Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

To Russia with USAID

Karen Fox

In the former Soviet Union, Russians had a saying: If you need it, the government will provide it; if the government doesn't provide it, you don't need it.

Now, with a government sector short on money and with new freedom to organize, Russians are beginning to create their own citizen-run service groups what in the United States would be called not-for-profit organizations.

This summer, Center Scholar Karen Fox, associate professor of marketing at SCU, traveled to three cities Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Krasnodar to present workshops for Russians who are establishing or extending these organizations.

Her workshops sponsored by the Civic Initiatives Project with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development covered planning, attracting resources, and developing effective programs. She also dealt with the ethical issues involved in allocating resources wisely and demonstrating "good stewardship" to donors.

Represented at the four workshops were groups with interests ranging from the environment (such as the Moscow River Group) to health care and social services (including the Red Cross, family planning clinics, and services for Chechen refugees) to social clubs (such as the Blind Esperanto Lovers).

Fox, who serves on the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics steering committee, sees her efforts as one way to help these emerging organizations develop "a voice in shaping the public agenda."