THE Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with Ford Foundation has justified the impact and value fellowship programmes have on marginalised communities.
The report titled: Transformational Leaders and Social Change: IFP Impacts in Africa and the Middle East, is part of 10-year alumni tracking study of the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program (IFP), the single largest programme commitment in its history, in which $420 million was invested.
It also provides important insights into the personal, organisational, community and societal impacts IFP programmes in Kenya, Nigeria, Palestine and South Africa.
In Kenya, the programme featured 126 fellows comprising 60 women and 66 men, pursuing degrees under the umbrella of social justice. 27 per cent took up studies in international development, 21 per cent opted for studies in education, nine per cent for public health and eight per cent settled for environmental science.
According to the report, the programme has provided IFP alumni with important experiences of fairness in the socio-economic processes they had been through. For some, the experience opened their eyes to the fact that they had all along been victims of injustices.
While commenting on the report, Ford Foundation’s Regional Director for East Africa, Maurice Makoloo, said: “This study confirms that when every person irrespective of their background is provided with an equal opportunity as the next person, they develop their talents to incredibly high levels.
“Ultimately, the investment in these individuals empower them to make significant contributions to advance society. In many cases, IFP fellows were the first people in their families and local communities to obtain post-graduate degrees and in some cases to obtain any degree at all,” Mokoloo said.
Head of Research and Evaluation and Learning, International Institute of Education (IIE), Mirka Martel, while reacting to the reports said: “Our approach goes beyond the self-reported accounts of the programme beneficiaries and goes directly to the communities that have been affected”.
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