World Change-Maker:

Build Skills in International Development and Social Work

If you are someone who wants to enter International Development, International Social Work or otherwise “change the world” but do not know how, this book is for you. It is for those who want to work or volunteer abroad in nursing, public health,  engineering, education,  entrepreneurship, environmental work,  women’s empowerment and many other fields; or do mission trips or are just plain curious about how to change the world.

After working internationally, Ann created NGOabroad: International Careers and Volunteering to harness human talent to  tackle humanity’s challenges and help people enter or advance in international development. 

As an international career counselor,  Ann has seen how  people miss the international jobs:  they do not know the on-the-ground realities or do not have the necessary skills or attitude. This practical book aims to rectify the gaps and empower and equip you to find your own way to change the world.

For those not going into international development, it is also a rich read. People say that that the stories about malaria, milking a mare in Mongolia or how the IMF policies impoverish nations were eye-opening to them.

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How can you get your hands on this practical gem? Ask your local book store to order from it directly from McFarland Publishers.....or buy it on Amazon.

Olivia Scott Kamkwamba, Ph.D., Malawi

Executive Director, Moving Windmills Project

“This is a practical, experience-based book that holds valuable lessons for  those hoping to work in aid and development.  The lessons of this book can be a strong start in outlining and overturning myths about working in international development using straightforward langauge that is easy to digest.”

Alexis Massol Gonzalez, Puerto Rico

Executive Director, Casa Pueblo

“Ann has written a needed book about the skills you need to work in International Development.  She has clearly seen the community organizing work that we are doing in Puerto Rico.  Her book is full of such stories to guide people working in  international social work and international development.”

Manohar Pawar, Ph.D., India & Australia

Social Work professor, Charles Sturt University & President of International Consortium on Social Development

“In this book, Ann McLaughlin takes you around the world, boldly sharing her firsthand, vivid experiences and observations that are insightful,  instructive and inspiring to passionately engage you in international social work and development, not only to get a job, but to  contribute to making a difference in the world in your own way. The book complements our widely used textbook, “International Social Work: Issues, Strategies and Programs”.”

Shelly Tockluk

Auhor of Witnessing Whitenss: The Need to Talk about Race and How to Do It

“A most useful and powerful read filled with insightful anecdotes based on real-life experiences!  This book provides clear and practical advice so those of us from the Global North can avoid allowing unconscious assumptions borne of various forms of privilege to undermine our work.”                                                                                            

Lisa V. Adams, MD

Associate Dean of Global Health; Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Dartmouth

“Ann McLaughlin emphasizes the key approaches necessary for building equitable global health partnerships – understanding context and legacies, practicing humility,  and following community-led priorities.  While written with social workers in mind, this book contains important lessons for global health and practitioners of all disciplines.”

Table of Contents


1. Why is Social Work Valued in International Development?

2. Know Poverty? How Does Half the World Live?

Are you aware of how half the world’s people live – the people you will serve? How can you get a glimpse of the discouraging, dispiriting slow grind of poverty? If poverty is not just about income and economic statistics,  what is its primary impact?


Do you have the necessary skills to meet the many challenges? 

3. Needs and Strength Assessment to Program Development

As Program Manager or Country Director, how do you determine the needs of a community or country to then build programs upon this foundation?

4. Capacity Building: Creating Collaborators Not Passive Recipients

How do you build the strengths and skills of the local team so they can take over when you leave?

5. Capacity Building: Other Steps to Empowerment

6. Partner to the Poor & Participatory Development

How do you “lead from behind” as Nelson Mandela called it? How did Gandhi and Liberation Theology impact participatory development? Who are some of the luminaries in participatory development?

7. Community Organizing: Having a Voice

How do you rally people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired? How do you empower people to have a voice in matters which affect their daily life?

8. Advocacy: Impacting Policies Which Create Poverty

What are the policies which have crippled countries, increased poverty and still bring people to the streets to protest all over the world? What have people tried to do about these policies? Has it worked? 


9. Attitude is Everything

Does your attitude unwittingly thwart international development? What can you do about it?

10. Conclusion

Ann McLaughlin, Transformational Coach


Building a world in which everyone thrives