Deadline: October 30, 2015

Applications for the 2016-2017 Community Solutions Program are now open. The Community Solutions is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working in Transparency & Accountability, Tolerance & Conflict Resolution, Environmental Issues, and Women & Gender Issues.

Leaders bring years of experience to community development in the U.S. while strengthening their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries. Through tailored fellowships, leaders gain hands-on experience in community work; collaborate and learn best practices through an online leadership institute; and create action plans for community-based initiatives back home.

Selected candidates will participate in: a four month U.S. fellowship with a local nonprofit organization or government agency; structured virtual learning and networking via the Online Community Leadership Institute; and, the design and implementation of follow-on projects in their home countries.

Benefits

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the U.S.
  • Accident and sickness insurance
  • Living Allowance to cover housing, meals and incidentals

Eligibility

Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the Community Solutions Program is merit-based and open to community leaders, ages 25-38 at the time of application, who meet the following criteria:

  • From a participating country (U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years are not eligible for this program)
  • Currently living and working in his/her home country (Individuals participating in academic, training or research programs in the United States at the time of application and individuals residing or working outside their home countries at the time of application are not eligible for this program)
  • Currently working on a community project or initiative in his/her home country; and, has at least 2 years of professional experience in this capacity at the time of application
  • Able to begin the program in the United States in 2016, and is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program
  • Able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa (Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Government who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application are not eligible for this program)
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application

Eligible Countries

  • Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
  • East Asia and the Pacific: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam
  • Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine
  • South and Central Asia: Bangladesh, Burma, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan
  • Near East & North Africa: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Gaza
  • Western Hemisphere: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago

Selection Process

The Community Solutions Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. Chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed by a panel and will take an English language exam or submit existing TOEFL or IELTS scores. All applicants will be notified of their status by spring 2016.

  • Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):
  • Working/volunteering on substantive community projects for non-profits, government offices, or community-based organizations; preference will be given to applicants of local organizations.
  • Knowledge of and experience in one or more of the four CSP fellowship themes (Women and
    Gender Issues, Transparency and Accountability, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, and
    Environmental Issues);
  • Leadership experience and potential;
  • Professional and program goals;
  • Follow-on project idea;
  • Intercultural/English language skills;

How to Apply

Do not send applications to the IREX office in Washington, DC or any of IREX’s representative offices. Mailed, faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted.

For more information, visit IREX Community Solutions Program.