Community Solutions Program

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the Community Solutions Program 2016 competition for the best and brightest community leaders in Cambodia.

The Community Solutions Program is an intensive four-month fellowship whose purpose is to provide groups of best and brightest community leaders from Cambodia and all around the world with an intensive professional development program in Transparency and Accountability, Tolerance and Conflict Resolution, Environmental Issues, and Women and Gender Issues. These community leaders bring years of experience to community development in the U.S. while strengthening their capacity for leadership and development in their home countries.

Selected candidates will participate in: (1) a four month U.S. fellowship with a local nonprofit organization or government agency in the U.S.; (2) structured virtual learning and networking via the online Community Leadership Institute; and, (3) the design and implementation of follow-on projects in his/her home country. The program will also include a small outbound component that will allow up to ten U.S. host representatives to travel overseas for approximately two weeks on projects related to the program themes. 

Program activities include:
  • A four-month U.S. Fellowship: Participants are placed in U.S. community-based, non-profit or government offices across the United States where they work with American community leaders.
  • Community Leadership Institute (CLI): Participants will develop practical leadership and organizational management skills through online and in-person training.
  • Follow-on Projects: Participants, in partnership with their U.S. host organizations, will develop follow-on community development projects or initiatives to be completed upon return to their home countries.
Financial provisions of the fellowship:
  • J-1 visa support;
  • Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the United States;
  • Accident and sickness insurance; and
  • Living allowance to cover housing, meals, and incidentals.
Eligibility:
Competition for the Community Solutions Program is merit-based and open to community leaders, age 25-38 at the time of application, who meet the following criteria:
  • From a participating country (U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years are not eligible for this program);
  • Currently living and working in his/her home country (Individuals participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States at the time of application and individuals residing or working outside their home countries at the time of application are not eligible for this program);
  • Currently working on a community project or initiative in his/her home country and has at least two years of professional experience in this capacity at the time of application;
  • Able to begin the program in the United States in 2016, and is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program;
  • Able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa (Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Government who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application are not eligible for this program); and
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.
Program application details:
The Community Solutions Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel.
Applicants will be considered based on the following criteria:
  • Working/volunteering on substantive community projects for non-profits, government offices, or community-based organizations; preference will be given to applicants of local organizations;
  • Knowledge of and experience in one or more of the four CSP fellowship themes (Women’s Issues, Transparency & Accountability, Tolerance/Conflict Resolution, and Environmental Issues);
  • Leadership experience and potential;
  • Professional and program goals;
  • Follow-on project idea;
  • Intercultural/English language skills;
General Application Instructions:
  • Submit completed Community Solutions Program online application (paper applications will not be accepted), and all additional required documents (see below) by the stated deadline.
  • Answer all questions on the application in English.
  • Include your full, legal name, including family name (surname) and given (first) name as spelled on your international passport (if available). Do not translate name spellings.
  • Include complete contact information (including index codes for all addresses and city/country codes for all phone and fax numbers). Do not translate street or city names into English, only into the English alphabet.
  • Spaces marked with a red asterisk must be completed. If a required question does not apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable).
Additional required documents:
In addition to the completed program application, applicants must submit the following documents through IREX online application system (all documents must be in English):
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • One letter of recommendation from your employer, community organization, or professional peer in your field. Letter must be signed and on organizational letterhead (if available).
Selection and Program Timeline:
  • October 30, 2015: Community Solutions Program application deadline
  • November-December 2015: Applications reviewed by selection committee
  • January 2016: Semifinalists interview and take the TOEFL exam as needed
  • February-March 2016: Finalists and alternates notified
  • May-June 2016: Pre-departure orientation and preparation
  • Late July/Early August 2016: Participants depart for the U.S.
  • December 2016: Participants return to their home countries and begin follow-on projects
  • January-June 2017: Alumni complete follow-on projects in collaboration with U.S. hosts
Applications may be submitted online ONLY. To apply, please visit our implementing partner, IREX here.
Community Solutions Program 2016 Application Instructions, click here to download (PDF).


Note: To help prepare interested candidates for the Community Solutions Program application process, the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh will host an information session on the Community Solutions Program at the U.S. Embassy on October 26, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To attend the information session, interested candidates who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to email a copy of their CV with a short paragraph stating why they are suitable for this program to the Cultural Affairs Assistant, Soreimeas Norn, at NornS@state.gov no later than October 21, 2015. Only short-listed participants will be notified by the Public Affairs Section to confirm your registration in the information session. Due to the limited space, registration will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Application Contact Information:

Please direct any questions regarding the program and application process to IREX at csp@irex.org

Application Deadline: October 30, 2015

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