An academic global immersion program in collaboration with Jesuit Refugee Service on international practices and global policy challenges facing refugee service management, forced migrations and human trafficking. The immersion in Rome, Italy, includes presentations and visit of key organizations engaged in refugee services and anti-human trafficking. The graduate course associated with this course focuses on the study of nongovernmental organizations and intergovernmental global social responsibility on forced migration.


The work of refugees and forced migration in general engages many nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations worldwide. The work of international organizations such as the United Nations Refugee Agency is often done in partnership with NGOs. Understanding the nature of such cross-sector partnerships, along with the exploration of the humanitarian, legal and administrative complexities of refugee work are central to this AGI and important to the study of NGOs. In addition, the partnership and examples of international works of Jesuits Refugee Services (JRS) will allow students to immerse themselves in some of the most central values and inspiring practices of the Jesuit community. Students will experience how the human dignity and social justice paradigms play a role in the leadership and management of worldwide projects for humanitarian assistance. Specifically, students will witness the central role that NGOs play in service delivery, international coordination, global policy and advocacy. They will learn the JSR values of accompaniment, service and advocacy in the context of NGOs capacity development.


Dr. Marco Tavanti Professor of University of San Francisco's School of Management. He is Program Director of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) and the Academic Global Immersion Program AGI-Rome. He previously directed similar international programs on refugees, displaced people and anti-human trafficking in Jordan, Mexico and the Philippines. He has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in Latin American, East Africa and Southeast Asia. He is the founder and president of two international NGOs (WEI and SCII) and has served on the board of directors of numerous nonprofits, charities, associations and alternative social movements organizations. His field of expertise includes humanitarian emergencies, sustainable development social innovation. He is an internationally recognized expert in poverty alleviation and indigenous rights and consults for the United Nations and civil society organizations on capacity development projects for social impact and participatory approaches. Prior to his appointment at USF Dr. Marco Tavanti (or DMT, has his students call him), was chair and founder of the Master of Science in International Public Service at DePaul University in Chicago, the largest Catholic University in the county. He is a native from Italy, trained in sociology and cross-cultural theology, and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Read more at http://www.marcotavanti.com


Rome is much more than the Roman Ruins, the seat of Italian government and the Vatican. It is a global city facing an influx of immigrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Italy’s long coastal borders are difficult to control and the pro-immigrant social policies help turn it into the corridor to Europe. Rome, is the second stop after Island of Lampedusa, the prime transit point for immigrants. Rome is the international headquarters of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) an organization that best embodies the Jesuit values of accompaniment and social justice. Rome is also an international city hosting numerous international organizations such as Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the International Development Law Organizations (IDLO) among others.


The often cited phrase “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand” well explains what experiential learning is all about. Experiential learning is an increasingly important pedagogy for professional schools, business school, public and nonprofit education which recognize how management and leadership can be more effectively recognized through practices and real world applications rather than by traditional classroom-based pedagogies. Both experiential and international practices are recognized and encouraged by University of San Francisco’s School of Management as a priority and an opportunity to accomplish our educational mission and quality of assurance expressed in our accreditation (WASC, AACSB, NASPAA, NACC). At the international level and in connection with the values of this program, experiential learning assumes the values of international capacity development for service learning and organizational development. It implies the development of intercultural capacity, along other international collaborations capacities for effectively engage with diverse organizational configurations, project’s purposes and cross-sector configurations.

Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm (IPP)

This AGI Program is based on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP) addressing the context (who), experience (what), reflection (why/how), action (what next), and evaluation (how well). The critical reflections expressed during the immersion visits will be important to collectively discern the Roman experience (e.g. observations and perspectives of speakers), reflecting on their meaning (e.g. in relation to administrative, policy and intercultural challenges) and invitations to act (e.g. providing collaborative opportunities with other Jesuit universities and NPOs in the Bay Area). The experiential learning component of this AGI will pay particular attention to understanding the complexity, trends, and anomalies in human migration in its social, economic, political and environmental aspects. Therefore, throughout the AGI Program, including the pre and post activities, the five elements of Ignatian pedagogy will play a central part of the written reflections and collective sharing as a group. Read more about the IPP at http://www.sjweb.info/documents/education/pedagogy_en.pdf

Arrupe Justice Immersion Program

The AGI Rome is one of USF’s Arrupe Justice Immersion Programs. Students will be asked to participate in program activities in line with the IPP method. Please familiarize yourself with the readings and methods associated with these programs available at http://www.usfca.edu/studyabroad/arrupe/

Jesuit Values

The AGI-Rome also reflects some of the core values of University of San Francisco. In particular, the program aims to the following University of San Francisco’s core values available at http://www.usfca.edu/about/values/
  1. First, enhance students’s ethical leadership and decision making by experiencing ‘learning as a humanizing, social activity rather than a competitive exercise.' 
  2. Second, by recognizing our shared global responsibility as global citizens seeking the common good. This programs aims to promote long-term collaborative solutions. 
  3. Third, the cross-cultural context and diversity of opinion reflected in the program aims to increase our intelligence to effectively relate to ‘diversity of perspectives, experiences and traditions as essential components of a quality education in our global context.’ 
  4. Fourth, promote critical inquiry by questioning assumptions in human relations, presuppositions in policy making, and perspectives in organizational services in light of human rights, social responsibility, and the human dignity of others. 

Andragogy Model

The element of ‘andragogy’ (learning by adults) in the Jesuit tradition will also be instrumental to linking elements such as teaching, learning, service, and justice with professional services and long-term institutional partnerships. In other words, students will not simply ‘experience’ the program for themselves (consumer learners) but become conscious subjects for positive transformations (engaged learners). This AGI Program exposes students to the complex reality of refugee service and global human trafficking through the examples of international organizations such as Jesuit Refugee Service. The immersion into the reality of Italy is instrumental to helping students to recognize the global dimensions of these issues, compare the same or different administrative practices, and develop connections with San Francisco and other US based organizations engaged in similar activities. The purpose of the immersion and study is to give SOM students exposure to the values and challenges of international humanitarian assistance. Through carefully planned readings, assignments, presentations and activities, students will gain familiarity and enhance their capacity to effectively engage with diverse communities, organizations and institutions. In line with the value of Jesuit collaboration and service learning, students are able to participate in activities and produce assignments benefiting the work of Jesuit Refugee Services.


This international and experiential program and course is designed to develop (increase) some of the following professional competencies:
  • Critical Thinking: This course emphasizes critical thinking applied to the effectiveness of programs and impact of organizations with their mission and in relation to global policy concerns and marketing strategies. 
  • Intercultural Communication: This course emphasizes the comprehension and enhancement of intercultural communication expressed as cultural intelligence and national dimensions. 
  • Global Responsibility: This course emphasizes the development of our global responsibilities toward major global issues in relation to absolute poverty, human rights violation, international justice, human security, human development, social inclusion and human security. 
  • Comparative Analysis: This course emphasizes the knowledge and capacity to perform comparative analyses of organizational systems, legal systems, and national / cultural contexts. 
  • International Engagement: Through case studies and the optional immersion, this course emphasizes important global competencies for effectively engaging with diverse populations and stakeholders across sectors and national identities. 

Readings and Resources

Essential Readings

Latest TIP report (introductory material) http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/

The 1951 Refugee Convention www.unhcr.org/pages/49da0e466.html

UNODC human trafficking https://www.unodc.org/unodc/human-trafficking/

Forced Migration Review Journal, Vol. 25. Special Issue on Human Trafficking. http://www.fmreview.org/peopletrafficking

Essential Websites











JRS reading collection:

· JRS strategic framework http://en.jrs.net/Publications_List?ID=23

· JRS Rescued – what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily. http://en.jrs.net/Publications_List?ID=4

· JRS, Advocacy in Jesuit Refugee Service. Jesuit Refugee Services (2011). Available at http://en.jrs.net/Publications_List?ID=10

· JRS, Working with Urban Refugees. Jesuit Refugee Services (2013). Available at http://en.jrs.net/Publications_List?ID=10

· JRS, Side by Side: learning what accompaniment is all about. Jesuit Refugee Services (2011). Available at http://en.jrs.net/Publications_List?ID=10

UNHCR reading collection:

· UNHCR Global Report http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c4b8.html

· UNHCR report on the convention at 50 available at http://www.unhcr.org/3b5e90ea0.html

· UNHCR Asylum seeker report 2012 http://www.unhcr.org/5329b15a9.html

· UNHCR, NGO Partnerships in Refugee Protection; Answers and Questions. http://www.un-ngls.org/orf/HCR-NGO-partnerships.pdf

· UNHCR, Protecting Refugees: A Field guide for NGOs. http://www.unhcr.or.jp/protect/pdf/ProtectingRefugees-FieldGuideforNGOs.pdf

· UNHCR, Partnership: An Operations Management Handbook for UNHCR’s Partners. http://www.the-ecentre.net/resources/e_library/doc/Operations_Management_Handbook.pdf

Comprehensive Reading Collection:

· Forced Migration Online (FMO): This is a large collection of full text reporting, journal articles and other electronic readings on Forced migration Online (FMO): a world of information on human displacement managed by University of Oxford – Refugee Studies Center. See http://www.forcedmigration.org/

· Jesuit Refugee Service Publications (JRS): JRS International has numerous publications highlighting their works on accompaniment, advocacy, urban refugees and other perspectives on refugee service. See http://en.jrs.net/publications

· United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR): A large collection of professional reporting on refugee issues highlighting the NGOs and international challenges connected to refugee services. See http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c4b8.html

· Global Policy Forum (NGOs): GPF collects different information and free reports on NGO management and policies. See https://www.globalpolicy.org/ngos/links-and-resources-on-ngos.html

Recommended NGO Reading

The following are a selection of best books in relation to the field of NGOs and international nonprofit.

· Ahmed, Shamima, and David M. Potter. 2006. NGOs in international politics. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

· Edwards, Michael. 1997. Making a difference NGOs and development in a changing world. London: Earthscan Publ.

· Fisher, Julie. 1998. Nongovernments: NGOs and the political development of the Third World. West Hartford, Conn: Kumarian Press.

· Fox, Jonathan, and L. David Brown. 1998. The struggle for accountability: the World Bank, NGOs, and grassroots movements. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

· Goodhand, Jonathan. 2006. Aiding peace? the role of NGOs in armed conflict. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

· Hudock, Ann. 2001. NGOs and civil society: democracy by proxy? Malden, MA: Polity Press.

· Lindenberg, Marc, and Coralie Bryant. 2001. Going global: transforming relief and development NGOs. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

· Nejima, Susumu. 2015. NGOs in the Muslim world. [S.l.]: Routledge.

· Spires, Robert Weber. 2015. Preventing human trafficking: education and NGOs in Thailand.

· Tai, John W. 2015. Building civil society in Authoritarian China importance of leadership connections for establishing effective nongovernmental organizations in a non-democracy. Cham [Switzerland]: Springer.

· Weiss, Thomas George, and Leon Gordenker. 2007. NGOs, the UN, and global governance. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner.

· Yaziji, Michael, and Jonathan P. Doh. 2009. NGOs and corporations: conflict and collaboration. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Other NGO readings

Emanuele Rebasti and Luisa Vierucci. A Legal Status for NGOs in Contemporary International Law? http://www.esil-sedi.eu/sites/default/files/VierucciRebasti.PDF

What is an NGO? http://www.cdham.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Chapter-3.-What-is-an-NGO.pdf

Guide to engaging with NGOs http://www.commdev.org/files/1922_file_BSR_Guide_to_Engaging_NGOs.pdf

UN ECOSOC "Working with ECOSOC - an NGOs Guide to Consultative Status". http://csonet.org/index.php?menu=134

Other Websites and Resources

· Human rights and NGO list (University of Minnesota) http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/links/ngolinks.html

 International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) www.istr.org

· NGOs and the UN Rule of Law http://www.unrol.org/article.aspx?article_id=23

· The Yearbook of International Organizations www.uia.org/yearbook

· UN and Civil Society: http://www.un.org/en/civilsociety/

· United Nations Department of Public Information – Nongovernmental Organizations (UN-DPI-NGO) http://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/

· USAID and NGOs http://www.usaid.gov/partnership-opportunities/ngo

· World Association of Nongovernmental Organizations (WANGO) http://www.wango.org