Our practitioner-in-residence program offers a tailored fellowship for practitioner partners to systematically reflect on their work and share lessons learned while also providing resources for exploratory research. Oftentimes practitioners, including those working for civil society, government, and social enterprise, are too busy implementing projects and putting out policy fires to take stock of what has happened or invest time into researching future opportunities. Our program provides time to capture learnings that could benefit others, and space to encourage real experimentation, especially on critical issues of government accountability and responsiveness. 

We welcome a diversity of practitioners working on topics of governance and political behavior, with a strong preference for mid-or early-career professionals living and working in the global south. This program is part of MIT GOV/LAB’s commitment to engaged scholarship as well as efforts to support exchange and learning between global north and south governance experts. 

In 2021, we welcomed Luke Jordan, Founder and Executive Director of Grassroot (South Africa) as the practitioner-in residence (intro Q+A). At MIT GOV/LAB, Jordan launched a guide for practitioners on building civic technology, translated into Spanish and soon Japanese, featured on the Stack Overflow podcast and presented at ccHub Nigeria, TICTeC, and the Open Gov Hub. He’s also exploring different ways artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) can advance democracy that will be shared in a white paper. In the first half of his fellowship, Luke audited two computer science classes at MIT and mentored an undergraduate research assistant.  

Each fellowship is tailored to support practitioner learning, research and writing goals. Appointments are made by invitation. 

Photo by Yuhan Du on Unsplash.