Young Experts

Bo Altena

Bo Altena

YEP period 2020 - 2022, batch 21

Young Expert at VNG International - Ethiopia

YEP Role

I currently work as Deputy Team Leader and Governance Advisor to the Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA). Representing the Association of Dutch Municipalities (Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten, VNG) in Ethiopia, our goal is to strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of local governments in Ethiopia as to smoothen the decentralization process as a pathway to sustainable development. My role is to support the capacity development of ECA in order to become a meaningful exchange platform for local governments in Ethiopia, carry out advocacy with higher-level tiers of government and provide services to woredas on issues of relevance to the members of ECA, such as water and waste management issues.

You can find more information on my project here:


Conflict Analyst by education, I have specialized in the field of good local governance, local government capacity development and social accountability processes in fragile contexts (Burundi, Mali, Uganda). I am an experienced project manager for various international donors (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Commission, GIZ). My added value to ECA and to our programmes in Ethiopia is my strength in networking, communication and stakeholder management. Fluent in Dutch, English and French.


  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Education: Bachelor in International Relations from the University of Groningen, Master in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Utrecht.

Experience before YEP

  • Project Manager Sub-Sahara Africa, VNG International, The Hague
    • Project Manager Uganda, Burundi & Mali, and Gender Focal Point for the “Inclusive Decisions at the Local Level” programme;
    • Project Manager Uganda, “Northern Uganda: Supporting refugees and host communities”.Intern Stability & Humanitarian Aid, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
  • Intern Stability & Humanitarian Aid, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
  • Research & Development Intern Refugee Repatriation, Burma Border Projects, Mae Sot (Thailand)
  • Intern Programme and Grant Management, War Child Holland, Amsterdam
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Organisation: VNG International
Young Experts