Paradigm Initiative Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) Fellowship 2020

Application Deadline: December 20, 2019.

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. Our digital inclusion programs include a digital readiness school for young people living in under-served communities (LIFE) and a software engineering school targeting high potential young Nigerians (Dufuna). Both programs have a deliberate focus to ensure equal participation for women and girls.  

Paradigm Initiative will host a Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) from February 2020, at its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. DRILL has a mission to host innovative learning around digital rights and inclusion in Africa, and serve as a space for both practice and reflection, aimed to involve and connect different stakeholders and create dialogue amongst researchers, social innovators, policymakers and actors, the private sector, as well as civil society.

As a lighthouse for digital rights and inclusion advocacy in Africa, learning activities will take place at the lab in order to evolve new thinking on digital rights and inclusion strategy for Africa. There are a variety of activities that will take place, including but not limited to, focused future-facing research; presentations; ecosystem meetings and discussions focused on digital rights and/or inclusion hosted within the ecosystem; and general communication about the lab’s activities.

DRILL will offer a space for big thinking, evaluation of digital rights and digital inclusion programs, and future-proofing ecosystem activities. DRILL will host innovators, researchers and/or entrepreneurs-in-residence at the PIN HQ so they can host biweekly ecosystem/sector meetings (to share insight/ideas), biweekly presentations (to share outcomes of their research and/work) and work with the Executive Director to record a monthly DRILL podcast on topical issues.

Paradigm Initiative is opening calls for a pioneer fellow of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab to work at the Paradigm Initiative headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, from February 2020 for a 3- or 6-months period. The fellowship is for a period of three months at a time, but can be renewed for another three months on completion, depending on planned activities and joint review between the Fellow and PIN. As a mid-career fellowship, potential candidates will be expected to have had a minimum of 5 years’ experience as technology or social innovators, researchers, policy experts, and/or entrepreneurs.

Fellows’ Responsibilities 

Applicants will be required to briefly discuss their intended focus for the fellowship period during the application process. Paradigm Initiative will expect to receive a two-page project plan from shortlisted candidates. For the successful candidate, this would be discussed and agreed on with the PIN leadership team, no later than two weeks after the fellowship start date. The successful fellow will commit a minimum of 16 hours per week to the fellowship, working from the PIN HQ in Lagos.

  • The fellow will be expected to host biweekly ecosystem/sector meetings at the PIN HQ (to share insight/ideas), biweekly presentations (to share outcomes of their research and/work) and a monthly DRILL podcast to be recorded with the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative
  • The Fellow will host a side session on a topical and relevant digital rights and/or inclusion theme, in the specific area of their interest, at the annual Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum
  • The last month of the fellowship will feature a final meeting, a final presentation and the final podcast from the selected fellow. There will be an exit interview and opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved in the 3- to 6-month period with PIN’s leadership team

The fellowship is open to potential fellows living outside Lagos, where Paradigm Initiative’s headquarters, the home of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab, in located. However, there are no relocation allowances or travel support costs provided for the inaugural fellowship.

PIN Responsibilities

For the inaugural fellowship, Paradigm Initiative will not provide remuneration to the selected fellow. However, Paradigm Initiative will support selected individuals with recommendation letters or such as may be required towards possible fundraising, as long as income is declared and a public report will be published at the end of their project. PIN will cover costs associated with learning activities at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Lab and provide office space, an opportunity to be embedded within our team, access to the ecosystem and feedback on projects throughout the duration of the fellowship. 

Application and Timeline

This call for applications is open until December 20, 2019.

The selection process will commence in January 2020 with the first fellow of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Lab expected to resume in February 2020.

Selection will be supported by an External Advisory Group made up of ecosystem leaders, including Alberto J. Cerda Silva (Ford Foundation), Anriette Esterhuysen (Association for Progressive Communications), John Dada (Fantsuam Foundation), Nnenna Nwakanma (World Wide Web Foundation), and Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi (Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre), who will help shape the program and work with the PIN team to review Fellowship applications.

Please use the application form at https://bit.ly/drillfellow by midnight (GMT+1) on December 20, 2019. You will need the following in order to submit your application:

  • Your resume (not more than 3 pages)
  • Your cover letter detailing your interest in the DRILL fellowship (not more than 500 words)
  • A brief indication of tentative focus of your fellowship (not more than 500 words)

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Paradigm Initiative DRILL Fellowship 2020

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