Frequently Asked Questions – OpenGovFellows

How will Candidates Be Assessed and Selected?

We will assess candidates using the following criteria.

  1. Existing Engagement in the Community (40%): We are looking to provide additional training and support to open government advocates already contributing to the open government community. In your application you should clearly indicate how you have previously and how you are currently participating in open and/or related communities (Open Source, Government Transparency and Accountability etc.)
  2. Vision for the Fellowship (30%): Although this fellowship is part time, we expect fellows to achieve tangible outcomes. In your application, please explain your vision for your fellowship and what outcomes you hope to achieve.
  3. Engagement Strategy (20%): The main objective of the Open Government Fellowship is to support individuals in galvanizing open government within their community. In order to accomplish this goal, it will be necessary to foster new partnerships to collaborate with and to connect with new communities. In your application, please describe how you would try to engage with and grow your local open government community.
  4. Project Proposal (10%): In addition to the stipend, fellows will receive a $4,000 micro-grant to spend on a project(s) of their choice that will help you achieve your fellowship outcomes and objectives. In your application, you will be asked how you envision using these funds.

Who will assess and select candidates?

Candidates will be selected by a committee made up of both Code for Africa and Open Knowledge representatives.

Who is Funding the Fellowship Programme?

The Open Government Fellowship programme stipend and micro grant is funded through the Partnership of Open Knowledge and Code for Africa.

What Do You Get?

Successful candidates will receive a $1,000 a month stipend, a $2,500 travel fund and a $3,000 project fund. In addition, Code for Africa will provide fellows access to  workshop space in their CitizenLabs in Kenya & Nigeria & South Africa & Tanzania (TZ only comes online in Feb), with similar space with our affiliates in Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, etc.  Finally, the Code for Africa teams in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania will be happy to provide on-going tech support over the course of the fellowship.

What is the difference between Code for Africa Fellows, Open Knowledge Ambassadors, School of Data Fellows and Open Government Fellows?

Open Knowledge underwrites a number of initiatives in Africa, including OK Ambassadors and School of Data (SCODA) Fellows. Ambassadors are volunteer leaders, who spearhead their local open data communities by helping to marshal resources and organise events. SCODA Fellows are skills evangelists, who work part-time to facilitate data literacy workshops and to help organisations pilot their first data projects. Code for Africa also runs a number of fellowships, including Innovation Fellows who are awarded grants to build prototypes for civic technology projects, Code Fellows who are embedded as digital strategists into civic and media organisations, and Engagement Fellows who work across the continent to kickstart new ways for citizens to connect with media and other civic watchdogs. In addition, Code for Africa manages ICFJ Knight Fellowships, which give senior change-makers the resources and time to build major pan-African initiatives. While participation in the open government and open data communities is an important selection criterion for the new Open Government Fellowship, candidates do not necessarily have to part of the either the Open Knowledge or Code for Africa communities. All ‘open’ community experience is equally valuable and will be treated as such.

What is the time commitment of the fellowship?

We expect that fellows work on their fellowship an average of six to ten days a month.

How should fellows report their activities?

Each fellow will have a designate member of Code for Africa or Open Knowledge member of staff to check in with on a monthly basis to provide support and ensure that they are progressing. We ask fellows to write 3-4 blog post over the course of the fellowship to share with others what they are working on. We will encourage fellows to begin their fellowship with a blog post outline what they wish to achieve and produce at least on subsequent post on the challenges they faced.

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