Hague Academy for Local Governance 2017, Netherlands


November 18, 2016


Opportunity Cover Image - Hague Academy for Local Governance 2017, Netherlands

Talent for Governance scholarship


In many parts of the world, local civil servants work under difficult circumstances. The communities for which they work are characterised by widespread poverty, a lack of basic services, high unemployment rates and environmental challenges. Moreover, their organisations often lack qualified staff and financial resources needed to deal with these challenges.

Still there are many young, ambitious civil servants that strive for better services and the development of their local communities. Talent for Governance supports them by providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and training so that they can develop their skills and realise their ambitions.

With a Talent for Governance scholarship, young talents at the local level increase their practical knowledge on topics such as management of waste or water, local economic development, municipal service delivery, citizen participation and accountability, fiscal decentralisation and local taxes, climate change and resilience, integrity and anti-corruption.

The selected talents follow international training in The Hague and an internship in a Dutch municipality. They meet colleagues from abroad, learn from experiences in other countries and link what they have learned to the daily practice in their home countries. This will help them to achieve their personal goals and make a real difference for their local communities.


Young civil servants working for local government in a developing country can apply for the Talent for Governance programme. They must have a strong motivation and a concrete project or idea to improve the performance of the organisation and create better services for their community.

Application is possible if you: work for a local government (not an NGO or private enterprise);

  • work in one of the countries listed on the DAC country list;
  • be 37 years of age or younger when you apply;
  • have at least two years of work experience in local governance and prove your commitment to
  • work there for at least two years more;
  • speak and understand the English language well (all programmes are in English);
  • be able to write down and orally defend your motivation for and relevance of the specific programme;
  • be able to identify an issue/project as a real life case within the theme of the programme for which you will write a Back Home Action Plan during the Talent programme;
  • have written support of your employer to participate in the programme and to implement the Back Home Action Plan when you return home.


The Talent programme is organised two or three times a year. All Talent programmes are organised around a different local governance theme, linked to the theme of the training course that will be followed at The Hague Academy for Local Governance. Themes of the Talent programmes so far include: Citizen Participation & Accountability, Female Leadership, Leadership & Municipal Management, Local Economic Development, Local Service Delivery & Millennium Development Goals, Climate Change & Resilient Cities, Fiscal Decentralisation & Local Finance.

Every Talent programme is composed of four different parts:

1. International practice oriented training course at The Hague Academy for Local Governance

In the two-week training course, modules provided by international experts and workshops of trainers are combined with field visits, case discussions, role play and simulation games. During the course the Talents exchange their knowledge with other participants, coming from different parts of the world. To make sure that the things they learn are relevant for their work back home, the programme focuses on how the participants can apply lessons and experiences from other countries into their own, local context. Learning from each other, exchanging ideas and experiences and getting to know different practices in order to broaden your scope of reference, that is what the training courses are all about!

2. Week-long internship at a Dutch municipality

During the internship the Talents experience a Dutch government organisation from inside for a couple of days. They visit multiple departments and projects. A real eye-opener, not only for the Talents but also very much for their Dutch colleagues. Experience has learnt that this exchange is mutually beneficial and inspirational for all involved. Often the Talents stay with a host family and meet the local ‘young civil servants network’, for instance during a city tour or an informal reception. By engaging in this kind of activities they get to know one another in a more informal way too.

3. Networking activities

Our Talent for Governance Facebook Fanpage gives Talents the chance to communicate with colleagues from all around the world, before, during ánd after the programme. They use this community to give regular updates about their work and the progress of the Back Home Action Plan.

During the Talent programmes ‘live’ networking activities are organised which take different forms. During one programme the Talents visited the national ‘Young Civil Servants Day’ where they presented their work and their countries. In April 2012, Talent Doto Mgasa met with the trainee group of the Dutch Association of Municipalities (VNG).

4. Back Home Action Plan

Together with their application forms the talents submit a real life case from their work: a short project or issue on which they like to learn more during the programme. This project has been approved by their employers. During the Talent programme, the talents work on a Back Home\Action plan for this project. They think about methods, approaches, best practices etc. that have been treated during the course and relate this to their own context. Foregoing the programme, the present the question they have with regard to their real life-case and during the programme they will try to find the answers they need. In their Back Home Action Plan, the Talents also describe how they will share the knowledge they gained with their colleagues back home.

So, the starting point of the learning process are the issues of the young local practitioners themselves. They are responsible for their own learning process and need to critically reflect on the examples and theory they are provided with during the programme. They also ask critical questions to the Dutch colleagues they meet during field visits and internship.

After the programme the Talents will be asked to write regular updates on the progress of the project. These updates will be monitored by The Hague Academy for Local Governance,.When Talents during the course of a year show they put enough effort in the implementation of their Back Home Action Plan they will be awarded a certificate of excellence. They also have the opportunity to ask for advice and suggestions from colleagues from all over the world through our Talent for Governance community on Facebook.


Talent for Governance is the talent programme of The Hague Academy for Local Governance.  We raise funds with Dutch municipalities, organisations, businesses and individuals to make the programme possible.

The Talent for Governance programme is almost completely cost covering. The talent programme covers cost of tuition fee, travel costs, accommodation and most living expenses in The Netherlands. The Hague Academy will select the travel arrangements and accommodation and about half of the costs of the living expenses which entail three meals a day, meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner.

All selected local government practitioners are asked to also contribute themselves to the Talent for Governance programme. This is a relatively small part of the financial costs of the programme. With this investment in him/herself the talent also shows commitment to the programme and their own development. The amount asked of the talent is 150 Euros. This amount will be deducted from the allowance we calculate for basic living expenses mentioned above, which means the talent pays for about half the additional living expenses during the programme in the Netherlands themselves.

Application procedure

Call for applications

The next application period  will start on the 14th of October 2016 until the deadline on the 18th november 2016 (24.00 CET).

For the three programmes in 2017 The Hague Academy for Local Governance will select a limited number of young, talented and motivated civil servants working for a local government in one of the countries on the DAC country list for its Talent for Governance programmes.

Our talent programmes comprise the following components:

1. A two- week training course at The Hague Academy for Local Governance

2. Week-long internship at a Dutch Municipality

3. Talent for Governance networking activities

4. Back home action plan


Application is possible if you: work for a local government (not an NGO or private Enterprise. We focus on administrative staff, not elected officials. And although we acknowledge the great work of civil servant like school and university teachers, nurses, doctors, soldiers, police, civil servants at central and state government level they do not form the focus point of this training and internship programme (which takes place in a Dutch municipality), and therefore have no chance of being selected) ;

  • work in one of the countries listed on the DAC country list;
  • be 37 years of age or younger when you apply;
  • have at least two years of work experience in local governance and
  • have the intension to work there for at least two years more;
  • speak and understand the English language well (all programmes are in English);
  • be able to write down and orally defend your motivation for and relevance of the specific programme;
  • be able to identify an issue/project as a real life case within the theme of the programme for which you will write a Back Home Action Plan during the talent programme;
  • have written support of your employer to participate in the programme and to implement the Back Home Action Plan when you return home.

Three different programme themes

The talent programme will be organised three times in 2016 and each programme will revolve around a different local governance theme. There will be just one application period.

To apply for the talent programme candidates need to choose one of the following programme themes. These themes are based on the topics of the training course at The Hague Academy which is part of the talent programme:

  • Fiscal Decentralisation and local Finance – Programme from 13 February to 3 March 2017,  
  • Citizen Participation & Inclusive Governance – Programme from 27 March to 14 April 2017 , 
  • Local Economic Development – Programme from 27 November to 15 December 2017, 
N.b. Please do not submit a separate application form for the specific training course of your choice through the website of the Hague Academy for Local Governance.  To apply for the Talent Programme only the online application form of Talent for Governance will be considered!!!!

Rules and Regulations

Please download and read the Rules and Regulations Talent for Governance 2017 before you start filling in the application form below. These rules and regulations contain important information on the application procedure, accommodation, allowances and criteria.


  • Only applications made through the online application form will be considered.
  • Firstly, the applications will be screened for completeness of the form and basic eligibility of the candidates.
    – You need to upload a copy of your passport as well as an employer statement according to format.
  • Within one month after the application deadline, only the candidates that are accepted into the next round will be contacted by Talent for Governance.

If you have not been contacted in one month after the application deadline, you have not been selected for the next round of the application procedure. This decision will not become the subject of discussion and/or correspondence.

  • In the following round the application will be scrutinised and checked even closer. The application will be screened on various criteria such as relevance, completeness, motivation, the feasibility and relevance of the real life case and the dissemination plan. We may conduct a telephone interview to evaluate the knowledge of the English language and get to know the candidate more. Furthermore, we will need a statement that the candidate, once selected, will be willing and able to transfer the contribution for your participation in the programme.

Within six weeks after the first positive response you will receive the preliminary result to your application.There are three possible outcomes:

  1. You are selected for the talent programme.
  2. You have been put on the shortlist of candidates.
    Talent for Governance largely depends on funds from third parties and the cooperation of Dutch local governments (internship places) to be able to organise the talent programme. If more financial resources and internship placements are raised during the year, it could be possible that we invite more talents than expected.
  3. You are not selected. This means you were an eligible candidate but in comparison to other candidates you scored a few points lower. Please do try again next year.

All possible rejections will be based on the documents and information provided by the applicant (specifically the letter of motivation and the possible phone conversation) and the amount of internships and funds available. Talent for Governance holds the right to reject the applicant during all stages of the selection procedure.

Application form

In the website you will be able to find the online application form for the Talent for Governance 2017 programmes from 14th October 2016 to 18th November (24.00 CET).

N.B. Do not fill out a separate application form via the website of The Hague Academy. The only form that will be viewed by the selection committee is the Talent for Governance application form!!!

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November 07, 2016