Kenya’s Christopher Momanyi is among 25 people awarded Fellowships to attend and participate at ICANN’s Policy Forum at the 56th Public Meeting in Helsinki, 27-30 June 2016. The individuals all have previous Fellowship and ICANN Community experience.
Christopher Momanyi who is currently a Faculty Manager at Strathmore University will join the Fellowship program which is one of the avenues through which ICANN seeks to support the next generation of community members, and part of the organisation’s Development and Public Responsibility Department.
Apart from Momanyi, other Africans in the Fellowship are Christian Mulola (Rwanda), Guylaine Mootoo (Mauritius), James Mutandwa Madya (Zimbabwe), Ahmed Eisa (Sudan) and Charne Le Roux (South Africa).
The Fellowship program seeks to create a broader and more regionally diverse base of knowledgeable constituents by reaching out to less developed regions of the world in order to build capacity within the ICANNMultistakeholder Model. Participation in the program at an ICANN Meeting is a “fast track” experience of engagement into that community model, with presentations designed to facilitate understanding of the many pieces and parts of ICANN while providing opportunities to network and promoting interaction with staff and community leaders.
ICANN is undergoing a review regarding the criteria associated with determining candidate eligibility for a Fellowship Application. Currently it is a means-tested program: applicants must either be citizens of eligible countries listed in the World Bank classification as low, lower-middle, and upper-middle economies, or listed in one of the three (3) UN groupings of developing and least developed nations: the AIMS, Pacific and Caribbean which are all Members of SIDN and eligible for consideration in the Program. The UN Listing of SIDN is based on distinctly different criteria that stretch beyond the World Bank’s economically deterministic view.
Individuals selected into the program through the online application and review process are each is provided with a grant of support that covers the cost of economy class airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients are expected to engage prior to, during and after the ICANN meeting with the ICANN Fellowship office and alumni coaches, as well as actively contribute to ICANN processes and be a part of the next generation of ICANN volunteers and leaders when the program ends.
The program is targeted at individuals who are either new to the ICANN environment, are familiar with ICANN but have yet to attend a face-to-face meeting, or have started participating in ICANN through the program or by other means but are in need of travel funding in order to broaden their knowledge and deepen their engagement. Candidate backgrounds are diverse – government, the ccTLD community, civil society, academic, technical, and security, commercial and non-commercial sectors.
Fellowships are awarded by an independent selection committee based on a mix of criteria including applicant experience and references, geographic proximity to meeting, receipt of past fellowships among other considerations.