Local hire: Agricultural Specialist

Islamabad, , PK

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 2016, the World Bank Group committed nearly $64.2 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. The Bank’s Board approved approximately $45.9 billion in financial assistance, comprising about $29.7 billion in IBRD lending and about $16.2 billion in IDA support.


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 ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country


Agriculture is one of the 14 Global Practices and its agenda is essential for achieving the Bank’s twin goals of eliminating poverty and boosting shared prosperity: 75% of the world’s poor are rural, and most are engaged in farming. Over 842 million people go to bed hungry every day, 26 percent of all children under age five are stunted, and 30 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. The world needs to produce about 50 percent more food to feed the world’s expected population of nine billion by 2050.  A changing climate means that, in Africa alone, a warming scenario of 1.5°C to 2°C for the 2030s and 2040s will trigger a 40 to 80 percent reduction of area where maize, millet and sorghum are currently grown.  Accordingly, agriculture is critical for fighting hunger, boosting food and nutrition security, improving incomes, creating jobs, providing environmental services, and stopping a “4°C world.”

The Agriculture GP is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Senior Director is assisted by the Director, who serves as the chief operating officer of the Practice. The Agriculture GP Practice Management Team (PMT), which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Directors mentioned above and ten Agriculture Practice Managers, who manage the roughly 265 staff working in all six Regions and on global programs.  About a third of the staff are located in Country Offices.  The Agriculture GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that Agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices.   Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.

The portfolio consists of about 240 projects representing about US$18 billion in lending commitments.  There are about 200 ongoing knowledge activities.  Areas of focus include, among other:  (i) increasing smallholder agricultural productivity, and it’s resilience through support to improved land and water management in irrigated and rainfed areas; (ii) linking farmers to markets and strengthening value chains through support for improved infrastructure, information technology, postharvest handling; (iii) facilitating rural nonfarm income by improving the rural investment climate and skills development; (iv) reducing risk, vulnerability and gender inequality through support to risk management mechanisms ; and (v) enhancing environmental services and sustainability.  To advance this agenda, the Agriculture GP collaborates closely with numerous other GPs; it is also one of the joined GPs with IFC.


The work program of Agriculture GP in South Asia-SAR (GFA12) spans across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and supports projects/programs and non-lending services aimed primarily at inclusive growth through increased agricultural productivity, food security, and rural non-farm incomes and employment, while protecting the quality of the environment.  The Agriculture GP’s program in SAR is central to achieving the Bank’s Mission of reducing poverty given that: (i) the majority of the Region’s poor live and work in agriculture; (ii) the demand for food in the region is expected to significantly increase over the next decades; and (iii) the pressure on natural resources in rural areas is expected to worsen.
GFA12 seeks an Agricultural Specialist to support its strategic, advisory, and operational work in Pakistan.  The Bank has a very active engagement on agriculture in Pakistan, consisting of a significant portfolio of projects covering among other irrigated agriculture, agribusiness and value-chain development, food security, and community driven development.  There is a very active policy dialogue and close coordination with other development partners.  Agriculture also figures highly in Pakistan’s country partnership strategy

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.


The Agricultural Specialist will assist the GFA12 Practice Manager covering South-Asia in the delivery of the work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the private sector, staff development and partnerships.  The primary responsibility of the Agriculture Specialist will be to provide technical and strategic support to the development and implementation of GFA12’s work program in Pakistan.  In doing so, s/he will work closely with the Country Director and the CMU, including the Global Practice Program Leader.  
In particular, the Agricultural Specialist will:

• Contribute to policy dialogue on agricultural and rural issues and interactions with the client and partners, and alert management (both country and sector) to issues requiring attention;

• Lead/initiate/participate in analytical and strategic work pertaining to agricultural growth and productivity, including work managed by GFA12 and that managed by other GPs, but requiring input from agricultural staff, such as public expenditure analysis;

• Coordinate and follow up with government counterparts and consultants, provide high-quality research and analytical support, including drafting policy notes related to complex agriculture and water policies, performing statistical and econometric modeling, and conducting project cost-benefit analysis.

• Independently review relevant documentation, assemble and analyze data, prepare technical and analytical write ups, and contribute to the knowledge and communication agenda.

• Assist in building capacity in government and private sector organizations, including by providing tailored trainings on analytical techniques.

• Assume an active role in the Pakistan country team with the aim to ensure adequate and appropriate integration of relevant aspects of the agriculture and rural development agenda in core Bank products, including country assistance strategy, country economic memorandum and the like.

• Contribute to, and where necessary take leadership of, key operations important to the agricultural sector, both within the portfolios within GFA12, and as cross-support to operations in other GPs.  Assure timely delivery of these operations with high levels of quality;

• Serve as an active member of the GFA team in SAR, contributing to the Region’s strategic scale up of support for agricultural productivity.

• Participate in collaborative and coordination efforts with local donors to optimize synergy with Bank supported projects and programs and to leverage IDA resources where feasible.

• Participate in the dialogue with relevant representatives of the private sector in order to keep abreast with issues related to the business investment climate and identify possible areas of collaboration through public-private-partnerships.

Selection Criteria:

• Postgraduate degree in Agricultural Sciences or related discipline;

• A minimum of 5 years of relevant working experience in agriculture;

• Strong technical, quantitative and analytical skills in a range of issues of relevance to agriculture as evidenced by a number of refereed publications and presentations on relevant policy issues at professional meetings, conferences etc.

• Experience with standard econometrics/statistics software packages (STATA, SAS etc.).

• In-depth knowledge of the issues faced by smallholders participating in modern value chains;

• Recognized and respected by peers; demonstrated commitment to team work and ability to interact effectively and collegially with peers at all levels;

• Familiarity with the institutional context of Pakistan, and experience interacting with institutions involved in agriculture and rural development;

• Familiarity with Bank procedures, directives, business practices and experience in identifying, preparing, appraising, and supervising operations, as a task team leader or team member;

• Ability to think innovatively and strategically in dealing with policy issues while maintaining a strong client focus;

• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and team skills with ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions;

• High degree of discretion, ethics, tact and sensitivity in handling confidential and sensitive information;

• Ability to work under pressure while retaining perspective and a sense of humor;

• Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation, coupled with willingness to travel extensively and work under challenging conditions;

• English essential.

Required Competencies:

• General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills – Possesses strong quantitative analysis capability; able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis using advanced statistical/econometric techniques.

• Agriculture and Water Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of agriculture and water policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.

• ESW/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues – experience in contributing (as lead or co-author) to high quality analytical work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a sound grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform.

• Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

• Lead and Innovate
Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG’s values and mission. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues.

• Deliver Results for Clients
Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Demonstrates accountability for achieving results that have a development impact and financial, environmental and social sustainability. Identifies and proposes solutions to mitigate and manage risks.

• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries
Appropriately involves others in decision making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge
Leverages department’s expertise and body of knowledge across WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. Seeks to learn from more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and helps others to learn. Builds personal and professional networks inside and outside the department unit.

• Make Smart Decisions
Seeks diversity of information and inputs, researches possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders.