The World Bank – External Affairs Consultant.

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Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit

Country Context

Somalia has emerged from a thirty-year conflict with a new Federal Government of Somalia based in Mogadishu and a vibrant economy driven by remittances, telecommunications and livestock. 

Years of conflict and fragility have left Somalia’s economy with a range of challenges, including population growth outstripping economic growth, acute poverty and vulnerability, recurrent external trade and climate shocks. Weak fiscal space and institutions, active insurgency and an incomplete political settlement have also affected the country’s economic strength.

The Somalia Country Partnership Framework (CPF FY2019-22) was endorsed in September 2018 and guides country engagement for an integrated World Bank Group (WBG) response. Joint Implementation Plans across the Bank, focusing particularly on the role of the private sector via International Finance Corporation, will deliver comprehensively to the client. The CPF helps to identify common constraints limiting development opportunities to focus attention at regional and global level. It also helps drive the data and analytical agenda for the WBG.

Somalia also has several opportunities, as the economy is transitioning from traditional, rural pastoralism to urban, trade and services. Somalia’s economy has remained resilient despite recurrent shocks, including drought and sporadic terror attacks. Because of impacts from COVID-19, as well as shocks due to the desert locust invasion and flooding, the economy is forecasted to contract by 1.5% 2020.

Somalia’s business community is resilient, globally connected and entrepreneurial, technology offers high rates of mobile money penetration, and new opportunities for the Horn of Africa economic cooperation and integration plays to the country’s advantage.

The government is also committed to institutional reforms and reengagement with the region, including opportunities to rebuild human capital and chart a pathway toward economic resilience and growth.

On March 25th, 2020, Somalia reached the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative’s (HIPC) ‘Decision Point’ for debt relief – an historic milestone on the country’s path to peace and prosperity. The Decision Point has paved the way towards Somalia’s economic progress, allowing the country to advance towards its long-term objective of inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. Since then, the IDA portfolio has growth rapidly and is today exceeding $1.2 billion.

Africa External Communications (AFREC) employs an extended team of professionals in World Bank Headquarters and across country offices, including Somalia, to support the overarching goal of advancing inclusive growth in Africa. AFREC uses the full array of communications tools and methodologies to build awareness and understanding and mobilize support for development goals. Work programs cover dissemination through traditional and online media, relationship building, analysis of political and project risks, and design of programs to manage those risks. A strategic renewal within AFREC emphasizes closer alignment with operations in the region, and coordination with the Bank’s External and Corporate Relations network, to ensure that AFREC services are critical to regional and corporate priorities, and that they employ state-of-the art communications tools to disseminate information, build understanding, and connect the Bank to a variety of actors involved in poverty reduction and development.

Recognizing that Africa’s economic and social context is rapidly changing, and that communications technologies have revolutionized the ways that information travels, AFREC is building a team of dynamic and innovative professionals prepared to use traditional and digital tools, including social media and multi-media production, to shape the debate on development priorities and trade-offs.

The External Affairs Officer to be employed on an Extended Term Consultant (ETC) appointment for one year, subject to renewal for another maximum second year, will be based in the Somalia World Bank Office in Nairobi, strengthening the country communications program, with particular attention to providing strategic communications support to complex development projects the Bank supports in Somalia. Working with AFREC professionals in the region and in Washington, the External Affairs Officer will also support corporate communications priorities, including dissemination of World Bank flagship publications, executive visits to the region, and the Bank’s Annual and Spring meetings. 

As part of the larger AFREC team, the External Affairs Consultant will interact regularly with colleagues in Headquarters and in other field offices, as well as with operational teams in the Nairobi office. A willingness to share knowledge, draw on expertise and help create a supportive work environment is critical.

AFREC is seeking an experienced and hands-on External Affairs Consultant whose primary role is to support the communications to implement effective communications and outreach strategies to support the Bank’s priorities in Somalia. This is a locally recruited extended term consultant staff position based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Roles & Responsibilities: –

The External Affairs Extended Consultant plans, develops, and implements effective communications and outreach strategies to support the WBG’s corporate, internal, and operational priorities, using the full range of modern communications tools including social media, digital publishing, and multi-media production.  It is critical that the External Affairs Consultant be equipped to gauge risks associated with complex projects and to design and implement strategies to minimize those risks. The External Affairs Consultant will jointly report to the Country Manager, Somalia based in Nairobi and the Africa External Affairs Manager based in Washington, D.C.

His/her specific duties and accountabilities include:

  • Strategies: Responsible for significant portions of planning, design, and implementation of strategies to promote effective communications with external and internal audiences on Bank-financed operations, research products, and campaigns. Helps determine the most effective content and communications interventions to address challenges.
  • Risk management: Must monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion, and respond to inquiries, while publishing and updating key facts about overall country program and specific operations. Must be able to interact with operations staff and project teams, organizing meetings with media and civil society as appropriate.  Must be able to take the pulse of the country and advise country teams, with analyses on the political economy, especially during election years, and regular monitoring of the media. 
  • Relationships: Must be prepared to identify opinion leaders and influential organizations in Somalia and guide a strategy of engagement with these various stakeholders, which might range from parliamentarians to faith-based organizations to business associations to social media influencers.  Must maintain a current database of these stakeholders including civil society organizations.   Responsible for convening stakeholder groups for consultations and structured dialogues around projects, knowledge outputs, and country development priorities.
  • Products: Responsible for planning and delivering a range of written products on the Bank’s operational goals, results and knowledge. Outputs range from traditional press releases and Op-Eds to web features, brochures, Q&As, briefing notes, and speeches. Responsible for updating the World Bank’s internal and external websites for the country.
  • Events: Coordinates communications activities and events ranging from press conferences to large seminars and town hall meetings, involving external and/or internal audiences.
  • Representation: Must be prepared to represent the Bank, and Somalia office, before external and internal audiences, explaining WBG policies and operational goals.
  • Technical and advisory support: Advises Bank managers and project teams on trends, news developments, or changing circumstances that may impact the WBG and its work and helps determine strategic responses. Provides regular communication support to WBG operational teams and government implementing agencies to assure that project goals are well-explained and that affected stakeholders are engaged at all stages.
  • Resource management: Employs appropriate methodologies for handling simple and complex procurement tasks and/or issues. Manages specific line items of unit budget.
  • Mentoring, leadership: May provide technical coaching to staff members or guidance and support to junior staff. May serve as a team leader, responsible for managing performance of team members.


Selection Criteria


  • Master’s degree with 5 years of relevant experience or Bachelor’s degree with 10 years of relevant experience, in a relevant discipline (communication, journalism, international relations or other related fields)
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English (mandatory) and Somali (highly desired), and the ability to convey complex ideas in a creative, clear, direct, and lively style.
  • Proven knowledge of visual communications principles and fluency with design software.
  • Strong understanding and experience with digital content and social media analytics.
  • Strong writing skills; ability with minimum supervision to prepare and edit simple online communication products and develop drafts of moderately complex products in a clear, concise, and web-friendly style.
  • Acute eye for detail.
  • Understands project management concepts sufficiently to propose and develop drafts of online communications plans and strategies with minimal supervision; can apply standard project management tools, methodologies, and processes; is able to identify and mitigate project risks as well as manage project issues.
  •  Experience working in an international organization and on conservation and sustainable development issues.
  • In-depth knowledge of international trends and political/economic issues related to development
  • Strong diplomatic, interpersonal, and teamwork skills; sensitivity to working in a multicultural environment.

The candidate will also be expected to have the following competencies:

  • Communication Strategy and Execution in International Development: Demonstrates a working proficiency to lead the planning, development, and execution of a communication strategy for moderately complex projects. Leads research efforts to identify and map project stakeholders or intended audiences; leads media and audience outreach, identifying audience needs. Independently implements communication strategies for moderately complex projects and can use feedback from evaluation tools to strengthen programs. Helps others develop this competency. A key skill in this area will be the adoption of digital strategies and marshalling of social marketing techniques to respond to the online communications environment that is increasingly embraced by Somali audiences. 
  • Broad Business Thinking: Capable of distilling an in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of decisions, both for Somalia and for the Bank. Involves the key players in identifying operational needs, challenges and immediate solutions. Ensures that decisions are supported by relevant stakeholders and can explain the business case for decisions.
  • Client Understanding and Advising: Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients. Works with others across the VPU to define client needs and develop the best approaches to meet them. Asks probing questions to understand unmet needs. Focuses on achieving sustainable results for clients and proposes solutions to mitigate risks.
  • Content Development and Editing: Takes full responsibility for the development of content for dissemination. Can ensure the development of communications products meeting WBG standards on structure, clarity, quality, and persuasiveness.
  • Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools:  Demonstrates working knowledge of current media channels and tools, including social media. Modifies communication strategies and products to leverage innovative communication tools and channels.
  • Relationship Management, Political Awareness and Diplomacy: Builds strategic relationships with critical internal and external constituencies, fostering partnerships that strengthen support for development objectives and mitigate reputational risks. Maintains and leverages high-level communication networks and contacts within key constituencies. Provides guidance to other internal WBG groups on how to best manage critical relationships.
  • Lead and Innovate: Contributes new insights into development challenges and fashions solutions to complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require.
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries: Appropriately involves others in decision-making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches, displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

Click to Apply

Closing Date 12/4/2020 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC

Note: The selected candidate will be offered a one-year appointment, renewable for an additional one year, at the discretion of the World Bank Group, and subject to a lifetime maximum ET Appointment of two years. If an ET appointment ends before a full year, it is considered as a full year toward the lifetime maximum. Former and current ET staff who have completed all or any portion of their second-year ET appointment are not eligible for future ET appointments.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.




The World Bank

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