COUNTRIES: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen
DURATION: 10/01/2015 - 05/31/2024
FUNDER: U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
CONTACT[email protected]

Program Description

The Leadership Development Fellowship (formerly known as the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program) is a seven-year leadership development initiative designed to advance civic engagement and social entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The LDF Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by World Learning.

Over a seven-year period, the LDF Fellowship aims to engage more than 200 emerging leaders across sectors from the MENA region in identifying innovative ways to address social and economic challenges in local communities. The LDF Fellowship advances participants’ civic engagement and social entrepreneurship by providing advanced technical skills, financial and professional resources, and regional support networks.

The LDF Fellows are innovators and problem-solvers, are currently engaged in civic engagement and social entrepreneurship, can work in a cross-cultural setting, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and commit to applying the learning and skills built during the LDF Fellowship.

Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

Program Goals

  • The LDF Fellowship seeks to advance and empower civic engagement and social entrepreneurship leaders as well as reinforce linkages between U.S. and MENA counterparts and partners across the region.
  • The LDF Fellowship aims to support fellows acquire relevant skills to advance initiatives to solve complex local, economic, environmental, political and social challenges affecting communities.

Fellowship Cycle

Starting in 2020, the LDF Fellowship will take place over 12 months and include 5 stages:

Stage One: Fellowship begins with two weeks of in-person workshops and trainings in the U.S. with World Learning and Duke University focused on: studying the systems that contribute to societal challenges; building effective partnerships for social change; and developing inclusive and equitable interventions.

Stage Two: Fellows refine interventions and complete exercises that provide local focus on systems analysis, inclusive interventions, building partnerships, and other acquired tools and knowledge from Stage One.

Stage Three: Fellows spend three weeks in the United States for the English Track (for high-proficiency English speakers), or Tunisia for the Arabic Track (for high-proficiency Arabic speakers), to gain academic and local insights into civic engagement and social entrepreneurship and to report and reflect on the findings of their Stage Two activities.

Stage Four: Over six months, Fellows apply the lessons of the LDF Fellowship and report on results to strengthen their ongoing civic and social entrepreneurial activities. During this stage, Fellows may apply for small grants or technical assistance.

Stage Five: In the twelfth month, the Fellows reconvene for three days to learn and share the impact of their LDF experience.

For questions about the LDF Fellowship, please email [email protected].

For a list of eligible countries, please refer to the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) website.

For the latest updates and announcements, please visit the LDF Fellowship Facebook page.