Frequently Asked Questions about the Campaigner Fellowship

How do I apply?

First go to www.amandla.mobi/fellowship and read the information about the Fellowship carefully. If you have questions, carefully read all the FAQs below to check your question is not answered below. When applications open in 2021 you will be able to access the application form online. You will also be able to download a word version of the application to work on offline.

Is there a part-time option? Can I come to some of the training?

We often get questions like these:

I work full-time but I really want to be involved can I come to some of the training?

I’m not based in Gauteng, when will you run this Fellowship near me?

Even if I don’t get into the Fellowship, can I volunteer and come sit in the training sessions?

I want to do the Fellowship but i’m studying at the moment. Is that a problem?

I want to do the Fellowship but during the fellowship, I will have to be away for two weeks. Is that a problem?

amandla.mobi’s long term goal is to provide training resources that any of our members across Mzansi can access and use to run better campaigns. At the moment we don’t offer training resources outside of the Campaigner Fellowship, but we are working hard to change this, but it will take time for this to happen because we need to secure the resources necessary.

The Fellowship is completely full-time and there are only six spots available. We actually don’t have enough room in our office and the training will be run almost every day so unfortunately, we don’t have space for others to sit in on the training sessions. 

As amandla.mobi grows, we will be prioritising finding ways for us to provide members with training resources and greater support to run better campaigns.

If you are studying full-time and need to attend classes, this will affect your participation. If you were studying part-time and in the evenings, you could still apply and be accepted so long as your participation from 9am to 5pm for the full four months of the fellowship is not affected.

The Fellowship has a very full curriculum. If you miss just three days it means you could be behind the other fellows.

Who is amandla.mobi?

amandla.mobi is an independent, community advocacy organisation that seeks to build a more just and people-powered Mzansi. We do this through our work, which aims to turn every cell phone into a democracy building tool, so that those most affected by poverty, violence and corruption – Black women from low-income backgrounds – can organise in numbers that hold power to account. Learn more about us here: https://amandla.mobi/about/

Why is amandla.mobi running a Campaigner Fellowship Programme?

amandla.mobi is working to help amplify the voices of Black women and gender non-conforming people from low-income backgrounds. We believe too few organisations are led by or have Black women and non-binary people in management positions. There are also limited training and coaching opportunities in campaigning, especially digital campaigning, available for Black women.

In order to change this, amandla.mobi secured funding to run a Campaigner Fellowship Programme that is investing time and resources into building the skills of Black women so they can run even better campaigns.

What does the Campaigner Fellowship involve?

The Campaigner Fellowship has been designed to give you practical experience through hands on training and coaching in order to run at least 3 real world campaigns during the course of the Fellowship. The Campaigner Fellowship programme involves:

– Receiving best practice training from amandla .mobi staff, partners and external experts.

– Working with and learning from other Campaigner Fellows over the 4 months of the Programme.

– Receiving some one-on-one coaching from amandla.mobi staff.

– You will be trained in how to do power mapping, where you analyse the nature of power between decision makers in government and the private sector, and Black women and gender non-conforming people from low-income backgrounds. You will use this power analysis to design campaigns to build people power and win victories for justice.  

– You will identify campaign opportunities by monitoring national and local news, social media and looking at information from amandla.mobi members and partners for potential campaigns. Campaigns must address issues that directly or indirectly affect Black women from low-income backgrounds.

– You will apply your training and coaching by pitching campaign ideas to the amandla.mobi team. If your campaign idea has a good analysis of power, and provides amandla.mobi members with an opportunity to take collective action to ensure a decision maker implements the campaigns demand, your campaign may be approved and you can begin implementing your campaign.

– During the design phase of your campaign, you spend time researching the decision maker who has the power to address the issue, and determine a realistic but impactful ‘ask’ of the decision maker to change their policy, practice or budget in a way that will have a real impact on Black women from low-income backgrounds. As part of your campaign design you will identify what collective actions could be taken by amandla.mobi members, and ensure members understand why there is an opportunity to take action at this specific moment, to create change.

– Next you will start writing campaign copy (text) for the amandla.mobi site, SMS, USSD and social media, and work with others to translate this text into multiple languages before it is broadcast to amandla.mobi database of members, letting them know why the campaign is important, and what actions they can take. You will receive training and coaching in campaign communications, as well as how to use amandla.mobi’s tech tools.

– As part of running your campaign, you will use different actions and tactics to build public pressure on the decision makers to agree to the campaign demands. The starting point of most campaigns is for people to sign a petition; other tactics include recruiting others, making a public submission, crowdfunding for a campaign tactic such as an advert, gaining media attention, or organising events such as protests, meeting with decision makers etc.

– As campaigns you run progress and amandla .mobi members take different actions, you will be in charge of delivering signatures to the decision maker and monitoring whether the decision maker agrees to the campaign demands or not. If the decision maker ignores the campaign or refuses to implement the demands, it will be your job to identify new strategies to win the campaign. As the campaign unfolds you will write and send campaign updates to amandla.mobi members to keep them engaged.

– At the end of each campaign, you will do an evaluation of what worked and what didn’t work with the campaign, and share your learnings with other Campaigner Fellows.

– As part of the Fellowship you may be involved with different campaign tactics, such as going out in groups of two and speaking to people face to face about campaigns and collecting signatures, organising communities, planning and running protests and meeting with decision makers.

– While you will spend a lot of time working on your own campaign, as a Campaigner Fellow you will also work with amandla.mobi staff on existing amandla.mobi campaigns to gain more experience as a campaigner.

In addition to the above training, coaching and hands-on work experience, you will also receive training in the following areas:

– Training in how to use different tech platforms. This technical training involves following instructions carefully and learning some basic HTML coding.

– Design and content creation skills. This will involve basic design skills, effective communication strategies and how to use social media as a tool.

– Media training and engagement. This training will help prepare you for media interviews (TV, radio and print) as well as writing press releases and opinion pieces.

– Briefings on different issues and policies amandla.mobi is campaigning on.

Is there an age limit for applicants to the Campaigner Fellowship?

All applicants must be over the age of 18 as of 22 December 2019. You can be any age (there is no maximum age limit), you just must be over the age of 18. 

I have another commitment for part of the Fellowship

I have another commitment during the Campaigner Fellowship and will have to be away for 4 days, is this a problem?

The Fellowship involves intensive training and coaching, and Fellows are expected to attend every day of the programme. If you have travel, work, exams, classes or any other commitment which clashes with the Campaigner Fellowship you will be disqualified. The Campaigner Fellowship is a structured, hands on training programme and can not be done part-time.

The structure of the Fellowship programme also means you cannot catch up on training, coaching or work in the evenings or over weekends. We can not repeat training sessions.

I don’t have a laptop/computer

Campaigner Fellows will have access to a laptop/computer at the amandla.mobi office for the duration of the Campaigner Fellowship.

I don’t have data to do the practical exercises

Applicants for the Campaigner Fellowship who successfully pass round 1 (online application and practical exercise) and are sent the timed practical exercise (round 2) will receive 250mb data to complete this round.

Applicants for the Campaigner Fellowship who successfully pass round 2 (timed practical exercise) and move on to round 3 will also receive data to complete the next exercise.

I’m worried I won’t have enough transport money to get to the interview

If I pass round 4 of the application process, I’m worried I won’t have enough money to travel to Johannesburg for the in-person interview at the amandla.mobi office.

Applicants who make it to the final stage of the application process (round 5) and are invited to the in person interview and who needs assistance with transport, will be provided with transport money. However, if you are based outside of Gauteng we are unfortunately unable to assist with transport costs.

Will transport costs be covered during the Fellowship?

amandla.mobi is unable to cover transport costs, but Campaigner Fellows will receive a stipend of R7 500.00 per month.

Why does amandla.mobi use digital tools as part of their campaigns?

amandla.mobi is just one community among many across Mzansi who are fighting for social justice. Whether it’s someone raising awareness about TB, a community organisation that challenges young men not to objectify women, or an NGO taking legal action to stop forced evictions, amandla .mobi is among them, fighting for justice. We all have different approaches; some of us collect evidence of an injustice and try get media coverage. Others do research, make policy recommendations and run workshops. We each have a role to play. amandla.mobi’s approach to social justice is to build public pressure (with the help of our members and allies) to help force decision-makers to make pro-Black, pro-women and pro-poor decisions. To build public pressure we communicate and coordinate different tactics such as petitions, public submissions, protests, media interviews and the like.

Those who have struggled for justice have always used whatever tools or resources they have. When the printing press became more accessible it allowed activists to distribute information faster than by word of mouth. Digital technology has allowed us to use SMS, USSD, WhatsApp, social media, emails and the internet to take real world action faster and at scale. Now instead of posting a public submission or traveling to a community to collect signatures, we can send information faster and at less cost. Using digital tools, amandla.mobi has worked to ensure that no matter where you live, what language you speak, or what issue you care about, we can use digital technology to help build people power.

I have a question not answered here about the Fellowship

Enquiries about the Campaigner Fellowship may be sent to [email protected] Please note, emails which are not inquiries but instead are applications where a CV is attached will be disregarded. The only way to submit an application is through the online application form.

I don’t have experience with…. should I still apply?

The key three things we are looking for, and you will be tested on through practical exercises is:

1) Good writing skills.

2) Can learn how to us technology quickly (navigate websites, research online, google how to do something, etc.).

3) Have experience in community organising/ campaigning. Examples of community organising include joining a group of people to try address an issue in your local community, where you studied or even took part in a national campaign.But, if you do not have a lot of experience with one of these areas, you should still think about applying after reading the online application, especially section 6. If after reading what the questions are in the online application, and reading this guide to the campaign pitch practical exercise, if you feel you could demonstrate what it takes to be a Campaigner Fellow, then you should consider applying.

I can be disqualified for plagiarism. What is plagiarism?

What we’re looking for in a Campaigner Fellowship is someone who can google and research things. To start you off we recommend visiting https://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-plagiarism