Global Change Leaders program

July 6 to August 24, 2022

Applications for the program are now closed.

The Global Change Leaders Program is a seven-week education program offered by Coady Institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership. This program enables participants identifying as women from developing countries to strengthen their leadership capacities in order to contribute towards a feminist and just world. Program participants engage in at the conceptual, policy level and praxis of understanding development, justice and feminism.

The Global Change Leaders program provides successful candidates with a full bursary that includes tuition, travel, accommodations, and meals. Approximately 20 individuals will be chosen to take part in this year’s program.  Successful participants are responsible for costs pertaining to acquiring a visa to enter Canada as well as provide proof of vaccination prior to taking part in the program.

Program participants will also benefit from the guidance and mentorship of accomplished women leaders in Canada and from around the world.  A core team of faculty in the International Centre for Women’s Leadership and other Coady faculty and associates will lead this program.

About the Program

Established in 2011, the International Centre for Women’s Leadership at Coady International Institute has been instrumental in facilitating a process of leadership, socialist and feminist justice from the subjecthood of the most dispossessed communities. Through active participation with the people’s organizations, civil society and through this process, the Centre aims to achieve a feminist just world.

In 2022, the Global Change Leaders program will focus on providing activists/learners with feminist lenses through which to analyze politics and processes that shape everyday lives. It will include a focus on building institutions/discourses that are aimed towards socio-economic-political and ecological just world order. Further, the program will allow for greater understanding of the co-constitutive nature of politics; the various ways in which actors bring about or resist change and the various ways in which dominant institutions shape the nature of actors’ behavior through the construction of rules, norms and policies, one of the primary engagements of feminist scholarship.

Feminist Perspectives on Change

Building community leadership and institutional capacity has been an important process in the trajectory of the feminist learning and leadership. Recent work in the field of feminist leadership development has moved towards more dynamic conceptions of institutional change, emphasizing the subtle and often gradual ways in which institutions evolve over time due to both exogenous and endogenous factors. The tenet of ‘Personal is political’ represents the spectrum of challenges starting from the home, to all the institutions one comes across. This course is geared towards a feminist analysis and strategizing towards creating equitable institutions.

This course will also deepen our understandings of power and power analysis as another intractable issue in feminist scholarship. It, further, deepens the dialogue through analyzing external ongoing milieu, political conflict and contestation.

Feminist Leadership Ethos

Given that feminist leadership engages in the way institutions shape, and are shaped by the political, economic and social forces within which they are embedded, the notion of leadership will be unpacked to enable the participant to better assess some of the core questions of the values and principles of feminism. Further, through the use of participatory tools, the course aims to engage in factors influencing stability and change in political life, the development and impact of laws and policies, and the nature of the relationship between social movement actors and formal political institutions.

Evolving An Institutional Pedagogy of the Oppressed

The Global Change Leaders program will build understanding and perspective on society, structure, culture, polity and ideologies shaping social justice; understanding and perspective on economy, development and politics; understanding feminism, power and patriarchy.

The theories included in the sessions pertain to understanding the socio-political structures as institutions of society, polity and the origin of exclusion. It starts from the development of society, how it was barbaric during the early evolution, then development of the society slave, feudal and at present, capitalist. A socialist economy where the goods and services are produced directly for use, in contrast to a capitalist economic system which thrives on exploitation of the oppressed, are also brought forward for discussion amongst the participants since we are increasingly made to believe that ‘There is No Alternative’.

Program Eligibility

This program is for leaders identifying as women from developing countries who are working on development issues.   These are leaders who:

  • Possess a minimum of five years of demonstrated leadership experience in a social or economic development endeavor in sectors such as livelihoods or inclusive economic development, food security, environment, access to education and health care, governance, socio-political-ecological engagement of women and the rights of girls and women;
  • Will be immediately returning to their community and sector following the program to put their learning into practice;
  • Have great drive and passion for their work, demonstrated through their outstanding contributions in their organizations and communities;·
  • Are practitioners in civil society organizations including community based organizations and not for profits, or active in public or private institutions, donor/philanthropic agencies, social movements or in a social enterprise/business;
  • Hold a combination of post-secondary education and experience; and
  • Have strong oral and written English language competencies.

Candidates must be from a country eligible for Official Development Assistance.

For 2022, priority will be given to eligible candidates whose identity is closely associated with dispossessed communities in their context.

Program Schedule and Components

For 2022, the Global Change Leaders Program consists of two main components:

  1. July 6 – August 24, 2022: an on-site intensive course at the Coady International Institute in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada where a collaborative relationship is fostered among facilitators and participants to draw out lessons and insights from their rich and diverse experiences. This consists of:
    1. A foundation module, in which participants focus on concepts of inequality, justice, leadership theories and essential competencies, analysis of gender, citizenship and power, practical understandings of these concepts and their application for feminist leadership within their own contexts, strengthening capacities for social innovations, partnership building in a multi-stakeholder environment, and enhancing abilities to realize citizen-driven asset-based development.
    2. A focus on gendered approaches for social, political and economic empowerment and community development, including addressing legitimacy and accountability in governance structures, building resilient communities and strengthening inclusive economies.
    3. A final module, in which participants articulate an action plan for how they will take their new learning home to provide leadership in their organizations and communities and continue to work towards empowering other women moving forward.
    4. A policy-praxis clarity on current economic and political regimes of globalisation, cultural exclusivity and new nationalism and fascism.
  2. September 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023: Participants will benefit from one-on-one mentoring from experienced women leaders upon their return home for up to six months to follow on the application of learning into practice. Mentors and mentees will be matched during the residency period based on specific needs and geographic locations. Participants will also join a global alumnae network of women leaders.

Selection Process and Key dates

  • Coady Institute will begin the review of applications on January 26, 2022. Due the expected high volume of applications, the first review will be undertaken most of the month of January.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted to take part in an online interview by skype or zoom call by mid-February. Interviews will take place shortly after.
  • Successful candidates will be notified by March 5, 2022.
  • Once notified, candidates will be expect to secure their visa to Canada no later than May 30, 2022.
  • Successful candidates will receive further instructions regarding travel and schedule once selected.
  • For further information, please contact
“My experience at Coady has been eye-opening as a woman leader. I have been inspired to step out and voice issues that affect children and women in my country. Through my learning and experience at Coady, I am a better leader to make a significant and lasting change in my country and beyond.” – Mary Katunguah Munyao, Director Connect Families Ability, Kenya (Global Change Leaders, 2018)

GCL Funders

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of our private donors and partners who are committed to advancing women’s leadership globally.