2023 Local Pathways Fellowship| UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth)

Fellowships 2023 Local Pathways Fellowship| UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth)

Deadline: 01 February 2023

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth) announced the launch of the call for applications for the 2023 cohort of its Local Pathways Fellowship (LPF) program. The new edition of the program offers a refined curriculum and comprehensive networking opportunities for its fellows. 

I. Background

The Local Pathways Fellowship is one of the world's leading training and research programs on Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities for young urban leaders. It offers the knowledge and resources needed to empower them to take local actions for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda in their localities. The core component of the Fellowship is a practically-oriented training program that guides fellows through the development of a project of their choice - from local community initiatives to policy changes. The program is supported by multiple partners that contribute with their thought leadership, advisory, and access to opportunities - the SDG Cities Guide, MIT Solve, World Urban Campaign, Milan Urban Food Policy Act, UN-Habitat, Alliance for Peacebuilding, NASA and the World Federation of United Nations Associations are among them.

The LPF includes an online course, a mentorship program, visibility opportunities, connections with experts from the industry, and a strong peer-to-peer network of young urban leaders from around the world. With five cohorts comprising 450 fellows from 180 different cities worldwide, the program has successfully grown into a robust knowledge-sharing and city-level action network. 

The Local Pathways Fellows are leading not only in-depth research projects but also change on the ground. They are showcasing what can be done when youth urbanists from all over the world connect. Projects range from building toilets for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria to championing the creation of affordable menstrual hygiene-friendly spaces in India.

The 2023 cohort will be led by the new incoming Program Lead Phil Eke-Okocha. A sustainability and Peace advocate, his background combines conflict resolution and economic development. He has been part of the LPF for 3 years, first as a fellow and a content and training officer. He spearheaded the mentorship program and has a number of initiatives that he wants to bring into the LPF. Prior to this, He gained experience in climate conflict nexus, migration policy, and food security from his time at the Masters in Conflict Management and Humanitarian Action at the University of Siena. He is passionate about youth development and sustainable cities.

II. Eligibility

  • The Fellowship is open to talented and passionate early-career professionals and students between 18 and 30 years old, interested in deepening and expanding their understanding of sustainable urban development.
  • Successful applicants should have a minimum of one year of professional or academic experience in development practice, urban planning, community engagement, advocacy, architecture, or similar disciplines.
  • The chosen fellows should be able to commit 4-6 hours a week to the program from March to December 2023.
  • Candidates must be fluent in English and the local language of the cities they represent;
  • Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to and a solid understanding of the concept of sustainable development;
  • Candidates must have a stable internet connection;
  • A demonstrated background in research, development practice, advocacy or similar fields would be considered a strong asset.

III. Benefits

  • The fellows will benefit from global visibility and exposure as champions for sustainable urban development, numerous opportunities to develop their expertise, as well as access to our vast network of SDG professionals and advocates.
  • Being part of SDSN Youth and the Local Pathways Fellowship enables you to be at the forefront of efforts taken by the United Nations, governments, companies, and civil society in developing and leading a global movement for sustainable development and enables you to make an impact.
  • Being part of a movement of young people, who are committed to sustainable development and are being equipped with the necessary skills and tools to overcome key challenges and meaningfully contribute to the achievement of SDGs in communities.
  • SDSN Youth and the Local Pathways Fellowship enables you to build professional and personal relationships with high-level stakeholders in civil society, business, government, and the United Nations.
  • By joining the Local Pathways Fellowship, you will be part of a diverse and exceptional group of fellows with a variety of cultural, religious, and political backgrounds, committed to sustainable development.
  • The relationships you develop through SDSN Youth and the Local Pathways Fellowship could serve as a foundation for your future endeavors.
  • Supported by our global team of experts, you will progress rapidly in a challenging but flexible, fulfilling, and meaningful environment.
  • You may be selected to attend and/or speak at events
  • Your experiences will become central to our program ́s efforts and legacy.

IV. How to Apply?

  • Applications and additional information can be found HERE  
  • The 2023 Local Pathways Fellowship applications will be accepted from January 2  until February 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).
  • The selected fellows will be notified by February 26, 2023, and the Fellowship begins on March 1, 2023.

IV. About Local Pathways Fellowship

The Local Pathways Fellowship (LPF) was launched in 2016 in Quito at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) intended to build on the momentum around the adoption of the New Urban Agenda.

Each year, LPF brings together a network of young thought leaders, urban planners, sustainability practitioners, researchers, and innovators from more than a hundred cities across the world to advance local dialogue, collaboration, and problem-solving around Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) to make cities and urban settlements “smart, fair and sustainable''. 

The program, which is in its third year, offers a practically-oriented training program designed to enable young fellows to understand the process of “localizing” SDG 11 in the cities they represent and guide them through the development of their own projects. The latest 2022 cohort consists of 100 young urban innovators from 80+ different cities around the globe. For more, visit Local pathways Website

V. About Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (SDSN Youth) is the official youth initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Founded in 2015, the network currently has approximately 1000 member organizations in 85 countries, being coordinated by 26 regional centres, to support localization and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Working with partners from the UN, academia, civil society, business, and government, SDSN Youth trains and supports young leaders and organizations to tackle the most urgent problems in their communities and help shape a sustainable future. The core projects include programs on innovation and entrepreneurship, education, sustainable cities, and sustainable campuses, all designed to respond to community challenges through practical, structured, and science-based approaches. For more, visit SDSN Youth website

For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact: Bessy Thuranira, Deputy Project Lead, at [email protected]

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