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Hurford Youth Fellows Program

– Building Youth Activists’ Leadership Skills –

INFORMATION BOOKLET AND APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Fellowship Term

March 1 – May 31, 2021

Application Deadline: 1 July, 2020

ABOUT the HOST AND SPONSOR ORGANIZATIONS

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1983 to

strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. NED is governed by an independent, nonpartisan board of directors. With its annual congressional appropriation, it makes hundreds of grants each year to support pro-democracy groups in Africa, Asia, Eurasia,

Latin America, and the Middle East.

WORLD MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY & WORLD YOUTH MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY

The World Movement for Democracy is a global network that brings together democracy activists,

practitioners, academics, policy makers, and funders. NED initiated this nongovernmental effort in

February 1999 at a global Assembly in New Delhi, India, to strengthen democracy where it is weak, to

reform and invigorate democracy even where it is longstanding, and to bolster pro-democracy groups

in countries that have not yet entered into a process of democratic transition.

At the Third Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in South Africa in 2004, a group of

young democracy and human rights activists from around the world came together to found the

World Youth Movement for Democracy to support each other, build solidarity, and develop sustainable democratic and human rights movements by empowering a younger generation.

Today, the Youth Movement serves as a platform for young democracy activists. It provides a space

for young activists to build relationships with each other, to collaborate across borders, to deepen

their knowledge on key issues by sharing information, and to develop practical skills. Like the World

Movement, the Youth Movement supports youth participation in efforts to strengthen democracy in

their countries.

THE HURFORD FOUNDATION

The Hurford Foundation was established to honor the late John B. Hurford (1938 – 2000), an internationalist and philanthropist who played an important role in helping to conceptualize and realize

the World Movement for Democracy. For many years, the Hurford Foundation has been an important supporter of the World Movement for Democracy and the World Youth Movement for Democracy. The Hurford Foundation generously supports the Hurford Youth Fellows Program.

INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR DEMOCRATIC STUDIES

NED established the International Forum for Democratic Studies (the Forum) in 1994 in response to

the need for sustained and serious analysis of democracy’s problems and prospects throughout the

world. Since then, the Forum has become the preeminent center for the study of the theoretical and

practical aspects of democratic development worldwide. Through its fellowship programs, its publication of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, and its public seminars and symposia, the Forum enhances efforts to foster and improve democracy while also making important contributions to the field of

comparative democratic studies.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

HURFORD YOUTH FELLOWS PROGRAM

The Hurford Program seeks to build the leadership skills, enhance the organizational talents, and

harness the potential of emerging democracy leaders from around the world. Through the Hurford

program, two young activists per year spend three months at NED, during which they expand their

global network, learn lessons from activists from democracy movements around the world, and contribute to the development of the World Movement for Democracy and the World Youth Movement

for Democracy in particular. Fellows will be expected to organize online discussion to generate active

engagement among youth activists around the world. Hurford Youth Fellows will engage in strategic

meetings; conduct research; and organize and lead presentations, and information-sharing sessions

on the following specific democracy themes:

Defending Democratic Space

Freedoms are increasingly restricted for people who wish to voice their concerns, come together, and

address those concerns by engaging stakeholders. In both physical and digital spaces, they face limitations on where they can meet, how they can interact, and what they can say or do. This is particularly

true under authoritarian regimes, but also under new and established democracies where minority

views are marginalized. As a result, citizens have less influence in political processes that impact their

lives and are unable to hold their governments accountable. CLICK HERE to learn more about the

World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and alerts that support ‘Defending Democratic Space.’

Promoting Inclusive Governance

The World Movement aims to strengthen inclusive democratic governance with an emphasis on empowering emerging leaders that are committed to democratic principles. As part of this effort, the

World Movement facilitates engagement among emerging leaders from civil society and political parties; exploring constructive ways to enhance their political participation; building effective partnerships between civil society, government, and the private sector; and sustaining democratic movements that influence policy making and institutional reforms. CLICK HERE to learn more about the

World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and alerts that support ‘Promoting Inclusive

Governance.’

Strengthening Democratic Leadership

The next generation of democratic leadership plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing democracy. The World Movement believes in the importance of inter-generational dialogue and facilitates

exchange of ideas and experiences between seasoned leaders and emerging leaders. CLICK HERE to

learn more about the World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and news and alerts that

support ‘Strengthening Democratic Leadership.’

Specifically, each fellow will engage in the following activities:

 Conduct research on one topic related to the democracy themes above

 Develop online resources, such as a collection of related publications and training materials;

 Facilitate online discussions;

 Contribute to the World Movement/World Youth Movement social media posts

 Take part in planning and implementing other activities of the World Movement/World Youth 

Movement; and

 Participate in relevant events and discussions in Washington, D.C., to deepen understanding of

issues and build working relationships.

 Identify, compile, present, and creatively share discussion materials and results.

Each fellow will also make at least one formal presentation of their work during their fellowship.

Presentations may be open to the public or geared to a more select audience and will typically focus

on the fellow’s research topic.

Upon the successful completion of each fellowship at NED, the fellow will serve as a regional/country

focal point, working with the Hurford Youth Fellowship Alumni Network to remain involved and take

the lead in World Youth Movement activities.

Eligibility: Applicants interested in the Hurford Youth Fellows Program must be no older than 30

years of age. They must demonstrate strong interest in democratic activism and in the advancement

of democracy in their respective communities, as well as worldwide. Youth affiliated with civil society

organizations are especially encouraged to apply.

Please Note: The Hurford Youth Fellows Program is open to applicants from any country. It does

not provide scholarship funds or any other type of financial aid to university or graduate students,

nor is it designed to support postdoctoral research. The program is not an educational program offering academic courses leading toward a degree. In addition, it does not provide financial support

to those seeking to complete professional training programs, attend conferences, or pursue internships at other organizations.

English Language Requirement: A working knowledge of English is an important prerequisite

for participation in the program for general communication purposes. All application materials must

be submitted in English.

Selection Process: Fellows will be selected by the World Movement Secretariat staff, NED regional

program staff, the World Youth Movement’s Leadership Board, and the Hurford Youth Fellowship

Alumni Network following an application process. Selection will be based on a set of criteria including

demonstrated activism or interest in the advancement of democracy, a desire to network with others,

and a clear explanation of how the fellowship will benefit their own efforts for advancing democracy.

Residency Requirements: Fellows are expected to work full-time on their fellowship projects at

the NED office in Washington, D.C. Fellows may not hold any other fellowships or be otherwise employed during the fellowship period without the express permission of World Movement Secretariat

staff. Additional fellowships or work opportunities that coincide with the fellowship period must be

brought to the attention of World Movement Secretariat staff prior to the candidate’s acceptance of a

Hurford Fellowship. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of the fellowship.

Hurford Youth fellowships are not designed to support extensive fieldwork outside the Washington,

D.C., area. The program recognizes the importance of establishing ties with counterparts elsewhere in

the United States and abroad and understands that professional obligations may sometimes necessitate domestic or international travel. However, no funds will be available to support fellows’ professional travel. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the NED for the entirety of the fellowship period in order to take full advantage of the professional resources available in D.C.

Fellowship Support and Services: Each fellow will receive a monthly stipend for living expenses,

plus basic health insurance and roundtrip travel to and from Washington, D.C. Stipends take into account the cost of living in Washington, D.C. Fellows are provided with a fully equipped office, including internet and email access, and a limited budget for fellowship-related long-distance phone calls.

The World Movement Secretariat staff plays a vital role in helping fellows realize their fellowship objectives by collaborating with them on their fellowship projects and engaging them in ongoing discussions about their work.

NED houses a Democracy Resource Center (DRC), which includes a library with some 20,000 works,

including books, journals, grantee reports, and other publications on democracy. The DRC’s expert

staff members assist fellows with their research interests. Fellows may enjoy access to other local libraries as needed.

Cost of Living and Dependents: Applicants should bear in mind that the cost of living (housing,

furniture, food, and other essential living expenses) in the Washington metropolitan area is very high

and that fellowship stipends are not calculated to cover the financial needs of a family. Fellows who

wish to bring family members with them to Washington, D.C. will be expected to cover the costs of

their dependents’ roundtrip travel and stay within the United States. The program does not ordinarily cover costs associated with dependents’ health insurance. Please note that all dependents traveling

to the Unites States on a J-2 dependent visa will be required to have basic health insurance coverage

for the full period of their stay.

Visa Issues: Prior to their arrival in the United States, prospective fellows who are neither citizens

nor permanent residents of the United States must secure a J-1 exchange visitor visa. The International Forum for Democratic Studies assists fellows with the documentation needed to obtain visas.

Office Location and Contact Information: The National Endowment for Democracy is based in

downtown Washington, D.C., at 1025 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20004. Centrally located near

the White House, the U.S. Congress, the National Mall, and the Smithsonian Institution, our office

building sits above Metro Center, one of the major subway stations of the Washington metropolitan

area.

For further information, please contact:

World Movement for Democracy Secretariat

National Endowment for Democracy

1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800

Washington, DC 20004

USA

Tel.: +1-202-378-9700

E-mail: youthfellows@ned.org

Website : www.movedemocracy.org

PART II: APPLICATION GUIDELINES

Fellowship Term

March 1 – May 31, 2021

APPLICATION DEADLINE: All application materials must be submitted by 1 July, 2020.

SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION: Applicants are asked to submit the following:

 Applicant Form;

 C.V./Resume; and

 Two Letters of Recommendation

All application materials should be uploaded in the application portal.

*If you applied last year, you will need to create a new profile using a new email address.

PREPARING YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS: The Applicant Form has four sections: (1) Personal

Information; (2) Project Proposal; (3) Curriculum Vitae/Résumé; and (4) Two Letters of Recommendation. Each applicant must complete the entire Form. Please note that incomplete application

forms will not be reviewed.

Project Proposal: Your project proposal is the most important part of your fellowship application.

It should be clear, concise, and comprehensible to individuals outside your own field or concentration. Your proposal must correspond to one of the following three Democracy themes:

Defending Democratic Space

Freedoms are increasingly restricted for people who wish to voice their concerns, come together, and

address those concerns by engaging stakeholders. In both physical and digital spaces, they face limitations on where they can meet, how they can interact, and what they can say or do. This is particularly

true under authoritarian regimes, but also under new and established democracies where minority

views are marginalized. As a result, citizens have less influence in political processes that impact their

lives and are unable to hold their governments accountable. CLICK HERE to learn more about the

World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and alerts that support ‘Defending Democratic Space.’

Promoting Inclusive Governance

The World Movement aims to strengthen inclusive democratic governance with an emphasis on empowering emerging leaders that are committed to democratic principles. As part of this effort, the

World Movement facilitates engagement among emerging leaders from civil society and political parties; exploring constructive ways to enhance their political participation; building effective partnerships between civil society, government, and the private sector; and sustaining democratic movements that influence policy making and institutional reforms. CLICK HERE to learn more about the

World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and alerts that support ‘Promoting Inclusive

Governance.’

Strengthening Democratic Leadership

The next generation of democratic leadership plays a crucial role in sustaining and advancing democracy. The World Movement believes in the importance of inter-generational dialogue and facilitates

exchange of ideas and experiences between seasoned leaders and emerging leaders. CLICK HERE to

learn more about the World Movement for Democracy’s initiatives, activities, and news and alerts that

support ‘Strengthening Democratic Leadership.’

Your proposal, in no more than 1200 words, should describe steps you will take to organize and complete your fellowship projects (online discussions, research, strategic meetings). In your proposal,

please ensure that you respond to the following specific questions:

1. Of the three democracy themes outlined above, what is your proposed research topic for your

fellowship project?

2. What are three specific online discussion topics or questions under your research topic?

3. How would you conduct research and develop information materials that could be used for

broader dissemination and/or online discussions?

4. How would you contribute to the further development of the World Youth Movement for Democracy?

5. How would you benefit professionally from your time in Washington and what will that mean

for your organization?

Strong proposals will exhibit the following characteristics:

– A clear focus and rationale, with practical relevance for strengthening the participation of

youth in democracies.

– The outline of a well-defined approaches to your selected theme, with tangible benefits to colleagues and counterparts in your field.

– A concentration on two or more regions. Remember this is a global fellowship where you are

expected to learn from other democracy movements and cultivate relationships with your peers

around the world.

Curriculum Vitae/Résumé: Please prepare a curriculum vitae or résumé and upload it in section

4 of the application portal. Your curriculum vitae or résumé should highlight your relevant professional experience, educational background, community service, and/or extra-curricular activities. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFEREES

Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for an applicant to the Hurford Youth Fellows Program at the World Movement for Democracy. Your frank appraisal of the applicant and their

fellowship project proposal will greatly help us in our selection process. For more information on the

Hurford Youth Fellows Program, please go to www.movedemocracy.org

Letter of Recommendation Guidelines

We would greatly appreciate your candid comments on the following:

 The length of time and context in which you have known the applicant

 Your opinion of his or her background, qualifications, accomplishments, and experiences

 Your appraisal of the proposed project and the applicant’s ability to complete it on time

 Your views on the suitability of the applicant and his/her project to the Hurford Youth Fellows

Program

 Any other information you feel is important to share concerning the candidate

Submit your letter of recommendation:

Once the applicant identifies their referees and provides their email addresses within the application portal, an automated email will be sent to the referee’s email address. The automated email will give the referees login credentials to access the application portal in order to upload the letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted in English or accompanied by an English translation.

Please format your letter as a MS Word Document (.doc) or Adobe PDF (.pdf). Please note that letters of

recommendation should not be shared with applicants.

Deadline: The deadline to submit your letter of recommendation is 1 July, 2020.

For any technical problems, please email youthfellows@ned.org

For questions or further information, please contact:

World Movement for Democracy Secretariat

National Endowment for Democracy

1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800

Washington, DC 20004

Tel.: 202-378-9700

E-mail: youthfellows@ned.org

Website: www.movedemocracy.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE OPEN THIS LINK

https://www.nedfellowships.org/Start/Hurford

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