IADB nationals: IDB-Israel Collaboration Operational Officer for Improving Capacities in Energy and Water sectors in LAC

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

IDB-Israel Collaboration Operational Officer for Improving Capacities in Energy and Water sectors in LAC

Background of this search:

The Infrastructure and Energy Sector is looking for a dynamic and innovative professional with experience in innovation and technology in the energy and water sectors.

The team’s mission:            

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its the Infrastructure and Environment Sector (INE), provides technical support to IDB member countries in the conceptualization, preparation, and execution of financial and non-financial programs and projects in the energy and water sector. The Water and Sanitation Division (INE/WSA) activities cover topics related to drinking water supply (including water resources management), wastewater, urban drainage, and solid waste management. In line with the Bank’s strategies, INE/WSA seeks to assist countries in their efforts to ensure universal access to sustainable, high-quality services. The Energy Division (INE/ENE) helps Bank member countries expand the coverage and quality of energy services, by financing programs and activities to improve energy efficiency, foster cross-border energy integration, and diversify the energy matrix by sustainably exploiting renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

According to the monitoring statistics associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in water and sanitation (W&S), only 75% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has access to safely managed water and only 34% to safely managed sanitation, which translates into 160 million and more than 430 million people, respectively, who lack access to safely managed water and sanitation services. 

Estimations from the IDB indicate that at the current rate of investments, the sectoral SDGs will be met only in 2075. Likewise, universalizing access to W&S in 2030 would require about US$27 billion per year, which implies multiplying by five the investment of 2019. The need for resources increases by US$14 billion per year when considering the solid waste goals. It will not be possible to achieve these goals only by leveraging economic-financial resources in conventional programs and adapting traditional management models. The sector must adopt and incorporate innovative solutions and models at the financial, institutional, technological, and digital levels that allow accelerating access to secure services throughout the region.

Recent studies elaborated by the Bank have shown that innovation is already playing a key role in increasing and improving access to more efficient quality water, sanitation, and solid waste services in LAC. This sector presents innovative dynamics that differ from other sectors such as those closely linked to information and communications technology (e.g., fintech, e-health, intelligent transport). In the W&S sector, the type of sectoral innovations is generally more incremental than disruptive, and innovation is often vested in the public sector, historically more conservative and slower when it comes to implementing a proactive culture of innovation. The innovative solutions that have had a larger impact in LAC come as a result of creative combinations of social and organizational solutions with technological innovations.

In the energy sector, the challenge for the LAC region is to continue in a trajectory towards an economy increasingly lower in carbon, with an energy system that ensures security of supply, resilience, reliability, affordable energy prices, and a just transition. Despite the advances made in the region, there is still a gap to close in terms of access to basic energy services. In LAC, 18.5 million people still do not have access to electricity, most of whom are poor. Additionally, 81 million people do not have access to clean and efficient cooking technologies, and 389 million people (36% of the total) do not have proper heating and cooling in their homes.

With respect to decarbonization, it is estimated that LAC must invest US$218 billion between 2016 and 2050 to implement the renewable energy targets of their NDCs. Technology will be an important catalyst for change within energy systems. Currently available low-carbon technologies are renewable (mainly solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, solar, bioenergy and marine). These can be complemented with substantial improvements that could occur in energy storage, including batteries or non-conventional solutions (such as the conversion of natural gas plants to hydrogen), carbon capture in industrial processes or demand management technologies. One example is the new balance between demand and supply resulting from the transition from centralized to distributed generation. In a broader sense, the energy transition could also imply a democratization of energy or a trend towards greater sustainability.

Israel has historically faced critical water challenges, which have resulted in the adoption of innovative policies and technologies to secure its limited surface and groundwater resources; massive desalination projects with high cost-effectiveness; extensive wastewater treatment and reuse; smart technologies to reduce water losses and reach maximum efficiencies in water supply systems and water consumption; and adoption of renewable energy (solar, wind and co-generation technologies, and energy efficiency as cornerstones of water utilities’ operation). Israel’s achievements in water management include technical innovations in water reuse, treating almost 90% of its treated effluent, one of the highest rates in the world. More than 75% of all domestic water consumption is derived from desalinated water. Aquifer recharge and irrigation technologies that allow for full cost recovery through tariffs. It has supported the development of water incubators, with numerous technological innovations with market success in Israel and abroad.

Israel was a pioneer in harnessing the energy of the sun, with approximately 90% of homes using solar receptors to heat water.  Today it supports an ecosystem of nearly 250 startups that are driving energy innovation, providing solutions for the energy supply chain as well as for electric vehicles and commercial and residential energy-usage control. More than 100 of the companies are devising solutions for energy generation, utilizing fossil fuel alternatives to help meet the growing global demand for renewable energy, with government investment of US$19 million in startups focused on sustainability, 4 incubator programs, and 6 local hubs and accelerators. Across the world, some countries have developed very innovative approaches in the water and energy sector.

What you will do:

  • First responsibility Assist in managing the IDB-Israel Collaboration: Improving Water and Energy Capacities in LAC (TC RG-T4196).
    • Develop a program of activities under the TC.
    • Design and conduct outreach and training activities for LAC stakeholders (policy makers, water utilities, technology centers, etc.), such as workshops, dialogues, field visits, study tours, technological exchanges, etc.
    • Provide INE inputs and/or recommendations to strengthen IDB networks in both the public and private sectors in Israel in the areas relevant to the INE operations and activities.
    • Establish mechanisms to improve planning, project design and monitoring of stakeholder’s activities, such as technology innovation centers, incubators, observatories, technological partnerships, etc.
    • Assist in the coordination initiatives with the Israeli authorities, including any advisory or implementation mechanism that will be created with the Ministry of Energy and Water of Israel and the Israel Water Authority for the planning and execution of a range of activities under the TC.
    • In coordination with INE/ENE and INE/WSA, identify additional financial and non-financial resources (e.g., loans, grants, trust funds, technology, knowledge, and others) that might be available from the public and private sources to catalyze and escalate the proyects and activities financed through the RG-T4196.
  • Second responsibility
    • Support the portfolio development and project preparation in INE/ENE and INE/WSA, with emphasis on supporting planning and implementation of new technological pilots, advancing digitalization solutions and policies, and enhancing cyber security related work. 
    • Participate with team members in identifying, preparing, and analyzing financing requests for investment and technical assistance projects to be funded.
    • Provide support in addressing opportunities for energy and water innovations as part of the IDB’s operational planning and procurement processes, widening the technological scope of the IDB’s operational work.
    • Contribute to the development of knowledge products (e.g., technical notes, studies, tools, and strategies), strengthening technological and knowledge exchange between Israel and the IDB.

What you will need:           

  • Citizenship: You are a citizen of one of our 48-member countries. We may offer assistance with relocation and visa applications for you and your eligible dependents.
  • Consanguinity: You have no family members (up to fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity, including spouse) working at the IDB Group.
  • Education: At least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in engineering, environmental engineering, environmental resource management/policy, or equivalent.
  • Experience: At least 2 years in one or more of the following fields: 1. Water management or water supply 2. Advanced Energy Technologies, specifically smart grids and new technologies in transmission and distribution 3. Digital infrastructure.  Preferred knowledge:  Energy-Water Nexus: including energy efficiency in water utilities, renewable energy applications; knowledge of existing, newest and emergent Israeli technologies and sustainable practices in the field of energy and water management; and knowledge of green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency technologies, and approaches, conservation practices, climate change considerations in policies and projects, vulnerability risk assessment, and emergency response plans is a plus.
  • Languages: Fluency in English and Hebrew (knowledge and good handling of Spanish is a plus). 

Core and Technical Competencies:

  • Teamwork: Ability to encourage and value the participation and engagement of all team members. Provide fair and effective contributions to the team’s work. Attempting to resolve conflicts and disagreements collaboratively. Building consensus and negotiation effectively.
  • Communication: Ability to convey complex information in a clear, organized, and logical way, both verbally and in writing, tailoring communication to the needs of the audience.
  • Problem solving: Ability to make recommendations, based on systematic analysis and sound judgment. Ability to gather and analyze information from a variety of sources to fully understand complex problems and reach an optimal solution.
  • Networking:Ability to create network in the area of responsibility at the IDB and networks outside the Bank.

Opportunity Summary: 

  • Type of contract: Consultant (CNS) full time.
  • Length of contract: 36 months
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Responsible person: Jose Luis Irigoyen, Operations Lead Specialist (INE/ENE) and Marcello Basani, Lead Specialist (INE/WSA)
  • Requirements:You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group.  

Our culture: Our people are committed and passionate about improving lives in Latin-America and the Caribbean, and they get to do what they love in a diverse, collaborative and stimulating work environment. We are the first Latin American and Caribbean development institution to be awarded the EDGE certification, recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality. As an employee you can be part of internal resource groups that connect our diverse community around common interests.

Because we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, afro-descendants, and indigenous people to apply.

COVID-19 considerations: the health and safety of our employees are our number one priority. As a condition of employment, IDB/IDB Invest requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About us:At the IDB, we’re committed to improving lives. Since 1959, we’ve been a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We do more than lending though. We partner with our 48-member countries to provide Latin America and the Caribbean with cutting-edge research about relevant development issues, policy advice to inform their decisions, and technical assistance to improve the planning and execution of projects. For this, we need people who not only have the right skills but also are passionate about improving lives.

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.

Additional Information

  • External Opening Date: Jan 25, 2023
  • External Closing Date: Feb 19, 2023
  • Job Field: Technical Support





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