The main goal of the Young Expert Programmes (YEP), consisting of YEP Water & YEP Agrofood, 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 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) and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform.


Wanted: new YEP candidates for YEP positions!

Join YEP Programmes now, and apply for a YEP position!

Introduction video YEP

YEP in a nutshell: the new introduction video about YEP Programmes is now online.

YEP Effect 5: result of YEP Phase I

The fifth edition of YEP Effect has been released! In this magazine, we reflect on 16 batches of Young Experts in YEP Phase I, and the new Tailor-made programme. Download here!

Preparatory training course

Training of the 17th batch starts on 16 September
Training of the 18th batch starts on 25 November
Every year we subsidise the placement of 72 young professionals
Check the latest results of YEP in our annual report

Our Young Experts

Michael Jonga - YEP Water at Simavi in Uganda

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

Marleen Spieker

Young Expert at ZOA - Liberia

YEP period 2017 - 2019, batch 14

YEP Role

As a Young Expert in Water and Agrofood, I am based in Monrovia where I work at ZOA Liberia as a Junior Programme Advisor and as part of ZOA Liberia’s Country Management Team. Within this position, I play a vital advisory and expert role in the design, delivery and monitoring of ZOA’s programmes focused on livelihood development through sustainable agriculture, WASH, and rehabilitation of social cohesion and trust through capacity building and community based approaches.I am responsible for quality assurance with reference to Core Humanitarian Standards through close engagement, coaching and supervision within the national team and with partners so that ZOA achieves planned outcomes whilst building local skills and knowledge to support sustainability. In addition, I provide expertise in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning in ZOA’s programme and am dedicated to mainstream gender at project, programme and organizational level to contribute to meaningful and sustainable development in Liberia.

Click here for more information about my project.



  • Project management
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning
  • Capacity building
  • Reporting 
  • Donor relations
  • Effective communication
  • Organisational skills

Nationality: Dutch
Education: MSc in International Development Studies (Utrecht University), BSc in Public Administration and Organisation Science (VU University Amsterdam)


Experience before YEP

  • Intern Migration Management Unit (2017) - International Organization for Migration, Special Liaison Office, Addis Ababa
  • Humanitarian Affairs Intern (2017) - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Khartoum
  • Intern Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (UNSCR 1325) (2016) - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
  • Research on gender, migration and urban poverty (2016) - The Horn Economic & Social Policy Institute, Addis Ababa
  • Graduate Recruiter a.i./Recruitment Assistant (2015, 2016 & 2017) - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Amsterdam
  • Research on the causes of the low success rate of the integration exam for immigrants in Amsterdam (2013) - Municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam
YEP Agrofood


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Thursday, May 16, 2019
Improved nutrition through mother groups in Margibi, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount
ZOA is implementing a large programme focused on improved food security and livelihoods, increased resilience in rural communities and enhanced market linkages in three counties in Liberia. As part more

Mother group members harvesting nutritious potato greens

Monday, December 10, 2018
Accountability workshops in Liberia
The ZOA Liberia team has been travelling throughout Liberia to improve its beneficiary accountability mechanisms. In November, the team conducted in eight project locations in five different counties more

Accountability workshop in Zorzor, Lofa County, Liberia

Thursday, July 5, 2018
Breakthrough - Manually drilled boreholes in Nimba County!
In Liberia, over one million people do not have access to clean water and as a result, over 500 children die each year from water-borne diseases. In both urban and rural areas, a significant more

ZOA officially handing over hand pumps to school administration