WASHINGTON, September 19, 2016 – The World Bank Group’s Early Learning Partnership (ELP) is launching the Africa Early Years Fellowship to recruit a cadre of young African professionals to support governments and World Bank teams to scale up investments in the early years. This new initiative is complementary to the WBG Africa Fellowship Program, which is targeting Ph.D. students from Sub-Saharan Africa who are interested in starting careers with the World Bank Group. The Africa Early Years Fellowship will recruit promising young professional who will work in their home countries to build capacity in countries to ensure Africa’s children reach their full potential. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of children under five years of age are not enrolled in pre-primary programs and malnutrition still prevails. ELP works closely with country governments and World Bank country teams to promote investments in the early years and support early learning and early childhood development (ECD).
“Africa’s youth is Africa’s biggest asset and investing in young children is the smartest investment countries can make,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa. “The World Bank Group is committed to help African governments improve basic learning outcomes for young children and prevent malnutrition which can impair cognitive development.”
Demand for expertise in the area of early childhood development is increasing and exceeds current capacity, especially in the Africa region. The Fellowship will build capacity within countries in the Africa region by developing a cohort of young professionals with technical and operational skills to support increased investments in early childhood.
“We are launching this Fellowship to develop a sustainable and skilled workforce to scale-up investments in the early years in Africa. The Fellowship is designed to respond to the increasing demand for expertise in this area, both from client countries and within the World Bank Group,” said Amanda Devercelli, ELP Program Manager.
About the Fellowship
Approximately 10 fellows will be selected and hired as short-term consultants for one year beginning early 2017, with the possibility of being renewed for a second year.
Fellows will receive ongoing training and work experience across relevant sectors, including education, health, nutrition and social protection. The Fellowship will include a brief orientation at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and fellows will also benefit from ongoing professional development and mentoring from WBG staff. Fellows will be based in select countries in Africa, with the expectation that Fellows continue working in-country after the Fellowship conclusion.
Specific duties may include:
- Support World Bank teams to design or implement operations in ECD/early learning or a related field
- Support country and core teams in activities associated with the World Bank’s Investing in the Early Years initiative
- Support countries’ early learning research agenda associated with the World Bank’s Early Learning Systems Research Program
- Contribute to analytical work in ECD/early learning or related fields
- Coordinate initiatives to strengthen the capacity of local academic institutions in early learning and ECD
Each Fellow will have a work program focused on one or two countries, and will be based in one of the following priority countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
Who Should Apply
Interested candidates should be based in-country, or willing to relocate with minimum or no compensation.
- African nationals 25-40 years of age
- Educational and professional experience in ECD/early learning
- Graduate degree in a relevant field (including education, economics, statistics, health and nutrition, and social service) AND at least 3 years of professional experience in education, health and nutrition or social protection, with preference for previous work in ECD/early learning; OR
- Undergraduate degree in a relevant field (including education, economics, statistics, health and nutrition, and social service) AND at least 5 years of professional experience in education, health and nutrition or social protection, with preference for previous work in ECD/early learning
- Functional experience in economics, evaluation, project design and operations, policy dialogue, or advocacy desired
- Experience in the public sector, civil society, or multilateral organization preferred
- Demonstrated interest in ECD/early learning
- Demonstrated high potential and commitment to ECD and/or human development in Africa
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong written communication skills and ability to work well in teams, including with senior officials
- Ability to work effectively remotely
- Fluency in English required of all candidates; fluency in French or Portuguese required of candidates interested in working in francophone/lusophone countries
To apply, please submit a completed application form and resume by October 20, 2016. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Fellows will be selected by December 2016 and will start work in early 2017.