Those for whom a stint with the World Bank wouldn’t be a bad idea have a golden opportunity to try their luck by applying for the 2018 World Bank Group Africa Fellowship Program. The process which starts in two days time would last till November 19th, 2017. The third of the Africa Fellowship Program for Ph.D. students and recent graduates who are nationals of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is run by the World Bank’s Office of Chief Economist for Africa in collaboration with the Fragility, Conflict & Violence (FCV) Unit, according to a statement available online to that effect.
Specifying the qualification criteria, the statement insists on nationals of Sub-Saharan countries who have either just obtained a doctorate degree or are currently engaged, with no more than a year left to complete. The discipline could be any of the following: economics, applied statistics and econometrics, impact evaluation, education, health, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, demography, forced displacement, and all relevant development fields. Those to be or already enrolled in a PHD programme would be returning to university after the fellowship while all potential applicants must guarantee excellent command of written and verbal or spoken English, possess strong quantitative and analytical skills and must have been born by or after October 1, 1986. There are also additional attributes stretching from command of an additional World Bank official language, national identity of fragile and conflict-affected country or candidates from refugee and internally displaced communities and/or with proven experience on forced displacement.
Those who make it through the selection process would, if notified and they find it acceptable, be hired as short-term consultants for a minimum of six months during which they would receive what the Group calls consultant fees, round-trip economy class air travel to Washington, D.C. or a World Bank Group country office from their university and worker’s compensation insurance.
The statement further indicated how Fellows would spend a minimum of six months at the World Bank offices in Washington, D.C. or in field offices, acquiring hands-on experience in development work that would stretch from knowledge generation and dissemination, design of global and country policies and the building of institutions to achieve inclusive growth in developing countries. While benefitting from research and innovation in multiple sectors, fellows will also work on research, economic policy, technical assistance, and lending operations that contribute to the World Bank goal of eliminating poverty and increasing shared prosperity, it was also stated.
According to the World Bank Group, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is increasing fellowship positions by 10 more than the usual number previously. This followed what it calls a generous contribution from the British international development agency. Those ten Fellows would work on forced displacement research in the context of operations led by the World Bank Group (WBG) or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the Middle East. Fellowship positions in this respect is being prioritised for candidates from refugee and internally displaced communities and/or with proven experience on forced displacement. Additionally, candidates who are selected and who have observable strong interest in the area of forced displacement would work on research programs targeting refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host communities. They would equally be expected to complete a research project or prepare a research paper for presentation. Such papers might also be published to the credit of the Fellow involved.
In the meantime, the Annenberg School for Communication’s Internet Policy Observatory has also announced a week long Research Methods Workshop for Internet Policy and Advocacy in Africa. It has been scheduled for February 26th – March 3rd, 2018 in Kampala Uganda. The school is teaming up with Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Research ICT Africa, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), Unwanted Witness, Paradigm Initiative, and YoungICTAdvocates to organize the fourth in the series of such regional Research Methods Workshop for Internet Policy and Advocacy in Africa.
It is, therefore, seeking applications from young scholars, activists, lawyers, and technologists working across Africa for an intensive practicum on using what it describes as methodologically rigorous, data-driven, and contextually appropriate research for advocacy. Mastery of English so as to be able to interact with resource persons from different backgrounds as well as a laptop are emphasised. The most competitive applicants might get partial and full scholarship.
It says it encourage individuals from Africa in the academic (early career), NGO, technology, and public policy sectors to apply. Prospective applicants should have a particular area of interest related to internet governance and policymaking, censorship, surveillance, internet access, political engagement online, protection of human rights online, and/or corporate governance in the ICT sector. Applicants will be asked to bring a specific research question to the program to be developed and operationalized through trainings, group projects, and one-on-one mentorship with top researchers and experts from around the world.
Among others, the workshop would enable stakeholders in the region to build collaborative possibilities across sectors, expand research capacity within practitioner and digital rights advocacy communities, and to provide the skills and know-how to use research and data to advance advocacy efforts. The sessions would, according to its announcement, cover both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as provide the space for hands-on activities and the development of individual and group research interests. That way, it hopes the workshop would create opportunities to connect scholarly expertise with advocates and improve working synergies between emerging African networks of civil society organizations, academic centers, think-tanks, and policymakers.