This time last year, we had launched the Digital Identity Fellowship and we were in the middle of accepting applications for our first cohort of Fellows. By the time the application window closed we had received over 120 applications from over 30 countries – the majority in the Global South – providing us with some fascinating insight into the kinds of challenges, issues and opportunities that mattered most to the people closest to them.
After a tough selection process Paz, Subhashish and Tshepo started their Fellowships last October and are now half-way through their work researching issues of human rights, exclusion and digital identity in Argentina, India and South Africa respectively. You can read more about their work and the progress they’re making here. Their latest Field Diary updates will be posted in the next couple of weeks.
Until COVID-19 hit we were planning to announce the 2020 Programme and begin the process of inviting applicants for the second cohort of Fellows. As a result of the uncertainty of the many lockdowns around the world, and uncertainty around how long it will take before we can return to some kind of ‘normal’, we have made the difficult decision to delay the launch of the 2020 Programme until later in the year. In the meantime, we will work closely with the current Fellows and support them as they pivot their research away from fieldwork and in-person interviews towards more remote work.
For those of you who were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to submit applications to the 2020 Programme, we’re sorry about the delay but hope you understand the thinking behind it. Please watch this space and look for further announcements in the autumn – and stay safe in the meantime.