Young Experts

Evelien Janssen

Evelien Janssen

YEP period 2019 - 2020, batch 14

Young Expert at African Parks - Rwanda

YEP period 2018 - 2019, batch 14

Young Expert at Embassy Kingdom of the Netherlands Rwanda - Rwanda

First position after YEP

Job Director at WUR, the Netherlands

YEP Role

Year 1 - Young Expert at AgriProFocus/Netherlands Embassy Rwanda

Through the Talent Pool of AgriProFocus, I am currently working as Associate Policy Advisor Food & Nutrition Security at the Netherlands Embassy to Rwanda, in Kigali. I assist the senior policy advisor FNS in managing the different projects, with a focus on monitoring activities of the projects. In this role I am involved in the entire project cycle of the different projects run by the Food & Nutrition Security cluster, and the entire (multi) annual planning, budgeting and result reporting cycle of the embassy.


The activities of the Food & Nutrition Security Cluster at EKN Kigali are targeted on improving food security and nutrition in Rwanda using an integrated approach. This means that the interventions and projects are focused on food consumption, agricultural productivity, ecological sustainable production systems and the enabling environment. In this role I:

  • assist in managing and monitoring & evaluation of EKN’s FNS projects, with focus on six districts in the Congo-Nile Ridge area (CNR) in North-West Rwanda which is a concentration zone for EKN support;
  • design supportive monitoring & evaluation research and assist in assembling information for the annual result reporting and compile best practices news and information, share these on social media and organize other knowledge sharing events;
  • provide basic technical information, develop ideas and advise on project implementation – based on knowledge and field observations;
  • maintain relationships with key implementing and development partners in the assigned projects;
  • develop and share knowledge in the area of trade and investment, and facilitate application of RVO instruments with a focus on FNS.

Click here for more information about my project.


Year 2 - Young Expert at African Parcs, Rwanda

Akagera National Park in Rwanda – managed by Akagera Management Company – is central Africa’s largest protected wetland. Although Akagera Management Company (a partnership between African Parks Network and the Rwanda Development Board) is primarily focussed on the interior of the park, protecting any nature reserve includes an extensive amount of work outside its boundaries. The Community involvement programme of Akagera National Park initiates – among others – income generating activities with a strong focus on establishing sustainable (in both economic as ecologic sense) agricultural activities to improve food systems and contribute to the elimination of malnutrition and increase food security. There is a wish to expand activities on household level and disseminate lessons learned or best agricultural practices on a smaller scale. 


My role for the upcoming year will be to: 

  • Documenting lessons learned and best practices of the agricultural economic activities (fish farms, beekeeping unions, poultry farm) carried out at the communities and at the Community Centre 
  • Piloting replicable small scale practices at household level and create training materials, in order to improve food security and nutritional status of the communities.
  • Strengthen the community centre’s position as a demonstration and training site by improving communal agricultural practices 
  • Identify opportunities for and facilitate capacity building of the Community Liaison Team 


  • Communication strategy
  • Knowledge management
  • Project management
  • Strong organisational and communication skills
  • Goal oriented, eager to learn, analytic and positive mindset

Nationality: Dutch
Education: Master Applied Communication Sciences – Specialisation Health and Society, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Bachelor Health and Society, Wageningen University, The Netherlands


Experience before YEP

Executive assistant 6/2017 – 11/2017 Gardens for Health International – Rwanda

  • Provided administrative and logistical support to Senior Leadership Team
  • Built and maintained knowledge management systems across the organization
  • Rolled out new project management software and trained co-workers in using it
  • Elevated the program and operational work through improving organization, coordination, and production of work materials

Local consultant 8/2017 – 10/2017 Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) – Rwanda

  • Provided administrative and logistical support to Poultry Trade Mission to Rwanda
  • Built a network and liaise with local businesses
  • Represented the council at the expo

Junior project manager 2/2015 – 2/2017 Institute for Nature Education and Sustainability (IVN) – The Netherlands

  • Designed and implemented project plans, organizing planning processes
  • Advised about communication strategies to enhance visibility of projects
  • Developed and managed communication tools
  • Wrote grant applications for funding and monitored budgets

Research internship at the ‘Resilience and High-Risk Populations Research Lab’ 11/2013 – 3/2014 Université d’Ottawa – Canada

In a team of researchers and students I contributed to several research projects, including:

  • Qualitative data analysis for research on caregivers and their experiences navigating the health care system
  • Literature study on the involvement of the private sector in emergency management

Student assistant 2/2011 – 7/2012 Smaaklessen Wageningen University – The Netherlands

An educational program for Dutch primary schools about food and senses, in which experiencing food and where daily food comes from, are the central themes.

  • Delivered workshops in primary schools
  • Supported the development of new teaching materials
  • Assessed and evaluated quality of programme through interviews with teachers 
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Organisation: African Parks
Organisation: Embassy Kingdom of the Netherlands Rwanda
Young Experts