Successful fellows undergo an equivalent of 4-weeks leadership skills training at a selected institution with a foundational view that leaders are not born rather they are self-made through training, mentoring and practice. A comprehensive curriculum was developed by an experienced team of consultants who undertook the assignment with closer inputs from UYONET, IRI and other stakeholders through consultative processes that as well involved other national governance institutions, political parties and civil society actors. The study areas below constitute the curriculum;

  1. Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy
  2. Conflict resolution and Management
  3. Organizational and Strategic Management
  4. Ethics and Integrity
  5. Policy Analysis and Advocacy
  6. Governance and Development
  7. Public Speaking
  8. Diplomatic Relations
  9. Campaigns and Electioneering
  10. Leadership and Interpersonal skills
  11. ICT Skills for Today’s Leaders

In 2014, the curriculum was developed for five broad study areas as a pilot phase of the Academy and these include;

  1. Conflict resolution and Management
  2. Policy Analysis and Advocacy
  3. Campaigns and Electioneering
  4. Leadership and Interpersonal skills (to include; ethics, negotiation; integrity, public speaking, etc)
  5. Organizational and Strategic Management

While as this is not an academic programme per say, facilitators continuously measure the performance of the fellows in terms of content comprehension, vibrancy and attendance. One way to measure performance is through take home assignments between the monthly intervals and an 80 percent minimum attendance. Certificates are awarded at the completion of the training by UYONET during the award ceremony.

The Mentoring

At the conclusion of this initial training, UYONET will work with each political party to partner a national-level party leader with a party official from the sub-national level. The national-level leader will serve as a sort of “mentor” to the sub-national level party official. These “mentor/mentee” relationships will help facilitate improved relations between the national and sub-national level party officials. Additionally, IRI/UYONET will work with each “mentor/mentee” pairing to create individual strategic plans to reflect what each person hopes to gain from this relationship and through attendance in subsequent “Leadership Academy” events. These strategic plans will be used by UYONET to tailor follow-on activities to be implemented during this “Leadership Academy” series.    

Up to 120 trainees will be competitively selected and matched with a preferred mentor for a period of six months. The Academy will explore the concept of peer to peer mentoring in view of bridging the likely limitations of trainees accessing reliable adult mentors. The mentoring will involve inspirational talks, individual coaching and local study tours in line with the preferred mentoring subject area. As part of the mentoring initiative, mentees will develop an essay in their specific mentoring area to be published annually by UYONET and IRI as success case studies. Mentors will focus on building the skills of their mentees in leadership, communication and organizational development as well as other soft skills such as peaceful building and conflict resolution. Mentors shall be proposed by the participants in line with their areas of interest and taking into mind accessibility to the mentor.

UYONET will draw from previous experiences running mentorship programmes to enrich the design of the mentorship component of the Academy during the design of the curriculum. All internships and social action projects will incorporate the aspects of mentoring.

Mandatory 12-Week Internship/Community Action Activity

As part of the leadership programme, fellows undertake a mandatory 12-week internship/field engagement to put in practice the skills acquired at a governance institution, civil society organization or political party. Outside of the formal institutions, some trainees opt for a community action project in line with their mentoring subject or leadership inclination. The institutions involved commit internship placements and this is built upon by the programme management unit to ensure that all fellows are placed in relevant institutions.

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