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Welcome to our newest YPARD Steering Committee member!

YPARD Steering Committee welcomes on board Femke Van der lee, an enthusiast and bright young woman from the Netherlands, interested in agricultural and environmental concerns in developing countries. Her interest for agricultural research and development grew during her study in International Development at Wageningen University. She specialised in rural development sociology and did an internship in Cuba where she worked and lived for four months with farmers. After her graduation in 2010, she joined the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) as a Junior Advisor. “KIT is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation, operating at the interface between theory and practice and between policy and implementation. In our work, we strive to collaborate and work closely with partners in the South, such as FARA, IFAD, CABI, but also with locally based NGO’s or government-related organisations.” Femke says. As a Junior Advisor, Femke is contributes to the advices given on the design and implementation of interventions in the domains of agricultural development and food security. In the past few months, she has particularly developed her expertise on multi-stakeholder processes, e.g. in the form of innovation platforms. In the light of this expertise, she has done two case studies in Ghana and Zambia and co-facilitated writeshops in Kenya and Nigeria. Recently, she has contributed to the publication of the book Putting heads together: Agricultural innovation platforms in practice. As agriculture, food security and environmental concerns are likely to become only more stringent in the future, she strongly believes in the need to involve young people in this working field. In her opinion, this is not restricted to involving young professionals in policy development and debates, but also includes raising awareness and offering insights to non-specialists. This is why she is convinced of the need for YPARD’s work, and she is particularly motivated and interested to contribute. We are confident that Femke will bring a valuable contribution to guide strategically YPARD’s programme and services. We welcome her, once again, warmly!