Professional Development (PD) Fellowship Programme

About the Professional Development (PD) Fellowship Programme

Africa’s award-winning Professional Development Fellowship Program in Impact Assessment (PD Fellows Program) provides practical training and mentorship to the continent’s most promising young and mid-career environmental and social impact assessment and management professionals. Implemented by the pan-African network Capacity and Linkages in Environmental Assessment in Africa (CLEAA), the program has been supported by multiple international donors, including USAID, the World Bank, and Sida. African and international businesses, developers, banks, foundations, philanthropists, and governments are urged to support this highly successful program to improve the availability of qualified, local professionals.

What’s in it for you?

Fellows: Fellows learn by doing, participating in a program that provides practical impact assessment experience in specialized fields of their own choosing while covering travel and lodging expenses. Fellows are connected to a professional network of peers and mentors, and to an international community of IA practice. These skills and networks support their careers – and their careers support sustainable development in Africa.  

Hosts: Host organizations provide an engaging learning and working experience for a fellow(s) for up to 6 months. Hosts are provided with energetic, high-caliber, and professional fellows to support their teams and efforts; possible development of human capital for their organization; and demonstrable support to the program as evidence of social responsibility. All hosts receive certificates and letters of appreciation from CLEAA.

Sponsors: Sponsors include donors, corporate entities, governments, parastatals and others. Their support funds fellow selection, training, placement, and linkage to a community of practice. Donors can boost their corporate responsibility profile by reinforcing African capacity for sustainable development in a program that has produced graduates that have and continue to make a make positive impacts in their countries and communities.  All sponsors receive certificates and letters of appreciation from CLEAA.

More About the Fellows Experience

  • After Fellows have been selected, the program provides an intensive one-week training course, including lectures, group work, case studies and field studies. English courses are typically provided in Namibia and French courses in Cameroon.
  • CLEAA identifies host organizations, makes logistical arrangements and places Fellows in their fellowship. Mentors are paired with Fellows to provide support and ensure that Fellows receive outstanding learning-by-doing opportunities at their placement.
  • CLEAA maintains contact with the host and the PD Fellow throughout the fellowship to ensure arrangements are mutually beneficial and to provide trouble-shooting if necessary.
  • Once training and fellowship are successfully completed, Fellows and hosts prepare summary reports/evaluations. Both receive CLEAA certificates.
  • Fellows return to their countries/institutions and apply their knowledge. Fellows also attend an annual IAIA conference (or a francophone equivalent) to best link them to an international community of practice.
  • Fellows remain in contact with each other and previous classes of Fellows through a network managed by CLEAA. CLEAA engages Fellow alumni through the network when work opportunities present themselves on the African continent.
How it works:
  • PD Fellows are selected via a rigorous application process. Successful candidates hold at least a first degree in a relevant field, are in their early or mid-careers, and are in positions of growing influence in the government, private, NGO or international sector.
  • After an intensive technical training, Fellows are seconded for up to six months with a consulting company, industry, university, or similar institution, where they contribute to significant projects and receive on-the-job mentorship from leading professionals. The program pays travel and stipend during this time.
  • As the capstone of their experience and to link them to the international IA practitioner community, Fellows participate in the annual conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) or an appropriate francophone IA conference.
  • The Fellows return to their country/institution and use their knowledge, skills, and confidence to provide leadership in environment and social assessment management and sustainable development.