The Community Solutions Program (CSP), supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented by IREX, offers the top and brightest community leaders, ages 25 to 38, from across the world with an rigorous, professional development exchange program that includes a practical hands-on learning experience in the United States from August to December 2019. Community Solutions Fellows gain high-quality familiarity in community work and reinforce their capability for leadership and development in their home countries.
- Applicants must be between the ages of 25-38 as of January 1, 2019
- Applicants must have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer
- Applicants must be living and working in their home country (individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration)
- Applicants must have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English
- Four-month U.S.-based fellowship: CSP fellows are matched with non-profit organisations, private entities, and government offices across the United States where they work with U.S. colleagues on initiatives related to issues they face in their own communities. Community Solutions leaders work in one of four technical areas: Environmental Issues, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues. For example: A gender-rights activist from Vietnam focused on reducing human trafficking works with YWCA on human trafficking in Houston, Texas.
- Community Leadership Institute: The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is a leadership academy that provides personalised knowledge and coaching to each CSP Leader. The CLI uses a blended-learning method, where leaders contribute in online sessions and in-person workshops, receive professional coaching, engage in experiential learning, and interact with other professionals in their field.
- Community-based initiatives: CSP fellows grow innovative community action projects in conjunction with their U.S. host institutions and implement these projects after they return to their home countries to assimilate their new skills and knowledge into their community work at home.
- International network of community development professionals: CSP fellows carry on to network and work together with compatible leaders from across the world on global development matters through alumni events and opportunities presented through the Community Leadership Institute online platform.