Annely Koudstaal

The Junior Professional Officer programme (JPO) is a highly competitive programme, and as a result, IFAD is giving me the full responsibilities of a partnership officer, just like my colleagues.

The JPO programme is providing an exceptional opportunity to gain experience in an international organization, and because of IFAD's hybrid nature as a UN agency and international financial institution, the programme has allowed me to broaden my career profile and better define the direction that I want to pursue professionally.

"The most rewarding parts of my work as a JPO at IFAD are the concrete outputs that we are producing as a team, cross-departmental work with amazing colleagues, and the dynamics of working with people from all over the world."

By providing strategic and policy support to a corporate initiative that aims to improve IFAD's future financing model, I am working with the finance, legal and operations departments, and directly with members of senior management, thereby gaining a valuable insight into how corporate strategy is defined and how decisions are made at the highest level.

Through this experience, and through my other work stream focused on brokering partnerships with the private sector, I am specializing in what for me is the future of development cooperation: new development finance models and partnering with new actors. My JPO training was dedicated to scenario planning, studying the concepts of possible futures, system changes and global transformations, a skill that I could immediately apply in my day-to-day work.

The JPO programme is not only worthwhile from a professional perspective, but also on a personal level I am developing, especially because of the inputs of my highly committed and dynamic colleagues and being supervised by an experienced and dedicated director. Being based in Rome, and with regular missions to countries across continents, I am getting to know the world a bit better.

The most rewarding parts of my work as a JPO at IFAD are the concrete outputs that we are producing as a team, cross-departmental work with amazing colleagues, and the dynamics of working with people from all over the world. The JPO programme is a unique and rewarding experience that I would not have wanted to miss.