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

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

Elsabijn Marike Koelman

Where is she now? Business Manager at Integrity, United Kingdom

Young Expert at Rain Foundation - Kenya

YEP period 2014 - 2016, batch 3

YEP Role

Through the Young Expert Program Water, I was working as a Junior Project Officer for RAIN and ICRAF to support the Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SEARNET). SEARNET has played an important role in linking national and international rainwater associations in Southern and Eastern Africa. I was based in Nairobi, Kenya at the ICRAF office, where I was focusing on building new partnerships and support for Rainwaterharvesting. By ensuring that members of SEARNET become more engaged in the network and increasing the visibility of the network through communications and public relations, I hope to share the benefits of Rainwaterharvesting through Southern and Eastern Africa.

Click here for more information about my project.



During my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences and Master’s degree in Conflict Studies, I have built up considerable analytical skills when carrying out field research in Africa and writing my theses in the field of International Development and Sustainability. I am a networker and have built up skills in intercultural communication, the use of social media, and public relations. I am a team player with patience, flexibility and cultural sensitivity.



Nationality: Dutch
Education: BA in Liberal Arts an Sciences at University College Utrecht, specializations: International Development, International Relations and Human Rights Law. MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, specialization: Equality of rights in the Constitution Building Process in Zimbabwe


Experience before YEP

Country Specialist Southern Africa at Amnesty International Netherlands

  • responsible for initiating campaign and lobby actions to support Human Rights Defenders
  • monitoring and Documenting the regional Human Rights Situation

2013 – 2014
Policy Officer at Friends Indeed Association, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  • Public Relations and Social Media Communication
  • Facilitator in workshops, presentations and conferences
  • Fundraising activities and keeping donors/partners well-informed

Trainee at the Netherlands Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe

  • Managing Social Media Communications and Public Relations
  • Writing and editting the Netherlands Embassy website
  • Networking with local and regional Civil Society Organisations

Volunteer at Friends Indeed/ARDAR, Andhra Pradesh, India

  • Mobilising local actors to implement projects and programs
  • Helping plan and set up the education development program for the Campus Challenge project and schools in 3 districts

2011- 2012
Intern at ONEforONE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Planning marketing and social media strategy for social enterprise
  • Evaluating the outcome of water projects in Africa for annual report
YEP Water


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The Billion-Dollar Business Plan Stakeholder Workshop
In order to develop a proposal for the SearNet Billion Dollar Business Plan (BDBP) project in Kenya by the end of the year, SearNet, in partnership with ICRAF, World Food Programme, Kenya Rainwater more

Group Picture during the Stakeholder Workshop in Machakos Town, Kenya

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Press Release: Unlocking the Potential of Rainwater
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (July 17, 2015) --- Rainwater harvesting can have a huge impact on climate resilience, food security, hygiene and sanitation. At a recent meeting in Addis more

Community Members Standing Around Pump During Practical Training, Dire Dawa

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
First International Rainwater Harvesting Symposium
From the 1st of June until the 12th of June 2015, the first International Rainwater Harvesting Symposium was held in Ethiopia. The Symposium was organized by ICRAF, RAIN Foundation, the Southern and more

Frank van Steenbergen, Meta Meta, training on Road Water Harvesting