Barakat: A Case Study Of A Small Education NGO Facing Big Organizational Change

Maureen Ann Scanlin, SIT Graduate Institute


The following is a case study of Barakat, an organization based in Cambridge, MA, with subsidiaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India that has been implementing successful, local, grassroots educational programs since 1994. Recently, due to changes in its funding environment, Barakat has made substantial changes to its organizational capacity in the United States, as well as its financial structure and fundraising strategies. Barakat is at a turning point in its development, as it struggles to consolidate its programs and expenses while developing a clear and attainable strategy to significantly increase its funding to balance its expenditures.

This Development Management I Course Linked Capstone focuses on Barakat, as a means of understanding its programs, organizational and financial structure, as well as offering recommendations for its future. This Capstone attempts to answer the following question: In the face of financial and organizational instability and an uncertain future, what are Barakat’s best options for the long-term sustainability of its highly successful educational programs? This analysis links the author’s practicum experience and observations as Program and Development Assistant at Barakat to Development Management coursework, as well as being heavily influenced by Organizational Development frameworks and theories. Recommendations include developing an exit strategy, increasing staffing in fundraising areas, addressing Board of Director relations concerns, and limiting the scope of its programs to focus on impact.