Help the ‘Salone Government Become More Responsive to Citizens — Sierra Leone Open Government Fellowship

Usman Khaliq
Code For Africa
Published in
5 min readJun 6, 2017


Over the past few years, African governments have enthusiastically jumped onto the tech revolution that is gradually sweeping across the continent, working in collaboration with the civic tech community to create tools that enhance the interaction between the citizenry and the government.

In continuing with our goal of making government more collaborative, open and accountable to its citizens, we at Code for Sierra Leone, in partnership with Code for Africa and the World Bank, are excited to announce the Sierra Leone Open Government Fellowship. This Fellowship gives outstanding change makers the skills, tools and resources necessary to help the Sierra Leone government adopt tech tools to become more engaging with its citizens.

Over the course of six months, each Open Government Fellow will be embedded in a specific government ministry and work with them to make their activities more open to the general public. The six-month fellowships are intended to empower pioneers who are already working in the open data or civic engagement communities, and are designed to augment their existing ‘day jobs’ rather than remove them from their organizations.

Successful Open Government Fellows will therefore only be expected to work part-time on their fellowship projects (which could include new initiatives at their ‘day jobs’), but will receive strategic and material support throughout their fellowship.

This support will include a modest $1,000 per month stipend, and an opportunity to apply for a $1,000 seed fund to kickstart projects, a travel budget to attend local and international events, access to workspace in Code for Africa affiliate civic technology labs across the continent, and technology support from Code for Africa developers and data analysts. Fellows will also be able to tap into Code for Africa’s School of Data networks and resource kits, and its global network of specialist communities, as well as Code for Africa affiliate communities such as Hacks/Hackers.

The deadline for the application is the 15th of June 2017. The fellowships are expected to start by July 2017 and continue till January 2018.

So, who qualifies for the fellowship?

Applicants should:

  • Currently be engaged in the open government and/or related communities. We are looking to support individuals already actively participating in the open government community
  • Be able to point to examples of their work in the civic data or civic technology space, or work in open data or open government communities
  • Understand the role of civil society and citizen based organisations in bringing about positive change through advocacy and campaigning
  • Understand the role and importance of monitoring government commitments to open data as well as other open government policy related issues
  • Have facilitation skills and enjoy community-building (both online and offline)
  • Be eager to learn from and be connected with an international community of open government experts, advocates and campaigners
  • Currently live and work in Sierra Leone

The selection committee will pay particular attention to applicants’ current engagement in the open government movement at local, national and/or international level. The committee will also be interested in applicants’ ideas around proposed strategic partnerships and pilot projects for their fellowships.

Neither Code for Africa nor the World Bank are being prescriptive about the proposed focus or scope for projects, but will prefer projects that demonstrate clear visions with tangible outputs. This could include fellows working with a specific government department or agency to make a key dataset available. It could also include helping communities use available data, or organising a series of events addressing a specific topic or challenge citizens are currently facing.

Successful candidates will commit to work on their fellowship activities a minimum of six days a month, including attending online and offline training, organising events, and being an active member both in Code for Sierra Leone and Code for Africa communities.

Are you interested in helping the Sierra Leone government become more agile and responsive to its citizens? Apply right away!

Convinced? Apply now to become a Open Government Fellow. The application is available here or below:

About Open Gov Fellowships

The Sierra Leone Open Government Fellowship is based on a continental initiative of the Code for Africa(CfAfrica) federation, first launched in 2015 where fellows helped liberate data or build better digital democracies in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. The Open Government Fellowships are intended to support African government’s Open Government Partnership pledge to make important ‘civic’ information available online.

This Open Government Fellowship follows Code for Sierra Leone’s first d|Bootcamp in Freetown, based on a Code for Africa model first pioneered in Kenya in 2012 that has since been adopted across the world, with 32 bootcamps hosted in 27 countries. The Freetown event follows Code for Africa’s earlier pioneering work in Sierra Leone, where it partnered with the World Bank to help kickstart data scraperthons (where we liberate data by digitising ‘deadwood’ information) during a 6-week Open Data Festival 2016 in March 2016. You can read about the scraperthons here.

The d|Bootcamp projects were incubated by Code for Sierra Leone, with support from iDT Labs and Sensi Tech Hub.


The World Bank’s Governance Global Practice (GGP) supports client countries to help them build capable, efficient, open, inclusive, and accountable institutions. This is critical for countries to underpin sustainable growth and is at the heart of the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Code for Africa is the continent’s largest federation of civic technology and open data laboratories, with affiliate members in 10 African countries and funded projects in a further 12 countries. CfAfrica manages the $1m/year and $500,000/year, as well as key digital democracy resources such as and



Usman Khaliq
Code For Africa

data science. healthcare.