PASOS opens call for Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship Programme

February 14, 2013

Ilko Kucheriv

CALL FOR FELLOWS: UKRAINE

ILKO KUCHERIV DEMOCRACY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME

I believe that people can and should strive to change the world for the better.”
Ilko Kucheriv (1955 – 2010), Founder of Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Ukraine

1. Objectives
The Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship Programme will assist the advancement of democratic practices in Ukraine by empowering professionals of independent democracy and human rights advocacy NGOs and think-tanks.

Fellows from Ukraine will gain expertise from well-established independent think-tanks in the EU with experience of democratic transformation and protection of human rights.

The programme will provide mentoring and networking opportunities for four fellows from Ukraine with the aim to gain practical skills, interact with other researchers, and exchange practices with well-established think-tanks and NGOs in the EU.

The fellowships should focus on specific democratic transformation issues (e.g. media freedom, constitutional law, parliamentary democracy, judiciary, gender equality, public opinion research, electoral processes, free and fair elections, building democratic awareness among the general public, etc.)

The fellowship will include:

mentoring of the fellow’s research project, professional editing and publication of the fellow’s research,
a four-week stay at a host think-tank in the EU, and
participation in the annual PASOS think-tanks and policymakers’ conference.

2. Eligibility criteria
Applications are invited from researchers/policy analysts/professional staff, who are full-time employees of independent think-tanks, policy institutes, and democracy and human rights advocacy NGOs in Ukraine.

3. Deadline for applications (to: democracyfellowship@pasos.org)
Midnight, Central European Time (CET), 17 March 2013

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4. Ilko Kucheriv (1955-2010)
Ilko Kucheriv was a prominent activist in the Ukrainian civil movement. He fought for the independence of Ukraine and put all his efforts into ensuring that Ukraine would become a democratic European country.

In the 1980s, Ilko participated in the dissident movement and was a member of the organizational committee of the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Narodniy Rukh). In 1992, he established Democratic Initiatives, an independent centre for social research, in conjunction with the national movement of Vyacheslav Chornovil. Democratic Initiatives became a foundation in 1996.
Ilko Kucheriv was the founder of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) and personally contributed a great deal to the advancement of democratic ideas in Ukraine. In the early 1990s, he understood the importance of public opinion for the development of a civic society, and DIF was the first organisation to make available the results of social research to the broader public and to train journalists in understanding public opinion polling.

DIF was the founder of the independent National Exit Poll in Ukraine. The first poll was conducted in 1998 and DIF continues to conduct similar polls during all elections. To this day, the DIF polls are considered authoritative. During the presidential elections in 2004, when two sociological polling firms rigged the results in favor of Viktor Yanukovych or rejected the results of their own exit polls under the pressure of the ruling authority at the time, the objective position of DIF and its partners proved in their National Exit Poll that Viktor Yushchenko was the true winner in the elections.

In his last years, Ilko worked hard to make contacts with partners in Eastern European countries, specifically think-tanks through which DIF gained experience of the issues of European integration and membership in NATO and other Euro-Atlantic structures.

By uniting journalists, political analysts, politicians, diplomats and civil activists with radically different views through civilised discussion of the most poignant topics and problems in society, Ilko aspired to make DIF a powerful analytical centre that would produce original research and training programmes, and have an impact on politicians and public opinion across a broad spectrum of issues, including rights, security and democratic freedoms and processes.

Ilko Kucheriv passed away in 2010, leaving behind him far-reaching plans for the activities of his foundation and for democratic development stretching 20 years into the future.
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5. Project partners
The Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship programmes is a project of PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society), carried out in conjunction with the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), Ukraine, and the Institute of Public Affairs, Poland. The programme has been made possible with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

6. Mentoring
Fellows will work with the hosting institute for a four-month period of project co-operation and mentoring, and spend up to four weeks in the office of the hosting think-tank. Fellowships will also provide one-on-one, hands-on training with the host institute’s expert as mentor. The goal is to provide a mentoring opportunity for an in-depth, on-site, and interactive experience in democratic transformation and protection of human rights.

7. Research project
The fellowship should comprise:

a) A research project with a thematic focus related to democratic transformation issues (e.g. media freedom, constitutional law, parliamentary democracy, judiciary, gender equality, public opinion research, electoral processes, free and fair elections, building democratic awareness among the general public, etc.) The final paper will be professionally edited by PASOS and published on the PASOS website.

b) A visit to a hosting think-tank in an EU member-state (including new EU member-states).
8. Fellowship budget
Each fellow will receive up to a maximum of US$ 3,000 in expenses, covering international and local travel, visa costs where necessary, and subsistence and accommodation for the four weeks spent at the host organisation.

Each host organisation will receive US$ 2,500 in mentoring fees and US$ 500 in overhead costs for hosting the fellow. These fees are inclusive of all taxes.

9. Submission of Proposals
Applications must include ALL of the following materials:
1. Letter of application (1-2 pages) and letter of support by supervisor at applicant’s own institution in Ukraine.
2. Research proposal (maximum of six A4 pages) including a well-defined research problem, topic justification, research methodology, and expected outcomes of the research.
3. Names and contact details of EU host institution for the four-week fellowship (where possible a letter of recommendation from the host institution).

Individuals that meet the above criteria are invited to submit proposals for this tender in line with the criteria set out above to: Jeff Lovitt, Executive Director, PASOS, at: democracyfellowship@pasos.org

10. Selection Procedure
Selection will be based on the submission of a sound proposal reflecting the criteria set out in the call for proposals, and of a letter of recommendation from the hosting organisation.

Fellows will be selected by the Fellowship Steering Committee composed of three voting members and in a non-voting capacity the PASOS Secretariat.

The Steering Committee members are:
Iryna Bekeshkina, Executive Director, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), Ukraine
Jacek Kucharczyk, President of the Executive Board, Institute of Public Affairs (ISP), Poland
Grigorij Mesežnikov, President, Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), Slovak Republic

PASOS will publish the results of the selection on its website.

Priority will be given to those applicants who have already identified and/or can confirm the interest in the project of an EU think-tank (PASOS is ready to help in contacting identified EU country think-tanks on behalf of the applicant if the applicant puts forward a very strong proposal and is still unable to establish working relations with a host institution).

The application should either have a support letter from a host institution or provide contact details of a person working on the identified research topic within the host organisation. All applications must be in English, and applicants must have good English-language skills.

Additional criteria for the selection will include:
(a) Previous research experience
(b) Identification of ongoing research work in the host organisation and the feasibility to work together with the host organisation’s team of researchers
(c) The innovation, timeliness and potential to influence policymakers of the proposed fellowship project.

11. About the project partners

PASOS -- www.pasos.org

PASOS (Policy Association for an Open Society) is a network of 56 independent policy centres in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The association promotes and protects opens society values, including democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for and protection of human rights, and economic and social development by supporting independent policy centres. In order to fulfil its mission, PASOS carries out projects and activities such as facilitating cross-border projects, organising networking events, and providing skills development training opportunities in order to strengthen the capacity of its members (independent think-tanks) and other independent think-tanks and advocacy NGOs in the PASOS region.

Institute of Public Affairs, Poland -- www.isp.org.pl

IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) is one of the leading Polish think-tanks and an independent centre for analysis and research, established in 1995. Through its studies, expert’s opinions and recommendations focusing on key issues of public life, IPA discharges its mission to serve citizens, the state and the public at large. IPA cooperates with experts and scholars from various research institutions in Poland and abroad. The results of research projects are presented at seminars and conferences, and published as books, reports and communiqués; they are disseminated among parliamentarians, members of the Government and administration, and academics, as well as journalists and NGO activists.

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), Ukraine -- www.dif.org.ua
DIF (Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundations) grew from the Ukrainian citizens’ movement (Narodny Rukh) in 1992 to pursue the ideas of Rukh activists on developing an independent Ukraine’s state and governance, market economy, and civil society. Since then, DIF has been working to achieve its mission to support Ukraine’s transition towards a fully functioning democracy, better governance, market economy, and the development of civil society in Ukraine. To achieve its mission, DIF focuses on raising public awareness about important issues facing Ukrainian society, researching these issues, informing, and networking with, key policy stakeholders, and developing recommendations for policy-makers and the wider public.

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