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Early Years Fellowship



The World Bank Group’s Early Learning Partnership (ELP) provides resources and technical assistance to support early childhood development (ECD) and early learning around the world. Investing in early childhood is critical to create opportunities for all children to grow into healthy, educated, and capable people and to address inequality and improve outcomes later in life. Governments are increasingly requesting support to increase investments in the early years and improve their delivery of early childhood services. ELP addresses this demand by helping governments bring to scale quality early childhood opportunities, especially for disadvantaged children. ELP supports governments through a combination of analysis, technical assistance, and program funding provided on a competitive basis to stimulate innovation and respond to specific country needs, working in partnership with donors, impact investors, and civil society organizations.


Early Years Fellowship

Governments are increasingly seeking advice and support from the World Bank to increase investments in the early years and improve the quality of early childhood services. ELP launched the Early Years Fellowship in 2016 to support governments and World Bank teams to scale up investments in Early Childhood Development (ECD) with a multi-sectoral approach across education, health, nutrition, social protection and other relevant sectors. Key objectives of the Fellowship include:

  1. To build the capacity of young professionals in countries to respond to client needs related to ECD, thereby 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;
  2. To 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 on ECD; and
  3. To develop the next generation of leadership needed at the country level to scale-up investments in the early years.

Two cohorts have now graduated (20 young African professionals worked from 2017-2019 and a global cohort of 25 Fellows supporting 36 countries worked from 2020-2021). Both cohorts made substantial contributions to the World Bank and clients’ engagement in early childhood, including through increasing cross-sectoral Human Development (HD) collaboration, expanding and improving the Bank’s early years portfolio through their technical contributions to analytical work and operations, contributing to early years systems-building, and leveraging a combined $3.4 billion in new resources for ECD by supporting new and ongoing early years projects.

The program is now recruiting a third cohort of up to 15 Fellows from around the world.

Fellows will spend 20 percent of their time enrolled in a professional development program designed to strengthen their technical skills in ECD and their understanding of World Bank operations. The professional development program will include two networking summits, a capstone project, and various trainings and learning experiences on ECD themes and topics. The remaining 80 percent of their time is dedicated to a country specific work program in one or a combination of HD sectors across Education, Health, Nutrition and Population, or Social Protection.

Fellows will be hired as Short-Term Consultants[1] (STC) at the World Bank for one year (beginning in September 2022), with a second-year renewable, based on performance and continued work program demand. Selection and compensation are competitive.  

Who should apply?

Interested candidates should be based in one of the hiring countries (see list below), or willing to relocate to one of these countries with no compensation for relocation, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • Citizen / national of country of application
  • Early to mid-career professional between the ages of 25-35 years with demonstrated expertise and/or commitment to advancing ECD in their home countries
  • 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, research, data analysis, evaluation, project design and operations, policy dialogue, and/or advocacy preferred 
  • Experience in the public sector, civil society, and/or multilateral organization preferred 
  • Demonstrated interest, commitment and high potential in ECD, Early Learning, and/or Human Development
  • Strong written communication skills and ability to work well in teams, including with senior officials 
  • Ability to work effectively remotely and travel frequently
  • Written and verbal fluency in English and the language requirement of the duty countrn.

Countries Currently Recruiting for the Following (Click to access detailed ToR)

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Cameroon
  3. Egypt & Djibouti
  4. El Salvador & Honduras
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Jordan
  7. Kenya
  8. Morocco
  9. Niger
  10. Papua New Guinea
  11. Paraguay
  12. Senegal
  13. Somalia
  14. Tanzania
  15. Uzbekistan & Tajikistan

Application Process

The application deadline was in April 2022; we are no longer accepting applications for the third cohort of the Early Years Fellowship.

Selection Process

The ELP Team, in partnership with hiring country teams, will use a multiphase selection process to review and shortlist eligible Fellowship applications, as follows:

  • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted via email (May2022)
  • The recruitment process will include a written assignment and interview with the recruitment panel – only for the shortlisted candidates (May-June 2022)
  • Offers will be made to selected candidates (June 2022)

The Fellowship will begin in September 2022.

Last Updated: May 05, 2022