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Application call for EPHA-OSF Early Childhood Development Paid Fellowship

With the support of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program of the Open Society Foundations, EPHA (the European Public Health Alliance) – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health – launches a one-year fellowship programme (2018 – 2019) to train and mentor an ECD Fellow. The ECD Fellow will benefit from financial remuneration (consultant status).

The Fellowship aims to empower a Roma ECD Advocate to develop the necessary tools to engage with European policy makers. Ideally, the Fellow would be seconded from a civil society organisation based in Central or Eastern Europe. The Roma ECD fellow (and his/her sending organisation) will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills with a practical and European orientation, and develop contacts and cooperation with key EU-level actors (e.g. European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and European networks of NGOs inter-alia).

(Please note there is a separate call for applications for the EU Roma Health Fellowship.)

Early Childhood Fellowship programme

The programme provides tailored technical assistance for a Roma ECD activist on EU Health and early childhood development advocacy. The tailored assistance will include mentoring and training component on the key EU health and early childhood development processes. It will also facilitate establishing partnerships and potential collaborations with relevant EU actors.

The work of the Roma ECD fellow could be integrated into EPHA’s work on health inequalities, and on Roma Health and ECD more specifically. There are many options depending on the Fellow’s interest and background but she/he would be expected to contribute to the design and implementation of EPHA’s advocacy strategy on Roma health and ECD. The Fellow could progress to either develop an ECD-specific case study or to include a strong child rights dimension into the Roma specific advocacy actions. As there is a strong case for investment in social policies from the youngest age, the Fellow could further monitor Roma-related content of the European Pillar of Social Rights and/or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with regard to the social determinants of health (such as child poverty). Another option would be to develop a national case study concerning maternal and child health and equity to expand the evidence based on access to healthcare for mothers and young children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We strongly encourage applications from persons of Roma origin, as the ECD Fellowship is aligned with the EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellowship programme and EPHA’s work on Roma health. Experience of living or working in Roma communities would be an advantage.

Depending on the preference of the Fellow, the ECD Fellowship will include a Brussels based period of ca. 3 months (full time) and 9 months (3days/week) based in his/her home country. The Fellowship mentoring will be mainly conducted via electronic communication between the Fellow and EPHA staff so as to develop the following skills and knowledge:

  • An understanding of the EU decision making and consultation processes with a focus on health and ECD actors within the EU institutions;
  • Improved policy analysis and policy drafting skills, including policy recommendations for decision makers;
  • Building alliances with various organisations operating in social and health sectors;
  • Improved presentation and public speaking skills via face-to-face meetings with EU decision makers.

The Roma ECD Fellow will be managed and supported by the EPHA Roma Health and ECD project manager and will have a senior EPHA staff member as a mentor for his/her professional development

Objectives and expected outcomes

The overarching goal of the Fellowship is to empower the Roma ECD Fellow to develop the necessary tools to engage in advocacy on children’s health and development with European policy makers. Upon finishing the Fellowship, the Roma ECD fellow will be able to navigate EU decision-making processes, interact and advocate for advancing children’s health and development in health-relevant EU policies and programmes.

The expected outcomes of the Fellowship are training an ECD Fellow to develop and implement a 1 year program coordinated by the project manager and supported by the mentor, to strengthen his/her public speaking skills, to deepen his/her knowledge about the EU advocacy techniques as well as to strengthen his/her networks by meeting EU decision-makers. The Roma ECD Fellow is also expected to have a better understanding and advocacy related experience concerning children’s health and development in Europe. The successful Fellow will build a solid working relationship with the International Romani Early Years Network (REYN) and national REYNs, join the EU Roma health and ECD alumni network and she/he may potentially be engaged in further EU Roma health and ECD advocacy initiatives coordinated by EPHA.

Qualifications and requirements for the early childhood fellow:

  • Fluency in English, written and spoken;
  • Understanding and motivation on children’s health and early childhood development issues;
  • Active in civil society sector on ECD, children’s health or children’s rights for a minimum of two years’ professional or voluntary experience;
  • University degree in a relevant field (medical, or social field) or equivalent experience;
  • Excellent written and oral communication and strong analytical skills;
  • Ability to work independently and at distance;
  • Creative mindset, strong motivation and initiative


  • Experience of living and/or working in a Roma community;
  • Seconded from a civil society organization based in central or eastern Europe;
  • Previous experience in advocacy (influencing decision making at local, regional, national or European level);
  • Masters level qualification in health or social sciences;
  • Experience in a civil society leadership role.

We encourage applications from countries with large Roma communities (e.g. Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, BiH, FYRO Macedonia, Turkey.)
(Please note, former EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellows or ECD Fellows cannot benefit from this programme again.)

What we offer

The successful candidate will be offered a consultancy contract on the basis of a daily fee.

Duration of the Fellowship activities of the project:

May 2018 – May 2019

Deadline to apply:

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 17:00 CET.

How to apply:

  • Please send your CV (maximum 2 pages, without any photo), your personal motivation letter (maximum 1 page) explaining your interest and a cover letter (written by the organisation where you are currently working elaborating on how your organization could benefit from this experience).
  • If not currently employed please provide a reference letter from your past employer or from a university professor. It is of particular interest for us to see how you are already committed to work on ECD issues and how this Fellowship could further your experience..
  • Send your application to with “Roma ECD Fellowship Program- application” in the subject line

Incomplete or late applications and/or applications not respecting the above criteria will not be evaluated.

Selection procedure:

EPHA and the OSF Early Childhood Programme will do a pre-selection of candidates based on the applications received. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a telephone/Skype interview.

The selection will be made without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

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