[vc_row][vc_column][vc_tta_accordion style=”outline” color=”black” active_section=”1″][vc_tta_section title=”OVERVIEW” tab_id=”1654003682989-2c88b287-9c99″][vc_column_text]In recent years, grooming and equipping the next generation of leaders has become essential. There is a dearth of adequate leadership at the individual,
institutional and societal levels as well as the lack of intergenerational learning and documented best practices from successful leaders in the development sector. As West Africa strives to be the most stable socio-economic region in Africa, it needs avenues to develop and groom the next generation of thought leaders—not only for the public sector but also to saturate all fields of endeavour that contribute to the sustainability of development plans in the region.


Civil society in its watchdog role has a responsibility to set a progressive and visionary agenda in this regard. It is necessary to ensure that future leaders in West Africa have the tools and bases to document best practices in the region and help their communities to develop these practices.


Also, there is a huge gap in documentation of civil society praxis in West Africa. This calls for an urgent need for an indigenous knowledge production from civil society actors and researchers on development praxis in the region. Civil society has a crucial role to play in enabling young West Africans to benefit from a space that will enable them to develop a deeper understanding of civil society. This will enable them to hone their technical skills necessary to fully play their part in the leadership and development of good governance, a resilient and strong civil society in West Africa.


WACSI promote a homegrown Open Access and practitioner-oriented knowledge process. The aim is to enhance the accessibility, quality, quantity and visibility of original, peer-reviewed publications on civil society issues produced by civil society actors and researchers from West Africa or working in the region. The promotion of scientific work, in-depth reflection and policy analysis in the domain of civil society is essential to ensure the proper engagement, appropriation and implementation of the overall developmental objectives in West Africa.


In this regard, the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) has set up a fellowship programme to promote indigenous knowledge production on civil society in West Africa. This short-term fellowship (90-180 days) is an action-oriented initiative targeted at young researchers, particularly those enrolled in master’s or PhD programmes. The programme aims to equip West African youth with the research and analytical skills they need to effectively engage with government, the private sector and the global community to improve good governance and sustainable development. In 2022, two young research fellows between the age brackets of 20-35 would be supported assist and develop publications on ongoing research on the social, economic and political contribution and the reimagining INGO role in West Africa.


The knowledge products that emanate from this fellowship would add value to the Institute’s programmes and more broadly, to civil society social, economic and political contribution discourse and praxis across the globe.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”GOALS” tab_id=”1654003683003-bf910c73-1fe9″][vc_column_text]The goal of the research fellowship is to offer young researchers with the dire opportunities to document indigenous practices on civil society in West Africa.
This will be done by creating spaces for interaction between relevant Stakeholders, including decision-makers, development practitioners, CSO leaders and their constituents.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”SCOPE OF WORK” tab_id=”1654004104058-5e76998d-784a”][vc_column_text]Specific objectives of the research fellowship are to:

  • Identify and nurture early career academics who have demonstrated leadership potential and/or an interest in the development sector in West Africa.
  • Support fellows to apply the acquired skills to conduct research that is relevant to the development of their careers and increase their impact on the community.
  • Increase indigenous knowledge production on civil society issues that will better inform development agenda and planning.
  • Build a community of practice (CoP) spanning across disciplinary boundaries, with academia, civil society actors and other stakeholders in
    West Africa to exchange ideas, opportunities, and solution to advance the development agenda in the region.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP FOCUS” tab_id=”1654004262268-d725321d-2758″][vc_column_text]The focus of the fellowship for 2022 will hinge on deepening fellows’ understanding of the social, economic, and political contribution of civil society to development in West Africa. Fellows will be afforded the opportunity to contribute to ongoing research on the social, economic, and political contribution of civil society to development in West Africa.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”EXPECTED OUTCOMES” tab_id=”1654004332848-e1159fda-1099″][vc_column_text]At the end of the programme, fellows are expected to have hands-on knowledge and contextual evidence on social economic and political contribution of civil societies in West Africa produced by young research fellows. The results of the various research projects will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the region and regularly discussed at the policy roundtables as a tool for action. The fellowship would contribute to strengthen thought leadership in the civil society sector in West Africa[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”BENEFITS” tab_id=”1654004403812-87535729-bfac”][vc_column_text]Research fellows will receive monthly stipends and a research allowance from the institute. In addition, active participation in this fellowship offers aspiring
academicians or fellows with a keen interest in civil society access to a wide range of benefits to help successfully conduct their research or engage in a
knowledge documentation project. The findings from the research and the overall experience of the fellows will be used to promote good practices in West Africa.

They will provide the necessary data and information as evidence for informed policymaking in the region. During the research fellowship, candidates can get a wealth of opportunities and it gives students skills and knowledge to better plan for or advance their future careers. Fellows will also have other opportunities and benefits such as:

  • A certificate of completion. This will be provided upon satisfactory completion of all tasks and submission of all agreed deliverables.
  • A monthly stipend.
  • At least one WACSeries publication.
  • Official recommendation from WACSI.
  • Free access to WACSI’s rich civil society resource centre.
  • Improved English-language skills (for French speaking participants).
  • Become a member of a regional network of research fellows in the non-profit sector.
  • A creative and stimulating professional environment for the students.
  • Intercultural working experience with professionals from different West African countries.
  • Networking events and building of strong relationships with seasoned development partners.
  • Visibility of the fellow as his/her work will be disseminated to development actors and partners in West Africa and beyond.
  • Cross-disciplinary exposure and experience in knowledge management, capacity development, policy advocacy and influencing, monitoring, evaluation and learning from the work of WACSI’s respective Units.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”DELIVERABLES” tab_id=”1654004655554-28478e99-42ed”][vc_column_text]Production of publishable research reports; policy documents; articles (Issues Papers, Op-Eds); and blogs on social, political and economic contribution and the re-imagining role of civil societies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”FELLOWSHIP DURATION” tab_id=”1654004694313-ac0ab0a3-75a5″][vc_column_text]Fellows can spend between 3 to 6 months at the Institute. This will be based on the alignment of the fellowship goals with the student’s current academic, career and research interests. However, applications will be considered on a rolling basis and applicants will be selected on a case-by-case basis each year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”TIMELINES” tab_id=”1654004730212-f38249b7-b2fc”][vc_column_text]2 May 2022: Application opens.
16 May 2022: Deadline for receipt of applications.
20 May 2022: Shortlisted applicants are notified by email.
Week of 23 May 2022: Interview with shortlisted applicants.
Week of 30 May 2022: Selected candidates will receive feedback on their applications.
6 June 2022: Beginning of the research fellowship. Selected fellows can however discuss start dates per their specific cases.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”ELIGIBILITY” tab_id=”1654005965637-53ff69e9-365a”][vc_column_text]

  • The fellowship is open to all young researchers from West Africa. Other young researchers who are not from the region but are interested in understanding and documenting civil society praxis in West Africa can be considered.
  • Interested in working on civil society issues or in the development sector.
  • Recent Master’s or PhD graduates who completed their studies within the last two years.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong analytical skills and the ability to perform independent research.
  • Interested applicants should be able and ready to cover all costs related to the fellowship. Applicants should be able to mobilise the resources to cover costs related to their travel to and from Accra, accommodation and living expenses while in Accra for the agreed period of the fellowship.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”HOW TO APPLY” tab_id=”1654006103217-edfbcbb0-82b0″][vc_column_text]If you wish to be considered for the fellowship, apply by submitting the following:

  • An application letter clearly stating your career, academic and research goals
  • One article (published or unpublished).
  • A 300-word synopsis articulating their research interest which must align with the research fellowship focus (see above). This synopsis must present the research objectives, questions and a proposed methodology to pursue the
    research goals.
  • A curriculum vitae.

All applications should be sent to WACSI: research@wacsi.org by 16 May 2022.

Selected candidates are expected to reside in Accra at the time of the fellowship and work from the institute’s office in Accra, Ghana. WACSI’s Knowledge Management Unit will provide close supervision to the research fellows throughout the fellowship period. However, due to the current threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, interested candidates who are not based in Accra will be considered for the programme. Selection will be based on applicant’s demonstration of their ability to deliver while working remotely.

Females are highly encouraged to apply


Publications authored by previous research fellows include the following.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]