(Application deadline: 15 December 2014)
Do you want to help us build African governments and societies that are more accountable and responsive to citizens?
We are looking for the best ideas for harnessing the power of digital technologies and open data, to improve the way that governments and citizens interact.
Code for Africa and Open Knowledge are offering three pilot Open Government Fellowships to give outstanding changemakers the skills, tools and resources necessary to kickstart open government initiatives in their countries.
The six-month fellowships are intended to empower pioneers who are already working in the open data or civic engagement communities, and are designed to augment their existing ‘day jobs’ rather than remove them from their organisations. Successful fellows will therefore only be expected to work part-time on their fellowship projects (which could include new initiatives at their ‘day jobs’), but will receive strategic and material support throughout their fellowship.
This support will include a modest $1,000 per month stipend, a $3,000 seed fund to kickstart projects, a travel budget to attend local and international events, access to workspace in Code for Africa affiliate civic technology labs across the continent, and technology support from Code for Africa developers and data analysts. Fellows will also be able to tap into Open Knowledge’s School of Data networks and resource kits, and its global network of specialist communities, as well as Code for Africa affiliate communities such as Hacks/Hackers.
The deadline for applications is 15 December 2014. The fellowships are scheduled to start in February 2015 and run until July 2015.
So, who qualifies for the fellowship? The initiative is a pilot, and is therefore casting the net as wide as possible. Applicants should:
- Currently be engaged in the open government and/or related communities . We are looking to support individuals already actively participating in the open government community
- Be able to point to examples of their work in the civic data or civic technology space, or work in open data or open government communities
- Understand the role of civil society and citizen based organisations in bringing about positive change through advocacy and campaigning
- Understand the role and importance of monitoring government commitments to open data as well as other open government policy related issues
- Have facilitation skills and enjoy community-building (both online and offline)
- Be eager to learn from and be connected with an international community of open government experts, advocates and campaigners
- Currently live and work in Africa. Due to limited resources and our desire to develop a focused and impactful pilot programme, we are limiting applications to those currently living and working in Africa. We hope to expand the programme to the rest of the world in 2015.
The fellowship will initially be limited to African countries where either Code for Africa or Open Knowledge have extensive resources or deep partnerships. Applicants should therefore be based in one of the following countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Uganda. We hope to expand the initiative to include additional countries later in 2015.
The selection committee will pay particular attention to applicants’ current engagement in the open government movement at local, national and/or international level. The committee will also be interested in applicants’ ideas around proposed strategic partnerships and pilot projects for their fellowships. Neither Code for Africa nor Open Knowledge are being prescriptive about the proposed focus or scope for projects, but will prefer projects that demonstrate clear visions with tangible outputs. This could include fellows working with a specific government department or agency to make a key dataset available. It could also include helping communities use available data, or organising a series of events addressing a specific topic or challenge citizens are currently facing.
Successful candidates will commit to work on their fellowship activities a minimum of six days a month, including attending online and offline training, organising events, and being an active member both Open Knowledge and Code for Africa communities.
While the pilot fellowships are limited to 16 countries initially, we are exploring ways to expand it to other regions. Get in touch if you would like to work with us to do so.
Convinced? Apply now to become a Open Government Fellow. The application is available here. If you are more comfortable submitting your application in French or Portuguese, you will find it in French here and in Portuguese here. The deadline is 15 December 2014 and the programme will start in February 2015.
Also check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.