Local recruitment: Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist

The World Bank
Bucharest, Romania
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2017, the WBG committed $59 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $19 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and – as of July 1, 2014 – has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

Global Practices & Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas

The World Bank’s GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of: (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promoting shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.

Four of the World Bank’s GPs are grouped under the Sustainable Development Practice Group (SDPG), including Agriculture; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; and Water. The SDGP is led by a Vice President for Sustainable Development; in most of the Bank’s CMUs, the coordination of the work of the GPs is facilitated by a SD Program Leader based within the CMU team.

The Water Global Practice

Water resources are under unprecedented and increasing pressures, driven by greater climate variability, population and economic growth, land use changes, and declining quantities and qualities of both ground and surface waters.  With cross cutting impacts on agriculture, education, energy, health, gender equity, and livelihood, water is an essential resource for all life on the planet and is at the center of economic and social development.  Climate change expresses itself through water and sound water management lies at the heart of the resilience agenda. Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available and an assessment of competing demands for its usage. Making best use of available supplies requires complex and sensitive economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs. Planning for a more uncertain and more constrained water environment in the future only makes the situation more complex.

The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century - human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, energy security, and universal access to services – unless we ensure a water-secure world for all. To achieve this goal the Global Practice works on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.   

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take such an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower, and irrigation problems through partnership, finance and knowledge.  The Water GP places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, rivers and deltas), Service Delivery (to households, businesses and farmers), and an understanding of water in the context of the broader economy at the center of its efforts to help countries address the challenge of managing water.  The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation; managing the trade-offs around the agricultural use of water), disaster risk management (floods and droughts), energy (hydropower; energy cooling systems), management of rivers and deltas, and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban; utility performance; wastewater management; targeting the poor).  In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment and operations in the context of governance, institutions and policies.

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) a Practice Manager for Portfolio management, strategy and operations, and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) water and sanitation services (WSS), (ii) water resource management (WRM); (iii) water economics; (iv) water in agriculture; and (v) hydropower and dams.

The WTR GP also has strong external partnerships and houses the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP) and the 2030 Water Resources Group as integrated with our operational programs and leadership structure.  In addition, the WTR GP also builds on several regional programs.

The Water GP engagement in Europe

GWA03 is the unit covering the Europe and Central Asia engagement of the water GP. The unit brings together about 30 staff (half of which in Washington DC), covering an existing project portfolio of 40+ projects and overall commitments of 3.3 billion USD, and a pipeline of 7 new operations over the next two years. The unit also manages two important regional programs, the Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program and the Danube Water Program.

Over the last years, the demand from clients in Central and Eastern Europe has been shifting from traditional infrastructure lending, to a broader set of services around the concept of water security and water management, including technical assistance and reimbursable advisory services, in addition to sector-wide programs.

The Bank has been asked by the Government of Romania (GoR) to provide technical assistance and help the country in analyzing and addressing the challenges in meeting the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) requirements. WB support is requested for the 1) update the National Plan for implementation of UWWTD, 2) update the national mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of UWWTD implementation and 3) drafting recommendations towards development of a National Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) Strategy. This potential support would be implemented under a “reimbursable advisory services” (RAS) arrangement in which the Bank makes its technical expertise available to the GoR through the Ministry of Water and Forests (MWF) on a reimbursable basis. GWA03 is the lead unit in responding to this request, alongside units covering Environment and Disaster Risk Management dimensions. The Bank is also actively exploring the possibility of supporting Romania’s water security through a lending operation that might focus on particularly water-stressed watersheds, and support the rehabilitation of hydraulic infrastructure (dams, dykes etc.) alongside local economic development activities, such as investments in tourism promotion or local irrigation. Finally, the Bank might also conduct a review of sector’s readiness to leverage more commercial and private financing in the development and/or management of water infrastructure and delivery of water services (“InfraSap”).

To respond to those changing demands and in particular the GoR’s request, the Bank is seeking to recruit additional staff with specific competences, expertise and professional experience relevant to the assignment. The assignment will be led by Task Team Leaders (TTLs) to be based in Bucharest, Romania, in the region and in Washington DC, and a team of Bank staff and Consultants based throughout Europe and beyond.

General responsibilities:

The Local WSS Specialist will support the water GP and Bank engagement in the water sector in Romania. As part of this responsibility, the Specialist will take part in the overall assignment for providing technical support in analyzing and addressing the challenges in meeting the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) requirements in Romania. In doing so, he/she will be supporting the World Bank team tasked with the delivery of the technical assistance and respective reports. He/she will be working in close coordination with the TTLs leading the RAS project. Depending on time availability, the Local WSS Specialist will also provide support to the preparation of the new lending operation, as well as the InfraSap review. He/she will furthermore join the ECA water team’s engagement on WSS management primarily in the EU sphere of influence (EU member states, EU candidates and potential candidates, and association agreement countries).

The appointee will report to the Practice Manager and will work, out of the World Bank Bucharest office, closely with staff from the unit and beyond located across ECA and in Washington DC, in particular the relevant TTLs.

Specific duties will include:

Urban Wastewater Directive Compliance RAS

  • Support the task leadership during the delivery of this RAS assignment providing local WSS sector knowledge;
  • Provide overall coordination of the project activities under the project components 1,2 and 3 as described in this ToR;
  • Assist in the preparation of the Concept paper outlining the WB support for the update of the UWWTD implementation plan including approach, workplan and roadmap of the associated activities for the project. This will involve gathering and review of existing project related information, data, studies, etc.;
  • During the implementation phase, provide support for the drafting and delivery of all reports associated with the implementation of UWWTD; monitoring and evaluation of UWWTD implementation and development of a National WSS Strategy. This will involve, among other things:
    • Support the communication between the World Bank team and relevant Romanian stakeholders involved in the process of UWWTD implementation, monitoring and evaluation at both national and regional level. Participate in the development of a National Strategy for the Water supply and Sanitation Sector by applying its local sector knowledge and experience;
    • Provide inputs, participate in the preparation and assist for the overall quality of deliverables under the RAS, including among other:

      New water security operation

      • Participate and support the preparation of a new possible lending operation in support of water security and dam safety.
      • Liaise with clients and other stakeholders during the preparation and eventual implementation of the operation.
      • Contribute to the preparation and implementation formal documents, including Concept Note, Project Appraisal Document, Implementation Status Reports etc.
      • Support the organization of team missions, coordinating meeting and agendas, preparing official communications before and after the mission, contributing to aide-memoires etc.
      • Take responsibility for specific aspects of the operation’s preparation and/or implementation support as agreed with the TTL.


      • Provide support for the preparation of Romania water sector Infrastructure Sector Assessment Program (InfraSAP). InfraSAP is a structured diagnostic and pragmatic joint planning exercise that informs how the WB and the Government of Romania will partner to improve infrastructure access and performance in the water sector. It is expected that the local WSS specialist will provide assistance during water infrastructure stock assessment; evaluation of access, demand, and supply in the sector as well as investment outlook.

      Other activities

      • Overall support to the World Bank’s engagement in the water sector in Romania, whether by the Water GP or other GPs.
      • Other tasks related to the implementation of these ToRs as agreed with the Task Team Leaders and beyond, as agreed with the Practice Manager.

      Selection Criteria

      Minimum Education Requirements

      Master’s degree in WSS and/or water resources engineering, economics, finance or other fields relevant for the WSS sector RAS and the Romania water portfolio.


      • 5 years of relevant professional experience;
      • Good understanding of infrastructure/WSS sector issues in Romania, planning, financing, management and development, with depth in at least one subtopic as outlined above and relevant experience applying this knowledge to operations, analytical work, and other deliverables;
      • Understanding of UWWTD requirements, WSS sector issues as improvement of WSS services, sludge treatment etc. is highly desirable;
      • Demonstrated effective communication and excellent organization and coordination skills as well as timely and good report writing abilities;
      • Demonstrated track record of operational support of government institutions in responding to broad water security and/or environment agendas;
      • Familiarity and experience in assessing infrastructure requirements, operation and maintenance, monitoring and control of investments as well as prioritizing projects and developing financial plans;
      • Specific understanding of EU water Directives – WFD, UWWTD, Floods Directive, Nitrates Directive, Drinking Water Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive;
      • Demonstrated teamwork experience;
      • Excellent knowledge of English and Romanian languages in both spoken and written form, is a must.

      WB Operations Cross Cutting Competencies

      1. Integrative Skills: Demonstrates strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing an integrated point of view around a development challenge.

      2. Policy Dialogue Skills:  Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills.  Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners.  Anticipates needs and requests in the field and develops/offers relevant tools to clients.  Conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues.  Leads task teams, participates in formal negotiations, and assists government in establishing priorities.

      3. Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena:  Understands policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process.   Demonstrates familiarity with Bank policies and practices related to lending and non-lending operations.  Finds relevant information/data and examines similar policy questions in multiple regions.

      4. Written and Verbal Communication Skills:  Tailors communication style to meet audience needs and delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup. Leverage all information available in support of team or workgroup.  Has excellent analytical writing ability.

      The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.  Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.