Funded by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by World Learning, the Professional Fellows Program for Governance and Society, South and Central Asia will promote mutual understanding and establish networks among mid-level professionals in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the United States, while also promoting increased knowledge of the legislative process and principles of good governance.
Through this two-way exchange for emerging leaders from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the United States, participants will exchange ideas, strategies, and best practices in legislative processes and policymaking, while also improving leadership skills and developing sustainable and enduring linkages with professional counterparts. Through professional fellowships, where participants will be matched with a U.S. organization or government office, participants will have the opportunity to increase their understanding of the U.S. legislative process while engaging in civic life through enrichment activities, such as meetings with key stakeholders, dialogues, and site visits. The following are themes and topics related to legislation and governance that may be included in the program: good governance (e.g. transparency and anti-corruption); legislative processes; the role of women, minorities, and marginalized populations in civil society and the political process; decentralization; youth engagement; development and strengthening of NGOs and civil society; post-conflict transitions; and non-violent civic participation. Through the program participants will:
• Gain an understanding of the U.S. legislative and political process
• Explore governance principles and practices in both public and civil society institutions in the U.S.
• Enhance their appreciation for the role of civil society in the political process
• Gain a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, and people
• Gain a deeper understanding of the societies, cultures, and people of each other’s countries
• Develop and implement projects in their home country that promote good governance, strengthen civil society, and/or support democratic institutions
• Create and maintain linkages and networks between Americans and other Professional Fellows
• Increase cooperation between the government and civil society of India, Pakistan, and Nepal
To promote program sustainability and create a multiplier effect, participants will create and implement follow-on projects in their home communities. Actions plans for the follow-on projects will be developed throughout the course of the U.S. program.
The U.S. program for participants from India, Pakistan, and Nepal will take place from April 27-May 31, 2019 (tentative dates). It will begin with an orientation in Washington, DC that focuses on the structure of the U.S. government, the legislative process, and the role of civil society. Next, participants will take part in a four-week fellowship in one of several U.S. cities, which includes professional assignments at local/state/federal government offices or NGOs, seminars and observational site visits, homestays with local families, and volunteerism. Participants then return to Washington, DC for the concluding Professional Fellows Congress, which includes workshops, dialogues, meetings with U.S. Government officials, and a program debrief. Following the U.S. program, American Fellows will travel to India, Pakistan, and Nepal to participate in workshops, consultations, and provide support to follow-on projects in the summer of 2018 (tentative dates).
Accommodations will include double-person hotel rooms and homestays with American families and peers. A small stipend will be provided during the participants’ time in the United States to cover basic living expenses. The cost of international and domestic travel, program related ground transportation, cultural activities, and all the other programmatic and logistical arrangements will be covered.
Participants will be required to apply for a J-1 visa for work and study-based exchange programs. The visa process will be conducted by local U.S. Embassies and Consulates in conjunction with local partners and World Learning. The visa will cover the program travel dates only. In accordance with this visa’s two year residency requirement (212(e)) participants are required to return to their home country for at least two years at the end of your exchange visitor program.
Candidates from India, Pakistan, and Nepal will be professionals (ages 25-40) with experience in the legislative process and/or policymaking, including: good governance (transparency, anti-corruption, right-to-information), legislative and political processes, including the role of women, minorities, and marginalized populations in them, youth politics and student leaders, climate change and environment, and trade and regional connectivity. Such experience can have been attained through their work in government, civic education organizations, citizen advocacy groups, political campaigns, political parties, or election monitoring organizations. We seek candidates with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, proven leadership abilities, the ability to work in a cross-cultural setting and a commitment to the program and follow-on activities. Those selected will come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, organizations, and political orientations. We also aim for gender balance. Written and oral English proficiency is required as the participants will need to converse about complex political and global issues with U.S. peers and experts. To select the best candidates, we will review applications based on clearly defined criteria, including:
• Openness to dialogue and new ideas;
• Strong potential to play an increasingly important role in society;
• Proven commitment to nonviolence;
• Interest in participating in the program and sharing the experience with colleagues and the public; and
• Commitment to the implementation of a follow-on project.
Preference will be given to applicants with relevant professional achievements who have not previously visited the United States. All candidates should be able and willing to host American counterparts, for up to a week, and design, arrange, and coordinate, under World Learning and its partners’ supervision, a local professional and cultural program for the American participants.
|Type of Opportunity||Exchange Programs|
|Organizer||U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs|