When signing up for the selection process for the CEPEAD Master’s program, candidates must submit a pre-research project of five A4 pages maximum attached to their curriculum vitae. This project must consist of the following:

  1. Title;
  2. Introduction—rationale, importance and/or timeliness of the subject, and positioning of the problem to be researched, including an outline of the research study's goal/s (mandatory);
  3. Theoretical framework—references to the range of approaches, lines of investigation or chains of thought on the topic, or at least a reference to the central ideas of the authors consulted regarding the topic;
  4. Methodology—specification of the procedures that will be adopted to solve the problem or achieve the study’s goal/s (see the list of books referenced by the Program below)
  5. Bibliography—accurate referencing of books, book chapters, and/or articles to be consulted during the research.

Suggested bibliography for consultation about the research methodology:

FRANÇA, Júnea Lessa et al. Manual para normalização de publicações técnicas e científicas. 4ª Edição, Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG, 1999, 213 p.

GIL, Antonio Carlos. Como elaborar projetos de pesquisa. 3a ed. São Paulo: Atlas, 1996, 159 p.

GIL, Antonio Carlos. Métodos e técnicas de pesquisa social. São Paulo: Atlas, 1987

ROESCH, Sílvia Maria Azevedo. Projetos de estágio e de pesquisa em Administração. Guia para estágios, trabalhos de conclusão, dissertações, e estudos de caso. 2ª edição, São Paulo, Atlas, 1999. (contains a section about case studies in business administration with lists of cases from various areas and an annex of citations and bibliographic references).

VERGARA, Sylvia Constant. Projetos e relatórios de pesquisa em administração. 3.ed. São Paulo: Atlas, 2000, 92 p.

Template for the pre-research project

1) Title: "Management of organizational factors related to the capacity for sustainability in health-care NGOs."

Author: (name)

2) Introduction

The current economic, social, and political scenario has been identified as being unlike any other in world history. A reorganization of the role of government, the market, and civil society is changing the interactions among these actors.

Many authors (Coelho, 2002; Gohn, 1997; Gonçalves, 1996) have referred to the crisis of the so-called welfare state as the cause of this new situation. According to Coelho (2002), the inadequate response of the welfare state to social problems requires civil society to take part in finding the solutions to these issues.

In Brazil, these changes have their own specificities. Civil society has been a provider of social services since the beginning of the twentieth century. However, a more explicit mobilization with more decisive results has resulted from two movements First, the fall of the military regime is reordering socio-political forces into sectarian blocs. Second, the practice of privatization has led to the government outsourcing many healthcare services.

In this context, non-government organizations (NGOs) have become increasingly important civil society entities. They have a growing relevance in providing services and they are expanding their presence in society, making themselves essential for the delivery of government services for the population.

The recognized role of NGOs raises an important question about their management; this is a complex field with unique challenges, which are different from public and private management. However, in spite of the difficulties, good management practice can enable the organization to achieve the required social impact while maintaining its identity and organizational cohesion, which are necessary for the continuity of its work.

Given management's central role in such important actors in today's world, we are faced with the following problem: "How have health-care NGOs managed the organizational factors that impact on their sustainability
Healthcare NGOs carry out extremely important work, filling a void produced by government inadequacy. At the same time that they place themselves into a context marked by conflict between dependence and autonomy, whether by the government, its debtors, its beneficiaries, or other stakeholders.

The focus on sustainability gives priority to the actions that support the organization's long-term survival and treats the institution as a body made up of several parts, where harmony among them is important.
The problem will be analyzed through case studies of three Belo Horizonte healthcare NGOs, which will investigate how these organizations manage basic aspects that support their sustainability.

3) Theoretical Framework

Non-governmental organizations have been the subject of many publications about current interrelationships in civil society.

Sherer-Warren (apud Gohn, 1997, p 55) characterized NGOs as: "formal, private organizations, but with the purpose of serving the public in a non-profit, self-governing way that includes participation of its members as volunteers with the goal of intervening in an educational, political, and technical consulting nature, providing services and material and logistical support for specific target audiences or for segments of civil society, always aiming at expanding the power participation of these with the final goal of triggering social change at the micro (daily and/or local) level, or at the macro (systemic and/or global) level.”

In the light of this concept, NGOs take on very important activities in an environment that is influenced by various and conflicting forces.

Salamon (1997) in Ioschpe (1997) questions the continuity and sustainability of NGOs, positing that this will be achieved only by overcoming four challenges. These are the challenge of legitimacy—linked to the organization's external social relationships; the challenge of efficiency—which covers the services and people involved in the NGO; the challenge of financial sustainability—which includes wasted resources; and the challenge of cooperation—which stresses once again relationships with entities outside the NGO. The author presents the idea of NGO sustainability as anchored to four essential areas for performing their social function. Silva (2000, p 9) also suggests that "sustainability involves not just the oversight and appropriate use of financial resources; it implies investing in the development of people who belong to the organization, improving the quality of services and making them suitable to the needs of communities, seeking the adherence of society to the organization's cause and providing information in a transparent manner."

Discussion about the bases of sustainability becomes important at this point.

According to Graaf (apud Lewis, 2001), NGOs inhabit an environment in which they control certain factors—budget, people, planning, and establishing goals; influence some factors—government agencies, other NGOs, donors, the private sector, the media and community groups; and take account of other factors—national political structures, the macroeconomic structure, the legal structure, ecological factors, and the socioeconomic context. The author suggests that NGO managers tend to prioritize actions in areas where they have some control, regardless of the importance of other areas. However, Graaf points out that the success these organizations enjoy depends primarily on their ability to interact in the sectors where they wield influence and judgment. Graaf asserts that NGOs are more dependent on external factors than other organizations.

Addressing the issue of NGO financing, Bennett et al. (1996) highlight the importance of appropriate fundraising initiatives. According to the authors the availability of resources has steadily declined and taking a proactive stance in the face of this reality is essential for financing the organization. The authors, however, believe that there are some challenges that inherent in nonprofit organizations. The first is that the vision and mission of NGOs are not concerned with the fight for survival, but with the effectiveness of their work for their beneficiaries. The second challenge explicitly deals with the importance of a diverse donor base, which lowers the risk of insufficient resources and decentralizes accountability to multiple parties.
Regarding the activities of NGOs, Carroll (apud Lewis, 2001) states that the delivery of services is the clearest function of these organizations in development work. The author is of the view that on some occasions the organization, which is trying to meet community needs, decides on the services that will be delivered. On other occasions, the government contracts or "hires" NGOs to provide services. Lewis, however, questions whether delivering services is a means of helping recipients or an end in itself, positioning the NGO as just another hired service provider.

Handy (1990, p. 25) is quite incisive when he focuses on another aspect of NGOs, claiming, "Organizations are people." Handy stresses that the interpersonal dynamics among people who work in NGOs have special characteristics. He points to four important areas: individual motivation—which is illustrated by volunteer versus paid jobs; people and their roles—underscoring the overlap, ambiguity, and conflict in the functions of NGOs; the types of groups—raising the difficulty of organizing people into teams; and power and influence—highlighting the difficult power and authority relations within these organizations.

After setting out the basic dimensions that support NGO sustainability, we note that interaction and harmony among them is crucial for NGOs to produce results in society. In this context, Silva (2000) places the responsibility on the manager to perform this task. This highlights the function of management in implementing the organization's role in society. Udoh James (apud Lewis 2001, p 2) argues, "Management is the life-blood of organizations, regardless of whether they are private entities, public agencies, non-profit, or non-governmental organizations."

Considering the specificities of NGOs, Lewis (2001) characterizes management as a process of choice and balance that occurs in a particular system of sectors interacting among themselves.

This underscores the importance of management as a flexible and participatory process, integrating the organizational factors related to the NGO's capacity for sustainability.

4) Methodology

The overall objective of this study is to determine whether healthcare NGOs in Belo Horizonte are managing the organizational factors that support sustainability. The specific objectives are:

  1. Investigate resources, people, services, and external stakeholder relationship management;
  2. determine how these are managed; and 3) investigate the impact on the sustainability of NGOs.

We propose conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews to achieve these objectives. We will interview people in different positions in NGOs and their managers, conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews with important stakeholders, and undertake documentary analysis.

The research referenced in this proposal suggests that the multiple qualitative case study method, using three healthcare NGOs in Belo Horizonte as research subjects, is the most effective methodology for this study.

The data analysis will be qualitative, aiming at summarizing the dialogues with interviewees.

5) Bibliography

BENNETT, Jon et al. NGO Funding Strategies: an introduction for Southern and Eastern NGOs. Oxford : INTRAC Publications, 1996. 90 p.

COELHO, Simone de Castro Tavares. Terceiro Setor: um estudo comparado entre Brasil e Estados Unidos. 2 ed. São Paulo: Editora SENAC, 2002. 223 p.

GOHN, Maria da Glória. Os Sem-Terra, ONGs e Cidadania: a sociedade civil brasileira na era da globalização. São Paulo: Cortez Editora Ltda, 1997. 165 p.

GONÇALVES, Hebe Signorini (ed). Organizações não Governamentais: solução ou problema. São Paulo: Estação Liberdade, 1996. 126 p.

HANDY, Charles. Understanding Voluntary Organizations. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltd, 1990. 180 p.

LEWIS, David. The management of non-governmental development organizations: an introduction. London: Routledge, 2001. 242 p.

ROESCH, Sylvia Maria Azevedo. Projetos de estágio e de pesquisa em administração: guia para estágios, trabalhos de conclusão, dissertações e estudo de casos. 2 ed. São Paulo: Atlas, 1996. 301 p.

SALAMON, Lester. Estratégias para o fortalecimento do Terceiro Setor. In: IOSCHPE, Evelyn (ed) 3o Setor: desenvolvimento social sustentado. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1997. p. 89-111.

SILVA, Antônio Luiz de Paula e. Utilizando o planejamento como ferramenta de aprendizado. São Paulo: Global, 2000. 127 p. (Coleção gestão e sustentabilidade).