Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



what extent are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) an effective tool in primary educational development in Central America? To address this concern, this project addressed the results of several months of research in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and at the U.S. NGO headquarters, where interviews with educators, NGO workers, and citizens were conducted regarding the role of NGOs in addressing educational concerns effectively. Interviewees included: Pueblo a Pueblo, Serving Orphans Worldwide, U.S. Agency for International Development, Let Girl’s Learn Program, and varied individuals connected with education or non-profit work in that region. My research analyzed the historical and social structures of Nicaragua and Guatemala, in terms of how these affect civil society today. It also examined NGOs’ work within these societies, noting what advantages they have in making advancements in education development for marginalized children, and highlighting the failures addressed by those in the field. This study focuses primarily on determining the success – and failures – of NGOs of various sizes. The findings of this study revealed the impact of partnerships, collaborative practices, and outcome-based results in the field of primary education in Central America.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Timothy Rich


Education Policy | International and Comparative Education | International Relations | Latin American Studies