Come help us build digital democracies that are more accountable and more responsive to citizens.

Following our pilot in 2022, Code for Africa (CfA) is offering a second set of 4-6 month CivicTech Fellowships for mid-career digital strategists, digital creators, technologists, data scientists and UX strategists/designers to support open government advocates and partners in 55 African Union member states.

Successful applicants will help a broad range of watchdog civil society organisations build civic technology projects that amplify citizen voices or help keep governments accountable, as part of the Charter Project that supports the African Union’s Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

Candidates can range from digital engagement strategists or viral content designers, to UX experts, software engineers and data scientists who will work with partner organisations selected through the Civic Tech Fund Africa to design, test and launch digital tools that empower citizens. Applicants should have a strong commitment to using human-centred solutions and to working in the open, using open data and open source approaches that subscribe to global best practises.

Fellows will work in multidisciplinary teams, with ongoing support from CfA’s in-house TechLab and DataLab, as well as its design/content teams, along with strategic support from Charter Project partner institutions, ranging from policy advice and democratic governance think tanks, to research support. 

The programme will work as follows:

The fellowship package will consist of:

  1. Stipend: Full-time fellows will receive a $1,550/month stipend. Stipends for part-time fellows will be negotiated, depending on time commitment and complexity of the project.
  2. Mentorship: All fellows will  receive ongoing one-on-one mentorship from CfA’s core TechLab and DataLab teams of veteran civic technologists, data scientists and digital strategists.
  3. Networking: Fellows will tap into the Charter Project’s network of six coalition partner organisations, and the African Union’s network of digital engagement partners.
  4. Showcasing: Fellows’ projects and insights/learnings will be prominently showcased at digital democracy events both in Africa, and globally.
  5. Launchpad: Fellows will have the inside track for full-time positions at Charter Project partner organisations, including CfA’s own growing TechLab and DataLab.

Are You Eligible? 

The CivicTech Fellowships are intended to give mid-career technologists or digital strategists a sabbatical to “pay it forward”, using their deep skills/insights to transform the way that civil society organisations use technology to empower citizens.

We are therefore seeking candidates with: 

  • A passion for creative problem-solving and using light-touch appropriate technologies that will work reliably with minimal intervention in challenging environments.
  • A demonstrable track-record for building and launching successful digital services/products, or shaping high impact digital campaigns.
  • An understanding of human-centred design processes and rapid prototyping, and the importance of user experience (UX) approaches to designing digital products.
  • Experience at working in distributed multidisciplinary teams, in fast-paced multinational environments, in support of non-technical partners/clients. 
  • A commitment to learning and sharing insights, both within the Charter Project ecosystem and the wider global civic technology movement.
  • A commitment to open knowledge principles, including adhering to open source and open data principles (and documentation), with an understanding of global best-practices for ethical data/technology use.

Applicants must be fully conversant in the dominant international language for their region (English, French or Portuguese). Multilingual applicants will have an advantage. Applicants should preferably be based in one of the 55 African member states recognised by the AU, but exceptional candidates based elsewhere in the world will be considered if they can show a strong link or commitment to Africa.

Applicants associated with intelligence or security agencies, paramilitary organisations, state-affiliated propaganda or media agencies or organisations prescribed by the UN or AU or EU are not eligible for these fellowships. 

To apply, complete this form by 19 February 2023.

About the Partners

Charter Africa

The Charter Project is a pan-African initiative designed to help civil society watchdogs use the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) more easily as a tool for strengthening democratic processes across the continent. The initiative is spearheaded by a coalition of six leading African digital democracy pioneers: AfricTivistes, Code for Africa (CfA), the Goree Institute, and the Democracy Works Foundation, with support from the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD). The programme currently focuses on strengthening use of civic technologies in Benin, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. It also seeks to strengthen digital democracy processes at regional and continental levels. The Charter Project Africa is co-financed by the European Union.

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of digital democracy laboratories, with over 90 full-time data scientists, forensic researchers, technologists and digital storytellers working in support of investigative media and watchdog CSO partners in 21 African countries. CfA builds digital solutions that provide actionable information to citizens to encourage informed decisions, while also amplifying voices to strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and evidence-driven accountability. 
CfA provides the technology/data support for Charter Africa. CfA will give fellows access to support from its openAFRICA data team, commons.AFRICA open source team, its source.AFRICA evidence research team, and a string of wider communities that CfA manages including the africanDRONE community of civic drone/mapping pioneers, the sensor.AFRICA community that uses remote sensors to monitor air/water/radiation and other environmental information, the PesaCheck fact-checking team that debunks misinformation, the iLAB forensic investigation team that tracks and exposes hate speech or other toxic content, the CivicSignal media monitoring and content analysis team, and the WanaData network of women data scientists/storytellers who liberate and amplify feminist data.