The Public Affairs Section is pleased to announce an exchange program opportunity, the Community Solutions Program (CSP)<>. It is a professional leadership development program for the best and brightest community leaders worldwide working in Transparency and Accountability, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Environmental Issues, and Women and Gender Issues.

For 2018-2019, up to 100 community activists will be selected to participate in the program, which includes:
*         Four-month Fellowship in the United States: Community Solutions fellows are matched to host organizations throughout the US where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience.
*         Community Leadership Institute: Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking.
*         Community-based initiatives: While in the US and with the help of their US host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the US, they put these projects into action in their home communities.

Program Goals :
The goal of CSP is for engaged community leaders to positively impact the complex economic, environmental, political, and social challenges in their communities and become ambassadors for mutual understanding. To achieve this, Community Solutions Fellows:
*         Strengthen their leadership skills
*         Increase their technical expertise in specific thematic areas
*         Build and strengthen sustainable professional networks with international colleagues and institutions

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the requirements listed below. Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be disqualified and will not be reviewed by the selection committee.
*         You are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2018;
*         You are a citizen of one of the eligible countries (listed here<>);
*         You are living and working in your home country;
*         Individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration.
*         You have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer;
*         You are not currently participating in an academic, training, or research program in the US;
*         You have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application;
*         Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English language test.
*         You are available to travel to the US for four months from August to December 2018;
*         You are not a citizen or permanent resident of the US and have not applied for US permanent residency within the past three years;
*         You are eligible to receive a US J-1 visa;
*         Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the US Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement.
*         You are committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program; and
*         You are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member.
The program covers the cost of most expenses associated with:
*         J-1 visa support;
*         Round-trip travel from participants’ home city to the US;
*         Monthly allowance to cover housing, meals, and other living expenses while in the US; and
*         Accident and sickness insurance.

Application Instructions
Applications must be submitted online at by October 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). Applications that are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed will not be accepted.
Detailed application instructions can be downloaded here<>. If you have additional questions, please e-mail<>.
We would greatly appreciate assistance from you in disseminating program information to potential applicants. Attached is an informational flyer about the program that can be disseminated via online networks or used for printing and distributing, and please feel free to forward this email as well to your outside contacts.

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