NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP) in Africa

NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP) in Africa

Deadline: 15 December 2019

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA), in partnership with the Ford Foundation, have established the NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP) in Africa.

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This program is intended for senior civil society/NGO leaders who are contemplating or have decided to move on from their existing NGO. This program seeks to help that leader develop a succession plan within the organization, contemplate a personal transition plan and also preserve their knowledge and experience.


The objectives of the LTFP in Africa are to:

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  • Contribute to the process of establishing a supportive infrastructure for leadership transition within the NGO movement in Africa.
  • Promote the creation of leadership spaces for the next generation of leaders in African civil society to grow and strive.
  • Increase the documentation of leadership experiences/reflections and renewal processes within civil society in Africa.

Fellowship Activities

  • Pre-Fellowship Retreat: ARNOVA will organize a two-day retreat in the US in September to enable better understanding of the following:
    • each fellow’s transition needs;
    • what stage they and their organizations are, in thinking and planning for their transition; and
    • agreement on timing and output of the fellowship. The retreat would also enable creation of peer learning and mentoring community within each LTFP cohort that will enable them to support one another through difficult times in their transition plan.
  • 3-month fellowship placements at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indianapolis, Indiana, which will serve as the host institution. Fellows will work with a faculty mentor at the host university to provide guidance on fellows’ book chapters, documention of leadership experience, and networking. The engagement of the fellows while on the LTFP would include:
    • Reflections on leadership experiences and what they plan to do after the fellowship
    • Writing of a book chapter on a topic of their choice – giving their perspectives on topical issues in the sector; developing a personal career transition plan, and leadership succession plan for their NGOs
    • Organizing of seminars where necessary, on a topic of their choice with students and faculties of the host institution, where they would share their experience amongst others
  • Post-Fellowship Retreat: AROCSA will organize a full day retreat to be held during the AROCSA Pre Conference session in July of the year following the fellowship. This provides opportunity for a debrief on the program, capture lessons lerned, discuss implications for the sector, plan next steps, and connect with academic institutions in Africa.
  • Presentation of the book chapters. Fellows will be invited to present their learning experiences in panels and take questions from an inter generational and cross-sector audience in Africa comprising leaders, researchers and scholars in the social sector.
  • Regional report-back seminar: At the end of the fellowship program and after returning to their countries, each fellow will organize a feedback and experience-sharing seminar, involving the fellow’s organization, other CSOs leaders and institutions. This will create awareness of the Fellowship program and serve as a medium to give back.
  • Mentorship: For a year after the fellowship, the Fellow will commit to adopting a mentee, or serve a CSO in an advisory capacity so that there is transference of knowledge and provision of support. This structured mentorship program can be applied to an existing mentorship relationship or CSO advisory role.

Funding Information

  • Stipend: $9,000 covering living support for the three months during the fall semester at a US university
  • Housing: one single furnished bedroom, in a 2-bedroom apartment shared with one other fellow for three months in Indianapolis
  • Health insurance through Indiana University for three months in Indianapolis
  • SEVIS fee
  • Economy class return ticket from home country to the US for the semester at Indiana University in Indianapolis
  • Costs related to attending the 2020 ARNOVA North American annual conference
  • Costs related to attending the opening and closing retreats in the program
  • Up to $1000 travel funds to attend the AROCSA conference in July 2021

Eligibility Criteria

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  • Executive Director of an NGO in Africa, and from Africa, seeking to transition away from their NGO
  • Approval from the board to take a sabbatical from work from September – November 2020
  • Candidate must be above forty (40) years of age
  • Candidate must have been in the executive leadership position for at least 10 years
  • Candidate must be a full time paid staff of the NGO
  • Medical fitness certified by qualified medical doctor

Application Process

  • Applicants are required to apply for the Fellowship through the electronic application on the ARNOVA website. Applications must include the following:
    • Completed electronic application forms.
    • Copy of current passport.
    • Curriculum Vitae.
    • Two letters of recommendation (including one from the NGO Board Chair indicating that the board is aware and approves of the applicant’s participation in the fellowship).
    • 3-5 page (double space, 12pt font with one inch margins) personal statement that includes, but not limited to, the reason for participating in the fellowship and anticipated fellowship objectives that the applicant seeks to achieve.

For more information, please visit https://www.arnova.org/page/ltfp

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