Cultivating Inclusion for Food Security (Cultivate) Fellowship

Learn about GAYA's Cultivate Fellowship

Cohort 1 from GAYA's First Cultivate Fellowship sits as a group outside
Joel Mulwa

GAYA has closed applications for the 2nd Cohort of the Cultivate Fellowship.

If you are interested in receiving updates on future cohorts, please sign up to receive our newsletter. GAYA will be in touch with all applicants on the status of their application. 

What is the Cultivate Fellowship? 

Brought to you by the Gender and Youth Activity (GAYA), the Cultivate Fellowship is a capacity-strengthening opportunity for field-based emergency and resilience food security implementers who are interested in using qualitative methods to increase gender and youth inclusion. 

Over three months, a cohort of 16-20 members participate in both an in-person workshop, regular online meetings, and independent work to develop innovative solutions to increase gender and youth inclusion in their programs. 

The Cultivate Fellowship supports fellows to design and use qualitative methods to address their program-specific questions and deepen their contextual understanding of social inclusion and resilience dynamics of their activities, in order to adapt programming for transformative change. By the end of the Cultivate Fellowship, fellows will:

  • Collaborate with peers and explore how systems thinking tools and strategies can deepen our understanding of inclusive resilience dynamics.
  • Design learning questions, a qualitative inquiry process, and qualitative inquiry tools to answer program-specific questions.
  • Conduct this qualitative inquiry within their own program, including: 
    • Collecting data;
    • Analyzing results; 
    • Convening a team to apply learning within the program; and
    • Revising the tools for broader use. 
  • Engage with a robust Alumni Network committed to creative, collaborative, and critical innovation around inclusive resilience-focused qualitative inquiry.

Who are our Participants?

Cultivate Fellows apply as a pair working within the same program, ideally representing: 

  • Applicant 1: Gender, youth, and/or social inclusion components or the equivalent 
  • Applicant 2: Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and/or collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA) or adaptive management equivalent

The current cohort is aimed at implementers working on Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded Emergency Programs and Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSAs) or other USAID strategic partners located in Africa interested in participating in an English-speaking cohort.

Throughout 2024-2026, GAYA will host cohorts for implementers from other regions. GAYA will host a cohort for French-speaking implementers in 2025.

What is Expected of Participants? 

  • Fellows’ program/activity will fund travel costs  (e.g., travel, accommodation, per diem)  associated with attending an in-person workshop
  • Fellows will engage in three months of activities, including, but not limited to, virtual preparatory meetings, a 5-day in-person workshop, biweekly virtual meetings following the workshop, informal and formal technical mentorship calls, and a virtual learning event 
  • During the Fellowship, Fellows will be required to complete an inclusive resilience-focused qualitative inquiry within their program/activity.

What is the Time Commitment for the Fellowship?

  • Virtual Preparatory Meetings: 2-3 Weeks2.5 hours per week
  • In-Person Workshop in Zimbabwe: 5 Days, 8 hours per day 
  • Virtual Follow-Up Meetings: 6-8 Weeks,1.5 hours per week + time to complete a qualitative inquiry project

What is the Timeline for the Fellowship?

  • ​​​​​​For the current cohort:
    • Selected Fellows are notified on January 26 and must confirm their participation by February 2, 2024. 
    • Virtual preparatory sessions run from March 4-22, 2024. 
    • The in-person workshop in Zimbabwe will be held March 18-22, 2024. (Dates subject to change)
    • Bi-weekly online meetings for 6-8 weeks following the in-person workshop. 
  • For future cohorts:
    • Applications will open for the next Cultivate Fellowship in early April 2024. If you are interested in receiving updates on future cohorts, please sign up to receive our newsletter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for the fellowship?

Applications for the current Cultivate Fellowship are now closed. In the future, GAYA plans to offer the fellowship to implementers in other regions and in other languages. If you are interested in receiving updates on future cohorts, please sign up to receive our newsletter.

Can I apply as a single applicant?

GAYA is not accepting applications from individuals at this time. 

Can I apply as a group of three, rather than as a pair?

GAYA is open to reviewing applications from three individuals on a case-by-case basis. 

Can non-BHA funded programs apply?

GAYA will consider applications from USAID-funded programs that are not BHA-funded on a case-by-case basis. Given that GAYA is a USAID/BHA funded program, we are not currently in a position to offer fellowships to programs without funding from USAID or USAID/BHA. Future cohorts may include applicants from outside the USAID-funding pool. If you are interested in receiving updates on future cohorts, please sign up to receive our newsletter.

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