Local recruitment: Senior Environmental Specialist

The World Bank

Tunis, , TN



Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189-member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org

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.

 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 over 16,000 staff located globally.

 Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice (GP)

 Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the WBG’s poverty agenda. Biodiversity and natural resources constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood.   Sustainable ENRM promotes a green, clean, and resilient world where natural resources – from forests to fisheries, freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems – are managed to support livelihoods and strong economies. Sustainable ENRM builds a world better prepared for shocks and global challenges, helping countries limit their exposure to resource scarcity, more-volatile weather patterns, and the long-term consequences of climate change.

 The Environment & Natural Resources (ENR) Global Practice has been set-up to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced management of the environment and natural resources. The ENB GP has close to 300 operations under management, representing close to $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development. The practice consists of close to 300 staff across the world plus numerous other staff in other Practices and CCSAs that are professionally associated with it.

 The Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice has three broad and distinct functions: 

  1.  Provides clients with lending and non-lending services aimed to support the GP’s three core business lines, namely: (i) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes; (ii) Marine, Coastal and Aquatic Resources; and (iii) Pollution Management and Environmental Health. The GP’s activities also include a focus on Clean and Resilient Growth through its work on environmental economics and support to institutional development.
  2. Supports effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies.
  3. Works closely with other sectors, including by leveraging GEF grant financing, to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.

 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. 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, 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 Investment Project Financing (IPF), and for Borrowers.

ENB GP is seeking to recruit a highly skilled Sr. Environmental Specialist with expertise in cumulative impact assessment, or groundwater/water assessment, or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), or toxics/chemicals.

The Senior Environmental Specialist will report to the ENB Practice Manager for the Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA). While based in Tunis, Tunisia the candidate is expected to work across all countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region. The position requires frequent travel within the country. The primary responsibilities for the tasks are listed below. 

 Duties and Accountabilities:

As a Senior Environment Specialist, your responsibilities would be the following: 

  •  During project preparation: assess the project’s potential environmental footprint and decide which of the Bank’s safeguards policies and/or Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) are most relevant; guide the borrower/project implementation agency in preparing the necessary safeguard instruments and review them for quality; elaborate well-written summaries of key safeguards instruments to include in project documentation; assist in the preparation of Environmental and Social Risk Classifications (ESRCs) and Environmental and Social Commitment Plans (ESCPs); and help staff/the client to assure the quality of project documentation before submission to the Regional Safeguards Adviser (RSA)/ Environmental and Social Standards Advisor (ESSA) for review and approval. 
  • Provide guidance and support for the screening of Bank projects for environmental risks, impacts and vulnerabilities, and identify risk management opportunities/strategies including labor influx, occupational health and safety, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • In accordance with the Bank’s ESF, decide the appropriate Environment and Social (E&S) Risk classification for the project and review it on a regular basis. In assessing and handling E&S risk, you should use the ESSs-related guidance and good practice notes, as well as internationally accepted good industry practice for informed decision-making. 
  • Ensure compliance of all project financed activities, including those related to associated facilities, with the Bank’s Safeguards policies and the ESSs and the Bank Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines, as well as Good International Industry Practice (GIIP). 
  • During both preparation and implementation: you should go beyond narrow policy compliance, looking for opportunities to improve the environmental outcomes of the project. Work closely with the project task team and especially the Social Safeguards Specialist assigned to each operation and provide back up support as required. 
  • Using the ESCP as a key tool, provide expert advice to borrowers/recipients on the assessment of environmental and social risks, evaluate all relevant information, recommend solutions, and ensure detailed and targeted management and action plans are developed for projects to align with the Bank’s ESF.
  • Participate in review meetings and represent MNA ENB team in relevant Bank-wide initiatives, represent the Bank in donor meetings on the environment, and promote knowledge generation and diffusion within the country and beyond. 
  • Regularly complete all project-related reporting requirements in the Bank system and provide project-related synopsis to Management as required.
  • Provide training on the ESSs and their provisions and implications for project preparation and implementation to World Bank Clients and other interested / relevant parties (e.g. NGOs, academia). 
  • Disseminate lessons learned and best practices from specific Bank projects for research, knowledge and learning purposes.
  • Monitor the environmental performance of the project in accordance with the Environment and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP). 
  • Resolve project related questions from clients related to the interpretation of the Bank safeguards policies/ESSs, especially the OP 4.01 on Environmental Assessment, and/or the Environmental and Social Standards 1 (ESS1) under the guidance of the Regional ESF Quality Assurance Team, Regional Safeguards Advisor/Environmental and Social Standards Advisor.
  • Collaborate with World Bank GPs and IFC/MIGA colleagues on joint projects as well as other colleagues from multilateral development institutions when supporting same projects, understanding and implementing a common approach.

World Bank Competencies for Senior Environmental Specialist

  • Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions. Has a solid understanding of the environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations needed to support development and for the success of the project. Knows the client’s strategy and structure and can assess impact on the project. Can credibly and effectively engage with a range of environmental institutions to support project outcomes. Explains to clients and other stakeholders the risks to the project when environmental laws and regulations are deficient or not enforced. Supports client efforts to address such weaknesses.
  • Environmental Sciences. Has direct experience in the environmental sciences, including deeper experience in at least one area. Has extensive experience with applying this knowledge to projects, studies, and other deliverables. Develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges. Has experience applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.
  • Communication. Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
  • Mentoring and Developing People. Builds informal mentoring network within own immediate work unit, and proactively provides mentoring and coaching to others within team or in other departments. Assists with onboarding of new Bank staff (including any specific onboarding programs). Contributes to training exercises. Manages behavior to have a positive impact on others.
  • Due Diligence. Demonstrates understanding of the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and applies the Framework to identify and address environmental issues and risks. Works independently to undertake environmental due diligence and provides input to the project team on environmental issues/risks with minimal supervision. Proactively determines risk mitigation measures. Demonstrates effective time and resource management skills. Provides effective and timely guidance to clients on environmental issues/risks, and actively participates in discussions with clients on environmental matters.
  • Portfolio Monitoring. Leads the monitoring of the environmental performance of assigned projects. Anticipates potential issues and formulates corrective plans for identified environmental problems. Engages effectively with clients to achieve compliance and leads discussions on environmental matters.

WBG Competencies

  • 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.

Selection Criteria

  • Minimum of 8 years’ experience of proven, relevant experience (work or applied scientific research) as environmental assessment and management professional.
  • Sound knowledge of World Bank’s safeguards policies, the ESF, and/or IFC Performance Standards/MIGA Environmental and Social policies or similar standards as well as its stakeholders, especially the challenges and opportunities for borrowing countries would be an advantage.
  • Sound knowledge of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change GHG accounting methodologies, or similar standards, is an advantage.
  • Field experience in both assessing project site vulnerabilities/risks, as well as supervising/ inspecting/monitoring projects during implementation to mitigate and monitor environmental impacts is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead high quality analytical tasks that include environmentally-related data and information.
  • Experience in developing countries / emerging economies is a strong advantage. Ability and willingness to travel frequently, including to developing countries and possibly remote, fragile and conflict affected areas, is required.
  • Collaborate with a range of stakeholders, including project-affected parties, government officials, non-governmental organizations / civil society, as well as project investors and their staff.
  • Excellent verbal and written English and French language skills are essential; Arabic language proficiency is highly desirable. Knowledge of other languages will be an advantage.
  • Good team player who can work as a member of a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team, motivate and lead group efforts and network effectively across boundaries.
  • A minimum of Master’s degree or equivalent qualification in environmental science, natural resources management, environmental or civil engineering, or other relevant disciplines.
  • Knowledge of international standards and codes of practices in the environment sector, including World Bank Group Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs).