Host a Junior Expert

Find out how to host a Junior Expert in your organisation

The advantages

Costs and responsabilities

Future staff for your organisation


Each non-governmental development cooperation actor that is approved by the Belgian State may apply for affiliation to the Junior Programme. Affiliation allows an NGA (non-governmental actor) to host Junior Experts in its projects in partner countries of governmental development cooperation.

Currently, 23 Belgian NGAs are affiliated to the Junior Programme.


The advantages...

There are many advantages to having a Junior Expert (JE) work with you.
The Junior Expert :

  1. has gone through a thorough selection procedure, guaranteeing good recruits.
  2. has one of the many Junior Expert profiles: geographer, civil engineer, architect, economist, jurist, agricultural engineer, psychologist, communicator, sociologist…
    a broad range of profiles in order to meet the varied needs from the field;
  3. is a professional contributing to your project/programme. It is extra (wo)manpower for at least 1 and up to 2 years with very few costs for the project. The Junior Expert takes on duties that offer a genuine added value for the project;
  4. concentrates 100% on tasks that you would like to achieve but for which you have either insufficient time or competences;
    For instance, making a geographic database, or training colleagues or a group of beneficiaries in a new approach/tool. For more examples, check the various tasks of former Junior Experts;        
  5. provides your project with qualified know-how and new technical knowledge and/or competences;
  6. often offers new insights, introduces an external vision to the project and raises questions that may encourage thinking;
  7. shows a lot of enthusiasm and motivates people around him or her, which may bring dynamism to the project;
  8. may establish interfaces between projects, even of different organisations, because of the relations with other Junior Experts in these projects, because of the JE’s curiosity, or the desire to explore other aspects of cooperation;
  9. receives a mandatory pre-departure briefing in Brussels. This briefing introduces Junior Experts to professional aspects of development cooperation and prepares them to living and working in a different cultural setting;
  10. has a training budget in support to the development of the Junior's competences. Thus, the Junior Expert can further develop certain competences during the contract term in order to better fulfil job requirements or to be better prepared to find a job after their Junior Expert contract.


Costs and responsabilities

When one of your projects hosts a Junior Expert, the Junior Programme asks you to contribute, especially in supporting the Junior Expert.
Most financial costs are borne by the Junior Programme though.


What does the Junior Programme cover?

  • The monthly gross salary of 1,446.09 euro (minimum wage in Belgium)
  • Payment of accommodation costs (following ceiling fixed by country)
  • Payment of fees for overseas social security (repris par l'ONSS)
  • Payment of a 13th month, family allowances and double holiday allowance
  • Accident, hospitalisation and repatriation insurance
  • A contribution 556 euro towards luggage transportation (for both outbound and return)
  • One round-trip flight ticket per year
  • Certain costs related to expatriation: vaccines, visa, passport…
  • An individual training budget of 1000 euro/year which the Junior Expert can use in view of own work but also to pursue own career plans

In addition to the costs related to sending and employing a JE in the field, the Junior Programme also covers:

  • the whole selection procedure of candidates;
  • the pre-departure preparation and briefing of Junior Experts.


What your organisation must provide

  1. The operational costs
    Only the functioning costs of the Junior Expert in the field must be borne by the project: costs for missions, costs for equipment (office furniture, portable computer, all necessary software…), telephone bills, etc.
  2. Administrative support for obtaining residence/work permits
    Since the JE will work in your project, the administrative process for the JE obtaining work and residence permits from the authorities of the country of assignment must be prepared and followed until obtaining the necessary documents.
  3. Ensure security, jointly with Enabel 
    The organisation hosting a JE must also provide a security briefing and ensure security rules are respected by the JE in the field, such as rules concerning travel, transportation, sites to avoid, communication in case a problem emerges, etc. Security is the only support domain where the NGA and Enabel share responsibilities – even with the JE being assigned to the NGA. In fine, Enabel remains the final employer of the JE. The JE must respect the strictest rule, which may be either the Enabel or the NGA's rule. Good communication about the security rules of each organisation and good communication between the coach of the NGA and Enabel's Resident Representative are prerequisites.
  4. Follow-up

    Only appropriate follow-up can make such an experience into a real success for a young professional. The Junior Programme attaches much importance to this aspect. Mostly, the follow-up is done by the (‘+1’) supervisor as well as by an external coach.

    In the field, the Junior Expert is part of a team and is accompanied by the supervisor as a full team member. They meet regularly to discuss the Junior Expert’s functioning, the functioning of the team and the evolving package of duties which the Junior Expert is entrusted with. In such a setting, the Junior Expert gradually develops full potential and becomes more autonomous and accountable. The supervisor is under a direct employment contract with the Belgian organisation that is affiliated to the Junior Programme (Enabel or NGA) and the duration of which contract allowing to take on the coaching role for at least the first year of the JA's contract. He has maximum 2 Junior Experts in the team.

    In addition, a Junior Expert can rely on external, professional coaching in support of his personal and career development.


Witness accounts of supervisors

Here are some supervisors witness accounts.


       Line Risch, supervisor, 11-11-11 Burundi, 2013-2015
« It's very interesting to host a JA in one's project, because one can learn from the other. »


       Erasmo Otarola, supervisor Enabel Pérou, 2011-2015
« For young professionals to achieve their goals and reach fixed results, the coach must guide them in a personal way. On the other hand, as a coach, one must progressively give them more and more responsibility. It is surprising to what extent they can successfully complete work when using this approach. »


       Denis Ripoche, supervisor VSF Mali, 2010-2012
«  The Junior Expert provided the basis for a closer follow-up because of the time he had to do so – which we did not have – and this was really of help to us. Based on his follow-up and the weaknesses that he had identified, our organisation has redesigned the programme which now has become one of the flagship programmes in the region. »


   Laurent Messiaen, supervisor Enabel Rwanda, 2008-2016
« Our Junior Experts often took on research and development tasks developing new tools and methods with the partner institution, which we could never have done because all workers under the programme focused – as scheduled – on the advancement of the programme and not on anything beyond what was prescribed or planned. »


Future staff for your organisation

The Junior Programme has noticed that more and more organisations ask for services of a Junior Expert for their projects, and also that they increasingly recruit former Junior Experts.



Approximately 60% of Junior Experts further pursue a career in the development cooperation sector after their Junior Programme experience. Half of them work for an NGA. NGAs appreciate the competences and know-how that the JAs have acquired during their time in the field.
Read the complete study on former Juniors in the « Documents » part.

The Junior Programme and former Junior Experts share job ads in the sector through their Facebook group.
So, please do not hesitate to forward any job opening from your organisation to the Junior Programme team to have the network of former Juniors notified.


Job analysis criteria
Hosting Application procedure
A request does not guarantee supply


Only organisations affiliated to the Junior Programme can apply to host a Junior Expert. In addition to the Belgian development agency (Enabel) the following Belgian organisations are already affiliated.

If your organisation is not affiliated yet, you must follow the affiliation procedure before being able to apply to host a Junior Expert (JE).

Job analysis criteria

The job descriptions must fulfill certain criteria in order to be considered for validation by the Junior Programme.

The new limit on the number of affectations to 30 a year (2 calls x 15 affectations, except in 2018-2019 = 3 calls x 20 affectations) has led to new and stricter job analysis criteria. Per call, only 15 jobs are published (20 jobs in 2018-2019), i.d. the most qualitative ones, corresponding best with the fixed priorities. The Junior Programme will conduct a more qualitative analysis of the job descriptions, while taking up an intense guiding of the requests (combine the needs of the projects with the new strategic priorities of the Junior Programme).

The analysis grid consists of 3 types of criteria:

  • mandatory criteria (eliminating) 


Indicators/aspects of analysis

1. Partner country

Obligation to be located in 1 of the 14 partner countries (Enabel presence)

2. Security situation

Safe setting or less so?
> to be evaluated with the Enabel Resident Representative/NGA

3. Project duration

Min. 1 year after arrival of JE

4. Start of the project

Effectively started at time of call for Junior positions

5. Clear contribution to SDGs

Contribute to at least 1 of the SDGs

6. Available budget

For operational costs (laptop, office, missions, phone costs, etc.)

7. Involvement of local partners

Involvement in initial request if JE works in infrastructure of partner.
If more partners involved, supervisor will inform these.

8. Contract relation supervisor

With Enabel / Belgian NGA

  • 8 criteria for scoring



Indicators/aspects of analysis

1. Field exposure


Direct contact with beneficiaries & local reality
Exposure to SDG challenges
Frequent field missions (office/field ratio)
Duty Station

2. Added value JE


Coherence of function
Fosters JE learning (competences, resp., autonomy)
Balanced/adapted workload JE profile

3. Added value project


Value of contribution
Addressing field needs

4. Innovation


Room for experiments with innovative tools/approaches (action-research, new technologies, etc.)

5. Local capacity development


Fostering learning and teaming up with local partners, host organisations

6. Quality of Support & Follow-up


Nearness supervisor to JE
Max. 2  JEs/supervisor
Quality previous follow-up of JE by supervisor (when existing)

7. Networking & partnerships


Environment fostering the establishment/development of networks & partnerships (NGAs, private sector, etc.) = SDG 17

8. Project duration > 2 years


  • global criteria (balance between 15 posts published > only for Junior Programme team) 


Indicators/aspects of analysis

1. Diversity of JE profiles

Technical vs. general
Addressing future (evolving) demand for expertise

2. Diversity 14 partner countries

Limit number of JEs in most fragile countries

3. Fair balance between NGA & Enabel projects

Fair breakdown to be maintained


Hosting Application procedure

If your organisation is already affiliated and you want to call for Junior Experts in the near future, you must:

  1. Submit your requests for Junior Experts 2 times per year, by January 16th and by May 31th 2019.
    ACODEV and NGO-Federatie also inform their networks of the « calls » for the Junior Programme.
  2. Identify the potential Junior Expert's needs of the project and ensure that the logistical means (transportation etc.) and financing allow the project to host a JE for a period of at least one year.
  3. Submit your request by completing the 2 templates : Job description Administrative part. These documents should be filled in by the colleague who takes the role of "supervisor" of the JE.
  4. Have the request analysed and validated by the representative of your organisation in the country of assignment.
    * If your project is managed by a Belgian NGA, the NGA representative must send the forms to the Focal Point (FP) designated at the head office of the NGA. Please inform yourself to know who is the « Junior Programme » Focal Point within your organisation;
    * If your project is managed by Enabel, the proposed job description should be discussed with the concerned EST, OPS and/or COMM colleagues. Their remarks with respect to the content and their technical or practical comments should be integrated in the form BEFORE submission to the JP.
  5. The Focal Point at the head office of the NGA or – for a Enabel project – the Enabel Resident Representative centralises the requests and forwards them - by January 16th and by May 31st 2019 - to the Junior Programme's contact person (Project Officer);
  6. The recruited Junior Expert will leave approximately 8-9 months later.



  • Clearly identifying tasks and responsibilities as from the first stage of the process is a key to success. The Junior Expert as well as the project team will feel better upon arrival of the JE in the project.
  • We insist on the genuine added value that the JE will bring as well as on his/her empowerment and involvement in a very specific project assignment. That is why it is important to clearly define the expected output in the job description.
  • When drawing up the job description, keep in mind that the Descriptive section will be published as such on the internet to the attention of candidates. So, be clear and specific in the description (avoid abbreviations, explain technical terms…) so candidates, who are not familiar with the context or project, can understand the job and expectations. 
  • In ‘Requested profile’ in the job description, a list with degrees has been integrated in order to bring more coherence in the requested profiles and not to forget any degrees that might meet the need in your project. Please indicate or specify the degree requested.


A request does not guarantee supply

Submitting a request for a Junior Expert does not provide a guarantee that the Junior Programme will effectively be able to assign a JE to the job opening.  There may be several reasons for this:

  • The Junior Programme receives a large number of requests from the field. However, our  programme cannot fill up all these requests. That is why preference will be given to the most qualitative jobs. But this should not stop you from submitting the request again on the occasion of a later call.
  •  It may also be that we have no successful candidate at the end of the selection process. If this is the case, and if the conditions allow it, the vacancy will be published again on the occasion of a next call. 

Affiliation criteria

Affiliation procedure

If your organisation is not affiliated yet, you must follow the affiliation procedure before being able to apply to host a Junior Expert.

Affiliation criteria

To be affiliated your organisation must fulfil the following 5 affiliation criteria.

1. Be an NGA approved by the Belgian State in accordance with Article 26 of the Law of 19 March 2013 on Development Cooperation 

2. Manage project(s)/programme(s) in one or several partner countries of governmental cooperation, as the Junior Experts may only be sent out to these countries:

Senegal, Benin,

Rwanda, Uganda,


Niger, Mali,

Tanzania, Mozambique,


Burkina Faso, Guinée

Palestinian Territoires

DR Congo *

* The Junior Programme may currently not send out Junior Experts to DR Congo.

3. The project(s)/programme(s) relate(s) to sector and thematic concentration domains referred to in Articles 11 and 19 of the Law of 19 March 2013 on Development Cooperation:

Agriculture and food security Health care
(including access to health for all, access to reproductive health and the fight against major endemics,
including the transversal approach to HIV/AIDS)

Gender Equality

Education and training Protection of the environment and natural resources
(including the fight against climate change, droughts and global deforestation)


Basic infrastructure Human rights
(including chikdren's rights)

Sustainable and decent work

4. Have expatriate or local staff under an employment contract in the field (= in a partner country of the Belgian Development Cooperation).
    The Junior Programme actually requires a person under employment contract of the Belgian NGA to be designated as the supervisor of the Junior Expert.

5. Fully adhere to

  • the 2 agreements (one agreement between Enabel and the NGA and one three-party agreement between Enabel, the NGA and the JA)
  • and the 2 guidelines (JA + supervisor) proposed by Enabel.

Affiliation procedure

If your organisation fulfils the 5 affiliation criteria, we invite you to:

  • complete the affiliation form by mentioning a contact person of the NGA head office being the focal point for the Junior Programme;
  • complete the NGA-Enabel convention;
  • have these two documents signed by the representative of your organisation and send the originals in 2 copies to the Junior Programme

Junior Programme – Enabel
To the attention of Karen Morice - Coordinator
Rue Haute 147
B- 1000 Brussels

Next, a consultative Committee consisting of representatives of the Belgian development agency Enabel, of the Junior Programme, of DGD and of the Belgian NGO federations (Acodev, ngo-federatie and Fiabel) will analyse this request in view of approval.

For more information :  - +32 (0) 2 / 505.18.34

Upcoming events

06 to 07 January to February

Call 2020 for Junior Experts requests (1)

Monday, 06/01/2020 - 9:00 to Friday, 07/02/2020 - 18:00
01 to 20 February to April

Departures moments (2)

Saturday, 01/02/2020 - 9:00 to Monday, 20/04/2020 - 18:00
10 to 06 February to March

Analyse Junior Experts requests (1)

Monday, 10/02/2020 - 9:00 to Friday, 06/03/2020 - 18:00