OAS Fellowship Program 2016

  • Online
  • For Certification
Starts the week of

May, 2016

Course ends on

November, 2016

Application Deadline

January 31, 2016

Goals of the coaching program for the Organization of American States’ Open Government Fellows:

  • To support the development of the open government projects carried out by the Organization of American States (OAS) Open Government Fellows with frameworks in agile and human centered project development, coaching and access to experts in the field.
  • To provide a space for peer-to-peer learning, feedback and sharing among Fellows that enhances network formation.

Course Description

The purpose of the Fellowship on Open Government in the Americas is to create a network of change agents that bring together government stakeholders from the public sphere, civil society and the private sector for a targeted knowledge transfer within the region and to foster regional cooperation and exchange on Open Government strategies and experiences across the Americas. The first cohort was comprised of 24 fellows from 16 countries.

Carried out in Spanish, the Fellowship starts with an initial online training course on open government carried out by OAS and then a one week retreat. This is followed by six months of coaching the teams working on group projects and finishes with another one week retreat.

The general pedagogic approach of the coaching program includes a Spanish speaking coach with expertise in governance and civic innovation who will run all the sessions. The curriculum will focus on taking projects from idea to implementation, with high-quality original or curated content from the best expert practitioners. Rigorous attention will be given to problem definition, proven to be one of the keys of success in innovation projects. Sessions will focus on equipping Fellows with the tools to become agents of change, whether or not they implement the specific project of the fellowship, by exploring how to overcome obstacles to implementation. Fellows will learn about human-centered and agile approaches to designing solutions.

Course Format

1 faculty-led session every month for 2 hours (one hour is with a guest expert and one hour is an all-group session); and a personalized schedule of peer-to-peer and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Course Duration: 24 weeks

More Information


Faculty Members

Beth Simone Noveck

Founder of The GovLab

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google.org, the GovLab strives to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately. The Jerry Hultin Global Network Visiting Professor at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she’s designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent, Data.gov, Challenge.gov and the Gov Lab’s Living Labs and training platform, The Academy. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi-Stakeholder Innovation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership. She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology. Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful, which has also appeared in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and in an audio edition, and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book Smart Citizens: Smarter State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck.

María Hermosilla

Research Fellow

Research Fellow Maria Hermosilla focuses her work on governance innovation in Latin America. At the GovLab, she does both research and project design and management.

She conducts research on how technology is transforming government. This has included work on the impact of innovations such as big and open data, crowdsourcing, people analytics, and public labs on executive and legislative institutions. She is a collaborator on the Smarter State case studies series, which focuses on how public institutions use new technology to accelerate learning, and she does ongoing work on mapping the skills and expertise gap in government.

Complementing her research, Maria has convened and moderated a GovLab online conference on CrowdLaw that brought together practitioners working on participatory lawmaking from 16 countries. She is also collaborating on efforts to convene another global online conference series on using technology and innovation to combat mosquito borne illness.

Her projects include working with GovLab’s engineering team on the design and implementation of Network of Innovators, the bilingual skill-sharing network for government and civic innovators worldwide. In that capacity, she works with public sector partners to promote use of such platforms to accelerate learning, including organizing workshops and training in Mexico and the UK.

An experienced facilitator and trainer, Maria has designed and led the GovLab’s coaching program for the Organization of American States Open Government Fellows, working with government officials and nonprofit leaders across the Americas to help them take public interest projects from idea to implementation. She also helped lead the GovLab’s online lab design coaching program and collaborated in curriculum design and implementation of a GovLab-United States Department of Agriculture open data summer camp.

Prior to the Govlab, Maria worked in national government in Chile, leading the redesign of citizen information services and open data efforts at the Ministry of Public Works. She also designed public consultations and led the digitalization of services. Before going into the public sector, Maria worked in television as a producer, reporter and assistant director and served as a freelance correspondent for NPR.

A native Spanish speaker, Maria has a Master of Public Administration at New York University, where she studied public and nonprofit management with an emphasis on design thinking, data science and participatory policymaking.

Her writings can be found on the GovLab’s blog and on Governing. She can be found on twitter at @mphermosilla.

Still hungry for more information?

Send us an email at info-academy@thegovlab.org