Senior Irrigation 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 more than 16,000 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). 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.

Water Global Practice

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.  Climate change expresses itself through water and sound water management lies at the heart of the resilience agenda. Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available and an assessment of competing demands for its usage. Making best use of available supplies requires complex and sensitive economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs. Planning for a more uncertain and more constrained water environment in the future only makes the situation more complex. 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.

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take such an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower, and irrigation problems through partnership, finance, and knowledge.  The Water Global Practice is poised to deliver on a Water Secure World through an approach that focuses on Sustaining Water Resources, Delivering Services and Building Resilience. The WTR GP also has strong external partnerships and houses the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP), the 2030 Water Resources Group and several regional transboundary programs.  The GP has a strong leadership structure, with a Global Director, 10 Practice Managers, 2 Global Program Managers and Global Leads for Water and the Economy, WSS Service Delivery, Water in Agriculture, Building Resilience and Water Resources Management.  The LT also works closely with other GPs and the SD Regional Directors.  Increasingly, while staff may specialize in one sub-sector, they are encouraged and supported to address the full water agenda in terms of analytical, policy and operational work. The GP, through its fully integrated GWSP Trust Fund, places highest priority on global knowledge into local implementation, as well as in deploying staff to both regions and globally.

Water and Resilience GSG

The Water and Resilience GSG helps the Water Practice apply state-of-art approaches to accelerating climate change adaptation and reducing risks related to water resources and water service delivery, as well as connecting the drops across broader agendas including resilient cities, sustainable landscapes, climate smart agriculture and disaster risk management. The GSG serves helps integrate climate resilience into the work programs of the other GSGs, coordinates with other Global Practices to promote water resilience, and is the Water Practice’s focal point for interactions with Bank’s cross- cutting Climate Change Group. The Resilience GSG is led by the Water Practices Global Lead for Water and Climate (hereafter referred to as the GL)

Roles and Responsibilities:

 The Senior Irrigation Specialist will undertake the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Lead in policy and advocacy work and global diagnostics on irrigation service delivery, water stewardship in agriculture and farmer led irrigation initiatives. Able to translate broad policy objectives into concrete development proposals.
  •  Lead or participate diagnostics, piloting and embedding innovative workable water-smart solutions in earth observation in Water in Agriculture (WiA)for water security. Able to translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies.
  • Demonstrate good understanding of water policies, strategies, financing and their role in delivering outcomes to end users/customers with solid understanding of irrigation sector institutions and various models for partnering with the private sector in the delivery of sustainable services and associated regulation. This will include consideration of issues of governance and political economy.
  • Demonstrate extensive experience with irrigation and drainage infrastructure and technologies, with ability to apply knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.
  • Advanced experience with the implications of climate change on hydrological variability, water availability, flood/ drought forecasting and management, and water-related climate change adaptation and mitigation measures will be required. Understands implications for irrigation allocation, planning and service delivery. Ability to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges and provide policy-related decisions and advice.
  • Support regional teams through the Global Solutions Group (GSG) in the field of stewardship, and climate in WiA.
  • Actively promote dialogue with relevant counterparts, the donor community, the private sector, government officials, as well as with civil society and manage global partnerships.
  • Will work closely with the Global Lead and the GSG Coordinator in WiA and jointly lead the Community of Practice (CoP)

This internal requisition is open to WBG and IMF staff only (including short-term and extended term consultants/ temporaries). External candidates are requested not to apply. In case an external candidate applies, their application will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s degree or engineering degree in a discipline relevant to Water in Agriculture/Irrigation and Drainage (or in Water Resources Management with demonstrable affinity with the WiA sector)
  • A minimum of 8 years relevant professional and operational experience


  • 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.