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Mekong Connections: Supporting Governance, Transparency and Local Voices - Health Security Fellowship

Mekong Connections: Supporting Governance, Transparency and Local Voices - Health Security Fellowship

Date of Solicitation: July 7, 2021

Questions and Clarifications Due by: July 14, 2021 16:00 Bangkok time

Release date for response to all questions: July 20, 2021 Bangkok time

Submission of Application Date and Time: August 2, 2021 16:00 Bangkok time.

Expected Period of Performance: September 15, 2021 – June 14, 2022


  1. Introduction

Pact is a leader in building the capacity of non-government organizations, networks and intermediary organizations. Pact's mission is to help build strong communities globally that provide people with an opportunity to earn a dignified living, raise healthy families and participate in democratic life. Pact achieves this by strengthening the organizational and technical capacity of grassroots organizations, coalitions and networks, and by forging linkages between government, business, and citizens in order to achieve social, economic, and environmental justice.

With funding from the United States Department of State (State), Pact is implementing Mekong Connections: Supporting Governance, Transparency and Local Voices (Mekong Connections) a three-year program that seeks to strengthen civil society’s role in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Mekong-U.S. Partnership and focuses on governance and transparency in public decision-making in three areas:

  • Water and water-related ecosystems of Mekong, Ayeyarwady, and other rivers;

  • Combating conservation crimes, including wildlife and timber trafficking, illegal mining, and illegal fishing; and,

  • Improving health security: increasing the region’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, especially using the ‘One Health’ approach that recognizes the interdependence of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health.

Under Mekong Connections, Pact is launching the Mekong Connections Policy Fellows program, comprising a cohort of rising talent among early- and mid-career professionals focused on researching policy on a variety of subjects. Fellows will be paired with a mentor in the region from respected research or policy groups, to help them develop and expand their areas of research. Fellows also will have opportunities for peer-to-peer learning with each other via organized events held either in-person as conditions permit or online.

The primary objectives of the Mekong Connections Policy Fellowship are to:

  • enhance and develop regional networks to connect community perspectives and recommendations to central policy debates in the Mekong region and further support civic and policy leaders; and

  • share lessons learned and best practices on transboundary challenges in the Mekong.

Each fellow will be required to deliver three op-ed pieces or policy papers, of which all must include policy recommendation(s), to connect community perspectives to policy debate, and which can be published in reputable media outlets. Over the course of the Fellowship, pieces should cover topics at the community, national, and regional levels.

  1. Scope of Work

Produce three op-eds which aim to result in policy recommendations focused on improving the preparedness of local communities in early detection, response, and prevention of emerging infectious disease in the following areas:

  1. Mega-trends: Focusing on communities where land use change, migration, urbanization, agricultural expansion, or climate and environmental change are altering the interactions between humans and wildlife

  2. Human behaviors: Focusing on areas where legal wildlife consumption and eco-tourism, or illegal wildlife consumption and trafficking are contributing to increased human-wildlife interaction and increasing the risk of zoonotic spillover from wildlife

  3. Health system gaps: Focusing on areas where health surveillance or health care delivery are too limited to detect emerging infectious disease outbreaks

  4. Interactions: Focusing on the interplay between infectious disease and non-infectious health hazards, such as noncommunicable disease or environmental pollution

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Task 1: Participation in Fellowship cohort group activities and trainings

  • Task 2: Connection with and ongoing communication with mentor

  • Task 3: Op-ed 1

  • Task 4: Op-ed 2

  • Task 5: Op-ed 3

  • Task 6: Participate in end of year symposium



  • Op-ed 1

  • Op-ed 2

  • Op-ed 3

  • Symposium participation


All written publications should be in English. However, Fellows are also encouraged to submit policy recommendations and Op-eds in any local languages in addition to English.






Op-ed 1



Op-ed 2



Op-ed 3



Participation in end of year symposium





  1. Eligibility

  • Experience with research on policy on the topics noted above

  • Early- and mid-career professionals, at least 5 years of experience with a Bachelor’s degree or three years with a Master’s degree

  • Able to complete their proposed research within 9 months

  • Based in current geographic coverage where program activities will take place or prior experience in that area with the ability to quickly start up implementation

  • Applicants shall currently be from non-profit, civil society organizations, or other non-government organizations or capacities


While not required, applications from individuals who are currently enrolled in an existing scholarship, internship, or fellowship, (i.e. Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN), International Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), Regional Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians (FETPV), etc.), which leverages USG and international efforts to build technical capacity of researchers to bridge the gap between community voices and policy recommendations with scientific evidence will be positively viewed.


  1. Application Instructions

Fill out this application form electronically, (maximum of five pages) and send it by e-mail together with two letters of recommendation to Recruitment by July 14, 2021 16:00 Bangkok time.

Put "Mekong Connections Fellowship” and your name in the subject of the email.

First name:


Last name:


Date of birth (dd / mm / yyyy):




Full postal address of permanent residence:




Phone number:



Provide an abstract describing your project. The abstract should identify a health security issue that is prevalent in your local community and the Mekong region. You should describe the issue and how you envision developing a research project and providing policy recommendations to address the health security challenge. Your proposal should identify and provide policy recommendations for a local and transboundary health security challenge and describe how participating in this Fellowship will allow you to address the issue you have identified.


Describe your motivation for participating in this program and how it would enhance your research. Describe how your project would contribute to the public’s understanding of and connect to large health security challenges in the Mekong region.


Are you currently working with a mentor or have one in mind with whom you feel confident you can work with on your project? If so, please specify and provide their name and affiliation.


Describe your experience of involving your community around the issue of health security and how you might incorporate local perspectives as a part of your proposed research.


Describe your past experience participating in community leadership/engagement, civil society, or policy engagement training programs (if any). How will that past experience shape and enhance your project?


The Mekong Connections Policy Fellowship requires active participation and a substantial writing commitment, describe how you will you be able to combine participation in this program with your workload and other commitments?



Please attach or provide links to selected publications, op-eds, or research that are relevant (if any) to your application submission.



  1. Evaluation Criteria

Pact will evaluate applicants using the follow criteria:


Score (Out of 100 total pts.)

Quality of the application and ideas


Prospect of successful implementation


Relevance of current or past research


Experience working with local community, civil society, and/or leadership


Clearly expresses ideas or concepts to connect local health security challenges to broader regional policy discussions





  1. Terms and Conditions

A. Disclaimers

  • Pact reserves the right to modify by written notice the terms of this solicitation at any time in its sole discretion. Pact may cancel the solicitation at any time.

  • Pact may reject any or all proposals received.

  • Issuance of solicitation does not constitute award commitment by Pact.

  • Pact reserves the right to disqualify any quotation based on applicant’s failure to follow solicitation instructions.

  • Pact will not compensate applicants for their response to the solicitation.

  • Pact reserves the right to issue an award based on initial evaluation of applications without further discussion.

  • Pact may choose to award only part of the scope of work in the solicitation or to issue multiple awards the scope of work.

  • Pact reserves the right to waive minor proposal deficiencies that can be corrected prior to award determination to promote competition.

  • Pact may contact applicants to confirm information and that the proposal was submitted for this solicitation.

  • Pact may contact listed past performance references without notice to the applicant. Pact also reserves the right to contact other past performance information sources that the applicant did not list in the proposal.

  • By submitting a proposal, the applicant confirms they understand the terms and conditions.

  • Information pertaining to and obtained from the applicant as a result of participation in this solicitation is confidential. The applicant consents to the disclosure of the documents submitted by the applicants to the reviewers involved in the selection process. Please note that all reviewers are bound by non-disclosure agreements.



Contact :

ที่ปรึกษา / Consultantนักพัฒนาโครงการ / Creative content developerนักวิจัย / Researcher


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