Kelly Ann Krawczyk, Auburn University
Kelly Ann Krawczyk

Kelly Ann Krawczyk, PhD
Associate Professor
Program Director, MPA
Program Director, Political Science
Auburn University

Public Administration, Civil Society, and Democracy: Comparative Perspectives through International Service Learning
Bridgett A. King and Kelly Ann Krawczyk

Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, Volume 25, Issue 6 (December 2023)

A paper by Bridgett A. King (University of Kentucky) and Kelly Ann Krawczyk, published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, delves into the innovative teaching methods at Auburn University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) and PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy (PAPP) programs, showcasing their course “Public Administration, Civil Society, & Democracy.” Rather than simply providing a theoretical discourse, the paper offers a practical exploration of how to prepare students for the challenges of global public administration and policymaking.

Central to this academic analysis is the course’s experiential learning framework. It transcends traditional classroom boundaries, placing students in diverse global environments. This immersive experience is pivotal in developing an understanding of public administration across various cultural and national contexts. The course’s unique blend of research, teaching, and service includes international fieldwork, educational workshops for local partners, and impactful service-learning projects.

While the course has journeyed through various African nations, the highlight in this paper is its impact in Liberia during the summer of 2022. Here, students gained firsthand experience of different administrative systems, enhancing their ability to address policy issues in a culturally informed manner. By focusing on this innovative educational approach, the paper illustrates Auburn University’s commitment to nurturing global citizens equipped to tackle contemporary public administration challenges.

Kelly Ann Krawczyk’s research investigates the potential role of civil society in promoting democracy and development. She examines how civil society can foster sustainable development in local communities, and the role of civil society in strengthening democracy and increasing civic engagement. She is specifically interested in how civil society impacts political behavior. Her research has been published in journals of public administration, civil society, and local governance, including Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, and the Journal of Civil Society. Her co-edited volume, Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives: The Contributions of Women to Development in West Africa (2023) is available from Palgrave Macmillan. She has also authored book chapters, as well as governmental and professional publications for the Governance Commission of Liberia and the World Bank.

Krawczyk teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at Auburn University on a wide range of nonprofit topics, including Nonprofit Law & Governance, Nonprofit Management, and International Nongovernmental Organizations. She also teaches graduate courses in public administration and nonprofit management in the MPA and Ph.D. programs. She is currently serving as the MPA Program Director.

Krawczyk earned her Ph.D. in political science and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Before beginning an academic career, Kelly worked with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, both domestic and international, and has applied experience in nonprofit management and leadership, governance, capacity building, fundraising and development, volunteer and event management, and proposal writing. She designs and delivers outreach initiatives in West Africa, including curricular design and implementation of training and professional development workshops, impact evaluations and assessments, policy analysis and recommendations. She served as an international election observer for multiple national elections in Liberia and Ghana. She has also worked with The World Bank Group in Liberia on projects related to decentralization and civil society. She is a Founding Committee Member of the Strengthening Research on Civil Society in West Africa project, an initiative of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), funded by the Ford Foundation.