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About the programme

Eight researchers and/or scholars from the region (up to one per country) participating in the policy training shall be awarded the opportunity of a one-month visit and fellowship in an EU-based think tank. The fellowship followed by three months of online mentoring by a researcher of PASOS as they pursue completion of the chosen policy study.

Selection of the fellows

The future fellows will be selected partially taking into account the performance (e.g. active participation, in particular in the applied sessions) in the Istanbul training.

Interesting opportunity for those applying for fellowship

Those interested in applying for fellowship under this PASOS-UNDEF program might consider to look into the OSF Central Asia and South Caucasus project of supporting occasional policy papers. The proposal as published by the Think Tank Fund you can download from here

For more information on fellowship competition read the information below in English and in Russian:

Call for Applications: Policy Skills Development Fellowship Programme
Текст Приглашения на русском языке смотрите тут: Приглашение на русском

Opening the Doors of Policy-Making: Central Asia and South Caucasus
(UDF- GLO-09-281)

An opportunity open to the participants in the PASOS Skills Development Training event in Istanbul, 2-3 June2011, to strengthen the acquired skills in policy research, analysis, writing, and advocacy

1. Objectives of the Programme

The PASOS Policy Skills Development Fellowship Programme will assist the engagement of civil society participation in policy making and policy implementation as a part of the promotion of democratic practices in the countries of the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia. The programme aims to provide professionals working in civil society organisations with an opportunity to initiate, or further develop, their own projects and to draw on the experience and expertise of an EU think-tank to improve the way specific policy issues are tackled in their home countries by:
• Conducting in-depth policy analysis and writing a policy paper, including well-targeted policy recommendations, or
• Preparing an advocacy campaign on a policy issue.

Fellows from the eight target countries - one from each - will be supported through distance learning provided by an experienced mentor to develop their work in one of the well-established independent think-tanks operating in the European Union. The host institutions will be selected for their record of experience in policy research and analysis, as well as in proposing and/or advocating for policy solutions related to furthering democratic transformation and improving policy-making processes in the EU, its member-states, and in other countries.

Besides distant guidance by an experienced mentor in the preparation of the proposed policy work, the programme will feature the Regional Networking Conference to be organised in the Central Asia/South Caucasus region during May 2012. The event will provide the eight fellows from the target countries with new practical skills, and a networking opportunity to interact with other project participants as well as researchers and policy-makers, and to exchange best practices learned from their fellowships with think-tanks in the EU.

The fellows will learn more about, and apply, methods of policy research and analysis, e.g. public opinion surveys and research using data-mining, evidence-based policy analysis, appropriate choice of policy advocacy tools and other approaches applied in the host think-tanks. The work of the fellows should focus on specific issues of importance to their home countries. This may include e.g.:
• Gender equality
• Access to education opportunities
• Development of parliamentary democracy
• Improvement of processes in free and fair elections
• Building democratic awareness among the general public
• Increasing media freedom
• Protecting the environment, and natural and cultural wealth of the country
• Better use of energy, water and human resources of the country and the region
• Migration and demographic stability issues
• Strengthening of human rights protection efforts, etc.

The results of each fellow’s work will be submitted to the PASOS quality standards control procedures, as applied in the host think-tanks' and/or mentor’s institutions. A PASOS Awards Committee will select from the fellows' work one project as the policy project of highest quality and expected impact. The winning project author will be announced, and an award of USD 1,000 will be presented to the winner at the Regional Networking Conference held in the region during May 2012.

2. Eligibility criteria

Applications are invited from individuals meeting the following criteria:
• Participants in the Skills Development Training in Istanbul on 2-3 June 2011
• Persons with professional interests or professional ambitions to be a researcher/policy analyst/professional staff member of a civil society organisation advocating for policy issues or monitoring policy-making in a specific policy field
• Citizens of one of the project target countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).

A condition for obtaining the fellowship award is a clearly stated interest to work for the benefit of the people of the home country as an independent expert.

3. Mentoring

Fellows will work under the guidance of the Project Mentor, Mr. Piotr Kazmierkiewicz, an expert of the Institute of Public Affairs located in Warsaw, Poland, who might be eventually supported by other mentors contracted by PASOS. The mentors will assist the selected fellows in defining the scope of the research, selecting research and analytical methods, and in structuring of their work so as to gain as much as possible from the potential available at the host think-tank within the three-week period of the visit.

A follow-up distant mentoring will enable the fellows to finalise their work in accordance with the PASOS quality standards control procedures before submitting the completed policy project for evaluation by the PASOS Awards Committee.

4. Fellowship budget

PASOS will cover for each fellow the following: international and local travel to the host think-tank; visa fees where necessary; and subsistence and accommodation of up to USD 120 per day for the three weeks spent at the host organisation.

Each host organisation will receive US$ 1,500 to cover the mentoring and overhead costs of hosting the fellow. This is inclusive of all taxes.

5. Submission of Proposals

Applications must include ALL of the following materials written in the language preferred for the fellowship – English or Russian:

i) Letter of interest in competition for a fellowship award (not more then 1 page).

ii) Research proposal, describing the topic of the chosen policy research or policy problem to be solved or policy advocacy campaign to be prepared, and description of the proposed project on the chosen topic (maximum four standard A4 pages (1,200 characters per page)) describing:
• The topic choice justification
• Proposed methodology to be used in case of research work, or description of previous data or research on which the analytic paper will be based, or available human and organisational resources in case of preparing an advocacy campaign
Description of the policymaking structures at the national or local level that will need to be influenced to bring about policy change in the chosen policy field (including identification of those policy stakeholders who might be receptive to implementing policy changes), and a description of the main target groups expected to be influenced by the project (research or analysis target groups, addressees of the advocacy campaign etc.
• Description of expected outcomes of the work, as well as the expected impact on policy decisions of the project's policy recommendations, and a description of how the impact will be measured.

iii) Any other information that may help to gauge the local or national context for which the research/paper/advocacy is to be produced.

iv) A structured Curriculum Vitae including:
Identification data – gender indicator (Mr./Ms./Miss), given name(s), family name, year of birth, posting address, mobile or phone number, e-mail address
Professional data - highest education level and/or any academic titles received, main former and current professional positions hold, main fields of interest and knowledge
Other personal data – main hobbies, special health and diet-related needs, etc.
Bank identification data – name and address of the bank, its bank identification or SWIFT code, name of the account to which the scholarship should be transferred, and the bank account number (preferably the international bank account number IBAN), as well as data about the correspondence bank where appropriate .

6. Deadline for applications

Those interested in the fellowship are invited to submit their application. All documents as described in Part 5 above should reach PASOS Secretariat office electronically before midnight, Central European Time (CET), on Monday, 22 August 2011. It is requested to use for this purpose the specific e-mail address gro.sosap|sroodnepo#gro.sosap|sroodnepo.

7. Additional information that might be provided to PASOS

Besides the requirements related to the proposed task as described in Part 6 above, PASOS would appreciate to obtain from each applicant his/her:
a. Assessment of the needs of the region/country/community in further skills development for enhancing citizens' participation in policy making;
b. Any recommendations of names and positions of personalities in the public administration who might be interested in co-operation on policymaking with the applicant or other civil society organisations within the country or internationally, and who might accept an invitation to the “Think Tanks – Pubic Administration Co-operation Workshop” to be held in the region in May 2012, followed by the Regional Networking Conference of policymakers;
c. Description of the governing institutional structures of the country and its international position, or a recommendation of persons who may be able and competent to provide it.

Provision of these recommendations is not mandatory for the applicant and shall not influence the selection process.

8. Selection Procedure

Selection will be based on the submission of a sound proposal reflecting the criteria set out in the call for proposals, received within the given deadline for application.

A Fellowship Selection and Awards Committee composed of five voting members and non-voting PASOS Secretary/Project Manager will select the fellows, as well as the completed fellowship project to be awarded the special prize of USD 1,000.

Voting members will represent the following think-tanks: FRIDE (Spain), IPA (Poland), LGID (Hungary), PRAXIS (Estonia), and PROVIDUS (Latvia).

Basic criteria for selection will include the innovative features of the proposed fellowship project, its timeliness, and potential to influence relevant policymakers as reflected in the applications submitted. The Committee may also take into account the evaluation of performance of the participants in the Skills Development Training in Istanbul.

Selection will be completed by a matching procedure, in which a selected fellow will be assigned to the think-tank that is best suited in terms of its fields of research, interest in the fellow’s topic, and as regards available capacities and human potential.

The contracting procedure for both fellows and host think-tanks will then follow upon mutual agreement of all parties involved and with respect to the project conditions outlined above.

PASOS will primarily inform the applicants on the results of the selection on individual basis. After the confirmation of contracts with fellows and hosting think-tanks, but not later than on 30 September, 2011, the selection and matching results will be published on the Project Website Policy-in-Istanbul, as well as on the new website of PASOS.

9. About the project partners

PASOS - [www.pasos.org www.pasos.org]

PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society - PASOS) is a network of 50 independent policy centres operating in the EU, Southeast and East Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. The association promotes and protects open society values, including democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for and protection of human rights, and economic and social development by supporting policy centers. In order to fulfil its mission, PASOS carries out projects and activities such as facilitating cross-border projects, organising networking events, and providing skills development training opportunities in order to strengthen the capacity of its members (independent think-tanks) and other independent think-tanks and advocacy CSOs in the PASOS region. PASOS Secretariat seat is in Prague, Czech Republic.

Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, Riga, Latvia – [www.providus.lv www.providus.lv]

PROVIDUS (Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS) is an influential think-tank in Latvia, whose aim is to facilitate comprehensive policy change in areas important for Latvia’s development. PROVIDUS also provides expertise to other countries undergoing democratic transformation, basing its expertise on good governance, including anti-corruption, criminal justice policy, tolerance and inclusive public policy, and the European policy. Its activities include: publishing research and policy analyses, providing expertise to the government in the policy-making process, advocacy and monitoring, consultancy services and training, as well as promoting public participation in the policy process. Besides these, PROVIDUS holds an annual Public Policy Forum, and provides institutional home for the largest on-line policy resource in Latvia – politika.lv.

FRIDE - Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo, Madrid, Spain - [www.fride.org www.fride.org]

FRIDE (Foundation for International Relations and Dialogue) is a European think-tank for global action, which provides innovative thinking and rigorous analysis of key debates in international relations. Its mission is to inform policy and practice actors of the EU how to make EU more effective in supporting multilateralism, democratic values, security and sustainable development. FRIDE benefits from political independence and the diversity of views and intellectual background of its international team. Based in Madrid, Spain, with offices also in Brussels, Belgium, FRIDE seeks to contribute to international debates by providing conclusions stemming from its own empirical research on the development and promotion of democracy, he increasing role of emerging powers, the role of international development cooperation in advancing universal values, global governance and multilateralism, the complexity of threats to peace and security, and on fragile states and energy security issues.
All of FRIDE’s projects are accompanied by a specific outreach and communications strategy, in order to increase impact and ensure the optimal completion of objectives

Institute of Public Affairs, Warsaw, Poland - [www.isp.org.pl www.isp.org.pl]

IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) is one of the leading Polish think tanks and an independent centre for analysis and research, established in 1995. Through its studies, expert’s opinions and recommendations focusing on key issues of public life, IPA discharges its mission to serve citizens, the state and the public at large. IPA cooperates with experts and scholars from various research institutions in Poland and abroad. The results of research projects are presented at seminars and conferences, and published as books, reports and communiqués; they are disseminated among parliamentarians, members of the Government and administration, and academics, as well as journalists and NGO activists.

LGID - Local Governance Innovation & Development, Ltd, Budapest, Hungary - [www.lgidev.com www.lgidev.com]

LGID (Local Governance Innovation & Development, Ltd.) is a development consulting firm with a special focus on municipal and local government development throughout Central and Southern Eastern Europe, the New Independent States and other regions worldwide. Since its establishment in 2002, LGID has been successfully providing training and technical assistance services to central, regional and local governments. It operates in the areas of public administration and public sector reform, decentralization and efficient management of public services. LGID succeeded in establishing extensive network of international and local partners worldwide by working with international consortia on projects funded by European Commission, USAID (US Agency for International Development), United Kingdom Department for International Development, and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). As a result, LGID has gained profound experience in global development issues with a particular focus on municipal/local government development and public administration reform.

PRAXIS - Center for Policy Studies, Tallin, Estonia - [www.praxis.ee www.praxis.ee]

PRAXIS (PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies) was founded in 2000 as the first independent non-profit think tank in Estonia and developed into a highly respected, independent, quality oriented and knowledge-based policy-developer. Its mission is to improve and contribute to the policy-making process in Estonia by conducting independent research, providing strategic counsel to policy makers and fostering public debate. Therefore PRAXIS's aims are to manifest crucial public policy problems in the society, to offer alternative solutions for effective tackling of societal problems, to offer high quality and independent policy analysis and research, to foster public debate and civic participation in public policy process and support the principles of participatory democracy in the society, to develop the skills and understanding of policy analysis, and to support the use of independent expert knowledge and analysis in the public policy process

10. About the donor

UNDEF (United Nations Democracy Fund), established in July 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund, supports democratization around the world by funding projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds reach local civil society organization in countries within the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. In this way, UNDEF plays a novel and unique role in complementing the UN's traditional work – the work with Governments – to strengthen democratic governance around the world. UNDEF subsists entirely on voluntary contributions from Governments; in 2010, it surpassed 110 million dollars in contributions and now counts 39 countries as donors, including many middle- and low-income States in Africa, Asia and Latin America. UNDEF projects fall under one or more of six main areas: (1) Community development; (2) Rule of law and human rights; (3) Tools for democratization; (4) Women; (5) Youth; and (6) Media.

A letter from the organizers

Prague, 12 July 2011
Dear colleagues,

Thank you for your active participation in the Skills Development Training in Istanbul on 2-3 June 2011. We hope that your travel back to your homes was smooth, and that you arrived back safely.

As announced in Istanbul, the PASOS project Opening the Doors of Policy-Making: Central Asia and South Caucasus is now entering into its second stage. The goal is to provide you with an opportunity to continue in skills development by working on your own policy project under the mentorship of PASOS experts for several months, including three weeks' stay in a well-established think-tank operating within the European Union. The project, including the fellowships, is made possible with the financial support of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

This is a call for applications to participate in the project, which may be offered to one person from each of the project target countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

In order to be awarded the fellowship, it is necessary for you to propose a concrete policy issue of demonstrable importance to your country which you will address in an analytical paper. It is also necessary to provide information that will make it possible to match your interests with the potential and capacities of one or more EU-based think-tanks, who will be able to host you for the three weeks during the autumn of 2011.

Please read carefully the following call for applications and submit your proposal by the deadline of midnight, Central European time (CET), Monday 22 August 2011.

We are looking forward to your applications and wish you every success.

Best regards,

       Jeff Lovitt                                              Petr Jan Pajas
PASOS Executive Director                         PASOS Project Manager


This publication has been produced with the assistance of
the United Nations Democracy Fund under the auspices of the project Opening the Doors of Policy-Making: Central Asia and South Caucasus
(UDF- GLO-09-281)

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of
PASOS – Policy Association for an Open Society
and does not necessarily reflect the views
of the United Nations,the United Nations Democracy Fund or its Advisory Board.