechanisms
  • Acquire project management skills and set up innovative solutions
  • Develop your leadership and management skills and increase your team or organization performance
  • Apply fundamental concepts of change management in complex organizational settings
  • Outline key factors in successful global partnership contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


12 modules divided as follows:

6 core-modules (mandatory modules):

  • Effective Communication
  • Leadership and Management in Non Profit Organizations
  • Risk Management
  • Cross Sector Partnerships
  • Communication, Fundraising and Advocacy
  • Social Entrepreneurship & Business Plan

and 6 elective modules to be selected from the list below:

  • Governance & Management challenges in the UN system
  • Team Leadership
  • Self-Leadership / Online module
  • Practice of International Relations
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Change Management / Online module
  • Leadership and Strategic Change in the UN
  • Conflict Resolution in Business & Politics
  • Designing Development Projects
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Global Strategy / Online module
  • Business & Society
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • International Law and its Effects on IOs and NGOs
  • International Trade
  • Doing Business in Emerging Markets
  • Performance & Resource Management in NPOs
  • Global Innovation Management


Prof. Thomas STRAUB and Prof. Tina AMBOS, Geneva School of Economy and Management (GSEM), University of Geneva, Thomas NEUFING, Chief, Centre for Learning and Multilingualism, United Nations Office at Geneva


Rose ACHEAMPONG, University of Geneva
The executive degree “Effective Management in IOs and NGOs” enables participants to develop proven management skills applicable in the context of International Organizations, NGOs, NPOs or social enterprises. The program empowers participants to take on leadership roles and provides a deep understanding of the socio-economic and political environments in which these organizations function. A diverse choice of elective modules allows for full customization of the program to each participant’s individual interests and work schedule.


12 March 2018


Written communication: Participants will be introduced to the methodology used by leading management consultancies in management communication with the key message being on top built on a logically sound storyline. It can be used for presentations but also emails, conference calls or phone conversations. Verbal Communication: The mere thought of it can set hearts pounding! And yet, being able to communicate one’s ideas in public is an important and sought-after skill. Communicating effectively is not only a matter of having good ideas but also having the ability to engage people. Business managers, senior executives and entrepreneurs are called on regularly to make presentations to colleagues, clients and the general public. The goal of this course is to familiarize the students with key public speaking and presentation skills through lectures, discussions and individual work at home. Students will also have an opportunity to give a short presentation and receive personalized feedback.


This course module complements academic work on non-profit organizations (NPOs). It aims at providing students with a practical understanding of how international NPOs are set up, governed, led and managed based on some defining factors such as their mission, guiding principles, history and stakeholders, as well as the environment they are operating in. It will walk students through some of the key features of leadership and management of NPOs, both in terms of management frameworks and of leadership and management practices.


The aim of this course is to give students a basic understanding of the principles of risk management and their application. By the end of this module, students should have a broad understanding of the risk management function in an organization, be able to define its risk and to develop a risk policy.


Cross-sector partnerships are increasingly becoming mainstream in areas where societal actors detect own boundaries, sense efficiency gains through collaboration, or recognize opportunities behind interdependencies. This course explains the global evolution of partnerships and the manifold types that emerged, it zooms-in on the management of partnerships, and provides guidelines as to when partnerships can and should be utilized. At the heart of the course, study-groups together with the actual partnership managers critically study, analyze, and compare a suite of globally successful partnerships.


What are the basics of communication processes? How to conceptualize, plan, execute and monitor a communication strategy? How to develop and establish appropriate strategic fundraising solutions? What can advocacy achieve? And how are all of these connected to each other?


Social entrepreneurship refers to the practice of combining innovation, opportunity and resourcefulness to address some of our most challenging social, economic and environmental problems. While social entrepreneurship is generally focused on the creation and growth of new ventures, social innovation is a broader concept that applies these same principles wherever our career paths take us, in the public, commercial, academic or citizen sector. This course will examine the evolution of the practice of entrepreneurship that focuses on transforming systems and practices that affect communities and ecosystems and the growing number of entities that are supporting its disruptive potential.


The course provides a conceptual framework and an empirical basis for examining governance and management practices in the UN system. The course focuses both on the specific characteristics of intergovernmental decision making and on the practical aspects of management. The method of work will focus on group work and case studies.


Nowadays, projects are achieved mainly through teamwork rather than individually. Successes are the result of combined elements, including communication and leadership skills. Many difficulties arise while working in a team, while at the same time trying to communicate, motivate, reach common goals and manage different personalities and talents. This course will give you the tools necessary to effectively lead a team and to overcome the main challenges of teamwork.


This module is on one hand designed to help students to think about their career and how to make the most of their MBA. In other words, it will enable the students to take stock of their personal development so as to better manage their learning curve during after their study program. They will gain a better understanding of their own drivers and plan their future career in a positive way. On the other hand, this module will help you to better influence your environment.


The growing intensity, and velocity of global interactions requires new approaches to studying the practice of international relations. This course combines theory and case study practice to make sense of an increasingly complex global actor and issue landscape. The course is based on highly interactive and participatory group learning and puts an emphasis on presentation and discussion skills.


In this three-day course, we will study the increasingly important issues of sustainability and the environment in the context of finance and investments. On the first day, we will start by reviewing basic finance concepts. For example, we will learn about financial securities, asset classes, the financial system, financial institutions, and about the important role that financial institutions and markets play in intermediating between providers and demanders of capital. The second and third day will be dedicated more specifically to sustainable finance. We will start by reviewing the concept of sustainable development and study how it is operationalized in finance and investments. In particular, we will examine key Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues and how such issues are typically defined and quantified. On the third day, we will focus more specifically on environmental issues. As such, we will start by reviewing climate related issues in the context of finance. For instance, we will learn about initiatives aimed at increasing transparency with respect to climate risks in financial markets.


Today’s business environment is characterized through hyper‐competitive markets that constantly challenge an organization’s functioning. Within the past two decades, firms twice experienced conditions of turbulent market environments indicated through the bursting of the dot‐com bubble in 2000‐01 and the sub‐prime crisis in late 2008. These economic conditions have increased the complexity of today’s business environment and unambiguously underline the importance of knowing how to deal with environmental changes, difficult business situations, and corporate growth. Managing such conditions consists of multiple organizational challenges and implies that firms must constantly adapt to evolving market environment. This course aims at developing an understanding on how to behave and manage such situations. It familiarizes participants with how to manage change under situations of corporate crisis, global competition and environmental change.


The course provides a conceptual framework for understanding the concept of leadership in the UN System. It analyses the practice of leadership by successive Secretaries General and explores the experience with different leadership models. The course examines current and past efforts at reform in the UN.


Increasing interdependence within and between societies inevitably leads to conflicts of interest. A dominant way to overcome these obstacles is the new disciplines of conflict resolution and negotiation. After setting the stage with theories of conflict and cooperation, this course covers structural and dynamic issues of negotiation processes. It combines analytical and practical techniques with discussion of real-world examples from business and political conflicts at international level.


This course provides an overview of the international development landscape and how different approaches to delivering development assistance have evolved through time while combining theoretical knowledge with practical hands-on training. Using detailed case studies of existing and hypothetical projects, the course explores essential tools for planning and implementing development projects.


The course is designed to expose students to the theory and practice of selecting and analyzing financial and managerial accounting information for decision-making, planning, directing and controlling purposes. It focuses on the understanding and questioning of accounting numbers and of underlying assumptions behind those numbers, and on the need to integrate accounting reports with nonfinancial performance measures and effective tools of analysis.


Organizations – for-profit or non-for-profit ones – need to develop strategies how to act in the global environment. This course aims at developing strategic thinking in a global context. We introduce you to the domain of global strategy, gain understanding of the processes of strategy analysis and formulation, and then apply them in a global setting.

The course blends input sessions with tools and frameworks as well as interactive discussions and assignments. We will work on a case study in real-time and interact with the organization’s management

Learnt concepts are applied in a simulation scenario about strategic decisions taking for several markets.


After an introduction to the roles and drivers of society’s different stakeholders, the business case for engaging in society is discussed. The course’s core focus lies on the different ways in which companies can and do engage socially, and how they can benefit society and the environment. The course then provides insights and practical learning on engagement measurement, company ratings and non-financial reporting, the manifold forms of collaboration between the UN system and business, as well as on the business of climate change.


To gain a sound grasp of the challenges inherent in managing across cultures. We begin by analyzing the importance and relevance of culture in management practice and then go on to explore methods for understanding culture, and develop a framework for cultural analysis (national, corporate, functional, etc.). We examine the impact of culture on strategy, structure, and human resource management, and we evaluate different approaches to managing cultural differences and examine the role of managers and organizations in a global economy.


This course focuses on the effects that international law has on the creation and functioning of international intergovernmental organizations. It deals with how IOs operate in this system of law, as well as with their influence on the legal aspect of international relations. The emerging role of NGOs and their impact on intergovernmental organizations is also considered.


The aim of this course is to provide participants with a general framework to understand Globalization. This course explores the changes and consequences of Globalization on economy, society and politics, for both developed and developing countries and also the impact of government policies at the national and international levels when firms compete in global markets. What do we know about the effects of globalization on economic growth, income inequality, and poverty? What’s the impact of industrial, investment, competition and trade policies on firm’s productivity and growth? How does it affect workers? When is government intervention necessary? When is the government intervention the most efficient? Is there a need for policy coordination at the international level through International Governmental Organizations for instance? How can Non-Governmental Organizations and civil society react?


To gain an understanding of the strategic and management challenges that firms are confronted with in the new global competition marked by the increasing participation of emerging economies and particularly the BRIC’s (Brazil, Russia, India, China). Emerging markets offer opportunities because of their growth and the rapid expansion of a middle class. At the same time, new competitors native from those countries are expanding their presence, not only in their home markets, but also in the international arena. In this course, we will try to characterize the specific features of those emerging countries and players, pinpointing their similarities and differences. We will then deal with strategic and managerial issues that are generic with particular applicability in one specific country.


This ‘practitioner course’ takes the students in six thematic sessions through the resource management functions in Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). The course examines the constituent elements and boundaries of NPOs, their embedded incentive systems, and challenges to manage NPOs for results. It also provides the students the tools and analytical framework for an assessment of a NPO of their choice. 


The Course on “Global Innovation Management” focuses on global best practice processes of innovation strategies. The term “innovation” covers a broad range of initiatives, like the classical product innovations, process innovations, service innovations, system and platform innovations, social innovations as well as the actual hype about business model innovations driven by new technologies and the digitization of economies and societies. All these initiatives will be integrated within a structural framework with the objective to analyze the targets, methodologies, chances and limitations of each of those innovation approaches and initiatives in detail.


Each module is subject to an assessment, including one or a combination of the following: in-class exam, classroom presentations, take-home assignments and group works.

Diploma awarded

Students who successfully complete the programme (36 ECTS credits) will be awarded the DAS Effective Management of IOs and NGOs

Admission criteria

  • An undergraduate degree
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience
  • International exposure

Steering committee

Prof. Thomas Straub, GSEM, University of Geneva
Prof. Tina Ambos, GSEM, University of Geneva
Thomas Neufing, Chief, Centre for Learning and Multilingualism, United Nations Office at Geneva

Number of participants

max. 20 participants

Exemplary list:

  • Bruce Jenks, University of Columbia
  • Katherine Milligan, Head and Director, Schwab Foundation, WEF
  • Julian Fleet, International Development Law Organization (IDLO)
  • Susanna Swann, HR Director at EPFL
  • Gregor Henneka, Fundraising Director, UNICEF Indonesia


Opting for the DAS Effective Management of IOs and NGOs has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions that I could ever make. After 10 years working in the Private Sector, I was interested in moving to a new working environment, namely the International Organizations area. I found it important to do this switch in a proper and credible way, through an appropriate and relevant degree program. This Executive Degree has been the perfect fit for me: I was able to learn from highly educated and extremely professional professors, lecturers and special guests sharing their experiences from the field. This in itself was just an extraordinary learning process, which makes this degree very special and fulfilling.

Cecile Giraud, 2015-2017 participant working now at International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Les termes utilisés pour désigner des personnes sont pris au sens générique; ils ont à la fois la valeur d'un masculin et d'un féminin.