For 2021, the theme of the Resilience Fellowship will be extortion and organized crime. Within this framework, Fellows will be asked to combine their various perspectives in the development of collaborative outputs, as well as to represent the Fund as Resilience Fund Ambassadors who will raise awareness of the theme, issues and the importance of civil society in countering organized crime.

This theme was selected because it is a long-standing core strategy and business model of organized criminal groups, but it is also an urgent and salient issue today, as it continues to violate human rights and fundamental freedoms. Extortion is frequently used as a strategy to spread terror within society. It is a motor of migration and displacement in many communities. For organized-crime groups, it is a tool of control and fear. According to the GI-TOC report A criminal culture: Extortion in Central America: ‘The damage caused by extortion is huge and widespread. It harms the economy of nations, the legitimacy of government and the social fabric of families and communities.’

Eligibility criteria

For the year 2021, a total of 10 Fellows will be selected.

These can represent the fields of journalism and media; activism; advocacy and community mobilization; the creative arts (including artists, writers, filmmakers and others); community leaders (religious, cultural or youth leaders); academia (researchers and scholars), and the public sector (policymakers). Individuals from other disciplines will be considered if their work is relevant to the Resilience Fellowship’s objectives and annual theme.

The Fellowship welcomes applications from individuals of any gender, ethnicity, age, religion, or any other defining factor, who work in communities affected by organized crime. The overall make-up of the 10 Fellows will be diverse and will reflect an equitable geographic and gender balance.

Selection criteria:
1. Participants should be from countries disproportionately affected by organized crime and/or from least developed countries (LDCs).
2. Participants should ideally work closely within communities severely affected by extortion related to organized crime, or have strong ties within them, and should have ongoing or established projects or engagement. The cross-border nature of issues relating to organized crime allows applicants working within a wider, non-geographic community to be considered on a case to-case basis. There is no requirement that the Fellow live in the community concerned.
3. Participants should be able to demonstrate how the funding and support will be used.
4. Participants who have direct experience in their communities’ issues, related to the annual theme, are particularly encouraged to apply.
5. Participants must be fluent in at least one of these three languages: Spanish, English and French.
Participants’ prior work should demonstrate a commitment to the ethics and values of the Resilience Fund.


  • Each fellow will receive US$15 000 (divided in three payments of US$5 000) to be executed with no other limitation than the principles of professionalism, integrity and transparency; the proposal presented in the application form; the terms and conditions of the Fellowship agreement, and the implementation of collaborative actions with other fellows.

Application Deadline: January 4th 2021

For More Information:

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