World Bank Job Vacancy for an Economist

The World Bank, a member of the World Bank Group, is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Our mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.

Job Title:  Economist

Background / General description:

The World Bank Group (WBG) twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity reflect a new global landscape: one in which developing countries have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation.

The WBG will face traditional and new challenges as it works with partners to reach those who live in extreme and moderate poverty. Indeed, many of those who emerged from poverty in recent years remain vulnerable to shocks and slowdowns in growth. Concerted efforts to equalize opportunities are necessary for substantial improvements in shared prosperity.

Reaching the ambitious WBG twin goals will require high and sustained economic growth across the developing world that also translates more effectively into poverty reduction in each country. This kind of robust, sustainable, inclusive growth—that achieves the maximum possible increase in living standards of the less well-off—is not business as usual, and has important implications for the WBG. In particular, the quest for economic growth, poverty reduction and shared prosperity can no longer be seen as separate, nor can policy options be viewed as a trade-off between economic growth and poverty reduction. At the same time, these priorities must be consistent with each country’s economic, social and institutional context and challenges—there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Ultimately, the twin goals demand a sharper, country-specific understanding of the constraints to growth and the trade-offs that available macro and sectoral policy choices entail, to promote substantial improvements in the welfare of the less well-off.

The WBG’s first joint strategy seeks to position the institution to deliver better for its clients by: (1) maximizing development impact by identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) convening public and private resources, expertise and ideas.

Poverty Global Practice

In order to achieve this, the institution is organized around fourteen global practices (GP) and five cross-cutting solution areas (CCSA), one of which is the Poverty Global Practice (Poverty GP).
The Poverty GP plays three key –leading and supportive– roles: sectoral integrator at country level; generator of knowledge and dialogue; and operational solutions supporter. The country-level work of the poverty global practice typically falls under one or more of the following three streams:
Laying the foundations for evidence-based policy by strengthening data on household welfare: this is the foundational work, mostly delivered through TA and occasionally through statistical capacity-building investment operations, to support the design and implementation of household surveys, provide advice on best-practice methodologies for estimating household welfare, poverty, and shared prosperity, and build capacity and strengthen country systems for collecting data on and monitoring household welfare.

Defining the agenda through integrative analysis and dialogue: this stream of work has focused on using the household-level data, wherever available, to undertake integrative analyses to inform the policy dialogue and advance the poverty reduction and shared prosperity agenda and priorities at the regional, national and occasionally sub-national levels.

Delivering operational solutions: this stream of work focuses on collaborating with internal and external partners to translate the upstream analytics into concrete implementable measures and support the implementation of particular interventions aimed at reducing poverty. This includes supporting the preparation of Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks, as well as the analysis of poverty and social impacts of Bank operations.

The development and flow of global knowledge within the practice is facilitated through four cross-cutting global solution areas, each of which is led by a thematic Lead Economist. These are: (i) Poverty monitoring and statistical capacity building, (ii) Markets and institutions for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, (iii) Fiscal and social policy for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, and (iv) Resilience to shocks and sustainability of poverty reduction and shared prosperity.

The AFR poverty program is currently active in 47 countries. Across the continent and also in Nigeria, tasks range from foundational work in statistical system-strengthening to upstream analyses aimed at informing policy priorities for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity, to more granular downstream analyses in support of operational solutions. Country-level trust funds from various bilateral development partners support our work in a number of AFR countries. As in other regions, the poverty practice is centrally involved (in some cases leading) in all the planned SCDs in AFR, and is also responsible for poverty and shared prosperity monitoring at the regional level.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 2 year term appointment

Duties and Accountabilities:

The selected candidate will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, and will lead or support poverty programs in that country, as well as (to a lower extent) in other selected African countries. Like all members of the poverty global practice, the candidate will also be expected to contribute to the global knowledge base of the practice. In particular, the selected candidate will be expected to:
o             Examining labor markets and jobs outcomes – with a focus on improving employment opportunities and mobility for vulnerable households and women,
o             Analyzing the distributional impact of fiscal, social and other sector policies and investments, and assessing their role in promoting equity and gender equality;
•             Advise country and sectoral teams on how to address poverty, equity, gender issues and promote evidence based decision making with support for country assistance strategies, policy loans, investment operations, and other country and regional analytic products.
•             Contribute to the development of regional public goods in statistical development, including regional and global statistical initiatives for data sharing and analysis. 
•             Engage in operational and policy dialogue with clients to design and deliver innovative analytical work, capacity building services, financial products and technical assistance. 
•             Participate and lead teams to provide knowledge (analytical work, technical assistance, capacity building), financial and convening services in at least one of the following areas:
o             Providing technical assistance to client countries in the design and implementation of household surveys and best-practice methodologies for estimating and monitoring poverty and household welfare more broadly;
o             Using and developing new and innovative frameworks, instruments and technologies to monitor poverty, equity and gender trends; and to store, process, share and analyze data;
o             Designing and implementing top quality analytical work on poverty, gender and equity, including diagnostics of mobility, vulnerability, multi-dimensional poverty, and agency and voice;

Selection Criteria:
Demonstrated strength in at least one of the three streams of work around which the poverty global practice’s country-level programs are structured. Experience in more than one of those work streams is desirable.
• Technical and Quantitative Skills as an Applied Development Microeconomist - Has experience in microeconometrics and statistical modeling - designing, implementing household surveys & performing complex econometric analysis.
• Written and Verbal Communication - Delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup
• Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions.
• Deliver Results for Clients- Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries- Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge- Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
• Make Smart Decisions- Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.
• General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills - Possesses a demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and analytical tools and models to conduct economic analyses and produce user-friendly written outputs; understands underlying statistical concepts.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.
• Integrative Skills - Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.

• A personal commitment to development and to fighting poverty and to reducing gender inequality.
• Master’s or PhD degree in economics or related field (PhD is desirable) and a minimum of 2-5 years of relevant operational/practitioner experience.
• Ability to work with staff from all levels and to mentor, coach and motivate more junior staff.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Intermediate French in addition to English is desirable.
The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
• Excellent quantitative and analytical background with a record of high quality analytical work in the areas outline above.  Publications in peer reviewed journals are desirable.
• Experience as a practitioner in developing and/or transition countries is desirable.
• Experience with operational programs (including capacity building) for poverty reduction, labor markets, and gender equity is a plus.
• Superb interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate effectively with multi-disciplinary teams, and to listen and integrate ideas from varied sources, governments, NGOs and donors, while being diplomatic and sensitive to cultural, political and gender