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

Katrien van Krieken - YEP Water at Resilience B.V. in Mozambique

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

Myrte van der Spek

Young Expert at VNG International - Myanmar

YEP period 2019 - 2021, batch 17

YEP Role

VNG International are experts in strengthening local government. Local governments play a key role in the provision of basic services including water, waste management, health care and housing. They have a profound impact on areas such as safety, food security, rule of law and women’s rights. This is how our projects contribute in a sustainable way to better futures for people, communities and countries.


I will contribute to access to safe drinking water and sanitation in the VNG International programmes by firstly working with all stakeholder to achieve each of the programme’s objectives. In Myanmar, water supply and sanitation is a major service that needs to be strengthened. Furthermore, I will work on the engagement between the State / Regional and township Development Affairs Organisations with their citizens across VNG Internationals projects. Sharing knowledge and good local governance practices in municipal water and sanitation service delivery is a key focus of VNG International, for which regional and national seminars and workshops are being organised. Thirdly, apart from the governance perspective (citizens engagement for quality services), there is a technical component of water supply planning and developing systems. I would like to gain more technical knowledge on water and sanitation, working in the field and thereby facilitate a more in-depth implementation of the programme activities. Moreover, my position in Myanmar would allow VNG International to broaden existing and find new synergies with other Netherlands organisations active in Myanmar, preferably with organisations that are part of the YEP network. Lastly, I will work on the professionalisation of the Yangon office and will work on business development in the region.


Click here for more information about my project.


More information about my projects:



  • Project management
  • Governance, policy and mediation
  • Local government capacity building


Nationality: Dutch

Education: Bachelor’s degree European Studies from the University of Maastricht and Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Governance from the University of Amsterdam with a specialisation in Risk, Security and Law. Currently involved in local government strengthening projects Myanmar for VNG International and YEP Young Water Expert as part of the YEP Programmes.


Experience before YEP

  • Jr project manager at VNG international
    • International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities
    • Jr. project manager Myanmar and Uganda
    • Strengthening local governance, capacity building – related topics, e.g. social accountability, inclusive decision making, refugee management, participatory planning, transparency, accountability and local economic development
    • Expert working group water
  • Project secretary for the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice at the computerisation department
    • Sourcing, biometrics, identity and access management
    • Content management Rijksportaal
  • Intern at the European and international affairs department of the Ministry of Security and Justice
    • Caribbean Netherland and Kingdom Affairs
    • Bilateral affairs – Eastern Partnership
    • Capacity Building – Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Commissioner for external affairs at student association Circumflex
      • Full-time board year, partial responsibility for an association of 550 members
      • Partners and acquisition, promotion of events, umbrella organisation ‘Aller Heiligen Convent’
  • Student-assistant at Maastricht University
    • Discourse analysis at the faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
    • Assisting in organising data and analyse data
YEP Water


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