Local hire: Water Resources Management Specialist

Pristina, Kosovo, , XV

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 2014, the World Bank Group committed $65.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $22.2 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 – 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.

Global Practices & Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas

The World Bank’s 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 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) promoting shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.

Six of the World Bank’s GPs are grouped under the Sustainable Development Practice Group (SDPG), including Agriculture; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water. The SDGP is led by a Vice President for Sustainable Development; in most of the Bank’s CMUs, the coordination of the work of the GPs is facilitated by a SD Program Leader based within the CMU team.

The Water Global Practice: Context  

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.  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. To achieve this goal the Global Practice will need to work on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.    

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 GP places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, rivers and deltas), Service Delivery (to households, businesses and farmers), and an understanding of water in the context of the broader economy at the center of its efforts to help countries address the challenge of managing water.  The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation; managing the trade-offs around the agricultural use of water), disaster risk management (floods and droughts), energy (hydropower; energy cooling systems), management of rivers and deltas, and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban; utility performance; wastewater management; targeting the poor).  In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment and operations in the context of governance, institutions and policies.  Finally, we recognize that any focus on water will need to address and take into account the complex context of climate change.

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) two Practice Managers (PMs) for Global Programs; and Portfolio management, strategy and operations, and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) water and sanitation services, (ii) water resource management; (iii) water economics; (iv) water in agriculture; and (v) hydropower and dams.

The Water Sector in Kosovo

Kosovo is a landlocked country, located in the southern region of the Balkans. The country has limited water resources, and water distribution remains largely unequal throughout the country. While the mountainous western and southern fringes are plentiful in water, the central/northern high-lying plateau that covers about half of the country’s territory has limited water resources. Yet, it is precisely this area that holds the country’s largest development potential because most of the mining, agricultural, and industrial activities are located here, including the Durres–Pristina–Belgrade industrial belt. This region has the highest population density in the country and is regarded as the commercial and administrative center of Kosovo.
The water GP has a growing water portfolio in Kosovo, including the recently approved Kosovo Water Security and Canal Protection Project (P133829) and the technical support provided in the context in the Danube Water Program (P128416). The water GP team is also provided close support to the on-going agriculture project and its recently approved Additional Financing. Finally, the Government has also indicated its interest in moving forward with the preparation of a new irrigation operation, likely to start in fiscal year 2018.

Furthermore, with the recent successful replenishment of IDA18, Kosovo’s financial envelope is expected to increase significantly, leading to an increase demand for the preparation and implementation of other SD operations and the proper environmental and social support to these.

The Position

The appointee will join the World Bank office in Pristina, Kosovo and provide operational support to the growing portfolio of the water GP in Kosovo and, possibly, other countries of the region. Key roles will be to strengthen client engagement to ensure an integrated water resources management portfolio suite of services for water security. In addition, the appointee will be expected to provide significant support to the portfolio of other SD GPs, in particular on the application of the World Bank’s social and environmental safeguards in other Bank-funded operations. The appointee will work closely with teams spanning the Country Office, the Vienna CMU office and Washington DC. The position will report to the Water GP Practice Manager responsible for Europe and Central America, based in Washington D.C.

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 2 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The appointee will support water GP activities in Kosovo and beyond, including lending operations and non-lending knowledge advisory services. The appointee will also provide operational, technical and safeguards support to teams for other SD GPs, including in particular Agriculture, Social and Environment and natural resources GPs. The appointee will work with Task Team Leaders and SD Global Practice staff in the Pristina office, the Western Balkans CMU and beyond. The assignment will involve regular travel within and beyond Kosovo.

Specific duties are expected to include:

(i) Support water projects and non-lending activities preparation and implementation, including:

a. Planning, preparation and implementation of water projects including preparation and quality control of requisite World Bank documents.

b. Coordinating project missions – both planning and execution.

c. Assisting with mobilizing and implementing trust grants linked to operational projects including procurement and contracting.

d. Organizing and running training workshops, study tours and other learning events for the client.

e. Assisting with managing client interactions both with TTLs and independently, in particular to ensure continuous day to day dialogue and follow up on specific project issues or GP-related dialogue.

f. Coordinating activities with other actors, including IFIs and bilateral donors, as well as key sector stakeholders.

g. Reviewing and commenting on Client documents (ToRs, technical memos etc.) from a technical and operational standpoint

(ii) Support other SD GP’s with tasks similar to these described in (i), as well as to ensure compliance of Bank-funded activities with appropriate World Bank environmental and social safeguards requirements and policies. .   This may include tasks such as:

a. Support Bank assigned safeguards specialists with supervision on quality of safeguards implementation during all phases of the project cycle;

b. Ensure familiarity with the specific Bank requirements on safeguards;

c. Support the implementation of consultations as required by Bank policies and procedures in a manner that is tailored to the local context and yields meaningful consultations;

d. Ensure diligent follow up with the project management units on safeguards implementation and help build their capacity on safeguards together with the broader ECA Safeguards team

e. Provide data, debriefs and other updates as needed to CMU and Practice Management

f. Ensure that management are fully debriefed of safeguards related risks as soon as these occur;

g. Ensure timeliness of preparation of safeguards inputs to Task Teams

h. Have broader interests in the social development agenda including related to youth, gender, and citizen engagement activities.

Selection Criteria:

Candidates must demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the ability to find practical solutions to problems and think strategically. Candidates must demonstrate technical and professional excellence, and effective communication. The following specific criteria also apply:

• Advanced degree in water resources management, water resources engineering, or related field from an accredited university.

• Sustained record of high-quality substantive results over an extended period (at least 5 years).

• Familiarity with the water issues and institutions in Kosovo and the region.

• Experience in leading water activities in a development context.

• Familiarity with World Bank operations procedures and safeguards policies and their application in projects a strong advantage.

• Excellent writing skills and verbal communication in English and Albanian.


• 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 the government and/or other stakeholders.

• Integrative Skills – Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.

• Water Policy and Strategy – Basic understanding of water policies and strategies and their role in delivering outcomes to end users/customers

• Water Institutions – Basic understanding of WRM sector institutions and how they are best organized to deliver services to end users in a sustainable manner

• Water Resources Management – Direct experience in water resources planning, management and development, with depth in at least one subtopic and relevant experience applying this knowledge to operations, analytical work, and other deliverables.

• 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.