World Bank Group – Senior Economist.

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Senior Economist

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank consists of two entities – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). It is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, and coordinates responses to regional and global challenges. 

Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE)

Home to about half a billion of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. Children under 18 make up almost half of the total population. The subregion boasts of some of the world’s richest human and natural resources and, apart from South Africa, the countries are predominantly raw material exporters.

The subregion harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continues to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade. But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future.

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1,207 staff, mostly based in 26 country offices, has been helping countries realize their considerable development potential by focusing on the following priorities:

  • Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.
  • Building up the Digital Economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
  • Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support is helping governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.
  • Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities. With the influx COVID-19, we are mobilizing financial support and timely analysis and advice to countries across the subregion deal with the pandemic.
  • Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption: In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure. Several East African countries are currently facing a debilitating Desert Locust infestation, threatening the already precarious food security situation. The Bank has put together a program to help affected countries deal with the scourge.
  • Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.
  • Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Bank is a dedicated partner for Eastern and Southern African countries, helping them deliver strong development outcomes for their people. A brighter future for Africa is a better future for the world.

Poverty Global Practice and East Africa Poverty team

The Poverty and Equity Global Practice, part of the Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions vice-presidency, plays a key role in supporting the World Bank Group’s goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. It generates knowledge and dialogue and supports operational solutions, focusing on poverty monitoring and statistical capacity building, markets and institutions, fiscal and social policy, and resilience to shocks and sustainability. The practice is organized into seven regionally-oriented units—EAP, ECA, LAC, MNA, SAR and two in AFR—each managed by a Practice Manager. The development and flow of global knowledge within the practice is facilitated through four cross-cutting thematic lines, each of which is led by a thematic Lead Economist. These are: (1) data for policy analysis; (2) markets and institutions for poverty reduction and shared prosperity; (3) fiscal and social policy for poverty reduction and shared prosperity; and (4) welfare implications of climate change, fragility and conflict risks. Every member of the practice is affiliated with, participates in and contributes to the work of at least one of the thematic lines. In addition, the practice takes the lead in two corporate priority areas: (a) Data for Goals; and (b) Systematic Country Diagnostics.

The East Africa Poverty unit (EAEPV) covers a large number of countries in East and Southern Africa with a broad range of challenges and opportunities. They are at different stages of economic development but all share the common goal of eliminating extreme poverty and reducing inequality.

Duties and Accountabilities:

We are looking for an exceptional individual to provide a leadership role in the Kenya program on poverty and inequality. The incumbent will be part of the in the East Africa Region poverty team but, like all members of the Poverty GP, you will also be encouraged to support the global knowledge base of the practice In particular, you will have the following duties:

  • Work closely with other global practices to enhance the poverty and shared prosperity focus of the Kenya country program;
  • Contribute to strengthening our work on narrowing gender gaps;
  • Lead the overall micro-monitoring effort and any poverty-related policy and programmatic interactions with internal and external clients (e.g., development partners);
  • Play an active role in the engagement (including technical assistance, capacity building and policy dialogue) with senior government officials and development partners, encouraging them to adopt an evidence-based approach to policy making.
  • Participate in team management and leadership of the country program.
  • Mentor and guide junior members of the team;
  • Contribute to the global knowledge base of the poverty practice by participating in and contributing to the work of at least one of the four thematic lines.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for an imaginative and innovative micro-economist with a demonstrated track record of sound analytical work, excellent judgment, and experience in working closely with clients to tailor analytical and/or statistical advisory services and operations. Candidates with strong client engagement skills, demonstrated effectiveness in working collaboratively with teams from multiple practices and with prior experience of successful engagement in weak capacity contexts will be given special preferences. Prior exposure to and experience with working to narrow gender gaps, working on jobs and economic participation, and working with statistical agencies on the development and implementation of statistical strengthening plans are highly desired.

Minimum Education/Experience

  • Master’s degree (PhD preferred) in economics, public policy, statistics or other related field, with a strong quantitative background and at least eight (8) years of relevant professional experience.

Other Selection Criteria

  • Program management skills and experience – someone with hands on delivery skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience of policy influencing/engagement.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong working relationships with government clients and development partners; track record in donor management and resource development.
  • Strong track record of substantially contributing to reports in fields related to poverty, inequality, labor markets, economic mobility.
  • Desired experience includes acting as a practitioner in developing and/or transition countries, and experience with poverty, labor, and/or gender-related operational programs (including capacity building).

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.

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