Democracy Fellow, Conflict and Violence Prevention

Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 06

Position description

The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from qualified individuals for a full-time Democracy Fellow in Conflict and Violence Prevention (CVP) to serve within the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation in USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA/CMM). IIE manages the Democracy Fellows and Grants (DFG) Program for USAID. The appointment is for approximately seven months, to be concluded on February 28, 2020. The Democracy Fellow will be hired as a full-time, salaried employee, with benefits.


The relationship between conflict and violence is complex and requires thoughtful programming for an appropriate and enduring USAID response. The CVP Fellow will provide technical expertise and recommendations on the formulation of USAID’s policy, analysis, strategy, and programming that effectively integrates and/or aligns conflict mitigation and violence prevention approaches, lessons and practice.  The objective is to elevate DCHA/CMM’s leadership in both conflict and violence prevention.


DCHA/CMM provides technical advice on programs and policies to respond to the causes and consequences of conflict, fragility, and violence to all parts of USAID, other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and international partners (including other donors and civil society), with the objective of maximizing the effectiveness of USAID programs. DCHA/CMM provides leadership on designing and implementing fragility-aware, conflict-related and conflict-sensitive programming through technical assistance to USAID field missions and other operating units, applied research and analysis, training and information dissemination, and donor engagement and coordination. DCHA/CMM links rigorous analysis to its assistance in strategy, program, and activity design, combining country and regional conflict assessments with practical guidance for program implementation. DCHA/CMM also spearheads policy articulation regarding the role of development vis-à-vis conflict, fragility, and peacebuilding, as well as policy application not only within USAID, but among other US government agencies and the broader international community. In addition to providing direct field-based technical assistance, DCHA/CMM manages specialized grants, cooperative agreements, inter-agency agreements, and contracts in support of country and regional programs. DCHA/CMM will be part of the proposed Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization (CPS) which will strengthen the USAID’s capacity to prevent conflict, address fragility, respond to global crises in a more strategic, integrated way, and act as a stabilizing force in times of transition. See CPS Bureau for additional information.


Historically, USAID has bifurcated its treatment of conflict and violence, resulting in differing strategies, approaches, language, and tools. In today’s complex world, conflict and violence are increasingly symbiotic: criminality contributes to and manipulates conflict drivers; at-risk youth are recruited for intrastate wars; gangs profit from the spoils of war. While USAID has significant expertise in both conflict and violence prevention, there has been little cross-sectoral learning and the two communities within USAID remain distinct, sometimes to the detriment of programming. As DCHA/CMM prepares to transform into the proposed Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention envisioned as part of the proposed Bureau for CPS, the timing is ideal to develop a framework for understanding where the fields of violence prevention and conflict prevention converge, diverge, or are mutually reinforcing. The Fellow will work with DCHA/CMM’s Policy and Field Support teams to conceptualize a coherent approach to conflict and violence prevention that also aligns with other Agency priorities such as the Journey to Self Reliance (, fragility, conflict sensitivity, stabilization and peacebuilding. 


The Fellow’s principal tasks, in priority order, will be to:

  1. Map USAID’s violence prevention programming.  Violence prevention is a broad concept that includes efforts to avert or interrupt interpersonal and group-based violence (including gangs), and violent crime. USAID’s violence prevention activities include tailored efforts on citizen security, countering violent extremism, counter-transnational organized crime (including human and wildlife trafficking), gender-based violence, community policing, anticorruption, and children in adversity, among others, as well as more general work on governance, security and justice. USAID’s various working groups, technical offices and the CVE Sector Council have collected data on topical or region-specific violence prevention programming; however, there no centralized tracking effort.  This task will result in a centralized map, database or other information management tool.  This work will be supported through an existing knowledge management agreement.
  2. Develop and implement a learning agenda that helps link violence and conflict prevention. In addition to providing first-class field support on conflict, the proposed Center for CVP will need to help the Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization (CPS), missions and regional bureaus anticipate, prevent and respond to the impact of interpersonal and collective violence on their constituents and portfolios. It will need to develop cross-sectoral approaches, including education, health, and governance, among other areas, and will need to facilitate learning across related disciplines, such as citizen security and CVE.  Building on the mapping exercise, the fellow will develop a year-long workstream to identify policy and programming priorities, elucidate areas for Bureau-level and Agency-wide coordination, and define research requirements.  Day to day tasks may include drafting statements of work (SOWs), developing guidance notes or other technical products, defining research questions, conducting requests for information (RFIs), conducting fieldwork, convening technical experts, training staff and other tasks as required.
  3. Conduct independent research. Undertake empirical research and analysis that will improve the way USAID delivers conflict and violence prevention programming. Illustrative thematic or process-based topics might include an epidemiological approach to violence prevention; risk and protective factors to prevent violent extremism; or an analysis of USAID’s Conflict Assessment Framework for opportunities to incorporate violence prevention, 
  4. Provide technical guidance and advice.  Review, synthesize, and provide feedback and recommendations to USAID project managers on draft technical reports, analytical papers, and other deliverables related to conflict and violence prevention.


  • U.S. Citizenship and ability to obtain a Secret level security clearance is required.
  • Full-time Democracy Fellows must not have worked inside USAID as a technical professional (Direct-Hire, Non-Direct Hire, PSC) for more than five years, cumulatively.
  • Availability to travel internationally for eight to ten weeks during the hiring period is required.
  • Advanced degree in political science, international relations, international development, conflict mitigation, peacebuilding, or a related field is required.
  • At least five years of hands-on experience in designing, implementing, and/or evaluating international development programs involving conflict, violence prevention, citizen security, children in adversity, crime prevention, CVE, gang prevention or the like is required.
  • Demonstrated skills in translating research findings into strategic or programmatic recommendations for development assistance implementing partners and related stakeholders is required. 
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills are required.  These include the ability to foster relationships and coordinate the learning and expertise of multiple organizations engaged in work related to fragility, conflict mitigation/prevention, conflict sensitivity, and peacebuilding.
  • Knowledge of computer software, including Word, Excel, and Windows (as well as general familiarity with networked computer systems) is required.
  • Field experience in developing countries affected by conflict and/or fragility is preferred.
  • Previous experience with USAID programming is preferred.
  • Working proficiency in a foreign language is preferred.

Application instructions

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