African Civil Society Support Initiative Regional Fellowship Programme for Sub-Saharan Africans

African Civil Society Support Initiative (ACSSI) Fellowships

Course(s) Offered: Law, Civil society
Course Level: Graduate (fellowship, training)
Provider: ACDHRS, ICNL
Country to Study in: Africa

Scholarship Description
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) along with their partners African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is pleased to announce the African Civil Society Support Initiative Regional Fellowship Programme.

The Programme will allow civil society leaders and freedom of association advocates to spend three to four weeks working with a host NGO in another country in the region. Fellows will have the opportunity to share knowledge and experience with NGO leaders in other countries, build practical skills needed to advance civil society law initiatives, gain regional exposure, and build regional coalitions for reform.

The overall objective is to assemble a robust multi-national, multi-stakeholder community of participating organisations and individuals in order to foster a deeper understanding of freedom of association and other Civil Society Organisations (CSO) legal issues.

We will be awarding three regional fellowships to qualified civil society leaders and human rights advocates. Both fellow and host organization must be from Sub-Saharan Africa with countries with restrictive legal environments given priority.

Potential fellows should:
  • Possess African citizenship;
  • Hold a Masters Degree or an Undergraduate Degree (in a related field to law, development studies, international studies) with three year professional experience;
  • Have worked with the organisation for over a year and show dedication in continuing of his/her work with this organisation;
  • Display knowledge of the legal framework governing civil society.
Eligible groups
Citizens of ANY African country

Participating Institutions
The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Banjul, The Gambia.
International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Washington, United States (USA)

Fields of study
Practical skills to advance civil society law initiatives, gain regional exposure, and build regional coalitions for reform.

With restrictive legal environments and human rights violations increasing on a daily basis, the Project has three main components in order to address these concerns. The Initiative consists of three main components; regional alliance, skills transfer and legal education. Through forum workshops, peer to peer mentorships, externships and online platform, the Initiative aims to foster a pan African community of CSOs legal experts.

This is an action-oriented fellowship designed to provide opportunities to engage with other practitioners and experts in the region to advance the legal environment for civil society throughout the region.

At the end of the fellowship, fellows will be required to submit a final report highlighting their learning outcomes and detailing how their new experiences will impact ongoing law reform in their home countries.

Number of awards
Three (3) regional fellowships will be awared

Sponsorship duration
Three to four weeks in another country in the region

Scholarship benefits
ICNL will cover the cost of travel to and from the host city as well as room and board for the agreed-upon time period.

Method of Application
Applicants must submit a completed application, proposal, and a CV by the deadline date advertised below.

Proposals should:
  • Be 5 pages in length;
  • Outline in great detail your past and present work experience relating to the legal framework for civil society;
  • Highlight the issue(s) you would like to focus on during the Fellowship;
  • Explain how your Fellowship will contribute to the development of the legal environment for civil society in your country;
  • Describe in detail your interest and commitment to remaining engaged on the legal framework for civil society upon your return home;
  • Address potential conflicts and establish a solution;
  • Have an attached CV (3 pages max) with personal information included (applicant’s name, mailing address, email address and phone number) and description of language capabilities. (Upload a PDF or Word Document)
Applications will be evaluated based on the following factors:
  • Compliance with eligibility requirements and application procedures;
  • Past or present experience in civil society law as a lawyer, academic, government official, or NGO leader;
  • Demonstrated interest in NGO law reform;
  • Quality of the proposed activity, including the significance of the issue to be studied;
  • Likelihood that the Fellowship will help advance the legal framework for civil society in the applicant’s country;
  • Commitment to continue working on civil society legal issues for a minimum of 12 months upon the applicant’s return home, and ability to effect change based upon leadership potential.
  • Applications that identify a preferred host organisation and demonstrate some familiarity or prior contact between the fellow the potential host organisation will be looked upon favourably.
PLEASE SEND ALL PROPOSALS TO before 30 September 2013

All applications, proposals and CVs must be submitted on or before the 30th September 2013.

All fellowships will take place between the period of 11th November – 9th December 2013 (flexibility of the exact dates during this month available). Organizations in Sub Saharan Africa are also invited to contact ICNL or ACDHRS if they are interested in hosting a fellow.

Proposals must focus on the legal environment for civil society (for example, the rules governing the establishment, operation, funding or sustainability of NGOs, NGO-government relations, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, etc.). We are particularly interested in fellowship activities that will support an ongoing reform initiative in the fellow’s home country.

The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) is independent, non-profit regional human rights NGO based in Banjul, The Gambia. It was set up in 1989 by an Act of Parliament of the Republic of The Gambia. However, 1995, the African Centre was re-launched, thereby repealing the Act, and thus making the Centre a truly independent, autonomous and pan-African NGO.

The African Centre seeks to promote the awareness and adherence of human rights and democratic principles throughout the African continent. It entered into an exciting new Project with International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), an NGO based in Washington in April 2013.

Application Deadline: 30 September 2013
Open to International Applicants: No (ONLY sub-Saharan Africans)

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