Apply Now: Early Years Fellowship

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.  The Early Learning Partnership (ELP) launched the  Early Years Fellowship in 2017 to support governments and World Bank teams to scale up investments in the early years.  An inaugural cohort of 20 young African professionals worked with World Bank teams from 2017-2019 and graduated in June 2019. The program is expanding globally and a second cohort of Fellows from around the world is currently being recruited.

Fellow will work to promote early childhood development (ECD) across education, health, nutrition, social protection and other relevant sectors.  The objectives for the Fellowship include to:

  1. Improve the quality of early years analytical work and program implementation in countries by increasing the number of experienced professionals available to work with country governments and World Bank teams;
  2. Build technical and professional capacity of local young professionals to respond to client demands, reducing reliance on international technical assistance and ensuring more sustainable and contextually-specific responses at country level; and,
  3. Raise the profile of ECD among young professionals, demonstrating it can be a viable and prestigious field of work.

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 remaining 80 percent of their time will be spent working across sectors to support ECD.  The professional development program will include two networking summits, a capstone project, and various trainings and learning experiences.

Fellows will be hired as Short-Term Consultants (STC) at the World Bank for one year, 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 priority countries (see list below), or willing to relocate to one of these countries with no compensation for relocation. Other requirements include: 

  • Citizen/ national of country of application
  • Early to mid-career professional between the ages of 25-40 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, evaluation, project design and operations, policy dialogue, or advocacy desired 
  • Experience in the public sector, civil society, 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 country.

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

  1. Angola/Sao Tome & Principe
  2. Brazil
  3. Botswana/ Lesotho/Eswatini
  4. Burkina Faso
  5. Burundi
  6. Cameroon
  7. Central African Republic
  8. Chad
  9. China
  10. Egypt
  11. El Salvador/ Honduras/ Nicaragua
  12. Ethiopia
  13. Gambia
  14. Ghana/Liberia/Sierra Leone
  15. Jordan/West Bank/Gaza
  16. Madagascar
  17. Morocco
  18. Mozambique/ Seychelles/Mauritius/Comoros
  19. Mali
  20. Nigeria
  21. Pakistan
  22. Philippines
  23. Republic of Congo/ Democratic Republic of Congo
  24. Rwanda
  25. Serbia/North Macedonia
  26. Sri Lanka
  27. Tunisia
  28. Uganda

Application Process

To apply, please submit a completed application form and resume (in English) by Friday October 11th 5 pm Eastern Standard time.

Selection Process

The ELP Team uses the following process to review eligible Fellowship applications to identifying the candidates with the highest potential to contribute to the ECD sector in the duty country.

  • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted via email in October 2019.
  • The recruitment process will include a written assignment and interview with the recruitment panel – only for the short-listed candidates in October – November 2019.
  • Final offers will be made in November – December 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I am having problems completing the application submission form. What do I do?

For best results, please use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for the 2020 cohort is October 11, 2019.

If selected, when am I expected to start?

Selected candidates are expected to begin their year-long assignment in January 2020.

How long is the Fellowship for?

Fellows will be hired for one year initially. Depending on Fellow’s performance and interest, and on World Bank needs, the fellowship will be extended for a second year. All Fellows will be hired as Short-Term Consultants with the World Bank.

Can I apply for a job at the World Bank after the Fellowship is over?

Fellows are eligible to apply to World Bank jobs as any other applicant. However, this program is not designed to prepare professionals for careers with the World Bank. Fellows are highly encouraged to remain engaged in ECD/early learning in their home countries after the Fellowship is over. Potential employers after the Fellowship might include governments, development organizations and other World Bank partners.

I am over 40 years of age but meet all the qualifications of the fellowship. Can I still apply?

Only candidates who are between the ages of 25 and 40 at the time of application will be considered for the fellowship. If you are outside of this age range and have the required profile, you are encouraged to apply for a standard short-term contract with the World Bank as part of the Investing in the Early Years initiative.

Do I have to be fluent in English to apply?

Yes. Fellows are expected to work in English, so the ability to speak and write fluently in English is a requirement. Besides, depending on the country, proficiency in the local language will also be required. This is detailed in the Terms of Reference for each country.

I have experience in early learning or a related field, but I don’t have a graduate degree. Will I still be considered?

Yes. Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of relevant professional experience equivalent to a graduate degree will be considered. Relevant sectors include education, economics, statistics, health and nutrition, social service, and social protection, among others.

I come from one of the countries currently recruiting a Fellow, but currently, do not live there. Can I still apply?

Yes. Candidates must be from the country for which they are applying to be considered for the Fellowship. Currently, we are recruiting for 28 countries, globally.

I do not plan on working in early childhood development in the medium to long term. Should I still apply?

Only candidates interested in staying their home countries and working to support human development and promote early childhood development are encouraged to apply.

I have participated in other World Bank Fellowships or programs. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. Previous participation in other World Bank Group Fellowships or programs does not preclude your participation in the Early Years Fellowship.


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