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SI Leader Lab 2024

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SI Leader Lab – Connecting leaders in civil society

Are you a leader in an organisation working for a more just, peaceful, and inclusive society? SI Leader Lab is a leadership programme for civil society leaders in Eastern Europe and the MENA region who want to discover innovative tools and new forms of collaboration.

Apply to SI Leader Lab if you want to grow as a leader, develop your organisation’s advocacy work and exchange knowledge in a network of inspirational peers

SI Leader Lab is designed to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to drive successful advocacy work linked to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies. The programme brings together influential civil society leaders who are open to new digital solutions and innovative methods. The network consists of peers from across various sub-sectors in civil society and provides the participants with broad input from different spheres in the field. SI Leader Lab invites 100 participants from the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

The programme combines online workshops, in both regional and cross-regional learning groups, with regular coaching support. In October, all 100 programme participants will come together in Stockholm for an intensive week of onsite learning that deepens the experience and enhances collaboration.

The programme is an opportunity to develop your organisation’s advocacy work and strategic outreach. It is also an opportunity to grow as a leader, exchange knowledge, form new connections and test out innovative tools and methods with peers.

The programme features personal as well as professional development. Not only do you get renewed confidence and insights as a leader, but you get to explore and develop tools to build a more sustainable team culture and increase your impact.

To support the organisational implementation of the programme tools and methods, SI welcomes colleagues within the same organisations to apply to the programme. All applications will be evaluated on an individual basis, but organisations with more than one qualified applicant tend to be prioritised in the selection process.

SI Leader Lab will give you:

  • Personal insights as a leader: how to lead yourself and others through increased self-awareness and increased understanding of group development.
  • A stronger capacity in your organisation to successfully organise and lead teamwork.
  • A stronger capacity in your organisation to implement and lead effective advocacy work.
  • The possibility to share and build knowledge among a network of experts, to inspire each other and to share experiences around common challenges.

SI Leader Lab is arranged by the Swedish Institute, a public agency that builds interest and trust in Sweden around the world. The Swedish Institute work with Sweden promotion, cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and global development. (Link to Swedish Institute website)

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants to SI Leader Lab must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a leading position in a civil society organisation or network working towards SDG 16 within the 2030 Agenda. The work should benefit one of the programme countries. For example, this can be an organisation working within such areas as peace and security, equality and inclusion, transparency and anti-corruption, accountability, and access to free information and media integrity.
  • Work with a team in which they have a leadership role (formal or informal).
  • Be between the ages of 22 and 45 (born in the 1978 to 2002 range).
  • Have a good working knowledge of both written and spoken English.
  • Be a citizen of Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine or Yemen.
  • Be available to participate in all parts of the programme.
  • Be prepared to implement tools, competencies and knowledge they gain from the programme in their team and organisation.

No exceptions can be made to any of the eligibility requirements.

Please note that SI Leader Lab is a demanding programme that uses experience-based learning and reflection as a tool for personal growth. Therefore, participants need to be dedicated with a strong capacity for self-exploration.

How much time do I have to allocate for the programme? 

Here is an estimation of the time the programme requires: 

From April to June and September to October, there will be a regular online session every other week. There will be approximately 15-20 online sessions (approximately 80 hours, spread over seven months, plus time for your own work as well as implementation in your organisation). These online sessions are typically 1-2 hours of group meetings, plus the time for your team’s assignments and learning groups. Participants will engage in online seminars, practical group assignments and individual project work. There will also be optional coaching sessions where you can invite your team to participate.

If selected, you will receive an exact schedule at the start of the programme.   

Onsite – Stockholm, Sweden
On 8 — 16 October (including travel days), there will be an onsite meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. On these days, the programme is full-time, and it’s important to take time off work to be able to fully participate.

Organisation involvement
As a participant, it’s important that you have permission from your supervisor to engage in the programme and try out tools and methods from the programme with your team. You are expected to actively implement the tools and methods you gain from the programme (for example by holding implementation workshops with your team). You can also invite your team members to participate in optional coaching sessions.. 

Programme timeline

  • Mid-February – mid-March: Call for applications
  • March – April: Selection process
  • April – October: Online sessions and own project work
  • October: Onsite meeting in Sweden (8-16 October)
  • November: Diploma ceremony (online)

Costs covered and arranged by the Swedish Institute

  • Your flights to and from Stockholm.  
  • Your accommodation and meals in Stockholm during the onsite meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Your insurance during the onsite meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.  
  • All training materials online and onsite.

How to apply

The application period is 12 February – 12 March 2024

Only applicants who have submitted a complete application will be considered for the programme. These are the steps you need to go through to submit your application:

1. Register your profile in the application portal.
2. Select what programme you would like to apply for (SI Leadership Lab is available 12 February – 12 March 2024).
3. Answer all the questions for the different sections in the application portal (found in the left-hand menu).
4. Upload your CV under the document section.
5. After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation to your inbox in Dream Apply.
6. You will also receive a message to your inbox in Dream Apply with a link to record a short video. Follow the instructions in the message. It will take less than ten minutes to record the video. You will get two questions to answer within two minutes each. We ask you to make the recording in a quiet setting and, if possible, use headphones with a built-in microphone. Please note that it is mandatory to make the video recording. We wish you the best of luck!

Evaluation of applications (13 March – 14 April)

Each application is evaluated according to the following criteria:
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: To what extent does the work of the candidate fall within the scope of SDG 16?
  • Organisational impact: What capacity does the applicant’s organisation have to drive development within SDG 16?
  • Impact within organisation: What capacity does the applicant have to impact strategic decisions within his/her organisation?
  • Drive and leadership capacity: Has the applicant demonstrated drive and enterprise – for example by undertaking new initiatives?
  • Advocacy: Is the applicant working with advocacy in their daily work? If not, possibilities to benefit from the programme will be limited.
  • Teams: Is the applicant collaborating with others in their daily work? If not, possibilities to benefit from the programme will be limited.
  • The candidate’s overall potential to both benefit from and contribute to the programme.
  • As part of the final selection process, the evaluation committee also considers the overall English proficiency level and equal representation of gender amongst the programme’s participants, as well as including a balanced mix of geographic origins and expertise.

Admission (15 April)

SI will contact the 100 selected applicants by email to offer them a place in the programme. SI will also compose a list of reserve candidates in case a second selection round is needed. Unfortunately, because of the large number of applications for a limited number of spots, we have to turn down many highly-qualified people who apply to the programme.

Read more about the programme here: SI Leader Lab – Connecting leaders in civil society – Svenska institutet
Read more about the Swedish Institute here: Swedish Institute

Not available for applying at the moment
Not available for applying at the moment