SEARCH FOR COMMON GROUND: Call For Applications: Media Fellowship

Fellows will be entitled to a monthly stipend for the duration of the Fellowship.

Job Description: Background

To contribute to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between Farmer and Herder communities in Adamawa state, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Search for Common Ground (Search) and Mercy Corps, with funding from the European Union, are implementing a project titled COMITAS (Contributing to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between farmer and herder communities in Adamawa State).

The consortium has designed a comprehensive and integrated approach that builds on the comparative strengths of each organization. IOM will build on its data collection experiences in northeast Nigeria and globally to implement a transhumance tracking tool to strengthen early warning systems. IOM will also build on its extensive policy engagements with the government of Nigeria, most notably with regards to the Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation programme and action plan. Search will build on its extensive work on early warning and response, trust-building through dialogue, and promoting positive perceptions through reliable information and peace messaging. Mercy Corps will capitalize on its trusted relationships with local stakeholders across Nigeria’s Middle Belt to continue to empower communities to prevent and respond to violence by strengthening collaboration on natural resource management.

Search’s Peace Architecture model, a successful model across its programming in Nigeria, Niger, and Mali, establishes interconnected, multi-stakeholder, and community-inclusive dialogue-to-action platforms. In Nigeria, these platforms operate at three levels of engagement: the community, local government area, and state levels. Each platform comprises relevant stakeholders within each level of engagement, where they convene to discuss and jointly address peace and security challenges. Since the platforms are established at the community, local government, and state levels, they are able to both address and respond to needs within each level, as well as coordinate among and between each other to share information and develop holistic responses to peace and security challenges.

These platforms are designed to support trust-building, collective action, and mutual accountability among diverse stakeholders for lasting change. Search regularly trains members of these platforms on the Common Ground Approach, conflict mediation, transformative dialogue, and conflict prevention and other capacities. These platforms are effective in addressing transhumance-related conflicts, where solutions require the participation of diverse stakeholders.

Youth Fellowship Objective

Specific Objective: Improved intra and inter-communal perceptions
The media plays an important role in shaping public opinion and can therefore be regarded as an influential factor in shaping Intra and inter-communal perceptions. However, reports on the conflict between farmer and herder communities are often subjective and lack the appropriate level of analysis. Furthermore, “fake news” has been on the rise, often fueling divisive narratives. In terms of COVID-19, this may lead to rumours or false accusations about the transmission of the virus. Therefore, this project will aim to improve Intra and inter-communal perception through unbiased reporting and peace messaging, including some basic messages about COVID-19 in case the need arises.

Result: Improved access to reliable public information
Activity: Support youth leaders in promoting peace through social media and film

Fake news” is particularly prominent on social media platforms and could play a detrimental role in the escalation of violence. To counter divisive narratives on social media, Search will identify youth leaders with a significant presence on social media and possess some level of influence in his/her community for a fellowship programme that will help create a “digital peace promoter” media hub. The selected youth leaders will be trained on transformative leadership, constructive social media presence, and non-violent communication. Following the training, which will be implemented in line with COVID-19 protocols, they will be provided with a monthly stipend and coaching to support the production of peace-promoting content on social media or other media outlets, including radio and television. With regards to the latter, Search will contract a film company to work with all youth leaders on a short film or documentary that integrates peaceful narratives and diverse voices promoting unity between farmer and herder communities. While the content and messaging of the product will be determined by the fellows, the film company will provide technical expertise to ensure that the production is done in a professional manner.

Search is now looking to select 20 passionate and motivated youth leaders to participate in the nine-month fellowship programme. This includes female youth, youth with disabilities, and youth in political positions, civil society organisations, and communities.


The 9-month Fellowship program will begin with a 7-day Induction training consisting of the following outline and more;
  1. Transformative Leadership
  2. Non-violent Communication
  3. Constructive Social Media Presence
  4. Hate Speech
  5. Technical skills
  6. Collaborations and Building relationships
  7. Conflict Sensitive Journalism
  8. Media Responsibility
This activity will begin a 9 month-long fieldwork, bi-monthly mentoring and coaching sessions. Search will also engage a professional filmmaker who will engage the fellows in the theoretical aspects of film making during the training.

The Fellows, with the technical guidance of the filmmaker, will produce a short film that will meet international standards. They will be required to meet with the consultant weekly for field/production work.

Fellows will be entitled to a monthly stipend for the duration of the Fellowship.


  • Digital Peace Promoter Hub: Based on their online skills and specialization, fellows will be assigned weekly tasks to meet their goals. These will include Podcasts, YouTube videos, radio and/or television productions etc. All tasks implemented will be documented in monthly reports submitted to the Search team at the end of every month.
  • Monthly Reports: Fellows will detail their tasks and how they were achieved. Challenges, innovations, and plans for the following month.
  • Bi-monthly Mentoring Sessions: Fellows will attend physical meetings with the Search team once every two months to follow up on their tasks, talk about their challenges and share ideas.
  • Field Work: Fellows will attend fieldwork to be coordinated by the film expert. They will support content development for the film whilst the consultant will provide technical expertise.



    • Please click on link to apply
The deadline for submission of applications is May 3, 2021.
As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website for full details of our work.

All Search Employees must adhere to the values: Collaboration- Audacity - Tenacity - Empathy - Results. In accordance with these values, Search enforces compliance with the Code of Conduct and related policies on Anti Workplace Harassment, Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Conflict of Interest and Anti-fraud. Search is committed to safeguarding the interests, rights, and well-being of children, youth and vulnerable adults with whom it is in contact and to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Search for Common Ground does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
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