The purpose of this paper is to analyze structure of a public organization in respect with the open system approach. For my analysis I have chosen IREX, International Research & Exchanges Board, which is an international global that has a very long history of serving the society in providing better education and development for different people in many countries. As stated on its' official site, the mission of this non-profit organization is specializing in education, independent media, Internet development, and civil society programs1. The functions of this system include providing free training, partnerships, education, research, and grant programs for professionals in different corners of the globe to develop the capacity of individuals and institutions to contribute to their societies1. Also, the executives of the system see as its' functions providing broader access to information for public and teaching public to find appropriate information.
International Research & Exchanges Board was established in 1968 by major universities in USA to administer professional and educational exchange programs, which were agreed upon in 1958 between USA and USSR. The Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany originally participated in the projects. The first documents of this organization stated that it was created "to reflect disparate interests, be capable of centralizing diverse functions and administer them efficiently,...enjoy confidence of the profession and the participating institutions, act with authority on both sides of the Atlantic, solicit and attract sufficient funds, be immune to political pressures from all sides, [and] fulfil the sensitive role of clearinghouse for information.2"
International Research & Exchanges Board is a private non-profit organization; it is self-sufficient and is not a member of a bigger system. The strategic management priorities of IREX are correlated with initiatives of The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S.A. IREX itself has created a socio-cultural system of international exchange programs and educational, professional cooperation throughout different countries. Thus, IREX has become the core of these activities in many countries. IREX has very many partners throughout USA and Europe, among which are Academy for Educational Development, American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, European Journalism Centre, International Education and Resource Network, Partners for Democratic Change, Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and many others. Together with these partner organizations, IREX develops different programs and realizes them.
IREX together with its' partners can be considered the elements of the U.S.A. And international educational system. This non-profit organization is an open cognitive system which can be also identified as productive one, because it purposely interacts with the environment, transforms inputs into outputs, and outputs are offered to the environment3. The numerous educational programs and projects administered by IREX and its' small partners within these programs can be viewed as the elements of IREX system, or its' subsystems. All these programs are partially sponsored by IREX' donators (public and private supporters) and the partner organizations. They play an integral part of the whole IREX system and have their functions and roles in reaching main IREX' goals.
These programs are implemented in four core areas: education, independent media, Internet development and civil society. Recognizing importance of education and professional development in creating civil society, IREX reaches its' aims through providing following programs to support basic education (programs for primary and secondary school teachers and administrators), higher education (increasing network between USA universities and higher education establishments from developing countries, sponsoring academic work and innovation, strengthening of cooperation between academic researchers and policymakers), professional development (to advance functional skills through field internships, hands-on training programs, seminars, grant to breed success for professionals in all the stages of their professional career), international education (wide range from exchange programs to alumni development programs). Thus, IREX database includes over 15,000 alumni of various programs.
Independent Media branch includes such projects, as Internet Training for Journalists, ProMedia group projects and others aimed to increase professional qualities and skills of journalists to provide more public access in these countries to quality, balanced, free and unbiased information.
In the sphere of Internet Development IREX has created a number of extremely successful and useful projects. Programs activities include:
Building Institutions: sustainable public Internet access facilities, civic education in schools, technology training for staff, database design and development;
Strengthening communities: promoting free and fair elections, social programming in women's anti-trafficking and HIV awareness, internet access for isolated communities and for people with disabilities, fundraising and technology training for people with disabilities and orphanages;
Empowering individuals: distance learning courses, web content development, and individual and guided research, certification courses.
The fourth circle of activities is connected with building civil society by following: organizational capacity building, citizen participation in community development and social partnerships. Since 1994, IREX has helped over 600 NGOs and 750 civil society leaders, promoting a collaborative and transparent approach to resolving community problems3.
All these activities are carried out within the boundaries of IREX system. But as they are all conducted in form of offering public services for the local environment these programs are in, they can be also considered the parts of the national educational systems.
As IREX conducts its' endeavors in many developing countries, to make them more efficient and to bring out ideas more the population of these regions, IREX has contacts with the officials, businessmen, governments, NGOs in these countries. In many countries, IREX has become the leader of the social activities and unites within its' events representatives of different social layers. Thus, as IREX has very well worked out strategy and algorithm of its' mission implementation, its' programs include almost all the representatives of society, thus not even being a part of the environment for the citizens, but also providing good environment to breed civil society and mutual understanding. The subsystems of IREX situated in different countries communicate with their local authorities in economic, technological, socio-cultural and politico-legal authorities. As the work of IREX is international, I can state that it has impact on the global arena.
In the present time, it is not too ambitious to claim that IREX activities are aimed at diminishing boundaries between cooperation of different classes of society and increasing interaction between them. Then, brining its' activities to global arena, IREX is trying not to limit its' impact only on education professionals and researches, but its' goal is to help representatives of different engagement fields understand each other's work and how all these little subsystems can become elements of one big system of civil society. So, the executives of the system are trying to expand its' boundaries on the local and international level and to increase correlations between IREX internal segments and system and the environment. As its' projects are active in 53 countries: United States, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Asia, the international boundaries of IREX system are also broad.
The system of IREX is a very open for cooperation and ideas, which makes it so effective and efficient. When starting its' work in a certain country, IREX examines its' problems and needs, and tries to find solutions in the form of necessary projects.
The economic inputs for work of the system include money (donations from numerous sponsors and also efforts to attract local businessmen to sponsor local activities), different educational materials, and, of course, information. Providing free access to information on education throughout 53 countries is one of the target goals of IREX. The sociocultural inputs include quality labour and also information: people's knowledge, experience and skills, people believe and hope. Technological inputs in form of machinery and information are paid special attention to: IREX opens free for everybody modern computer centres with free Internet access for the public and also provides numerous seminars and trainings on computer and Internet literacy. IREX makes sure that professionals and educators have access to the newest and most efficient technologies and that they have qualified trainers to help these categories work with these innovations and use in their everyday work. Numerous grant initiatives are being implemented to update technical resources of social activities centres in different countries. Politico-legal inputs of the system are the legislation of the projects correlated with national legal standards and cooperating with local lawyers to provide legal assistance to the needy. This initiative has been exceptionally popular in the developing countries, where the majority of population cannot afford to hire a lawyer or get a decent legal advice.
Outputs can be classified in providing services and information described above and increasing personal satisfaction at all the levels of the system. Through the transformational processes of seminars, educational and professional development projects, the end outputs of the programs are perfected skills, widened erudition, open-mindness, understanding of international cooperation and global vision. Many projects and initiatives are covered on the web as well as find broad coverage in local media. This is also one of the methods used by IREX to broaden its' area of impact.
In practise collaboration between the system segments looks as follows. In order to keep the fire in…