Legal Empowerment Leadership Course, Global Legal Empowerment Network (Budapest, 4-8 Dec 2017)

We are pleased to announce that registration is open for the 3rd annual Legal Empowerment Leadership Course. Over 400 people from more than 70 countries applied to this one-of-a-kind course at the Central European University (CEU) each of the first two years. The course has received the largest number of applicants for any course held at CEU and the course evaluations were among the highest they’ve seen. We are looking forward to meeting this demand once again and putting together an equally promising course this year.

This year’s course has an overall theme of “Law and Organizing.” The course will be structured around three case studies: institutionalization of paralegal services with a focus on South Africa, the right to health and essential services in India, and the evolution of the legal empowerment movement in the Philippines.

International experts will also lead sessions on issues such as the intersection of law and organizing, how to translate grassroots experience into systemic change, and how to effectively learn from program data. Additional sessions will discuss the history of the movement and the latest impact evidence in the field. There will also be daily peer-to-peer, small group discussions for participants to work through challenges and questions with other practitioners and faculty directly.

The course runs from 4 – 8 December 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. Scholarships are available to a limited number of applicants, as are tuition waivers on a competitive basis. We invite applications from representatives of civil society organizations, governments, development agencies, and universities. Applications are due no later than August 28th 2017.

This year’s course is a collaboration between the Central European University, Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School Law, The Open Society Justice Initiative, and Namati. For more information, visit the CEU website to fill out the online application1 and download the full course brochure at the following link. GPA-Legal Empowerment Leadership booklet.pdf1 (1.0 MB). For more information about last year’s course, you can read this blog post on the event.

FORUM: Elections Preparedness: A Reality Check, My Responsibility



Topic: Elections Preparedness: A Reality Check, My Responsibility

Date: Friday July 7 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue: HIPSIR, Riara Road, off Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya


  1. Irungu Houghton – Associate Director, Society for International  Development
  2. Martin Oloo – Lawyer & Political analyst
  3. Obadiah Keitany – Director Audit, Risk and Compliance, IEBC

Contacts: Email:  Phone: +254729755905 or +254733616863


Shading Tree Fund, for field course scholarships, Rift Valley Institute

Something to keep an eye out for… 

The Shading Tree Fund—scholarships for Eastern and Central Africa

The RVI scholarship fund is relaunched this month as the RVI Shading Tree Fund. This follows a generous donation from the family of Ranald Boyle, a former District Commissioner in South Sudan.

Since the Institute was founded, the scholarship fund has enabled young scholars and activists from Eastern and Central Africa to participate in RVI annual field courses and attend classes at universities in the region. Over thirty such scholars have participated in the Sudan and South Sudan Course, the Horn of Africa Course or the Great Lakes Course.

Some former scholarship students have gone on to teach on RVI courses, and many have achieved success in their respective fields in academia, civil society and the media.

One student wrote: ‘I feel privileged to have participated in the RVI Horn of Africa Course. I benefited from the program in many ways. It helped me understand the sub-region as I pursue my own research and provided the opportunity for personal interaction with distinguished professors.

To date, RVI scholarships have been funded through a combination of grants, gifts, income from hard-copy sales of Institute publications and RVI’s own funds.

The fund recently received a donation from the Shading Tree Trust, established by the family of Ranald Boyle in memory of his lifelong commitment to southern Sudan, where he worked as a District Commissioner in the 1940s and 1950s. Taking its name from the translation of Ranald Boyle’s Dinka cattle name, Timatiep, the Shading Tree provided funds to support a range of projects in Bahr el-Ghazal.

In recognition of this donation the RVI scholarship programme has been renamed the Shading Tree Fund. The new fund will provide educational support to students and activists from all the regions where RVI works, including South Sudan, and will continue to raise further funds for this purpose.

Event: Multi-party Democracy and Political Mobilisation in Kenya – the View from Political Anthropology (Tues 24 Jan 11am), BIEA (free)

Multi-party Democracy and Political Mobilisation in Kenya – the View from Political Anthropology
24 January 2017, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Nairobi: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Link to website with all these same details

For the last two decades, and increasingly so since the 2007-8 post-election violence, scholarship on Kenyan politics has largely dedicated itself to explaining the phenomenon of what John Lonsdale has called ‘political tribalism’ – the mobilisation of ethnic identities in political competition. For some scholars, ethnicity in this politicised manifestation seems utterly opposed to the workings of a democracy as it ought to be, itself contingent upon an arena of debate in which other kinds of political affiliations, such as class-consciousness, can come to the fore. But whilst providing a central concern for scholars, when it comes to mainstream political discourse what democracy stands for is hardly a self-evident. How, for instance, should an anthropologist treat calls for democracy voiced by Luo supporters of Raila Odinga? This paper draws upon ethnographic data on the discourse of down-town political debates in Nairobi to reflect on the multivalent properties of democracy, and its use as a receptacle for a range of political sentiments. This data provides an opportunity to reflect on the capacity of authority figures to animate groups of opposition party supporters through oratory performances that frequently deploy concepts such as ‘democracy’, concepts that convince precisely because of their ‘open’ capacity to encompass a range of sentiments and experiences. Ultimately, this paper finds a role for a Durkheimian perspective on authority in the analysis of Kenyan politics. Pete Lockwood is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program

(from this link)

What is the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program?

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) is a scholar fellowship program for educational projects at African higher education institutions. Offered by IIE in partnership with the United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), the program is funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). In the first two years of the program, the CADFP supported 110 short-term faculty fellowships for African-born academics. In October 2015, additional funding was secured from CCNY to support up to 140 fellowships. The program exemplifies CCNY’s enduring commitment to higher education in Africa. IIE manages and administers the program, including applications, project requests and fellowships. USIU-Africa provides strategic direction through Dr. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza and an Advisory Council he chairs.

Learn more about the program

Who can participate?

African-born academics currently living in the United States and Canada and working in higher education. Fellows will engage in educational projects proposed and hosted by faculty of public or private higher education institutions in the following CCNY partner countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Learn how to apply

Call for Project Requests/Scholar Applications

The CADFP is always accepting applications for the scholar roster. The portal for Project Requests from potential host institutions will be open until December 8, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.

Call for Junior Researchers: Strengthening leadership & influence of women in politics (Rift Valley Institute)

Call for Junior Researchers: Strengthening the leadership and influence of women in politics in Kenya

Application deadline 25 September

The Rift Valley Institute seeks 3 current or recent MA, MSc, or PhD graduates to
conduct 11 weeks of field research from 10 October to 23 December 2016.

Project leaders are a team of Kenyan and US academics and activists working on
a research project funded by the East Africa Research Fund (EARF) on behalf of
the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID). The main objective of the study is to map the representation of women in the Government of Kenya following the enactment of the 2010 Constitution and introduction of the two third gender rule; and test the hypothesis that increased representation of women in government has a positive influence on human and economic development outcomes at both county and national levels in Kenya.

Researchers will be paid a stipend and all expenses will be covered upon participation in the team process, meeting reporting deadlines, and justification of expenses…

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University Application Support for scholars from Mathare (by 31 July)

(Trying to find out more about this one, so take with grain of salt…)

Call for Applications

Are you a bright but needy scholar from Mathare striving for a Master’s Degree, possibly abroad – but you don’t really know where to start? Get one-on-one coaching with experienced mentors who can guide you through the application process.


Through the University Application Support Program we are looking for talented and committed scholars from Mathare who are striving for a Master’s Degree.

There are a number of universities around the world that provide scholarship opportunities, yet finding them and mastering the application process is often a challenging task…

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