Launch: NEW Fellowship Programme on Democratic Governance

UNDP and Fafo partner for research on Governance in Egypt

The first Democratic Governance Fellow, Dr Shahjahan Bhuiyan, a scholar and professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC). Photo: AUC

Oslo, 4 July 2013: Effective policies in democratic governance require solid, bold and relevant research. UNDP’s Oslo Governance Centre (OGC) prides itself in partnering with institutions which make this possible, building on its global network of country offices, civil society organisations and think tanks. In line with vast experience with innovation, the OGC launched a new Fellowship Programme which aims to produce cutting-edge, relevant knowledge on democratic governance and foster the mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise between policy research institutions in Norway and in developing countries.


The Fellowship programme aims to invite development practitioners and policy researchers to Norway to spend a number of months at the OGC or a hosting partner institution in a mutual exchange of information, knowledge and expertise on issues related to specific areas of democratic governance.

The first Fellow, Dr Shahjahan Bhuiyan, a scholar and professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC), has just arrived to Oslo and will be hosted at Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies to carry out research on governance trends in Egypt, focusing on the period after the first popular revolution in that country two years ago. Fafo is an obvious partner for the OGC in taking on this first Fellowship.


“Fafo has carried out research related to living conditions and political reform and mobilisation in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East for more than 20 years”, explains Jon Pedersen, Managing Director at Fafo. “Through his focus on governance in Egypt, Shahjahan Bhuiyan will be enriching that portfolio, and enable Fafo researchers to gain more insight and links to the processes currently unfolding in Egypt and the. At the same time, this cooperation with UNDP Oslo Governance Centre strengthens Fafo’s research into governance issues,” he continues. Upon Dr Bhuiyan’s completed fellowship, results from the research will be presented at a joint event, and the Fellowship will be carefully assessed for mutual wins between Fafo, UNDP and the AUC.


“We are pleased with this first ever institutional partnership between the OGC and Fafo and the AUC”, says OGC Director, Heba El-Kholy. “We aim to build on this experience and hope to expand the Fellowship in 2014, possibly extending it to institutions in other Nordic countries, as well. These kinds of innovative partnerships make OGC more relevant as a global knowledge hub on democratic governance, and enhances UNDP's capacity as a knowledge broker and knowledge based organization”, she concludes.


Gert Danielsen, Democratic Governance Specialist:, tel (+47) 96 75 78 10.

Fafo develops and disseminates knowledge about changes in living and working conditions, societal participation, democracy and development in a range of social and economic settings. Their ambition is to contribute to processes of social and economic development based on rigorous ethical and scientific standards. Fafo, organised in two institutes, the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research and the Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, supplies decision makers and organisations, nationally as well as internationally, with critical and action-oriented research on working life and social policy. Their origins lie in the Norwegian trade union movement and Fafo today engages with policy makers in government, business, trade unions and international organisations in Norway, Europe and beyond.


The Oslo Governance Centre (OGC) is part of the Democratic Governance Group in UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy. It was established in 2002 as a global centre of excellence designed to provide support to the practical and operational work of UNDP in assisting partner countries in developing more democratic and effective forms of governance for sustainable peace and development and contributing to regional and global policy debates and emerging governance issues. In 2012, in response to demand and emerging governance realities, and building on its expertise in governance assessments and analysis, the OGC launched a new stream of work on the governance of political transitions.