CFA: National Dialogue Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship Africa Team, USIP (Deadline: May 8, 2015)

National Dialogue Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship
Africa Team
DEADLINE: Friday May 8, 5:00 p.m. EST


Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, Ukraine, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Libya have all recently convened or are planning towards a national dialogue process. The proliferation of national dialogue in peace agreements and transition process assumes that this peace building tool is effective in preventing, mitigating, or resolving violent conflict. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that national dialogues fail as often as they succeed and are only a viable strategy under certain circumstances.

In 2014-2015, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is undertaking a project to assess the conditions under which national dialogue is an effective tool to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflict. USIP’s National Dialogue Initiative focuses on multi-issue, national-level dialogues that are convened in the context of ongoing conflict transformation with the objective of breaking political deadlock, addressing the underlying causes of conflict and preventing future violence. As a first step, USIP is working with practitioners and experts from six countries to develop case studies on past national dialogue processes.

Fellowship Description

USIP seeks concept notes for a Jennings Randolph Fellowship from practitioners and experts to contribute to the USIP National Dialogue Initiative by developing practical tools and research to assist individuals who are convening or participating in national dialogues, or individuals seeking to advise and provide support to these processes.

In particular, the Fellowship is intended to advance research, thinking and practice on comparative thematic issues related to national dialogue processes. The National Dialogue Working Group has already identified thematic research needs on: the relationship of the security sector to national dialogues, sequencing of national dialogue with other key governance processes, and agenda setting and participant selection for national dialogues. The Fellowship may explore one of priorities already identified or explore another theme that expands USIP’s expertise and the existing literature and practice.

More broadly, the Fellow would serve as a resource and advisor on national dialogue processes for USIP staff and key international partners.

Over the course of a 6-8 month fellowship, the National Dialogue Fellow would be expected to:

  • develop a USIP Special Report and a FP Peace Channel article on his or her research topic through field research and desk research;
  • participate in USIP’s National Dialogue Working Group and review and comment on the group’s upcoming publications;
  • represent USIP at external meetings on national dialogues and related processes; and
  • assist USIP in responding to requests for support on national dialogues by traveling to the field to advise nascent national dialogue processes.

The Fellowship may be split into two residencies. The research proposal may include trips to the field for short-term research.

Evaluation Criteria

USIP envisions that the selected Fellow will be mid- to senior-level professional. Concept note submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Ability to identify pertinent questions facing practitioners related to national dialogue processes;
  • Appropriate research approach and design to posit and test hypotheses to respond to pertinent questions facing practitioners;
  • Depth and range of experience, as well as creative thinking and analytical approach, to expand USIP’s current research agenda;
  • Experience either advising or participating in national dialogues or related processes in the Middle East and Africa;
  • Established track record of writing and publishing on his or her research topic; and,
  • Potential to expand USIP’s relationships with practitioners, advisors and national, regional and international organizations engaged on national dialogues.

You must apply by using our Concept Note Template. You must also fill in a personal information form at: or

The long form version is this:

To submit the Concept Note, and for information: Please send the Concept Note as an attachment and put National Dialogue Fellowship Concept Note Submission in the subject line.

Africa National Dialogue Fellowship Opportunity