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West African Regional Community Organizing Institute

Applications for the 2024 cohort

Important information:

Please read these guidelines in their entirety before applying to the program. Yiaga Africa expects that you can independently travel and participate in COI. If this is a problem for you, please indicate this below. To complete your application, record a 1-minute clear and sound video stating why you should be selected to attend the Community Organizing Institute. Upload the video on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag @yiaga.

About the program
2024 Program Dates
Eligibility
Selection Criteria
Faculty
Program Curriculum
Program Costs
Application Overview
Apply Now

About the program

 

The West Africa Regional Community Organizing Institute (COI) is a training and capacity development program hosted by Yiaga Africa with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The program was formerly known as the Youth Organizing School. The program brings together a group of approximately 30-35 mid-career practitioners from West Africa countries who are working to advance democratic practices and economic and legal reform in contexts where freedom, human development, and good governance are fragile or at risk. From Ivory Coast to Cameroon, our program participants are selected from among hundreds of applicants every year for the significant contributions they have already made to their societies and their potential to make an even greater impact with some help from the Training received

The Institute’s alumni network includes over 400 alumni from Cameroon, the Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Their backgrounds and experiences are as diverse as the problems they confront in their home countries, but the one common feature is their commitment to building sound structures of democracy and development. The Institute is always looking to identify strong female leaders working to advance change in their local communities.

Alumni of the Institute have served as leaders of youth and community based organizations, movement and campaign builders, civic activists, and influential members of the democracy and development community in their various countries.

2024 Program Dates

 

The date for the West Africa Regional Community Organizing Institute is May 2024. Applicants are required to participate for the entire duration of the Institute’s program. They must be sure that they can be absent from their professional obligations during that time and must make a commitment to attend the full program upon acceptance.

Eligibility

 

This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Applicants can be working as leaders of non-profit organizations, community based advocates, social campaigners, policy reform advocates, journalists, and political party leaders. In their present capacity, applicants should play important and influential roles in their country’s political, economic, and social development. Participants should have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development, and the rule of law.                           

Each year we strive to recruit a diverse group of 30 -35 individuals who are at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from this training and capacity development program to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. 

A working knowledge of English or French is an important prerequisite for participation in the program. It is expected that each applicant has a solid command of written and spoken English or French to fully benefit and participate in the program.

Selection Criteria

 

Due to the large volume of applications we receive each year to the Institute, we take our selection criteria very seriously. Please review the criteria below very carefully before submitting your application. If you do not meet these criteria, your application will not be reviewed.

  1. This is not an academic fellowship but is meant for practitioners only. We value practical experience over academic credentials, and we admit participants from civil society, political society, community and student leaders especially applicants who hold leadership roles in their respective sectors to qualify for the Institute
  2. Applicants must be from and currently reside in one of the West African countries: Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  3. Applicants must not be more than 30 years of age at the start of the Training in May  2024. 
  4. Applicants must be actively working in the field of democracy and development. 
  5. Applicants must have a solid command of written and spoken English or French. All program materials and sessions are in English and French. 
  6. Female applicants and persons living with disabilities are STRONGLY encouraged to apply.

Faculty

 

The program’s interdisciplinary faculty includes leading community organizers and movement builders, political scientists, lawyers, and economists pioneering innovative research and analysis in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law.

Program Curriculum

 

The Program Curriculum draws inspiration from Harvard Kennedy School’s “Leadership, Organizing and Action” course of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The sessions will cover specialized topics on political and community organizing, effective policy advocacy, non-violent change, scenario building, power mapping, building and maintaining networks and coalitions, gender mainstreaming, and online organizing. Participants will learn strategies for effective engagement with government institutions, political parties, and regional bodies. The training module will include new themes such as negotiation, transnational organizing, and running effective civic organizations. The training will also strengthen the technical capacities of youth and women-led organizations in community engagement and promotion of democratic values and principles in West Africa.

Program Costs

 

Yiaga Africa will cover the costs of participation associated with attending the Institute.

Application Overview

 

In order to apply to the West Africa Regional Community Organizing Institute (COI), please fill the form carefully. The application portal will be open till the deadline, April 22, 2024. Due to the volume of applications, we strongly suggest that you submit the application form as soon as possible. Applicants will be informed of their selection for the program by April 2024. Please do not email us concerning your application status before that time, as the program team will be very busy processing and reviewing applications.

All application materials must be submitted in English or French. 

The application contains the following sections:

  1. Applicant Information
  2. Essay Questions
  3. English Language Proficiency
  4. Video Submission
  5. Letters of Recommendation
  6. Personal Certification

Apply Now