Ford Foundation-funded NGO Leadership Program

The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa

Relevent Country: South Africa

Type of work: Research and Survey

The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) in partnership with the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), and support from Ford Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2023 call for applications to the Innocent Chukwuma African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (ICLTFP), formerly known as the African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP).

The Africa Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LFTP) began in 2018 under the moniker of the Nonprofit Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (NLTF Program), with support from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and the Ford Foundation. It was started due to the recognition of the urgent need for an NGO leadership transition program to aid sector leaders – civil society and NGO leaders – who are considering transitioning out of their positions in creating a supportive infrastructure.

The program’s chief purpose is thus to help sector leaders prepare and position their NGOs to be sustainable, vibrant, and continue to thrive after their exit from the organisation. It would enable both the leaders and organisations successfully make the shift, and in so doing create spaces for a new generation of leaders in the social sector to not only emerge but also have platforms to apply their creative and youthful energies. Transitioning leaders would develop succession plans within their own organisations, contemplate their personal transition plans, and preserve their knowledge and experience.

Objectives

The objectives of the ICLTFP are to:

  • Contribute to the process of establishing a supportive infrastructure for leadership transition within the NGO/CSO movement in Africa.
  • Promote the creation of leadership spaces for the next generation of leaders in African civil society to grow and strive.
  • Increase the documentation of leadership experiences/reflections and renewal processes within civil society in Africa.

Benefits

  • Stipend: $3,000 covering living support and associated expenses for one month.
  • Accommodation: one single furnished bedroom either in a studio/one bedroom, or shared apartment with other fellows for one month.
  • Economy class return ticket from home country to host country for in-person learning sessions.
  • Visa application fees.
  • Travel Health Insurance.

Activities

  • Pre-Fellowship Interviews: As part of the candidate prequalification process, AROCSA, together with CAPSI will undertake a series of interviews with shortlisted candidates in December 2022 to enable better understanding of the following:
  • Each fellow’s transition needs;
  • What stage they and their organizations are, in thinking and planning for their transition; and
  • Agreement on the outputs of the fellowship.
  • 1-month in-person fellowship placements with CAPSI, Wits Business School at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, which will serve as the host institution followed by 2- month remote facilitated career transition planning and chapter writing. The facilitation will continuously be provided by the Wits staff. Fellows will work with faculty mentors at the host university to provide guidance on fellows’ book chapters, documentation of leadership experience, and networking. The engagement of the fellows while on the ICLTFP would include:
  • Reflections on leadership experiences and what they plan to do after the fellowship.
  • Writing of a book chapter on a topic of their choice – giving their perspectives on topical issues in the sector; developing a personal career transition plan, and leadership succession plan for their NGOs.
  • Organizing of seminars where necessary, on a topic of their choice with students and faculties of the host institution, where they would share their experience amongst others.
  • Participation in certifiable masterclasses offered by the host university. The one month retreat in South Africa would also enable creation of a peer learning and mentoring community within each ICLTFP cohort that will enable them to support one another through challenging times in their transition plan.
  • Presentation of the book chapters. Fellows will be invited to present their learning experiences in panels and take questions from an intergenerational and cross-sector audience in Africa comprising leaders, researchers and scholars in the social sector. The presentations would highlight their perspectives captured in their book chapters, and will take place during the AROCSA Annual Conference which is typically held in July in Africa. The panel sessions and publication of their written pieces would mark the end of each cycle of the fellowship program.
  • Regional report-back seminar: At the end of the fellowship program and after returning to their countries, each fellow will organize a feedback and experience-sharing seminar, involving the fellow’s organization, other CSOs leaders, and institutions. This will create awareness of the Fellowship program and serve as a medium to give back.
  • Mentorship: For a year after the fellowship, the Fellow will commit to adopting a mentee, or serve a CSO in an advisory capacity so that there is transference of knowledge and provision of support. This structured mentorship program can be applied to an existing mentorship relationship or CSO advisory role.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Founder/Executive Director of an NGO in Africa, and from Africa, ‘actively’ seeking to transition away from their NGO/CSO.
  • Approval from the board to take a sabbatical from work from March – May 2023.
  • Candidate must be above forty (40) years of age.
  • Candidate must have been in the executive leadership position for at least ten (10) years.
  • Candidate must be a full-time paid staff of the NGO.
  • Medical fitness certified by qualified medical doctor.

Notes: Transition for the program is defined in the context of “an NGO leader exiting the NGO in which he/she has been in its full employment and paid staff leadership position for at least 10 years, and moving into a different NGO, academia, business, government, or going into retirement.

Once an offer is made, participation may not be deferred.

Source: https://arocsa.org/icltfp/