Institutional Analysis

Graduate IR Institutional Analysis Template
Format for Analyzing Your Internship Organization
Below are the key elements of an “institutional” or organizational analysis of your internship
or research organization. This exercise is intended to advance your insights into how
institutions affect international decision making.
Please use this format as a starting point – you are free to add to it or change any elements.
It is only important to have a clearly defined structure for your analysis.
Gathering information for your analysis will require reading literature and obtaining web site
information from your organization and probably interviewing several people, including your
supervisor. As a result you will understand your organization better and see its connections
to international issues and the policy process. In instances in which there are no direct
connections to policy, you can describe the role and interests of the organization regarding a
broad international concern (e.g. humanitarian relief).
The format for the memo will be simple and convenient. Please try to keep your memo to
about 3 double-spaced pages.
[Professor’s Name]
[your name]
Institutional Analysis: [your organization]
Mission and Goals:
[The broad mission and goals of your organization; the more specific mission and goals of
your unit/division or branch. (These are usually listed in the organization’s website or annual
Structure and Concerns:
Number of employees, staff, member organizations or individual members
Single issue focus? If so, what is the issue?
Multiple issue focus? If so, list the major issues.]
[Who are the top leaders? And who are the senior officials or leaders in your unit/division or
branch? What are their backgrounds – law, business, public service, politics,
communications? Other?]
[Who does the organization serve or represent? What is/are its constituents?]
Information Sources:
What kind(s) of information does the organization obtain – e.g., official cables and memos,
economic data or statistics, public opinion polls, special reports from its staff or others, etc.]
Target Audiences:
[Whom does the organization mainly try to influence? To what end? How – through public
pronouncements, private lobbying or representation, the Internet, broadcasts, mail-outs, all
of the above? What kind of feedback does the organization receive? Who does the
organization listen to – their own members? A larger public here and abroad? The media?]
List the organization’s web address.
[How does the organization derive its funds? What are its main sources of support?]
First Impressions:
[What are your first impressions of the organization and the way it works – highly
structured, hierarchical, formal, informal, lots of autonomy for units within, well-funded or
not, swimming upstream or fighting the good fight and winning?]