Disaster Risk Management Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, DC, US



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 Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), established in 2006, is a multi-donor partnership and grant-making financing mechanism. The Facility supports on-the-ground technical assistance to help developing countries integrate disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change adaptation into development strategies, policies and investment programs, including post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

GFDRR implements the majority of its activities in countries through the World Bank, in partnership with national, regional, and other international agencies. To support country engagements, GFDRR maintains eight thematic initiatives that provide grant recipients with specialized knowledge and quality assurance in the design and implementation of activities. GFDRR collaborates with a broad array of partners, facilitates global engagements and capacity building, and produces innovative knowledge.

The GFDRR Secretariat is hosted within the Climate Change Group at the World Bank in Washington D.C. with satellite offices in Brussels and Tokyo. The Secretariat is responsible for awarding and managing grants, reporting on results, and carrying out outreach and partnership development. It also acts as the support hub for a decentralized network of DRM experts in the World Bank and provides a global platform for knowledge-sharing and capacity building.

GFDRR is seeking a Disaster Risk Management Specialist to support its efforts to use science, technology, and open data in promoting new ideas and the development of original tools to empower decision-makers in vulnerable countries to strengthen their resilience. Recent innovations in the field have enabled better access to disaster and climate risk information and a greater capacity to create, manage, and use this information.

This role will include support to the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) (www.opendri.org) which applies the concepts of the global open data movement to the challenges of reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. The OpenDRI initiative, in partnership with international and national agencies, has developed a suite of complementary activities to support the client governments: i) Open data platforms: To increase public access to risk information, OpenDRI engages in dialogue with governments on the value of open data through working groups, pilot projects that evolve into long-term locally owned open data projects ii) Community mapping and crowdsourcing: To engage communities in the creation of accurate and timely data about the rapidly evolving urban and rural environments in the place they live, OpenDRI works with governments and local communities to utilize simple, collaborative, crowdsourcing mapping tools such as OpenStreetMap. iii) Risk visualization and communication: OpenDRI works with governments and partners to develop open source to communicate risk more effectively to decision-makers in planning, preparedness and response activities, tools. Across all these activities, the OpenDRI is also exploring how the latest knowledge and disruptive technology such as drone, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and others can support client countries to better collect, share, and use data to build their resilience.

The Disaster Risk Management Specialist will be based in Washington, DC and will report to the Practice Manager and Head of GFDRR.

Duties & Accountablities:

The Disaster Risk Management Specialist will be responsible for support activities related to the use of risk information and open source technologies to inform and support disaster risk management activities. 

Scope of  Work:

●Support WBG teams to incorporate best practices in open geospatial data collection, management and application and the utilization of open-source software and disruptive technology into disaster risk management projects.
●Support the development of tools to enable government to collect, manage, and use risk information.
●Support enhanced collaboration and sharing of ideas and approaches in the identification, communication and application of natural hazard risk information to increase resilience.
●Contribute technically to efforts to improve the accuracy and efficacy of damage assessments after disasters through appropriate use of earth observation technologies, ex-ante exposure datasets, and ground survey tools.
●Oversee product management for the GFDRR Labs risk assessment suite of tools – Thinkhazard!, OpenDRI Index, and the Risk Data Library.
●Lead the growth and adoption of the Open Data for Resilience (OpenDRI) program which includes promotion of open data, geospatial data sharing, participatory mapping and user-friendly analytical tools to improve generation, use and communication of disaster risk information;
●Develop and support projects that promote innovative open-source software, supported by global user communities, for use in ex-ante and ex-post disaster and climate adaptation planning.
●Foster the creation and growth of international and national communities of practice for developers, users of open-source software tools as well as participatory mapping. These tools may include for instance GeoNode, QGIS, InaSAGE, OpenDroneMap, OpenDataKit, and  OpenStreetMap related tools.
●Collaborate with other development organizations and donors to ensure funding and common roadmaps for open source tools.
●Assist in the development and supervision of consulting contracts implemented by individuals and firms;  this can include managing a team of consultants and firms.
●Write knowledge and communication products, training materials/programs, and technical guidelines.
●Stay up to date on the latest advances in technology and bring in new approaches and technologies where relevant. This include the use of UAVs, machine learning, 3D printing, and others.

Perform other duties and functions as assigned by the GFDRR Practice Manager.

Selection Criteria

• A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in fields related to natural resource management, geospatial technology, or disaster risk management required. 
• At least 5 years relevant experience working with disaster risk, urban, or environmental data
• Experience working with open data and open source communities, a significant plus.
• High degree of motivation, initiative, flexibility, reliability, responsiveness to changing demands.
• Experience with product management and software development is a plus.
• Capacity for effective multi-tasking with demonstrated ability of being an independent starter with minimal supervision, to work in a team and intercultural environment.
• Strong communication, inter-personal, and advocacy skills, including ability to write concisely and clearly and synthesize complex documentation and ideas for a range of audiences.
• Experience in the identification of needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finding solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Track record of working independently, seeking guidance on complex projects/issues from senior management/ technical specialists.
• Excellent organizational and task management skills, with appropriate attention to details and ability to prioritize work among multiple competing demands, and under tight deadlines.
• Willing to travel to remote areas in various World Bank regions. Field experience in developing countries a plus.


• Knowledge and experience in development arena – Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
• Policy/dialogue skills – Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with Japan institutions, government representatives and other stakeholders.
• Integrative skills – Works to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.
• Client orientation – Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests and needs, working to remove obstacles that impede execution or overall success.
• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Analyzes facts and data to support sound   logical decision-making regarding own and others’ work.
• Deliver Results for Clients – Creates opportunities that are aligned with the mission to increase impact and leads initiatives to take advantage of these opportunities. Proactively guides clients to see the possibilities in new approaches and solutions. 
• Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries – Clearly articulates and models expectations of collaborative behavior, recognizes collaboration and contributions of others. 
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Leverages external knowledge and partnerships to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients. Is known across WBG and externally in their subject area and is routinely sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. 





You ad could be here!