Skip to main content


Our Fellowship Programme

Fellows’ Role: Working with and in communities

We aren’t currently recruiting, but expect to be recruiting later in 2021. Here, for information, is the job description we wrote for the Autumn 2020 round.

Four years ago, we set up a scheme to give a cadre of bright and willing 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 won an award from the UK Department for International Development in 2016 for “youth development and social mobility”.

Since then, we’ve hired fifteen Fellows through this scheme; we normally have about 50 people working for us – so the Fellows programme is not a ‘nice extra’, they are fundamental to us delivering our work, and being better value, quicker, and more innovative than others.

Our fellows have gone up and down South Sudan, and more recently Malawi, working on projects including DFID’s Girls’ Education South Sudan, the EU’s Human Resources Information System for Education, a DFID-funded Leave No Girl Behind (LNGB) programme in Malawi, and the EU IMPACT programme in South Sudan. Their work has made sure pupils, teachers, schools and vulnerable people in the community have got hard cash that they are entitled to, and they can use as best suits them to make things better. They’ve written reams of powerpoint, designed and code surveys, led research teams, analysed data, written reports, and worked with colleagues from Ministries of Health, Education and Finance – like you would in any graduate job, just getting on a boda-boda not the tube to go to work, and sometimes having to stop at more roadblocks than you would do in Bermondsey.

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; and some are involved in the local church.

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 people fresh out of College from the UK and Europe;
  • four of our South Sudanese data analysts started off as watchmen or drivers
  • our “senior intern”(!) was in his seventies
  • While our company’s roots are faith-based, our staff are united in shared values and happily include Anglican clergy, devout Muslims, atheists, committed Socialists

Short story long: what is most important to us is a commitment to uphold our values to deliver for the poor. Development and progress are everyone’s concern, and we try, in our way, to reflect that.

Most of our previous Fellows are still engaged in International Development: a number still with us; some have joined NGOs or humanitarian organisations, the UK Civil Service, the EU delegation in Uganda, some have gone back to academe for a bit, and two have gone to serve in the British army, one of whom is currently based in South Sudan to support the UN mission to South Sudan.

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 South Sudan, Malawi, or Sierra Leone, 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. And that is why, as we set out in our blog ‘Agile African leopards, not fat cats’, when we started the fellowship, the majority of the people who work for us are just that.

There is a role in development work for people from anywhere who have the right skills, humility, understanding, and connection to apply them well where they are sent, 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.

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)
  • A good 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

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 statistical analysis (e.g. STATA and/or Excel)
  • Experience in designing and conducting research (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Experience in web or app development (e.g. Android, PHP, Java, MySQL)
  • Experience in business development (e.g. tracking opportunities and writing SQs and proposals for DFID), or at least a willingness to develop this skill
  • Additional language skills (e.g. French, Arabic, Somali, and languages of the countries in which we work)
  • Experience in communications, including social media

We do not pretend all the places that we go, or our way of working, with and in the community, 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 have a specific need on this occasion for people with strong, fast and accurate writing skills. Location will most likely be Juba, South Sudan. We will be reviewing applications as they land.

Send to colleaguesandfriends [at] a 2 page CV, a 2 page letter explaining why you fit the bill, and a 3*A4 page (Book Antiqua 12 point, single space, no paragraph longer than five lines) essay on one of these two topics:

  • 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.
  • “The @FCDOGovUK has lost an empire, but not yet found a specialism”: explain what development work the UK should _stop_ doing.

It’s UK minimum wage, accommodation + a bit of money for goat-n-chips. Applications from BIPOC, diaspora, historic Global South backgrounds, backgrounds that can’t afford to do self-funded charity internships, especially welcome: if you can think, write & count, we are interested.