Local recruitment: Environmental Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Job #:req18140
Organization:World Bank
Term Duration: 1 year 0 months
Recruitment Type:Local Recruitment
Location:Washington, DC,United States
Required Language(s):English
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date:7/8/2022 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


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. Visit www.worldbank.org


The World Bank Group serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LCR). Clients range from large rapidly growing sophisticated middle-income clients to IDA countries, to small Caribbean states, and to one fragile state. Despite immense resources and dynamic societies, deep inequalities persist in most LCR countries, with nearly a quarter of the region’s people living in poverty. The region is extremely exposed and vulnerable to many natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods that can ravage entire regions, and hurricanes that devastate Caribbean states.  It is also among the most vulnerable due to high population density in the areas where these disasters strike and the need for better risk management practices.


The Sustainable Development (SD) Department supports the WBG’s twin goals by focusing on green, resilient, and inclusive growth. It consists of five global practices (GPs): Agriculture and Food; Environment, Natural Resources, and the Blue Economy; Urban, Resilience and Land; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; and Water. The SD program in LCR includes an FY22 lending program of 24 operations for $3 billion, an active portfolio of 102 operations with $10.9 billion under implementation, and a dynamic program of 82 pieces of advisory services and analytics (ASA) across all SD sectors.


The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes, and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction. For more information: 


To advance this agenda, the Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice (ENB GP)  has five key business lines consisting of lending and non-lending services in (1) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes (Green Business line); (2) Marine, Coastal, Aquatic Resources and Ocean Health (Blue Economy Business line); (3) Pollution Management and Environmental Health (Pollution Management Business line); (4) Environmental Economics, Policies and Institutions Business line, and (5) Environmental Risk Management Business line:  delivery of effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development.

As mentioned above, one specific ENB GP business line is to support effective environmental risk management, and to ensure good environmental management across the Bank’s work in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies and its Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). On August 4, 2016, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) to help protect people and the environment in the investment projects it finances. This effort is one of several key initiatives, including procurement reform, and the climate and gender strategies, recently undertaken by the Bank to improve development outcomes.

The ESF responds to new and varied development demands and challenges that have arisen over time. It brings the World Bank’s environmental and social (E&S) protections into closer harmony with those of other development institutions, and makes important advances in areas such as transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation, and accountability – including expanded roles for grievance redress mechanisms (GRM). The framework helps to ensure social inclusion, and explicitly references human rights in the overarching vision statement.

The ESF is made up of the World Bank’s vision for sustainable development, the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy for Investment Project Financing (IPF), and ten Environmental and Social Standards (ESS). These set out the mandatory requirements for the World Bank, in relation to the projects it supports through IPF, and for Borrowers.


The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Unit for LCR has about 45 staff. About half of these staff work on environmental safeguards and environmental risk management under the ESS, with the other half working primarily on lending and knowledge products.  About half are based in country offices, with the balance based in Washington DC travelling to the region frequently.  The skills and expertise of these staff include environmental: economics, pollution management, forestry, climate change mitigation and adaptation, fisheries, landscapes, and watershed management, and natural areas protection.  

The WBG serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LCR). Clients range from large rapidly growing middle and upper-middle income clients to small Caribbean states. The region is extremely exposed and vulnerable to many natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods that can ravage entire regions, and devastating hurricanes affecting the Caribbean islands.


Sint Maarten is a high-income constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, along with Aruba and Curacao. It occupies the southern half of an island shared with the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin and is the most densely populated country in the Caribbean, with a population of over 40,000 in an area of 34 square kilometers.

On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, caused significant destruction in Sint Maarten. Damages were compounded by smaller-scale Hurricane Maria two weeks later. Although loss of life was limited, Sint Maarten incurred damages and losses estimated at 129 percent of GDP, or US$2.7 billion. Ninety percent of all infrastructure was affected and much still requires repairs.

The Government of the Netherlands is financing the Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund (SXM TF) to respond to the devastation that both hurricanes caused. The Trust Fund is administered by the World Bank and the projects it finances are implemented by the Sint Maarten government in accordance with the World Bank’s Policies and Procedures. The Sint Maarten National Recovery Program Bureau (NRBP) is the entity responsible for the overall implementation of the Reconstruction and Recovery Program and the direct implementing entity for most of the projects that the Grant finances. The NRPB is an autonomous administrative authority and separate legal personality.

To date, there are ten projects under implementation for US$313 million and three projects with estimated amount of US$ 65 million are being prepared and scheduled for approval before the end of FY22. Projects address reconstruction needs in different sectors, including connectivity, provision of education and health services, digital services, reconstruction of public building, housing, and strengthening of local NGOs to provide basic services. Most of the projects in the portfolio follow the Environmental and Social Framework. There are four projects though that follow the Environmental and Social Safeguards policies since they were approved prior to the ESF entering into force.


This position will be based in Washington, DC (HQ) and will be primarily responsible to support the environmental risk management business line in Sint Maarten. The Environmental Specialist will work under supervision of the ENB Practice Manager for LCR, in close coordination with the Unit’s Environmental Focal Point for the Caribbean region. The position requires frequent travel and expects to be in Saint Maarten for 50% time, roughly 2 out of 4 weeks in the field to provide implementation support to the client on safeguards and ESF issues.


•As the Environmental Specialist, contribute to the preparation of lending operations during project identification, preparation, and appraisal stages, and ensure that environmental issues are addressed early in the process by undertaking careful environmental analysis as per the Bank’s ESF associated information disclosure and public consultations/stakeholder engagement requirements.

•Advise Task Teams on the interpretation and application of the ESF/ESSs.

•Supervise Bank approved projects under implementation in terms of project specific environmental health and safety (EHS requirements and performance (i.e., project implementation stage), in compliance with safeguard policies or the ESF, as applicable.).

•Provide advice to client and counterpart organizations and project teams, in coordination with the assigned Social Specialist, with regard to the preparation of environmental, social, health and safety assessments, including regional, strategic and cumulative assessments; environmental and social management frameworks and plans, including plans for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; stakeholder engagement plans and strategies, and grievance management systems; labor management procedures; and other specific plans and procedures as required by applicable Bank policies (for example, on issues such as community health and safety, dam or infrastructure safety, pest management, pollution prevention and control, biodiversity conservation and management, ecosystem services, occupational health and safety, emergency planning and management, cultural heritage, etc.) 

•Provide guidance and capacity support to clients in the preparation of relevant project cycle documentation, including by assisting borrowers in drafting Terms of Reference (TORs) for the preparation of environmental safeguards and ESF assessments, planning and management instruments; guiding the client in completing the assessment and planning process; and supervising their implementation, including review of monitoring reports and follow-up.

•Provide timely input, as applicable, to Bank project documents related to environmental aspects, including Integrated Safeguard Data Sheets and/or Environmental and Social Review Summaries, and EHS sections of project documents such as Project Concept Notes (PCN), Project Information Documents (PID), Project Appraisal Documents (PAD), Aide Memoires (AM), and Implementation Status Reports (ISR).

•Advise and support clients in ensuring that necessary environmental, health and safety management plans and measures are appropriately reflected in bidding and contract documents for works where applicable, and in developing and implementing appropriate supervision and monitoring arrangements for the necessary E&S plans and measures. 

•Carry out project supervision of environmental aspects on behalf of the Bank, including site visits (as permitted under WBG travel guidance), review of monitoring reports, discussions with clients and stakeholders, and building of effective working relationships with the borrower/project implementation agency to ensure proper understanding and implementation of the policies. 

•Guide the borrower/implementing agency to apply relevant E&S management plans and procedures effectively.

•Ensure the quality of client project documentation before submission to relevant accountable decision makers, including Environmental and Social Practice Managers (PM) (where applicable and the Regional Standards Adviser (RSA).

•Complete documentation requirements in the Bank’s risk management databases including the Tracking Environmental and Social Performance (TESPSG) system (for projects falling under safeguards) and the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS system (for projects falling under the ESF).

•Identify opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in investment operations to promote environmental sustainability, climate-smartness, and positive environmental impacts (benefits) and enhance local capacities for implementing sound environmental management practices.

•Perform other activities related to assigned projects as needed, such as provide technical input/guidance on specific issues, provide guidance or training to clients related to environmental management, or assist in the environmental aspects of project restructuring or additional financing.

•Proactively identify needs for strengthening of client capacity or systems on environmental, health and safety management aspects, and work with other colleagues to design and implement efforts aimed at strengthening that capacity.  Tailor and implement training and other capacity building activities to various stakeholders, including Environmental Specialists of World Bank funded Project Implementation Units (PIUs) and other implementation partners, consultants preparing Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs), and contractors/supervising consultants on WBG operations.

•Support the ENB Practice Manager and the Caribbean Region Focal Point in reviewing projects’ risk management instruments, portfolio management and preparing communications to be conveyed to the Caribbean region Management Unit.

•Support dialogue with the Caribbean Region Management Unit to ensure engagement on environmental issues in strategic discussions and country documents.

•Work with clients to build their capacity on issues related to environmental sustainability and risk management.

•Actively seek to learn Bank procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant safeguard/environmental risk management process.

•Collaborate with other WBG Global Practices and IFC/MIGA colleagues on joint projects and with counterparts from other multilateral development institutions as needed.

•Coordinate and carry out other tasks as needed.

Selection Criteria

•Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in environmental engineering, civil engineering, ecology, biology, environmental policy, or other relevant discipline, is required.

•A minimum of 5 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the environmental sector with demonstrated ability in environmental safeguards and/or environmental risk management.

•Proven track record in designing, reviewing and/or implementing environmental safeguards or environmental risk management tools and instruments, including on OHS; and/or monitoring environmental safeguards/standards compliance for international financial institutions or engineering companies or similar areas is required under development projects.

•Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of environmental compliance in investment projects in environmentally sensitive areas is required.

•Prior work experience with Small Island States in the Caribbean and knowledge of country’s environmental legal framework and institutions is required. Experience in additional countries in the Caribbean region is preferred.

•Knowledge of World Bank operational policies and procedures for IPFs.

•Oral and written fluency in English.

•Strong operational and analytical skills, including strong client orientation, diplomacy skills, ability to juggle multiple tasks and work under tight deadlines, and demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and practical recommendations.

•Ability to present complex issues related to environmental sustainability to Task Teams and other Bank audiences, and to engage effectively with government counterparts, project beneficiaries, and civil society.

•Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

•Willingness to travel extensively to Sint Maarten and to the Caribbean region,

•The following would be an advantage but not mandatory requirement:

•Sound knowledge of World Bank safeguards policies, the ESF, and/or IFC Performance Standards or similar standards as well as different project level stakeholders, including the challenges and opportunities of applying such standards for borrowing countries, would be an advantage.


•Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena- Translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.

•Policy Dialogue Skills- Anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.

•Integrative Skills -Understand relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

•Environmental Sector Issues- Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

•Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

•Sector/Network Representation- Demonstrates ability to coordinate, participate in, and act as a catalyst for, strategic cross-sector dialogues within the network, across the country, among Bank colleagues and other development institutions, government, and other organizations.

•Project Design for Impact and Sustainability- Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context and requirement of environmental risk management.

•Communication and Influencing Skills- demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers). Has ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, challenges and positions to colleagues and management.


•Lead and Innovate – Develops innovative solutions.

•Deliver Results for Clients – Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.

•Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective, and willingly receives diverse perspectives.

•Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.

•Make Smart Decisions – Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: https://bit.ly/2kbIA7O

World Bank Group Core Competencies

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories. 

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.