Applications open for ODI Fellowship Scheme 2024

Deadline Date: April 30, 2024

Donor Name: ODI

Grant Size: $10,000 to $100,000

Applications are now open for the ODI Fellowship Scheme 2024 that provides host governments with highly qualified, early-career economists and statisticians and offers unique work experience to Fellows.

The ODI Fellowship Scheme gives early-career economists and statisticians the chance to work as civil servants on two-year contracts in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Western Balkans. The scheme provides host institutions in these countries with high-calibre professionals to fill pressing skills gaps, while offering Fellows the experience of working inside bureaucracies in a different country context to their own.

Fellowships are determined primarily by the needs of the scheme’s partners. The continued demand from governments for ODI Fellows, as well as the level of responsibility entrusted to them, is testament to the esteem the fellowship has earned in the 60 years since it was established.


  • How ODI Fellows benefit from the scheme
    • Personal development
      • Fellows gain valuable experience as civil servants. They learn about their host country, its policy landscape, and public sector service delivery in low- and middle income countries, as well as the challenges of receiving development assistance from bi- and multilateral donors. They gain new technical skills as they work with colleagues to fill skills gaps. Since it is practical in nature, the fellowship is highly valued by participants and their future employers.
    • International exchange
      • ODI Fellowships are also an opportunity for international exchange and lesson sharing between civil servants: some ODI Fellows bring experience of another civil service and many more go on to work in large bureaucracies, either at home or in third countries.
    • Future career opportunities
      • The scheme enjoys an excellent reputation and Fellows benefit from the prestige associated with the scheme. ODI Fellows have gone on to build successful careers in multilateral institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations), academia, the private sector, non-governmental organisations as well as their own country governments. Many choose to stay on in the country of their fellowship.
  • How host institutions benefit from the scheme
    • Responding to country needs
      • Fellows are part of a government or international organisation and, together with their colleagues, effectively identify the most pressing needs of the host organisation.
    • Tailored solutions
      • Because Fellows are embedded, they learn the relative strengths of their department and work together with their colleagues to tailor policies, models and ways of working that are practical and in line with the capabilities of the host institution.
    • Transferring skills
      • Fellows are only placed in host institutions where certain technical skills and thematic knowledge are currently missing. Through close collaboration over a two-year period, colleagues learn important skills and acquire knowledge from Fellows.
  • Compensation
    • Total compensation net of tax will amount to approximately £32,600 per annum in the first year and £34,600 in the second year. The compensation is inclusive of a housing allowance that varies according to cost of living in-country.

What ODI Fellows work on?

  • Most Fellows are employed in government ministries or agencies where they work as economists, planning officers or statisticians. Many Fellows work in the centre of government in ministries of finance or planning, revenue authorities, central banks and statistical offices. Others work in line agencies including ministries of trade and industry, agriculture, environment, health and education. Increasingly Fellows are also being placed in research organisations affiliated to government or regional organisations.
  • Work depends on needs, and as such, varies greatly between countries and even ministries. As a result, posts call for a diversity of economic, statistical and administrative skills.
    • Strengthening internal systems
      • ODI Fellows contribute to the ability of their department, ministry or country to deliver their mandates, through high-quality data management, the construction of macroeconomic models and indices, and setting up systems for organisational management.
    • Improved national and sub-national policies
      • ODI Fellows often make significant contributions to important analytical pieces of work which cover areas including: the provision of vital public services; analysing and designing regulatory policies; promoting economic development in key sectors; enacting climate adaptation reforms; and negotiating the terms of trade deals.
    • Strengthening networks and building coalitions
      • Fellows have helped to build the environment for future international investment and supported the membership process of international organisations including Vanuatu’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Rwanda’s membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
    • Improving the work culture of their office
      • By bringing a diverse set of values, new ideas and fresh perspectives, Fellows can have a positive effect on those around them.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Qualifications
    • The ODI Fellowship Scheme is open to candidates of all nationalities who have a master’s degree or PhD in economics, statistics or a related field.
    • Suitable specialised qualifications at postgraduate level include but are not limited to agricultural economics, environmental economics, international economics, health economics, development economics, and econometrics and statistics.
    • For those studying for a postgraduate degree at the time of application, the award of a fellowship is conditional upon the successful completion of the postgraduate degree.
  • Intellectual ability
    • A sound grasp of economic and statistical theory and the ability to apply that knowledge to real world problems
    • Data and information analysis to solve problems
    • Clear and concise written and verbal communication, especially translating complex technical ideas to non-specialists
  • Personal qualities
    • Resilience and problem-solving to drive change and to work independently
    • Interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity and political acumen to succeed within a diverse team, sometimes on politically sensitive topics
    • Patience and humility to learn about new contexts and accept advice
    • Adaptability and flexibility to navigate resource-constrained environments
  • Management and work-related skills
    • Strong organisational skills including prioritisation and delegation of tasks
    • Willingness to consult and advocate
    • Good time management
    • Ability to take initiative and work without supervision
    • Project management
    • Report writing
  • Applications are strengthened by a demonstrable interest in public policy, relevant work or voluntary experience and language proficiency (with English essential and French particularly advantageous) and strong IT skills.
  • They support and encourage applications from LGBTQ+ and disabled candidates. To ensure candidates are not placed in difficult, dangerous or impractical situations, they will ensure that all successful candidates are only offered suitable placements during the matching process.

For more information, visit ODI.

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