Eligibility

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Overview

The Civic Tech Leadership Program is designed to expand opportunities for individuals to engage in cross-cultural collaboration and gain 21st century skills. It is targeted at young people in the United States, Middle East and North Africa, including refugees from those regions. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from each other as they build multimedia and project-planning skills in a bilingual, cross-cultural learning environment dedicated to the goal of positive social change.

The program consists of three stages, with participants competing to advance. The first stage, the online Technology for Accountability Lab, is open to anyone. Participants wishing to advance to the Civic Tech Leaders Virtual Exchange and the Innovators’ Exchange Study Mission must meet certain eligibility requirements, detailed below. Please contact CivicTechLeaders@ndi.org with questions.

The Civic Tech Leadership Program

Applicants to the Civic Tech Leadership Program will submit brief civic-tech project ideas through an online application. 

Individual & Group Applications

We welcome applications from individuals or groups.

  • Individual applicants who are admitted to the Civic Tech Leadership Program will be matched with other applicants to form a 4-member team.
  • Group applications can have 2, 3 or 4 people. Each applicant within the group must meet the minimum eligibility requirements below. Groups with 2 or 3 members which are admitted to the virtual exchange will be matched with other applicants to form a 4-member team.

Minimum Requirements

In order to be selected for the Civic Tech Leadership Program, applicants must meet the following criteria at the time of their application.

  • Country of origin
    • Citizen of the United States, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, or Yemen.
  • Age
    • 18-35
  • Language
    • Fluent in English or Arabic.
      • Please note that bilingual proficiency is not required. Interpretation services will be provided as necessary.
  • Internet Access
    • Access to a device capable of connecting to the internet.
  • Registration in the Technology for Accountability Lab

Selection Priorities

The Civic Tech Leadership Program highly values diversity. In order to expand access to virtual exchange and digital skills, the Selection Committee will give priority to qualified applicants from groups underrepresented in the technology sector and in exchange programs. We especially welcome the Civic Tech Leadership Program applicants who meet the minimum requirements above and are:

  • Women
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Refugees or members of the diaspora community from eligible countries
  • Members of ethnic minorities, and/or
  • Members of other minority groups.

Selection Criteria

Subject to considerations of geographic and participant diversity, a Selection Committee appointed by NDI, Stanford CDDRL and the Institute for Representative Government will review applications and score qualified applicants according to the following criteria:

  • Proposed project idea’s relevance to, and potential for, social impact,
  • Clarity of the proposed project idea, and
  • Originality of the proposed project idea.

Applications may be submitted by individuals or teams. Individual applicants who are admitted to the Civic Tech Leadership Program will be assigned to four-member project teams by the Selection Committee.

Please note that we reserve the right to contact applicants seeking clarification or additional information, prior to final selection.

Innovators’ Exchange Study Mission

The Civic Tech Leadership Program teams will collaborate on video projects, and four teams will have the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley and Washington, DC.

Minimum Requirements

  • Completion of the Technology for Accountability Lab and Civic Tech Leaders Virtual Exchange.
    • Participants must earn a Statement of Accomplishment in the Technology for Accountability Lab and a certificate of completion for the Virtual Exchange.
  • Participants must be eligible to travel to the United States.  Those under consideration for travel will be asked to submit a valid travel document (such as a copy of a passport) during the Virtual Exchange and will have to apply for a travel visa from the U.S. Department of State with the support of NDI and the Stevens Initiative.
  • NOT a current employee of the National Democratic Institute, Stanford University or the Institute for Representative Government.

Selection Criteria

Subject to participant and geographic diversity, a Selection Committee appointed by NDI, Stanford CDDRL and the Institute for Representative Government will review video submissions and score teams on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the project presentation,
  • Potential for real-world social impact of the proposed project,
  • Cross-cultural dialogue in project presentation: use of English and Arabic language, as well as the inclusion of cultural references and context from the United States and the Middle East,
  • Evidence of contributions from all team members,
  • Creativity,
  • Inclusion of marginalized populations in the project design, and
  • Volume and nature of appreciative peer comments on shared video submissions.

Application & Selection Calendar

DATE EVENT
August 9, 2016 LAUNCH OF TECHNOLOGY FOR ACCOUNTABILITY LAB

Register now

August 16, 2016 APPLICATION OPENS FOR CIVIC TECH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

An online application for the Civic Tech Leadership Program will be made available. Applicants will be asked to submit information about their eligibility, skills and access to technology, as well as a one-paragraph summary description of a potential civic-tech project idea. We encourage applicants to build on information and knowledge gained through the Technology for Accountability Lab.

October 7, 2016 APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR CIVIC TECH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Online applications for the Civic Tech Leadership Program are due by 11:59 PM EST.

October 10-19, 2016 SELECTION OF CIVIC TECH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS & TEAM ASSIGNMENTS

Subject to considerations of geographic and participant diversity, a Selection Committee appointed by NDI, Stanford CDDRL and the Institute for Representative Government will review applications and score qualified applicants according to the criteria outlined above.

October 31, 2016 LAUNCH OF CIVIC TECH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
December 12 or 13, 2016 DEADLINE FOR TEAM VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
December 14-19, 2016  PEER SHARING OF VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
December 19- 22, 2016 (tentative)  SELECTION AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNING VIDEO SUBMISSIONS

Subject to participant and geographic diversity, a Selection Committee appointed by NDI, Stanford CDDRL and the Institute for Representative Government will review video submissions and score teams according to the criteria outlined above.

December 26, 2016 (tentative)  SUBMISSION OF VISA APPLICATIONS FOR WINNING TEAMS AND ALTERNATES

Members of winning Virtual Exchange teams who are not U.S. citizens must apply for travel visas. This process is established and administered by the U.S. Department of State. Although it varies from country to country, it generally involves submission of biographical information, a background check and an in-person interview with a consular official at a U.S embassy or consulate. NDI and The Stevens Initiative will assist applicants with the application process, but U.S. consular officials are responsible for final decisions about the issuance of visas to individuals.

April 3-10, 2017 (tentative) INNOVATORS’ EXCHANGE STUDY MISSION

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