Senior Environmental Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, DC, US


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Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region

Home to about 700 million of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. Children under 18 make up almost half of the total population. The sub-region boasts of some of the world’s richest human and natural resources and, apart from South Africa, the countries are predominantly raw material exporters.

The sub-region harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continues to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade. But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future.

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1,207 staff, mostly based in 26 country offices, has been helping countries realize their considerable development potential by focusing on the following priorities:

· Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.

· Building up the Digital Economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.

· Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support is helping governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.

· Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities. With the influx COVID-19, we are mobilizing financial support and timely analysis and advice to countries across the sub-region deal with the pandemic.

· Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption: In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure. A number of East African countries are currently facing a debilitating Desert Locust infestation, threatening the already precarious food security situation. The Bank has put together a program to help affected countries deal with the scourge.

· Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.

· Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region:

The Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food, Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water.

Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice

The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth andhuman wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction.For more information: .

Sustainable environment and natural resources (ENB) management, including support to the blue economy, is at the heart of the World Bank Group (WBG) poverty agenda. Natural resources and biodiversity often constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood. The world Bank promotes green, clean, and resilient development where natural resources–from forests to fisheries, freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems–are managed to support livelihoods, strong economies, and a world better prepared for shocks and global challenges. The ENB GP has been established to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced management of the environment and natural resources.

One specific ENB GP responsibility is to support effective environmental risk management, and to ensure good environmental management across the Bank’s work in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies and its Environmental and Social Framework (ESF).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.

Unit and Country Context

The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Unit for Africa East and Southern Region (one of four Environment units in Africa) has about 40 staff. Half of these staff work on environmental safeguards/environmental risk management. The other 50 percent work primarily on lending and knowledge products in client countries. About 50 percent are based in the country offices. The balance is based in headquarters in Washington DC and travel to the region frequently. The skills of these staff include leading analytical work and policy dialogue, economics, and supporting lending operations ina range of areas including pollution and waste management, air quality improvement, integrated coastal zone management, forestry, fisheries management, landscapes management, watershed management, Occupational and Community Health and Safety, and natural areas protection.

The position

This position will be based in Washington DC and will focus on quality control for environmental risk management. Africa has has significant challenges in expanding and enhancing infrastructure across all sectors. As a result, the Bank has been investing heavily in infrastructure in African countries, requiring the need for qualified technical staff to implement the Bank’s environmental risk management policies (including the Safeguard Policies and the new Environmental and Social Framework, or ESF). All World Bank-supported investment projects must meet ambitious environmental management standards. The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice is responsible for providing technical support and oversight to all investment projects to meet these obligations. While the primary responsibility of this position is on environmental risk management, there will be some demand for support to the management of World Bank financed projects in the area of environment, which may include Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), clean-up of contaminated sites, pollution and waste management, ecological restoration of landscapes, flood management, and environmental risk management on large hydropower/dam projects.

There may also be responsibility for support to the management of analytical work, technical assistance to government and representation of the Bank on key development as described in more detail below.

The Senior Environmental Specialist – will have the following key responsibilities:

Environmental Risk Management

The primary task for this assignment will be to provide a quality control function for ESF packages as part of the East Africa ESF quality control team under the the Regional Safeguards Coordinator in the East Africa region who is responsible for assigning safeguards tasks and ensuring the quality of the safeguards work and environmental risk management in the Region. Tasks will include the following:

* Review, at the concept and appraisal stages, the Bank’s Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS), Environmental and Social Risk Classification (ESRC) and E&S instruments disclosed prior to appraisal for all Projects, for Regional Safeguard Advisor ( RSA) clearance and concurrence. Review, during the implementation stage, environmental instruments prepared following Board approval for Projects classified as Substantial, Moderate or Low Risk. For projects with High risk rating, review environmental instruments and recommend them for submission for ESSA clearance.

* Provide experienced advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and WBG management with regard to the preparation of environmental impact assessments, including regional, strategic and cumulative assessments; environmental management frameworks and plans, including plan for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; public consultation plans; and specific plans related to natural habitats conservation, natural resource management, pest management, forest management, dam safety and international waterways management; such advice will be based on a detailed analysis of baseline conditions, project scope and impacts, requirements from national legal and institutional frameworks and, and compliance with the WBG’s operational policies.

* Provide experienced mentorship to clients in the preparation of project cycle documentation including terms of reference (ToR) for environmental safeguard instruments, such as environmental and social assessments (incl. strategic, regional and cumulative); environmental and social management frameworks and plans, Pest Management Plan, and supervising their implementation. Contract specifications related to environmental safeguards and risks management, particularly for large dams and water projects. Provide technical training for the domestic EA practitioners on the WBG safeguard policies and requirements.

* Resolve project related questions from Bank staff and clients related to the interpretation of the Bank safeguards policies/ESSs, especially related to OP 4.01 and/or the Environmental and Social Standards 1 (ESS1) under the guidance of the Regional Safeguard Coordinator.

* Provide guidance to Task Teams, Accredited Environmental Specialists, Task Team Leaders, consultants and support staff on meeting the requirements of the ESF and ESSs, technical concerns and ESF/safeguards process flow.

* 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.

Project Operations and Analytical Work

* Provide deep technical support to the growing environmental project portfolio In the region.

* Participate in natural resource or environmental management projects and the policy dialog with the government and other stakeholders on environment or natural resources. This includes coordination with other financiers, review of sector policies, strategies, and legislation. A particular focus will be to contribute to building a portfolio of environment projects, which could include waste management, flood management, forestry and land restoration, and protected areas management.

* Participate as team member in the development and/or supervision of implementation of environment or natural resources activities or components in projects, including participation in identification missions; seeking and developing opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in investment project operations; maintaining dialog with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with on environmental policies; and contributing to mission outputs such as back to office reports (BTORs) and Aide Memoires.

* Facilitate and maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations in line with the Bank’s Disclosure Policy and need to harmonize with clients and other international financial institutions in the region. In particular, active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of pollution management, flood management, forestry and land restoration will be an important component of this position.

* Actively seek to learn World Bank Group procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant safeguard management process.

* Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.

Selection Criteria

* Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) – degree in environmental engineering, civil engineering ecology or environment related sciences is required.

* A minimum of 8 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the engineering or environmental management sector is required – time in a PhD program counts toward that time.

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

* Experience in designing and implementing environmental safeguards or environmental risk management ( (including Occupational Health and Safety); and monitoring environmental safeguards compliance, for international financial institutions, engineering companies or extractive industries. is required

* Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of environmental compliance in investment projects involving large scale civil works, extractive or industrial activities is required.

* Knowledge of and experience with the World Banks environmental safeguards policies and the Environmental and Social Framework is required.

* Confirmed collaboration and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.

* A strong sense of partnership and ability to work independently with limited supervision.

* Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

* Experience working in different developing countries.

* Willingness to travel extensively in the Africa region and possibly globally is vital, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

– Sound knowledge of World Bank’s safeguards policies, the ESF, ESSs 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.

Competencies for Senior Environmental Specialist:

* Integrative skills: demonstrates ability to think and work across WBG, practices and sectors • Integrates divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent project/program/ strategy • Considers corporate commitments (eg Gender, Climate) in project approach.

* Policy Dialogue skills: possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills • Builds and sustains key stakeholder relationships with government and other key stakeholders • Guides clients and/or development partners in identifying key operational issues and optional solutions with a demonstrated ability to bring together different perspectives • Leads task teams, participates in formal negotiations, and assists government in establishing priorities.

* Knowledge and Experience in Development arena: demonstrates sound knowledge of World Bank Group’s Twin Goals and the complementarities among different World Bank Group member institutions • Demonstrates deep understanding of policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process • Fully understands Bank’s development initiatives and policies and practices related to l ending and non-lending operations • Guides research efforts and translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies and for discussions with clients and development partners •Anticipates client needs and requests and guides the development/ offering of relevant tools to clients.

* Communication and Influencing Skills: demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers). Has ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, challenges and positions to colleagues and management

* Specialized Knowledge & Technical Skills:

– Environment & Natural Resources Management Technical Skills & Knowledge (Specialist / Engineer)

Demonstrates excellent understanding of environmental/NRM/climate change policies, technologies or strategies, and institutions needed to support development and for the success of project and analytic work. • Demonstrates solid understanding of the roles of each WBG institution and its relationship to environment/NRM/climate change. • Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management. • Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management. • Provides guidance and coaching to others on technical and operational matters.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development