The Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program is calling for applications of Harvard graduate students to contribute substantively to Powering Up: A Ministerial Roundtable for Human Development Policy Innovation to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa toward the end of November 2018.

The Ministerial Roundtable will include participation by approximately 15 serving ministers of finance, economic planning, health, education and youth (who are ‘alumni’ of the Harvard Ministerial Program) together with about the same number of young African leaders. The purpose of youth engagement in the Ministerial Roundtable is to shine a light on the contemporary African youth experience with the aim of spurring innovation in human development policy to tackle major current challenges facing young Africans in employment and income generation; education access, attainment and outcomes; as well as productive quality of life, social mobility and economic prospects. Cross-cutting themes will include the changing nature of work; equitable economic opportunity for women; and the role of technology in advancing human development opportunity.

The Ministerial Roundtable will combine a series of informational sessions and site visits with human development policy innovation workgroups. The goal is to produce a comprehensive set of policy options that can inform policy making generally. In addition, each participating minister will be expected to develop a person policy innovation agenda and a high-level plan for implementation following the Roundtable.

In the months ahead of the Roundtable, Student Rapporteurs will be expected to conduct extensive background research to inform the efforts of the policy working groups. Dependent on performance during this first phase of the assignment, Student Rapporteurs will travel to Johannesburg to document the deliberations of the policy working groups during the Roundtable.

Skills Required:
Strong research and writing skills with attention to detail are essential, as well as professional working habits including ability to meet tight deadlines. The ideal candidate will have some familiarity with the economic and socio-political challenges facing Africa. Doctoral or advanced master’s students preferred. Fluency in French or Portuguese a plus.

Students will be reimbursed for their research work in advance of the Roundtable a rate dependent on experience. In addition, roundtrip travel to Johannesburg, accommodation, meals and all other expenses related to participation in the Ministerial Roundtable will be paid by the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program.

Application Process:
All applications should be sent to: The following information must be included with the application:

  • CV
  • Writing sample demonstrating background research and analytical skills
  • Two personal references

Applications must be received before September 15, 2018