The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data.
Background / General description:
Senior Nutrition Specialist
Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff globally.
The vision of the World Bank Group (WBG) is the eradication of extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and the promotion of shared prosperity by fostering income growth of the bottom 40 percent in each country. To achieve that vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy which has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.
On July 1, 2014, the WBG launched the architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success: the new fourteen Global Practices and five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas that, in concert with the WBG regions, will design solutions to address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
The Global Practices perform the following functions:
• Defining Strategic Direction: (i) define strategic priorities to deliver solutions and achieve results based on country and regional demands and interactions and global priorities; (ii) define/implement integrated resource strategies, (iii) engage in selected, high priority partnerships, and (iv) establish robust monitoring and reporting systems.
• Developing and Deploying Expertise Globally: (i) lead the development and delivery of solutions to clients by deploying the right technical staff where and when needed; and (ii) invest in developing technical talent.
• Delivering Integrated Solutions: (i) deliver operations, while Regions ensure fit for purpose; (ii) develop public-private integrated solutions that draw on GPs, CCSAs, MIGA and IFC; and (iii) hold the “Concurrence” role in all project/AAA approval steps, ensuring that all technical quality, safeguard and fiduciary requirements (if applicable) are met.
• Capturing and Leveraging Knowledge Effectively: (i) ensure knowledge is used effectively to deliver solutions to clients; (ii) assign staff roles and accountabilities in creating, capturing, sharing and using knowledge’ (iii) reward knowledge sharing and learning, in performance management and career development; and (iv) develop knowledge base around key development challenges and solutions sets.
HEALTH, NUTRITION AND POPULATION GLOBAL PRACTICE
The central contribution of the HNP Global Practice to the World Bank’s twin goals is to enable the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), in which all people are effectively covered by essential health services, and nobody suffers undue financial hardship as a result of illnesses. In the quest for UHC, the HNP Global Practice is building on progress made in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, an array of analytical and advisory services, strategic partnerships with partner institutions and other financing agencies, and an active lending portfolio. The HNP Global Practice includes staff members in Washington, DC and many country offices.
The HNP Global Practice is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Senior Director is assisted by the Director, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Practice. The HNP Global Practice Leadership Team, which leads and manages the HNP GP, consists of the Senior Director, the Director, ten HNP Practice Managers and seven Global Leads (for Financing; Healthy Societies; Nutrition; Population and Development; Decision and Delivery Science; Service Delivery; and Private Sector). The HNP Global Practice works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that HNP outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the HNP sector. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving HNP outcomes.
The HNP Global Practice covering the Sub-Saharan Africa Region is configured in three units with a Practice Manager for each unit.
Major challenges to maternal and child health and development due to poor nutrition remain across multiple countries and regions despite recent progress on some indicators. Many countries are producing new generations of their population who are locked into low productive capacities due to the effects of malnutrition on children’s physical and cognitive development. Countries affected by stunting and other forms of malnutrition lose billions of dollars in waged employment and avoidable health care spending.
Nigeria is one of the six countries that contributes one half of child deaths globally due to malnutrition, with under five and infant mortality rates above the African regional average. In 2014 the prevalence of stunting in children under five was 32 percent. There is significant regional variation within the country, with the North having higher rates than the South and nine States – each the size of an African country – having rates that exceed 50 percent. Although child malnutrition is more common in poor households, nearly 25percent of children in high-income families are stunted. Vitamin A deficiency is common in children and women while vitamin A supplementation is low (70% in 2015) representing a lost opportunity for saving children’s lives. Anemia, due to poor dietary iron combined with common infection and parasites, affects three-quarters of children and two-thirds of women.
Nigeria is one of the focus countries for the “Investing in Early Years” initiative of the World Bank. Some sectors such as Health/Nutrition/Population, Agriculture and Social Protection have designed nutrition-sensitive operations, but these will require considerable operational support to achieve intended results. It is anticipated that additional World Bank operations with a nutrition focus would be developed during the next few years.
Note: This position is subject to international recruitment. The duty station is Abuja, Nigeria.
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 3 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Senior Nutrition Specialist will:
• Provide direct technical support in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the nutrition engagement in Nigeria, support operations to ensure that high quality, relevant, and cost effective program interventions are designed and implemented in line with international best practice and to ensure that high impact nutrition interventions and activities are implemented and accelerated in a timely manner, within budget and are of good quality;
• Work closely with partners, the Nutrition Global Lead and Global Solutions Group and HNP GP teams to ensure that the latest country data and, when available, costed national plans for nutrition, are incorporated into the Nigeria operations across HNP, Agriculture, WASH, Education and Social Safety nets;
• Promote the integration of nutrition into maternal, child and adolescent health programs and delivery platforms, while ensuring that it takes place within the broader health system strengthening efforts at the country level; and linking to WBGs new focus on “Investing in the Early Years”
• Provide technical resources, learning and guidance to address nutrition within the design and implementation of operations across sectors, including through identification of both policy and programmatic barriers.
• Provide technical assistance to explore the opportunities to support multi-sectoral interventions for nutrition-specific and sensitive actions in existing (and future) investments in the health, social protection, agriculture, education and WASH sectors.
• Prepare and submit recommendations on project implementation plans to strengthen the design, timeliness, alignment and targeting of nutrition actions, as well as the consistent use of nutrition indicators in the projects results framework;
• Coordinate closely with the private sector working groups in Nigeria to leverage platforms and partnerships to support nutrition;
• Maintain a constructive relationship with key partners in Nutrition in Nigeria (e.g., SUN global movement; Power of Nutrition, Dangote Foundation, the Gates Foundation etc.) to ensure that WBG investments are aligned and coordinated with other agencies in this field;
• Participate in and contribute to the Nutrition Global Solutions group via contribution to global events/ASAs, peer reviews, learning events, etc.
• Summarize and document results, lessons learned success and best practices, strategies and approaches to support the effective integration and delivery of nutrition services to vulnerable populations;
• In consultation with the Global Lead on Nutrition, contribute to positioning nutrition as a critical issue to improve human development outcomes and accelerate poverty reduction in Nigeria.
• Advanced degree (PhD preferred) in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: public health and/or nutrition, or a closely related field, with minimum 8 years of relevant experience; Demonstrated operational experience working with large multisectoral teams on nutrition issues to design, support the implementation and evaluate the results of nutrition-focused operations;
• Knowledge/skills in economics will be an asset;
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
• Fluency in spoken and written English; some understanding of French will be desirable.
• Ability to work independently, with initiative and minimal supervision within large teams;
• Demonstrated grasp of prevalent nutrition challenges affecting countries in Africa and the principal interventions available to control and prevent them, and understanding of barriers/bottlenecks to nutrition policy and programming at country level;
• Experience/skills in developing costed plans and/or investment plans for nutrition and knowledge of World Bank policies, practices, and operations environment will be an asset;
• Experience in designing and supporting the implementation of results-based financing approaches to achieve nutrition results will be an asset.
• Previous experience working in Nigeria or other fragile and conflict affected states will be an asset.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.
• Health, Nutrition and Population Knowledge and Experience - has the ability to critically assess the performance of health systems, to identify key challenges and solutions. Understands and is able to articulate the basic economic issues related to HNP. Has broad cross-sectoral understanding relevant to HNP and is able to identify how HNP issues relate to overall country development strategies, non-HNP policy decisions, and development initiatives across sectors. Ability to lead the Bank's overall strategy development and policy dialogue in HNP in a country.
• Integrative skills - is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work, and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.
• Lead and Innovate – encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions. Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG's values and mission. Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context.
• Deliver Results for Clients - Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients. Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.
• Collaborates Within Teams and Across Boundaries - collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect. Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due. Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes. Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners. Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff. Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks.
• Make Smart Decisions - applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG's strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long-term implications of decisions. Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.
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.
Method of Application
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