The main goal of the Young Expert Programmes (YEP), consisting of YEP Water, YEP Agrofood, YEP Energy and YEP Tailor-made, is to offer young Dutch and local professionals the opportunity to take their first steps in an international environment. They are employed through Dutch organisations in a number of eligible countries. The programmes aim to rejuvenate the water, agrofood and renewable energy sectors and ensure the continued availability of expertise for these sectors.

The YEP Programmes are carried out jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), the Food & Business Knowledge Platform and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.


Employ a Young Expert; submit your proposal before October 11th

Join YEP Programmes and submit your proposal for a Young Expert position now!

New edition of YEP Effect: no. 6!

We are proud to present the 6th edition of YEP Effect!

Preparatory training course

Training of the 21st batch starts on 21 September

Organisations: deadline project submission

Deadline for submitting project proposals by organisations (batch 22):

11 October 2020

Candidates: apply for YEP positions

New YEP positions will be available on 28 October
Every year we subsidise the placement of 72 young professionals
Check the latest results of YEP in our annual report

Our Young Experts

Ylberine Baliu - YEP Water at Afmitech Friesland in Kosovo

Click here for an overview of all YEP projects at Akvo RSR

Iris van der Meer

Where is she now? Wildlife Programme Coordinator at WWF Zambia

Young Expert at WNF - Zambia

YEP period 2016 - 2018, batch 7

YEP Role

My first year with YEP was spend working as programme officer for the Climate Change Programme of HoA-REC&N in Gambella, Ethiopia. I worked on natural resource conservation by promoting integrated landscape management around Gambella National park and using a 400 ha demonstration site, known as the EcoHub, which was used as a learning location for sustainable agriculture practices (permaculture) and ecologically viable NTFP value chain development.
For my second year I changed positions and moved to Zambia where I worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). I was based in Sesheke, the Western Province of Zambia, and worked on wildlife conservation in and around Sioma Ngwezi National Park. Futhermore, I was involved with the strategic development for a nation wide Species & Protected Areas Programme.


Please click here for more information about my project.



  • Interdisciplinary natural resource management
  • Tropical ecology
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Goal-oriented, analytical, accurate, proactive
  • Positive, open-minded, independent


Nationality: Dutch


  • MSc Forest & Nature Conservation of Wageningen University, The Netherlands (2014)
  • Btech Nature Conservation from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa (2011)
  • BSc Biology from Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2009)

Experience before YEP

During and in between my studies I have gained experience in conducting field research in several countries and habitats. During my Btech Nature Conservatio) I have executed various projects in South Africa focused on natural resource management and wildlife conservation. Within my Masters I executed a tropical ecology course in Uganda, the research for my masterthesis in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil on tree regeneration for the hyacinth macaw, and an internship in Guinea-Bissau on chimpanzee ecology. After graduation in 2014 I started working at the graduate school Production Ecology & Resource Conservation of Wageningen University as PhD programme assistant. Next to my job at the University I worked as junior advisor with Partners for Innovation (1 day per week) in strategic and business planning for Agroforestry Enterprise Development in West-Africa. Currently I work as Young Expert for MetaMeta / Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre & Network in Gambella, Ethiopia. Furthermore, I am involved as a volunteer for the Kronendak Foundation and for Future for Nature Foundation, both having a focus on international nature conservation.

YEP Water


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Tuesday, April 4, 2017
New YEP adventure
After spending a wonderful YEP year working on natural resource management around Gambella National Park in Ethiopia, my second YEP year started with a new adventure. From February onwards I have more

CCCDP in Sioma

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Preparing for SWAR irrigation pilot in EcoHub
The Gambella EcoHub serves as a demonstration site to share skills and knowledge on best practices in climate-smart agriculture (ie permaculture), pest and fertility management, water collection, more

Clay pot making in the EcoHub for SWAR pilot

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Gambella EcoHub: Dry Season versus Wet Season
Two months ago the wet season started here which turned the Gambella landscape into a little green paradise where all the trees are flourishing. We have worked hard to plant seeds and seedlings more

Gambella EcoHub: Dry Season versus Wet Season