Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior and Development, MPA/MBA
All of us working for social justice and human rights need to act more structurally, with more historical awareness and collectivity.
What excites me:
Organizational and institutional fields; political culture and power; evaluation; nonprofit management and organizational behavior; rights-based approaches; research methods; program strategy and assessment; ethnography of development and development agencies; neoinstitutional organizational sociology; process facilitation; management and leadership development.
I have collaborative and/or consulting relationships currently with Oxfam, CARE, Firelight, and Emory University’s Masters Program in Development Studies. If all goes well, I’ll be consulting in 2012 on a project focused on building a strategic measurement framework and system related to civil society development in China and on climate change adaptation monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes in a number of countries around the world.
Kent did his undergraduate work in journalism at Northwestern University, his Masters at Cornell University, and Ph.D. work at Emory University. His doctoral research focused on democratic decentralization in sub-Saharan Africa in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His dissertation was a historical ethnography of the intertwining of local and non-local notions of rights, democracy, the citizen, and the state from 1818 to the 21st century in Mali’s inner Niger River delta.
Careers in Strategic Planning and Management
Students working with me will be well prepared for consulting on or full-time positions in program/project monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, project and program management, and facilitating organizational change processes. You might find yourself in the human resources department of a large international NGO, as a learning or staff/management development specialist. You might find yourself the manager of a civil society strengthening project in sub-Saharan Africa financed by a philanthropic foundation. You might find yourself part of a team contracted to evaluate a program or project of Oxfam or CARE.
Major publications from this research included:
“La Secheresse: The Social and Institutional Construction of a Development Problem in the Malian (Soudanese) Sahel, c.1900-1982,” in the Canadian Journal of African Studies (2002)
“State, Donor and NGO Configurations in Malian Development 1960-1999: The Enactment and Contestation of Global Rationalized Myths in an Organizational Field,” in Globalization, the Third World State and Poverty-Alleviation in the Twenty-First Century (2001)
"We Aren’t the World: La production institutionnelle du succès partiel," in Niger 2005: Une catastrophe si naturelle (2007), and “Development, Participation, and the Ethnography of Ambiguity,” in the Journal of Agriculture and Human Values (2011).
Kent’s publications on international organizational behavior and effectiveness include:
“Leading learning and change from the middle: Re-conceptualizing strategy’s purpose, content and measures,” in Development in Practice (2001)
“What If We’re Not NGOs? The Opportunities Ahead for International Nongovernmental Organizations,” in Development Outreach Magazine (2011)
“Addressing Root Causes of Economic and Social Injustice: Considerations of Concept, Strategy, and Measurement from Oxfam America’s Rights-Based Programs,” in Measuring Impact; Making Progress (forthcoming).