Young Experts

Meskerem Ritmeester

Meskerem  Ritmeester

History: Young Expert at Fair & Sustainable - Ethiopia
YEP period 2016 - 2018, batch 9

Position after YEP

Programme Manager at NL Instit. for Multiparty Democracy, Ethiopia

YEP Role

I worked as a Young Expert for AgriProFocus in Ethiopia (which is hosted by Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services PLC in Ethiopia). AgriProFocus is an international multi-stakeholder network organisation that promotes farmer entrepreneurship and sustainable agriculture & food systems. My roles and responsibilities within AgriProFocus Ethiopia were:


  1. Building & maintaining relationships, partnerships, platforms, innovation communities
    • Engaging with relevant stakeholders in the country and region (other AgriProFocus networks in Africa)
    • Network development and business brokering; (re)presenting AgriProFocus  in relevant forums and meetings and inviting potential members to join
    • Construct and circulate the AgriProFocus Ethiopia newsletter on a monthly basis (through the MailChimp) to keep the network member organizations up to date about AgriProFocus' activities
  2. Learning trajectories
    • Building & maintaining close working relationships with Dutch and international professionals and  knowledge institutes in relation to the applicable subject and expertise areas
    • Coordination, organization and co-facilitation of network events, meetings, coaching trajectories and online interaction for regular debate around key (policy) areas in Ethiopia
    • Responsible for the internal learning agenda of Fair and Sustainable and AgriProFocus Ethiopia. The purpose is to hold internal "peer learning" meetings in which staff members (my colleagues) of Fair and Sustainable and AgriProFocus Ethiopia come together to discuss challenges, best practices and lessons learnt in the everyday activities within the organization. If needed, a professional coach could provide some tips and tricks when it comes to skills development of the staffs; in particular facilitation, communication (oral and written) and network building skills.
  3. Innovation communities
    • Facilitating, developing and monitoring AgriProFocus' innovation communities (knowledge exchange platforms) for an expertise area and, if needed, offering short-term courses and learning tracks; in 2016 and 2017, both the Soil Health Management, and the Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Platforms will be my responsibility
    • Distributing relevant information and communication materials to the Agriprofocus network and innovation communities. This will be done through the development of a "database" consisting of e.g. research papers/case studies on best practices and lessons learnt, toolkits for development practitioners, an overview of technologies used regarding soil management, etc.    


Click here for more information about my project



  • Organiding and facilitation skills: Experienced in organsing and facilitating workshops, network meetings and learning events
  • Communication skills: Native Dutch and near-native English communication skills
  • Writing skills: Advanced report writing skills but also experienced in writing informational texts, articles and summaries of publications to attract the attention of the wider audience to specific development issues
  • Research skills: strong analytical skills and experienced in conducting policy analyses, impact analyses, gender analyses, and data analyses using statistical software
  • Computer and online communication skills: Microsoft Office tools such as MS Excel, PowerPoint, MailChimp, GoogleForms, managing the website/online platform, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), statistical software programmes to analyse data, etc.)

Nationality: Dutch (with Ethiopian Origin ID)
Education: MSc graduate in 'International Development Studies' from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands. My MSc included courses on rural development and food security, sustainable agriculture & food systems, and environmental policy among others; including a minor in conflict studies. My BSc in 'European studies' included the specialization Public Policy, a Minor in Development Studies and an exchange program to the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa.


Experience before YEP

  • Consultant for the multi-stakeholder network organization AgriProFocus Ethiopia, February 2016 - Present
  • Humanitarian Response Programme Support Officer for the INGO GOAL Ethiopia, November 2014 -January 2016
  • Communications Officer for the Dutch NGO Women in Europe for a Common Future, October 2012 - March 2013
  • Project Manager for the research project “Sanitation and Urbanisation in Ghana” for the NGO Safi Sana, The Netherlands, August-October 2012
  • Programme Support Officer within the Africa Programme for the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), The Netherlands, February - July 2011
  • Programme Evaluator / M&E Volunteer for the South African Local NGO Sinani, February - July 2010
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Organisation: Fair & Sustainable
Young Experts