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Vacancy At World Bank Group

Date Posted: 10/Feb/2014
Deadline: 21/Feb/2014

Senior Governance Specialist

Background / General description:

The Africa Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Group (AFR PREM) plays a key role in implementing the Africa Region Strategy and the Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC) strategy. It has significant responsibilities in strengthening efforts to build sustainable and effective institutions that can help bring about shared growth and poverty reduction in the countries of the region. Strengthening economic policy and public sector governance are two key priorities for the department.


The AFTP3 is part of AFR PREM team and focuses on economic management and public sector and governance in West Africa, as well as trade, poverty and gender. The work of the unit includes lending, analytical and advisory activities and other engagement, with an increasing focus on knowledge. The unit provides support to key stakeholders, in government, private sector and civil society and also plays an important catalytic role in the Country Management Units (CMUs).


In Nigeria, the PREM Unit has traditionally focused on aspect of the following core thematic areas: public expenditure management, including public finance management, civil service management, anti-corruption and demand for good governance. In preparation for the Country Program Strategy FY14-17, a Programmatic Approach to Governance was initiated, with the support a Governance Partnership trust fund for Nigeria. The Approach comprised a multi sectoral effort across the portfolio to: (i) improve the country level knowledge of the political economy and the politics of reform in Nigeria, (ii) build consensus around the implementation of a governance filer, and (iii) propose a number of operational implications for this work, including reforms to the business model for the country team and specific task teams operating in Nigeria. The Approach also supported innovative work in the Niger Delta: including work around conflict , experiments around the use of media in promoting evidence-based budget and policy debates and a new approach – termed fiscal ethnography – to understanding the de facto institutional arrangements around capital spending in Edo state. The later – both in its methodology and its findings – makes a number of recommendations that are relevant for the Bank’s PFM portfolio in Nigeria as well as the global thinking on best fit approaches to public sector beyond Nigeria.


A second phase of GPF funding is foreseen, based on the positive reviews by DFID of the initial phase. The second phase will entail: i) a scaling up of just in time political economy and governance analytical work at the sector and project level,  (ii) support to task teams to pilot adaptive learning processes during project implementation with a view to improving the results focus, (iii) a more systematic approach to work in states with high level ownership for reform under a political economy lens, and (iv) a more systematic engagement around knowledge work with a view to improving the role of the Bank as a knowledge broker in Nigeria. Under the CPS FY14-17, AFTP3 also has a number of projects under its management, including the SEE FOR which provides opportunities for new approaches to PFM reform at the state level, as well as opportunistic approaches to federal level institutional reforms.  


AFTP3 is looking to recruit a Senior Governance Specialist with expertise in political economy, public financial management and the mainstreaming of governance across large country portfolios. The successful candidate should be able bring best practice development solutions to local contexts.


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 successful candidate will report directly to the Sector Manager and will work closely with the decentralized West Africa Cluster Leader (CL) based in Abuja, Nigeria.  The position will be based in Abuja.  The selected candidate will be expected to carry out the following duties:


• Support the day to day implementation of the Programmatic Approach to Governance in Nigeria under the task team leader and the cluster lead.

•Function as a Secretariat to the multi-sectoral Governance Filter team, supporting task teams ahead of concept note and decision meeting reviews, briefing the Country Director and providing follow up, as needed to sector teams.

•Support task teams in: a) using political economy and governance analytical tools throughout the project and ESW cycle with a view to improving their development effectiveness, and b) promoting cross sector/geographic approaches in reform ready states with a view to leveraging the Bank’s role more strategically around local policy priorities. More specifically this will involve engaging an array of task teams to understand their operational needs and translating this into tasking notes that a specialized PE firm can respond to, under a drawdown contact which is being put in place. This will require an ability to work with task teams across sectors, an in-depth knowledge of a range of methodologies, the ability to liaise with external consultants to achieve quality work and the credibility to ensure quality of work undertaken.

•Assist the TTL of SEEFOR to implement the PFM component across states, building on recent applied thinking at the state level, and in the country, on how to tailor PFM interventions to local realities, building on existing capacities and institutional arrangements, in order to increase their relevance and impact.

•Improve the linkage of public sector reform efforts with social accountability initiatives, building on early lessons emerging from, for example, the Niger Delta Social Accountability initiative.

•Work with sector colleagues and, in particular, EXT colleagues to find new ways to engage external stakeholders to disseminate Bank products with a view to improving the environment for information and transparency.

•Provide inputs to the CL for reporting and management of the Governance Partnership Facility, Nigeria.


Selection Criteria:

• Graduate degree with at least eight years of experience in public administration, economics, social science, political science, or other related field.

• Excellent analytical skills and direct experience in undertaking political economy and governance analysis, along with  in-depth knowledge of traditional and innovative approaches to PFM.

• Proven track record at applying analytical thinking in the area of political economy and PFM to Bank operations. Experience in proving value added of this work to an array of task teams. 

• In depth knowledge of World Bank instruments for improving development effectiveness through different methodological approaches to governance and public sector management.

• Solid knowledge of demand -side governance activities, including work with civil society and local communities and familiarity with instruments such as access to information, grievance redress, media development, citizens’ score-cards, participatory budgeting, etc.

• Strong client skills, including a demonstrated capacity to work with government counterparts around transparency and accountability interventions, in weak governance contexts.

• Demonstrated track-record of being a self-starter, delivering tasks on time with quality and working in a multi-cultural environments.

• Ability to work under tight deadlines and juggle multiple tasks.


Key Competencies


• Policy Dialogue Skills - Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners. 

• Integrative Skills - Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas and how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work.  

• Written and Verbal Communication - Demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations,  and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers) 

• Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge. 

• Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables. 

• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches. 

• Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels. 

• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Method of Application

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