2013-2014 Henry G Schermers Fellowship

Who are we looking for?
HiiL is looking for a candidate with extensive experience in strategy and social entrepreneurship that is interested to put this knowledge to use in the justice sector. The ideal candidate must be a conceptual thinker but also somebody with a practical mind, who can translate concepts into action. He/she must have a clear track record and can be either a young adventurer or a more senior experienced person.

Underperforming justice delivery

States are increasingly struggling to provide the justice services which citizens require. In the developed world, going to court is quickly too expensive and too time consuming. In developing states courts are understaffed, underfunded and beyond the reach of most people. In many states, rulemaking mechanisms and formal institutions that should hold government accountable are seen as inadequate. In short: across the globe, justice delivery as it has traditionally been organised is underperforming.

Lonely innovators

At HiiL, we come across hundreds of practical justice solutions per year that can really make a difference. We meet justice change makers on a daily basis working in government institutions, international organisations, civil society organisations and even individual entrepreneurs. They are busy building faster and cheaper contract negotiation- or conflict resolution procedures, more effective mechanisms for the protection of citizen’s rights or more participative, accountable and transparent governments. However, we also see many of these efforts fail. Justice innovators are often isolated. They feel trapped in rigid systems and all too often lack the necessary skills, connections and support. Effective innovations need to be integrated in existing systems much faster and successful practices need much more exposure around the world. How can you best make strategy for change that works? A strategy that has buy-in, that is underpinned by a business model, and that results in concrete, measurable change?

That huge potential can and must be tapped

In recent years, “social entrepreneurship” has become a rapidly growing topic of discussion and debate the creation, investment, and management of business ventures that seek to not only make a profit, but also to pursue greater social goals which shareholder returns are not concerned. Social entrepreneurs have been rethinking the way we address these entrenched social problems, including the reduction of poverty, achievement gaps, and barriers to health care. There is limited activity in the area of justice, an area where change and initiatives outside the government do not come naturally. HiiL believes that experiences with social entrepreneurship and change strategy could greatly benefit justice innovation.

What will the Henry G Schermers Fellow do?

The fellow will work with HiiL to untap justice innovation potential by translating best practices from other fields to the justice sector. This could be done on several levels:

• Mapping – Making the market visible: what innovators are out there and what are their opportunities and challenges?
• Learning – Finding and sharing best practices and capturing trends
• Connecting – Linking innovators, funders and problem owners
• Strengthening – Practical support, so innovators and their supporters create more and better justice output


The fellowship will take place at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. The fellow would be working closely with HiiL for either one half year or one full year. Housing will be provided, as well as up to E4500 per month remuneration, and an expert workshop during the period of the fellowship.

Henry G. Schermers Fellowship Programme Call for Applicants 2013-2014

If you are interested in the Henry G Schermers fellowship, or have any questions, please email Matthew Simon at matthew.simon@hiil.org.