Making policies work

Vacancy: Junior policy officer in the Sustainable Food Systems team

Junior policy officer in the sustainable food systems team (40 hours/week)

Are you interested in agricultural and rural development and have experience in food security, food systems or climate and environmental management? We are looking for a junior policy officer to join our sustainable food systems team in Maastricht.

Who are we?

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) is a leading independent think tank that wants to make policies in Europe and Africa work for inclusive and sustainable development. We have two offices: in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium).

Our more than 60 staff members from over 25 countries worldwide provide independent research, advice and practical support to policymakers, advisors and practitioners in Europe, Africa and beyond. Our focus is on EU foreign policy and policies related to conflict, migration, governance, sustainable food systems, regional integration, business, finance and trade.

About the Sustainable Food Systems Team

The sustainable food systems team is part of our Economic and Agricultural Transformation programme, which wants to help African and European institutions accomplish strategies for sustainable economic and agricultural transformation in Africa.

The sustainable food systems team supports international and African stakeholders in formulating and implementing coherent policies, and investments for sustainable agricultural transformation and food and nutrition security. The team seeks to contribute to a more inclusive, better informed policy dialogue between the public and private sector on (regional) food value chain development and the economic, social and environmental sustainability of food systems. We put great emphasis on governance innovations, political economy of reforms, territorial development, trade and regional integration, and the role of the private sector for development, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What will you be doing?

As a junior policy officer in the sustainable food systems team, you will help us:

• Conduct research and analysis.
• Communicate the findings of our research and analysis, including through blogs and papers.
• Organise policy dialogue events.
• Build, expand and maintain our strategic networks and partnerships.
• Develop funding proposals.

You are based in our Maastricht office and will report to the head of the Sustainable Food Systems programme.

Who are we looking for?

Our ideal candidate:

• Is a motivated and flexible young professional who is excited at the prospect of working in a dynamic and fast-paced organisation.
• Has a degree in economics, political science, political economy, development studies or any other field related to the areas of work.
• Has at least two years of relevant working experience, preferably in an African context.
• Has knowledge on and is interested in agricultural and rural development, food security, food systems or climate and environmental management.
• Is fluent in English, and preferably French too.
• Is interested in and has experience with doing practical policy research and facilitating policy processes and multi-stakeholder partnerships. An understanding of political economy analysis or gender mainstreaming in policy-making is a plus.
• Is motivated by working in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
• Knows how to work independently and in a team.
• Has experience with using social media and other communication tools in a professional context.
• Has excellent writing, editing, analytical and synthesis skills, and knows how to structure arguments and present options to policymakers in a non-partisan way.
• Has good organisation skills, is committed to quality and knows how work towards deadlines and deal with conflicting demands.

What do we offer you?

• A one-year contract for 40 hours a week.
• A salary ranging between €37,853 and €45,718 gross per year, including holiday allowance and end of year allowance – depending on experience.
• A generous package of 47 leave days.
• A pension plan, relocation support and a bike scheme.
• A lot of room to grow and learn.
• A home in an international and dynamic organisation, based in one of the most beautiful buildings of Maastricht.
• An opportunity to travel within Europe and to Africa.
• Flexible working hours and the possibility to work from home.

More information

If you would like to receive more information about the position or working at ECDPM, please get in touch with Karen Gielen via or +31 (0)433 502 937.

For more information about ECDPM and our areas of work, please have a look at our website.

How to apply?

How to apply? If you are interested in the position, please send us the completed application form in English before Thursday 28 February 2019 by midnight. You can address your application to Karen Gielen at

The subject line of your application should read: ‘Application junior policy sustainable food systems‘. We will not take into account incomplete or late applications. Interviews and a written exercise will take place early March. The preferred starting date for the position is 1 May 2019.


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