Don't just do it

Good judgment requires controlling our enthusiasm to do good so that we also do it well, even in times of emergency. technical expertise is necessary but not sufficient for action. international activity requires many things, including assessment, planning and evaluation.

What is the history of international health activities within the organization?

  • Know the international locations where the organization has had good partners and partnerships.
  • Identify the international locations where barriers have been experienced and dig deep to fully understand any barriers.

Who are the various stakeholders in the organization?

  • The many stakeholders can come from the sponsoring body, former congregational sponsors, clinicians, marketing, formation leaders and other groups.

What is the main motivation for conducting international work? What are secondary motivations?

  • There are many motives for international projects. They can include: answering a personal call to do this work, the formation of clinicians and associates, providing access to services and creating sustainability/capacity building for a given population.
  • Motivations must be surfaced. If the program is about helping associates and clinicians renew their commitment to health care or find personal renewal, it might be unwise when promoting the activity to primarily highlight the number of patients seen or pounds of items donated.

Is the international project part of the organization's strategic plan?

  • International activities should be supported by the board and an explicit part of the organization's strategic plan with appropriate measures of accountability.

What organizational resources are available to conduct the international project and how were they determined?

  • Determine the human resources, financial assistance and in-kind donations that are available for each specific international health project.
  • In human resources, be sure that any persons participating are competent in the roles in which they are placed. An accountant should not be dispensing medications.

Can resources be changed as assessed needs are determined?

  • Conducting a needs assessment that places the requests of the international partner at the center could require an adjustment to any current or future project and could require different resources than those determined as being available.

Are resources "dependent"?

  • Before starting an international project, ask if the project is dependent upon one person's championing, participation or administration.