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ODI Fellowship Scheme and consortiums

Hero image description: The fellows on the steps of the ODI office Image credit:© ODI
The ODI fellows
Image credit:© ODI

59 new ODI Fellows posted to 25 countries, including three new countries

8 new ODI Statistics Fellows

3 new Financial Inclusion Fellows

The ODI Fellowship Scheme gives highly qualified postgraduate economists and statisticians the unique chance to work in developing country public sectors as civil servants. Since the Scheme began in 1963, ODI has worked with more than 40 country governments and regional organisations to place over 1,000 Fellows in postings around the world. Postings fall under three streams: economics, statistics and financial inclusion – the key areas in which governments want to develop their own capacity.

This year, the Fellowship Scheme posted 59 new ODI Fellows to 25 countries and regional organisations, with a focus on countries with low incomes and high poverty rates. There were eight new postings and three new ODI Financial Inclusion Fellows placed in Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh. Over the past four years, the Scheme has sent Fellows to new countries, including Bangladesh, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Madagascar, Thailand and the autonomous region of Somaliland. The Scheme continues to assess demand for Fellowship expertise in fragile states and Asia.

As Myanmar continues to make global news headlines, our first Fellows to the country have been well-placed in an institute to influence the new Government’s policies. The deteriorating political and security situation in South Sudan forced us to withdraw Fellows from Juba in July 2016. This was a disappointing step after our Fellows’ decade-long support to the world’s newest country.

As we scale up in new partner countries, we scale down in other longer-established ones with less need. There were no new Fellows in upper middle-income South Africa and Namibia, or mainland Tanzania. The value of the Scheme has proven itself in both Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, which funded their own new Fellows without the support of subsidies from ODI.

At the end of 2016, we reached an agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to post our first ODI Fellows in Albania. This is an exciting pilot for ODI and we hope the Fellowship Scheme becomes a broader offering to other EBRD borrowing countries.

Please visit the ODI Fellowship Scheme page for:

  • a full list of current country postings;
  • partner ministries and alumni;
  • information about the recruitment and selection process; and
  • a downloadable brochure.

As it emerges from half a century of economic and cultural isolation, Myanmar is a fascinating place to live and work. My role focuses on fiscal decentralisation and supporting public finance management of the newly created subnational governments. Unlike most Fellowship postings, I work outside of the civil service. Such an arrangement can be challenging – for example, after decades of being a closed country, information sharing is still an unfamiliar concept. But there are also opportunities, such as flexibility and less red tape. Being the first ODI Fellow in the country is a unique experience. And as one of the first outsiders to explore public finance management in Myanmar, local input – through the extraordinary generosity of both colleagues and government officials – has proved invaluable.

Ildrim Valley

ODI Fellow, Myanmar

Working as a member of a government agency has given me a deeper understanding of the complex political landscape and aid ecosystem to which my work contributes. I have been involved in a huge variety of tasks, from planning and implementing large-scale national surveys to teaching colleagues a new Excel formula to process data more quickly. I’ve learnt that sometimes, the most valuable skills I have been able to pass on are not highly technical but the more basic ones, that will enable teams here to conduct their daily tasks more effectively. There is great potential in Sierra Leone, especially in the people, many of whom are eager to see their country progress.

Ruth Salmon

ODI Fellow, Sierra Leone

ODI research and advisory partnersips, projects and consortiums