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Our Fellowship Programme

Working with and in communities

Six years ago, we set up a scheme to give a cadre of new or recent graduates, with an appetite for experience in international development, an opportunity to build relationships, skills and experience.

Our first “Fellows” – posted to South Sudan to learn the craft of international development – were a big success. The scheme even won an award from the late-lamented UK Department for International Development in 2016 for “youth development and social mobility”.

Since then, we’ve hired more than twenty Fellows through this scheme; we normally have about 60 people working for us – so the Fellows programme is not a ‘nice extra’, they are fundamental to us delivering our work. They are also particularly valued by the wider group, of which we are proud to be a part.

Impact for, and alongside, the poorest

Our fellows have worked throughout South Sudan, Malawi and Sierra Leone, working on projects funded by the UK, EU, Germany, the World Bank, UNICEF, Save the Children, and foundations. They’ve played a key role to money flowing to pupils and their families, to teachers and schools in South Sudan, and to >300,000 extremely poor households in Malawi. They’ve delivered Sierra Leone’s teacher database, and school attendance system. And they’ve helped deliver some of the most innovative work in our sector – maths mentoring apps in South Sudan, real-time school inspection data in Malawi, and bush-to-cup tracking of coffee beans, so Ugandan farmers get premium prices.

They’ve written reams of powerpoint, designed and coded surveys, led research teams, analysed data, written reports, and worked with colleagues from Ministries of Health, Education, Gender/Social Protection and Finance – like you would in any graduate job, just getting on a boda-boda not the tube to go to work.

Our fellows are also, and this matters to us, quite involved with people from the communities we work in outside of the office too. Our South Sudan Fellow team has supported a children’s choir and sports in a local NGO, Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC); one of our fellows spent her spare time coaching children’s rugby in the Juba suburbs with immense impact (pun intended). Our Sierra Leone fellows, with the rest of the team, make a statement round the most stylish town in West Africa in their matching team print outfits.

Global development is everybody’s job

We are a majority Global South Company and welcome applicants from anywhere. We strive for equality in all senses in our recruitment and consider our diversity our strength:

  • We’ve appointed promising people fresh out of College from three continents;
  • five of our data analysts in South Sudan started off as security guards or drivers
  • While our company’s roots are faith-based, our staff are united in shared values and happily include atheists, Anglican clergy, devout Muslims, committed Socialists, LGBTQ

Short story long: what is most important to us is your commitment to uphold our values: a rights-based approach to development, which should be everyone’s concern.

Almost all of our previous Fellows are still engaged in International Development: a number still with us in increasingly senior roles; two have joined the United Nations system, serving in South Sudan and Afghanistan; others have joined NGOs or humanitarian organisations; three have gone to rather exciting roles in the UK, EU and Netherlands; some have gone back to academe for a bit; two went to serve in the British army, one of whom, a reservist, continues with us; and some have brought their international development skills back to serve those in most need in their own countries.

What we are looking for

We are looking for high-achieving, high-potential colleagues to come and join our team. Following induction, our new fellows might start working in Malawi, Sierra Leone or South Sudan, but can potentially go anywhere we work.

Development work in developing and Fragile and Conflict Affected (FCAS) countries is best done by and with the people who know that country best, namely, its own citizens. However, there is a role in development work for people from anywhere who have the right skills, humility, understanding, and connection to apply them well, and hopefully the intention to continue to apply them in this work for the medium term. That doesn’t just mean water engineers and hard-bitten Treasury hands; it can, and should, also mean high-achieving, high-potential, entry-level candidates. It should not be restricted to people privileged enough to be able to get and do unpaid internships in big organisations.

Generally, we are looking for people who have:

  • A genuine care for the people and communities in which we work
  • A positive attitude, and a will to be flexible, useful and fungible for the projects we work on.
  • Good analytical skills – creative thinking and problem solving
  • Evidence of strong writing skills
  • Good excel and powerpoint skills
  • Ambition to grow within the company (including specialising in areas in which we work)
  • Preferably a degree (or expectation of one), whether it is in a subject that is directly relevant, or one that offers transferable things; but we are happy to look at people who have come on non-traditional routes as well
  • Willingness to work hard and learn a lot

Some specific current priorities

In the context of the complex and at-scale things we are doing, and the range of places we are working, we are particularly interested in recruiting people with one or more of the following skills:

  • Experience in web or app development (e.g. Android, PHP, Java, MySQL), and/or a tech-literate Business Analyst, who can write a functional spec and business process, and work with developers to get it built
  • Additional languages: Francophones are our current top priority to support work for Mali, CAR ++; Arabic, Somali, and languages of the countries in which we work, Bantu-family and not, are all very useful
  • Statistical analysis (e.g. heavier duty excel, R, Stata)
  • Designing and conducting research (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Business development (e.g. tracking opportunities and writing high quality proposals for donors), or a willingness to develop this skill. Quick good writing goes a long way


We do not pretend all the places that we go are without risk. We do make sure that our people have the best information they can on which to make informed judgements, supported by policies, training, processes and people to back them when they do.

In short, if you think you’ve got all the impressive stuff that it takes for the Civil Service Fast Stream, Teach First, a big regiment, consultancy, the big graduate schemes, or some other solid entry level scheme, but your vision is international, medium term, focused on community empowerment, then we would like to hear from you – as we would from anyone of ability and application, no matter what their background, life experience or nationality.

How to apply

We will be reviewing applications as they land.

Please send to @email a 2 page CV, a 1-2 page letter explaining why you fit the bill, and a 3 page (Book Antiqua 12 point, single space, no paragraph longer than five lines) essay on one of these three topics:

  • Remittance apps do more development than bilateral aid: discuss
  • For any Head of Government of an SSA country, give a specific plan for how they could win the @Mo_IbrahimFdn prize (for a Head of Government retiring in good order) following the next election in their country
  • DFID is dead: does its spirit live on?

It’s UK minimum wage, accommodation, and a small daily subsistence allowance. Applications from BIPOC, diaspora, historic Global South backgrounds, backgrounds that can’t afford to do self-funded charity internships, are especially welcome.