The World Bank’s Early Learning Partnership (ELP) launched the Early Years Fellowship in 2016 to build capacity within countries and develop the next generation of leadership to scale-up investments in Early Childhood Development (ECD). The Fellowship has three related objectives:
i. Build the capacity of young professionals in the field to respond to client needs related to ECD, reducing reliance on technical assistance from abroad and ensuring a more sustainable, contextually specific and informed response to the challenges associated with scale-up of ECD services at country level;
ii. Improve the quality of ECD analytical work and program implementation in countries by increasing the number of experienced professionals available to advise and support country governments and World Bank teams; and
iii. Develop the next generation of leadership needed at the country level to scale-up investments in the early years.
Fellows work with the World Bank and governments for two years, while simultaneously enrolled in an extensive professional development program to build their technical, operational and professional skills, which includes 20 percent of their time dedicated to coursework, field visits, on-the-job learning and mentoring. Fellows receive multi-sectoral training and work experience, working across education, health, nutrition, social protection and other relevant sectors.
The program’s first cohort of 20 young professionals worked from 2017-2019 with the World Bank and governments. The Fellows received overwhelmingly positive feedback from client countries, key partners and World Bank staff and leadership. They helped leverage more than $1.5 billion in new resources for ECD and supported World Bank teams to work more effectively with governments to promote child development and invest in the early years.
A second cohort of Fellows began work in 2020 following a highly competitive selection process with a pool of nearly 2,500 applications from 81 countries. These 25 Fellows work in 34 countries across the globe. We are particularly pleased that one-quarter of this cohort (six Fellows) was recruited from abroad and returned to their home countries to participate in the Fellowship. The Fellows speak a total of 25 different languages and bring more than 200 years of combined ECD work experience and diverse backgrounds with training as medical doctors, economists, psychologists, teachers, social workers and researchers. Please see the document below for a one-page CV of each Fellow with a short description of their planned work programs.