Community Solutions Program 2017, USA

Publish Date: Sep 13, 2017

Deadline: Oct 31, 2017

Community Solutions

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working on issues related to the environment, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender. Community Solutions is a year-long program that includes a four-month fellowship at a U.S. community-based organization, government office or legislative body.

Through tailored, hands-on learning experiences and the Community Leadership Institute, fellows gain valuable experience in U.S.-based community work, increase skills and knowledge, strengthen their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries, bring years of experience to community development in the United States, and create action plans for community-based initiatives back home.
U.S.-based institutions that host CSP fellows are community-based, non-profit organizations or government offices that actively engage in community development projects. Host organizations provide mentorship and guidance to the Community Leaders throughout their four-month fellowship in the U.S.

Eligibility and Application Overview

Public applications are accepted.

Participants must:

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 38 at the beginning of the year;
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country; 
  • Be living and working in your home country (individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration);
  • Have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer;
  • Have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application
  • Be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa

Program Activities

  • Four-month U.S.-based fellowship: CSP fellows are matched with non-profit organizations, private entities, and government offices across the United States where they work with peers (or U.S. colleagues) on initiatives related to issues they face in their own communities.
  • Community Leadership Institute (CLI): The cornerstone of CSP is the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership academy that provides customized learning and coaching to each CSP Leader. The CLI uses a blended-learning approach, where leaders participate in online sessions and in-person workshops, receive professional coaching, engage in experiential learning through tailored professional fellowships at U.S. host institutions, and interact with other professionals in their field. CSP enables fellows to work across the multiple communities — their individual fellowship cohort, the larger CSP alumni community, their U.S. host community, and their home community — to learn and disseminate knowledge and best practices aimed at generating positive community change.
  • Community Action Projects: CSP fellows develop innovative community action projects in collaboration with their U.S. host institutions and implement them after they return to their home countries. Project summaries are made available online, allowing fellows to share their work with other community leaders around the world.
  • International network of community development professionals: CSP fellows continue to network and collaborate with like-minded leaders from around the world on global development issues through alumni activities and opportunities offered through the online Community Leadership Institute platform.

Selection Process

Competition for the Community Solutions Program is merit-based and candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. The panel will then choose semifinalists to be interviewed. Semifinalists will also be required to take an English language exam or submit recent TOEFL or IELTS scores. After the interviews, finalists and alternates will be selected, pending their performance on their English language exam. 
Applicants will be considered based on the following criteria:
  • Professional or volunteer work on substantive community development projects;
  • Knowledge of and experience in one or more of the Community Solutions Program focus areas (Environmental Issues, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues);
  • Leadership experience and potential;
  • Professional and program goals; and
  • Intercultural and English language skills.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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Host Countries

United States