Economist (Water Global Practice)

The World Bank
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 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 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). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices 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.  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 Water 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 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 Solutions; and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) Water Resources Management; (ii) Water Supply and Sanitation; (iii) Water in Agriculture; (iv) Water and the Economy; and (v) Water and Resilience


  • The candidate should primarily have outstanding analytical and communication skills with experience in preferably both infrastructure economics and natural resource economics, as these relate to Water. 
  • The Economist will be expected to work closely with a team of Economists in the Water Practice and will be involved in building the analytical program of activities.
  • he Economist will participate in the design, preparation and dissemination of analytical work; assist country teams on analytic activities, paying particular attention to the economic aspects of the work; and collaborate closely with other Practices in analytical work.
  • The selected candidate will be expected to make substantive analytical contributions, convert these into reports and communicate seamlessly with a non-specialist audience.

Selection Criteria

• Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Economics with at least 5 years of relevant work experience (or PhD, with peer reviewed publications)
• Demonstrated track record of working on both infrastructure economics and natural resource economics. 
• Strong analytical skills in data analysis and especially advanced econometrics.  Analytical skills in related competencies such as machine learning, or mathematical (theoretical) modeling would be highly desirable. 
• Exceptional written and oral communications skills in English.
• Expertise with econometric software such as STATA and other commonly used statistical packages is essential.
• Proven track record of intellectual leadership and ability to integrate analytical work with operational expertise to formulate policy advice. Specific expertise in the Economics of Water is highly desirable.