Early Childhood Development Specialist


The Bernard van Leer Foundation is seeking a passion-driven and motivated Early Childhood Development (ECD) Specialist to join our Knowledge for Policy team. The ECD Specialist will provide advice, support and technical assistance to our partners implementing scaling partnerships, build capacity on ECD both internally and external, and help establish and nurture strong relations with our networks.


Early Childhood Development

Technical Assistance

·     Identify, provide and facilitate the appropriate technical assistance on early childhood development to strategic partners and teams in our portfolio countriesand in our learning partnerships. Particular focus on parenting and early childhood development policies and programmes, urban systems, indicators, monitoring and evaluation.

·     Support knowledge exchange and building capacity both internally within BvLF and externally with existing and new partners. 

·     Lead and support production of new editions of BvLF’s early childhood development training/ knowledge products and resource materials. 

·     Support development and management of knowledge uptake activities such as Executive Education courses, study tours, convening and events to build capacity on the field across different sectors. 

Review Investments with ECD Lens

·     Review and provide early childhood development-related feedback to all BvLF proposals above agreed threshold.

·     Provide advice and support on activities within BvLF’s strategic pillars Parents+, Urban 95 and Early Years Thought Leadership 

Scanning and Innovation

·     Work with Knowledge for Policy, Programme and Management Team to define the areas of a scale-up process where the foundation can add the most value and help to facilitate support for the partners.

·     Support the foundation to define our research agenda to best support, innovate and lead in the field of early childhood development.

·     Support and ideate for ongoing efforts to integrate Parent+ and Urban 95 objectives in our grants.

·     Providing general and specific support to any administrative work or projects assigned by supervisor.


Early childhood:

·         Early childhood expertise in a relevant discipline (health, nutrition, education, development, psychology, public policy or another relevant field) with particularexpertise in the period of a child’s life from conception to age three.

·         Seven or more years of relevant experience, including considerable experience in the implementation of health, nutrition and early childhood related projects in the field, and ideally experience of taking a programme to scale (e.g. a national programme).

·         Excellent knowledge of the health, nutrition and early childhood development landscape: Able to navigate early childhood -related networks and early childhood specialists (government, academia, foundations, international organizations, etc.).

·         Of particular interest for our work are knowledge of early childhood health & nutrition, brain development, parenting education, mental health, urban and place-based approaches to early childhood development 

 New ideas:

·         Aptitude for applying an early childhood lens to other cross-cutting issues particularly urban planning and humanitarian assistance.

·         Interest and ability in thinking strategically and innovatively about how BvLF can enact its mission and continue to contribute in unique ways to the early childhood field.

 Analytical and management skills:

·         Strong analytical and communication skills: can extract/synthesize and structure information for different audiences and develop materials to deliverkey messages.

·         Strong project management skills: able to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.

·         Strong communication, networking and partner management skills with proven experience in negotiating contracts and managing specific outcomes according to contract.

·         Well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, and empathy


Fluent in English.Proficiency in other languages used in the Foundation’s programs is a plus. (Arabic, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish).


Organizational competencies: 


Learning Ability

Result Orientedness 

Job specific competencies:

Problem Analysis



Written Communication

Role posted - 2021-03-11T14:44:19Z 3:44pm, 11th Mar 2021 CET