Tranter Leong Special Cycle

The ICMA Global Engagement Committee is excited to announce a special application cycle for the Tranter-Leong Fellowship specifically for projects taking place in Asia.

The special application cycle will run June 17-July 31, 2024, with decisions announced in late August-early September 2024. As a result of the application and decision time frame, travel is expected to take place in late 2024 or early 2025.

To aid in the application process, some possible projects in Asia have been developed. Applicants can choose from these projects or develop a project of their own. If an applicant chooses one of the projects below, he does not need to obtain a letter of support from the host organization as the host organization is already aware of these projects. If an applicant decides to pursue her own project, a letter of support from the host organization is required.

Designed Projects


ICMA works with The Asia Foundation (TAF) to implement the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded ERAT (Effective, Efficient, and Strong Governance) program in Indonesia. ERAT is a five-year program that was launched January 2021 and will conclude January 2026. The goal of USAID ERAT is for the citizens of Indonesia to benefit from effective local government by increasing the quality of policy implementation and service delivery at the subnational level.

TAF and ICMA work in 30 subnational districts in Indonesia. One district, Kota Tangerang, has been identified and is looking to launch a CityLinks™ partnership with an ICMA member-led municipality. The focus of the partnership will be on inclusive education and digital transformation. The fellowship would launch the CityLinks™ partnership with Kota Tangerang and the chosen fellow would conduct a municipal diagnostic evaluation in support of the following:

  • Inclusive education: improving human resources capacity, fiscal incentives and disincentives for inclusive education, and encouraging partnership and collaboration between private sector, government, and communities.
  • Digital transformation: strengthening monitoring and evaluation in city development.

CityLinks™ Background

The CityLinks™ partnership model was created more than 30 years ago to enable municipal officials in developing and decentralizing countries to connect with their U.S. counterparts to find sustainable solutions tailored to the real needs of their cities. These partnerships typically start with the development of a municipal diagnostic that identifies the key elements of a future partnership that is then formalized through an agreement between the two cities. Learn more about CityLinks


The municipal diagnostic evaluation in Kota Tangerang is anticipated to lead to a long-term CityLinks™ partnership between Kota Tangerang and the applicant’s community. The fellow and his/her staff would jointly identify ways to share best practices around inclusive education and digital transformation through virtual and in-person exchanges. ERAT aims for this partnership to continue for 12-18 months. It is expected that there will be virtual, online meetings between the ICMA member and Kota Tangerang regularly to discuss the work plan and partnership. There may be in person visits by Kota Tangerang officials and an opportunity for another visit by the ICMA member host community if funding is available and pending USAID approval.


ICMA implements Cities for Enhanced Governance and Engagement (CHANGE)-- a USAID-funded five-year activity designed to support strengthened democratic governance in the Philippines by making local governance more responsive, transparent, and accountable. CHANGE fosters capacity and harmony of governments and civil society to improve the implementation of decentralization, enhance local governments’ legitimacy and effectiveness, and empower citizens.

CHANGE is based on the premise that collective actions and stronger partnerships between local governments and the communities that make up their constituencies will bring democratic governance closer to the people. More specifically, the improved implementation of decentralization in the Philippines will help strengthen democratic governance in the country. CHANGE has three key objectives:

  • Strengthened Enabling Environment for Decentralization.
  • Enhanced Local Service Delivery.
  • Empowered Civil Society.

CHANGE works with national government agencies and local government units (16 cities in the Philppines). 

ICMA-USAID CHANGE is seeking a consultant/subject matter expert on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in local governance. At present, most local governments in the Philippines struggle to transition from traditional paper-based systems to digital platforms. While there are a host of challenges to be considered, this transition to digitalization may be made more relevant and even be accelerated by the adoption of AI-driven solutions.

The applicant should be able to demonstrate how AI is reshaping local government operations, service delivery, and community engagement.  The fellow will provide case studies and/or tools, where AI has improved service delivery, streamlined processes, supported transparency, and facilitated better engagement with citizens and communities. The applicant will also guide the Philippine team in crafting actionable plans toward AI integration and digitalization in local governance. The applicant should have demonstrated experience in work in digital integration and adoption of AI applications and strategies in public service delivery. The applicant should have experience and an excellent understanding of local government and citizen/community engagement approaches.


ICMA has been working with the Urban Management Centre (UMC) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India for more than 25 years.

UMC works closely with local governments by providing tailor-made solutions in professionalizing urban management. With their understanding of adult learning pedagogies, capacity building, and training, they work toward building individual and systemic capacities of cities. They have supported local governments across South Asia and Africa by providing technical assistance while facilitating good governance by encouraging peer-to-peer exchanges and providing practitioner-based assistance that has resulted in sustainable solutions. They employ a collaborative, mission-driven approach with a unique mix of experts from across sectoral capacities to be able to respond to interdisciplinary development challenges.

UMC is looking for a fellow to help with an analysis of the governance and management systems required as populations grow. The ideal applicant will have experience in capacity building and scaling of city systems and services and the implementation of improved service delivery models. The fellow will work with UMC to create operating procedures, adapted from U.S. service delivery models, help prepare sample bylaws and other plans (heritage management, for example) for cities to help them adapt to the needs of growing populations.

Other Opportunities

Opportunity for YSEALI Host Communities

Are you from a recent YSEALI host community that was not selected to participate in the reciprocal exchange to assist with the YSEALI fellow’s follow-on project? If you would still like to assist with the follow-on project, consider applying for the Tranter-Leong Fellowship. In the application, list the information about the follow-on project and how your expertise could help advance the project.

Develop Your Own Fellowship in Asia

Do you have your own idea for a local governance project in Asia? If so, submit your idea for this special application cycle by July 31, 2024.

Interested in applying for this special application cycle? Review the application requirements at Tranter-Leong Fellowship and apply today!

New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!