Call for Application: Investigative journalism fellowship

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Details / requirements:

Investigative journalism fellowship on infrastructure spending transparency

In an endeavor to enhance government transparency and accountability regarding the allocation of public funds for infrastructure projects in Nepal, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) seeks to bolster media initiatives aimed at raising public awareness and fostering a deeper comprehension of the matter. Additionally, the NDI aims to advocate for heightened government accountability in this regard.

To achieve these objectives, the NDI has initiated a financial transparency investigative journalism fellowship for a duration of six months. This fellowship program is designed to cultivate public awareness on areas including public budgeting and expenditure and procurement processes on infrastructure projects in Nepal by supporting investigative journalists in their efforts. Recognizing the pivotal role of the media in spotlighting and uncovering unethical practice, NDI aims to facilitate the dissemination of accurate, reliable, and contextually relevant information to the public.

The core focus of the financial transparency investigative journalism fellowship is to empower journalists to delve into stories related to government fund utilization, particularly concerning infrastructure projects at provincial and federal levels. Through these fellowships, NDI endeavors to promote a more informed and engaged citizenry, encouraging citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions.

Through a mixture of capacity building and mentorship, three fellows will be selected (in the first lot) and will be responsible for the following:

  • Investigating government spending from a transparency perspective, specifically as it relates to specific infrastructure development projects
  • Identifying legal gaps and loopholes, implementation bottlenecks, conflict of interest issues that impact project delivery, and more broadly keep the public informed and the government more accountable.
  • Publishing an agreed-upon number of stories based on the investigations as per the agreement reached between NDI and the journalist

Each fellowship will provide a fellowship award of NPR 200,000 -- disbursed in three tranches over six months -- to three chosen journalists to investigate and publish a previously-agreed upon number of stories as outlined in an agreement between the journalist and NDI. 

Fellowship eligibility criteria:

  • Should be a Nepali Journalist with at least five years of experience in journalism
  • 2 years of experience in investigative journalism
  • Journalists from various media platforms and agencies are eligible to apply. Full-time journalists and/or freelancers working for domestic or international news outlets are eligible (print, online, and/or broadcast)
  • Good understanding of political, economic and development landscape in Nepal
  • Must live and work in Nepal

To apply, please submit the following documents no later than September 29, 2023:

  • Brief Resume/curriculum vitae (not exceeding two pages)
  • A ‘pitch’ letter expressing your interest in the fellowship and highlighting your area of interest for investigation (not exceeding one page) in English or Nepali languages.
  • Two work samples, preferably related to financial transparency. (Can provide links)
  • Two recommendation names and contacts and/or letters from employer or media outlet confirming commitment to publish stories related to transparency on infrastructure spending.    

We strongly encourage applications from women and other minority groups to apply and encourage journalists working on a wide range of media platforms to apply (print, television, online, radio etc).

Send your complete application package to no later than September 29, 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further assessment, which may include an interview.

For further details, please contact NDI’s Nepal office by telephone at 01-4542079 (Ext: 218)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will be the deadline to submit applications for the fellowship?

The deadline is September 29, 2023 at 17:00 Nepal time.

2. What is the number of required fellows, and for how long is this fellowship?

NDI is currently looking for 3 fellows for a 6-month fellowship program.    

3. When will I hear back about my application? 

Fellows will be contacted within 3 weeks after the deadline.

4. Do the fellows have to move to Kathmandu?

The NDI office is in Kathmandu. However, fellows may remain based in their assigned location (Federal or Province) and make periodic trips to Kathmandu for meetings and any training.

5. What kind of story/ies should I pitch for the fellowship? 

The media plays an essential role in transparency initiatives, providing accurate, reliable, and contextual information to the public. Fellows' stories will contribute to a financial transparency investigative journalism program through fellowships aimed at investigating issues related to infrastructure spending and irregularities, including those concerning the National Pride Projects and the stories will act as vehicles for information sharing and advocacy. 

6. Are international journalists eligible for the program?

This program is for Nepali journalists working in Nepal.

7. What benefits are associated with the fellowship?

  • The fellows will receive support on investigative journalism best practice in the areas of anti-corruption, infrastructure spending and procurement monitoring.    
  • A total of up to NPR. 200,000 for each fellow. 
  • Travel expenses for meetings and workshops will be covered by NDI.


Category Media / Journalism, Development and Project, Development / NGO
Openings 3
Position Type Full Time
Experience Please check vacancy details.
Education Please check vacancy details
Posted Date 19 Sep, 2023
Apply Before 29 Sep, 2023
City Kathmandu