About DRILL

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. Our digital inclusion programs include a digital readiness school for young people living in under-served communities (LIFE) and a software engineering school targeting high potential young Nigerians (Dufuna).

PIN receives applications for its Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab (DRILL) once a year. The successful applicants work full time with Paradigm Initiative team members for 9 months. As a mid-career fellowship, potential candidates are expected to have a minimum of 5 years’ experience as technology or social innovators, researchers, policy experts, and/or entrepreneurs. Fellows must have a relevant postgraduate qualification, be exceptional individuals who bring new learnings and innovations as well as gain exposure to the digital ecosystem.

PIN hosts innovative learning around digital rights and inclusion in Africa, and serves as a space for enhanced capacity, practice and reflection aimed to involve and connect different stakeholders and create dialogue amongst researchers, social innovators, policymakers and actors, the private sector, as well as civil society. The successful fellows are involved in a number of activities, including the following;

  • Work full time within any of the PIN offices.
  • Work on an innovative project.
  • Host monthly ecosystem/sector meetings with the PIN Team to engage the ecosystem on critical issues arising or existing.
  • Conduct biweekly presentations and prepare content to share with the PIN team on their project
  • Feature a monthly DRILL podcast.
  • Host a Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) session.

Fellows’ Responsibilities 

Applicants will be required to briefly discuss their intended focus for the fellowship period during the application process. Paradigm Initiative will expect to receive a cutting edge project proposal that will benefit from the exposure to the African digital rights and inclusion community. If your proposal is big, innovative and addressing a real issue in the digital ecosystem, we look forward to reviewing your submission. 

The successful fellows will be expected to work full time within any of the PIN offices. 

  • The successful fellows will propose and work on an innovative project which will be completed during the fellowship ( i.e cutting edge research/technology-centric project that seeks to address digital rights or digital inclusion issues in Africa)
  • The fellows will be expected to host monthly ecosystem/sector meetings with the PIN Team to engage the ecosystem on critical issues arising or existing.
  • The fellows will conduct biweekly presentations and prepare content to share with the PIN team on their project and to feature a monthly DRILL podcast to be recorded with the PIN Executive Director. 
  • Each Fellow will have the opportunity to host a Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) – Digital Rights and Inclusion Learning Lab in April 2021. 
  • The last month of the fellowship will feature a final meeting, final presentation and final podcasts from the selected fellows. 

There will be a closing event with PIN’s leadership team to reflect on what has been achieved in the fellowship month period and to award the Fellow with certification for completion. The fellowship is open to potential fellows living within the following countries – Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Fellowship Benefits

  • PIN will provide a monthly stipend to the selected fellows which will cover participation in the Fellowship. 
  • PIN will provide a research project grant to support an approved project and budget. 
  • PIN will cover costs associated with activities at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Lab and provide an opportunity to be embedded within our team, access to the ecosystem and feedback on projects throughout the duration of the fellowship. 
  • A possible opportunity to travel to an international platform to showcase the finished project.

Application and Timeline

This call for applications is open from 6 October 2020 until 30 October 2020. The selection process will be finalized in November  2020 with the fellow of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Lab expected to resume on 1 March 2021. Respond to the call by submitting Here.