Local hire: Environmental Specialist

Kigali, , RW

Background / General description:


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2015, the WBG committed more than $65 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which more than $20 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). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and 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.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT); and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships.  The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promote shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.


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 ENR 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 some 275 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.


The Country Management Unit consists of three countries under the Country Director based in Nairobi Office, who is responsible for the Bank’s program in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The Rwanda program is managed by a Country Manager based in Kigali. The specialist will be expected to be based in Kigali and provide cross support to all operations primarily in Rwanda for effective application of Bank’s environmental safeguards policies.

This safeguards due diligence is very important and based on the requirement that the preparation and implementation of activities financed by the World Bank must comply with its ten safeguards policies. In addition to and consistent with these safeguards policies, particular attention has to be given to the disclosure requirements regarding the safeguards instruments prepared in the context of both projects preparation and implementation.

With respect to scope of environment work program, there are approximately of 15 investment projects in Rwanda and approximately 15 regional projects, which require environmental safeguard support.  The portfolio covers a number of Global Practices including energy, transport, water, agriculture, health, education, urban, climate change and environment.   Most of these infrastructure projects have been assigned environment Category B but include about 18-20 % of high risks projects with Category A. These projects require regular safeguards support of environment specialists to the project teams through close engagement with the client counterparts to ensure the environmental risks are identified early during project preparation, as well as mitigated and supervised in accordance with the Bank’s safeguards policies.  The specialists will also participate along with other GP colleagues in an active dialogue on regional issues, such as water, energy and climate change; improving governance of natural resources, pollution management, and wealth accounting and valuation of ecosystem services.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The World Bank Group (WBG) is seeking to recruit a highly qualified Environmental Specialist to be based in the World Bank Country Office in Kigali, Rwanda. The specialist will support the GP’s work on the application of environmental policy to Bank investment lending, including risk management and knowledge and learning initiatives.  The Environmental Specialist will play an essential role in the application of the Bank’s environmental policies (i.e. Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01), Natural Habitats (OP 4.04), Pest Management (OP 4.09), Physical Cultural Resources (OP 4.11), Forests (OP 4.36), and Safety of Dams (OP 4.37)) and in supporting the use of environmental assessments methodologies across a range of sectors and country contexts.  

The Environment Specialist will be part of a dynamic team of environment and natural resources management specialists working in the Global Practice. He/she will also provide technical expertise on a variety of environmental issues related to investment operations, development policy loans, and other instruments, such as Technical Assistance, including with regard to adaptation to climate change, natural resources management and green and inclusive growth. More specifically the staff to be hired will be expected to:

a) Participate as team member in the preparation and/or supervision of environmental safeguards policy requirements in different Bank funded operations, including  participating in identification missions; supporting compliance with safeguards policies and seeking opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in various investment operations; maintaining regular dialog with the client and enhance their capacity on environmental policies; and contributing to Aide Memoires.

b) Seek and develop opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and environment safeguards policies in different investment operations, participate as a team member in such operations and related analytical work, and enhance local capacities for implementing these policies.

c) Maintain dialogue and coordination between the Rwandan national counterparts and the teams working in Rwanda, with an emphasis in developing long-lasting relations with Government counterparts and relevant national institutions.

d) Contribute to and participate in quality reviews within the Region and provide environmental input in project documents in accordance with the Bank operational policies including Concept Review, Appraisal and Decision/Negotiations Packages.

e) Facilitate and maintain effective communication with the local partners, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations in line with the Bank’s Access to Information Policy and need to harmonize with clients and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in the region.

f) Participate in and/or possibly lead natural resource projects and the policy dialog with the government and other stakeholder relevant to environment or natural resources in Kenya/Uganda/Rwanda.  This includes coordination with other financiers, review of sector policies, strategies, and legislation.

g) Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Practice manager such as contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.

Selection Criteria:

In addition to meeting Bank-wide Grade GF level positions, it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

• Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in environmental economics, environmental science/engineering, natural resources management or related field, preferably with major in one or more of the following areas: environmental institutions or policy, environmental health or pollution, forestry, biodiversity or climate change.

• A minimum of 5 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the environment sector.

• Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: environmental management, environmental sector policy, or integrated development planning or climate change mitigation or adaption, in various sectors (e.g., water supply and sanitation; transport, energy, natural disaster management, rural development, environmental pollution and health).

• Experience working in middle income countries; understanding of the institutional and political context and exposure to the national environmental policy challenges.

• International work experience would be an advantage.

• Proven teamwork and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.

• Demonstrated project management / operational skills and familiarity with Bank procedures and business practices including occupational health and safety management and the WBG safeguard policies would be an advantage.

• Experience working with a wide range of stakeholders, NGOs, private sector international organizations, development partners and/or with the government will be an advantage.

• Fluency in English is required (writing, speaking, listening and reading).

• A strong sense of team work and ability to work independently with limited supervision;

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

• Willingness to travel extensively in rural areas of Kenya/Uganda/Rwanda if necessary.

Competencies of Environmental Specialist:

• Knowledge and Experience in successfully applying the environmental safeguard policies and high risk projects, especially infrastructure projects, in sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, Transport, Urban and Water Infrastructure.

• Applies technical knowledge on the job and provides inputs to country and sector strategies.  Interacts with clients on technical level.

• Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Basic understanding of environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations, specially related to climate change.

• Environmental Sciences – Basic experience applying knowledge (air pollution and meteorology; soil science; water; ecosystems; conservation; agriculture concerns, etc.) to policy-related decisions and advice.

• Project Design for Impact and Sustainability – Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.  

• Sector Dialogue – IL – Contributes to dialogues with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.  

• Operational Project Management – Demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, as well as of Bank instruments and processes related to project preparation & implementation, resource management, and stakeholder communications.

• Strategic and Technical Analyses for Country/Sector Issues – Contributes to the formulation and implementation of complex analytical work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform.   

• Client Orientation – Demonstrates diplomacy, tact and sensitivity in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides inputs to develop evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.  

• Drive for Results – Provides inputs to efforts to identify and acquire resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and contributes to solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.  

• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion – Participates in teams to achieve outcomes, provides inputs to team solutions and demonstrates good inter-personal skills for teamwork, demonstrating respect for different points of view.  

• Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Contributes to sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.

• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Under direction of senior staff, gathers inputs, contributes to risk assessments, and provides information relevant to assessment of decisions affecting internal and external stakeholders.