Senior Gender Specialist (Water Global Practice)

The World Bank
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level/Senior (8-9 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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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 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 16,000 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) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macro, Trade and Investment; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and Digital Development; and Water. The 5 Global Themes are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Knowledge Management; and Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Global Themes, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients' most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country.


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.  Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available, its dynamics, 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 will need to work 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.  Finally, we recognize that any focus on water will need to address and take into account the complex dynamics of climate change, superimposed on the natural short and long-term variability and climatic uncertainty.

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 Global Programs; (c) a Practice Manager for Strategy and Operations (Knowledge and Communications), and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) institutions and governance for service delivery of irrigation and urban  and rural water and sanitation, (ii) water resource management, including addressing large hydraulic infrastructure and  trans-boundary issues; (iii) analytical work on linkages of water to the economy and poverty outcomes; and (iv) operations analysis and support to feedback lessons from implementation into new program design.

Global Solutions Unit

The Global Solutions Unit  collaborates across technical, geographic and institutional boundaries to help design and deliver development solutions to a diverse range of internal and external clients on the following areas:  (i) Operational support to task teams, including quality assurance, guidance on corporate priorities (climate change, gender, dam safety, etc.), monitoring and evaluation, and portfolio management for the GP; (ii) Knowledge Management and Learning, including expertise and content management, publishing, and data analytics, as well as the development and delivery of technical and operational learning for staff and clients; (iii) Global Solutions Group (GSG) coordination, including fostering professional communities of practice centered around 5 business lines and facilitating the flow of knowledge and experience into implementation; (iv) Communications, including influencing the global agenda on water and communicating with partners as well as staff; and (v) Trust Funds and Partnerships, including the management of GWSP trust fund team as well as coordination with other regional trust funds. 

Role & Responsibilities:

Lead in providing strategic direction in gender and inclusion in water: More specifically, (i) lead in taking forward the gender and inclusion agenda strategically that corresponds with the overall Bank’s strategy in Gender, Citizens’ Engagement and Inclusion; (ii) develop a clear framework and roadmap to and deliver solutions and achieve results ; (iii) ) Serve as the focal point for technical quality assurance on Water GP wide products, including  Project Appraisal Documents and Global knowledge products; (iv) establish a  robust monitoring and reporting system;

Transfer expertise and guidance  at the global, regional and country levels: (i) invest in developing technical talent on inclusion; (ii) set up regional focal points on gender and inclusion, or tap in any other already established regional groups  in delivering solutions and providing  strategic guidance to deepen the inclusion agenda in water at the lending and ASA portfolio (iii)  deploy  the right technical staff / consultants where and when needed, including responding to ‘just in time’ support on a demand basis;  (iv) work closely with the Global Leads in WGP’s business lines to embed the gender and inclusion in the respective Global Solution Groups ( GSGs).

Capture and leverage knowledge effectively: (i) ensure knowledge is used effectively to deliver solutions to task teams and clients in embedding gender and inclusion in water operations; (ii) Stay abreast of cutting-edge knowledge into operations and research inside and outside the Bank; ( iii) convene training and capacity building  on multiple  events to ensure that best practice experiences are widely known on areas (iv) identify and lead analytical and advisory work  (iv)  closely work with the knowledge and learning team in creating, capturing, sharing and disseminating knowledge and learning plans on inclusion; (v) also work closely with the communications team at the Global Solutions Unit of the WGP.

Collaborate with other GPs and establish partnership: (i) proactively contribute in building relationships with other GPs, especially with Gender Group, so as to promote effective collaboration across Global Practices, Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas, Regions, IFC, MIGA, and others;  ii) coordination with the GSG leads,; (ii) build strong relations with key donors, development partners and other relevant external agencies to advance the advocacy on social inclusion as well as positioning the WGP externally  (iii)draw-on external knowledge and expertise, and tailor knowledge and learning to inform operations;

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree in International Development/Affairs, social sciences and/or related areas
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant experience.
  • A strong understanding and significant experience in social inclusion and gender
  • Experienced working on inclusion and/or other aspects of in water sector operations at the Bank will be preferred.
  • Demonstrate capabilities in representing the WGP internationally and with donors
  • Technical and analytical skills in gender analysis and ability to provide well-grounded, quality analytical inputs with pragmatism and a focus on results.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex data into easily understood and actionable information.
  • Strong drive for results with the ability to work independently and diligently, while prioritizing and meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to lead and collaborate with other team members, contribute productively to the team’s work and output and demonstrate respect for different points of view.
  • Ability to write effectively for various audiences under pressure, with tight deadlines in a rapidly changing organizational environment with attention to detail.
  • Ability to learn quickly, synthesize technical material and distil in a user-friendly manner for multiple audiences. 


  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena, especially on social inclusion.
  • Understands policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process. Able to find relevant information/data and examine similar policy questions in multiple regions and to distill operationally relevant recommendations/lessons from this analysis for clients.
  • Knowledge and experience with Gender Issues
  • Has exposure to/experience in quantitative/qualitative research methods and an understanding of gender. Is skilled in building relationships with other stakeholders to disseminate and exchange knowledge on good practices. Has a personal commitment to enhance gender equality and inclusion.

Written and Verbal Communication : Delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup. Is able to synthesize, analyze, and effectively present material from a wide range of sources. Articulates ideas, verbally, and in writing, using the most effective means of delivery and appropriate verbal and graphical content. Can quickly draft and prepare articles and analytical and technical reports. Demonstrates respect and consideration when communicating with all cultures.

Lead and Innovate : Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG's values and mission. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues.

Deliver Results for Clients : Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have a development impact and financial, environmental and social sustainability. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks.

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.

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge : Leverages department's expertise and body of knowledge across WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. Seeks to learn from more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and helps others to learn. Builds personal and professional networks inside and outside the department unit.

Make Smart Decisions : Seeks diversity of information and inputs, researches possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.

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.