Program Manager (Water Resources Group 2030)

Washington, DC, US


The World Bank Group:  The WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions, committing $64.2 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses in 2016.  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).

The Role of the World Bank Group in Water:   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, water is at the center of economic and social development.  Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of available resources and smart management of competing demands with complex economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs.

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments adopt integrated and strategic approaches to address their water management challenges.  Water related activities within the World Bank are led by the Water Global Practice for its IBRD/IDA portfolios, working in coordination with other parts of the Bank Group.   The Water GP manages a lending portfolio of about $25 billion, with another $10 billion of water related portfolio managed in related Global Practices.  The Water GP also plays a key role in creating evidence based global knowledge and solutions in the water sector, additionally hosting a number of global and regional partnerships.  It is one of the foremost institutions within the water sector bringing together knowledge, policy advice, partnerships and financial support to its client countries.

The Water Global Practice is organized around a Senior Practice Director and two Practice Directors, with 9 Regional Practice Managers, 2 Global Managers and five Cross Cutting Global Solutions Groups led by Global Leads.  It comprises around 300 staff.  

Water Resources Group 2030:  Starting in January 1, 2018, the Water Global Practice will additionally host the Water Resources Group 2030 (WRG 2030), which has hereto been hosted by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.

The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) is a unique global public-private partnership, with a mission to facilitate collective action on water between governments, the private sector and civil society, to help countries achieve water security by 2030.

To meet its objective, 2030 WRG acts as multi-stakeholder platform for action, bringing governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations and companies together to work towards a water secure future.

At the invitation of the government, the 2030 WRG works at a country level by establishing national multi-stakeholder platforms that facilitate open discussion, foster partnerships and catalyse change in water-stressed countries. The multi-stakeholder platforms are informed by an objective, fact based analysis of the water situation a country faces in relation to its growth plans to 2030 which is sponsored by 2030 WRG. Informed by this economic analysis, stakeholders in the multi-stakeholder platform then discuss and develop proposals for water programs, projects and policy reforms; support the implementation of public-private partnerships; and develop proposals for innovative finance mechanisms to help others implement various programs. To this extent, the 2030 WRG theory of change is based on the need to ACT: to Analyse, Convene and Transform. 2030 WRG raises awareness through analysis, triggers momentum by convening discussions and initiatives and, as a result, catalyses and supports transformation.

The 2030 WRG was launched in 2010 through an informal collaboration housed at the World Economic Forum between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the companies Nestlé, PepsiCo and The Coca Cola Company and other organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In 2012 the IFC agreed to develop a more formal structure for the 2030 WRG, and offered to host 2030 WRG at IFC within the World Bank Group. This included the creation of a Secretariat in IFC; a Steering Committee and a Governing Council.

The 2030 WRG started its second phase in July 2012 under these arrangements, and successfully met its goals. A third phase of effort took place 2014 to 2017 with IFC continuing as host. In this time 2030 WRG has expanded its activities significantly. 2030 WRG now works in twelve different countries, with others in the pipeline, and with over 500 different partners from across the public, private and civil society sectors.

With the arrival of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, including Goal 6 for Water and Sanitation, a new strategy for the World Bank Global Water Practice has been developed in 2017. This strategy has a strong focus on scaling partnerships for action, including in water resource management. In June 2017, it was agreed by the Governing Council of the 2030 WRG to move 2030 WRG to the World Bank’s Global Water Practice for its third phase of activity 2018-2023.

As a central part of this transition, the World Bank is now seeking a Program Manager for 2030 WRG to take the partnership forward.   The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in race, gender, nationality, culture, and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Program Manager of 2030 WRG will be its recognized leader to all external constituents and partners and also within the World Bank Group and its various networks.  The 2030 WRG is a highly networked partnership. This means that in delivering their responsibilities he/she will be working with:

• A steering committee of senior business, government and civil society leaders who will oversee and support the progress with the 2030 WRG secretariat and who will also the Secretariat’s support in helping them structure and deliver various initiatives that meet wider 2030 WRG objectives

• All 2030 WRG partners, including through their national country platform processes and through the facilitation of more strategic working groups and other interest-driven activities

• A Governing Council of Principals from across the public, private and civil society agenda – particularly its co-chairs (the EVP & CEO of IFC and the Chairman of Nestle) with whom the Secretariat will share progress and seek strategic advice where necessary. The Governing Council meets annually at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos to discuss progress and approve the strategic objectives of the 2030 WRG for the coming year.
The specific duties and accountabilities of the Program Manager will include, inter alia:

• Lead and manage the 2030 WRG secretariat of about 8 staff at the onset, and an annual budget of about $6 million, which may increase as additional partners join the program;

• Based on the Strategic Plan approved by the Governing Council, set out a business plan for 2030 WRG activities for the next three years, including a revised results framework;

• Ensure that the objectives and expected deliverables are met on time, of high technical quality and within budget, and will deliver high impact results.

• Liaise with all parts of the World Bank Group, including IFC, to ensure consistency with technical quality standards, operational procedures and policies of the Bank Group;

• Represent 2030 WRG, and its mission, in external fora and events;

• Maintain close ties with civil society, academia and private sector partners;

• In consultation with the Steering Committee, approach potential development partners, to ensure continued financial sustainability of the program.

More detailed responsibilities and priorities will be refined at the outset of employment and annually thereafter in consultation with the Steering Committee.  For day to day operational guidance, the Program Manager will report to a Director of the Global Water Practice.


• Master’s or doctoral degree in environment and resource management issues, water resources, environmental economics, finance, economic policy and/or business strategy and sustainability

• At least 15 years of relevant professional experience in the public, private or civil society sectors, with significant experience working across sectors

• Technical/policy literacy and public-private partnership expertise in global environment/ sustainability/ resource security issues, ideally in water or related dryland sectors and related socioeconomic considerations

• Able to work with C-suite business leaders and leading issue experts in academia, international organizations, governments and non-governmental organizations, as well as with representatives from grassroots organizations

• Clear track record of success in large-scale public-private partnership project delivery, knowledge leadership and team management

• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills in English; proficiency in other languages preferable

• Analytical capabilities

• Well established networks among key individuals and organizations associated with water /natural resource security, ideally across public, private and civil society sector activities

• Direct experience and/or familiarity with the current country partners of 2030 WRG, and the ability to deepen and/or oversee the establishment of additional 2030 WRG presence and capacity in those and other countries.


WBG Leadership Values and Managerial Behaviors:

• Leadership of Self: Role model the change and values for WBG; Demonstrate courage of convictions, ownership and self-mastery within the organization in accordance to our values

• People Leadership: Lead and inspire staff to perform and deliver for better results; Help others achieve their fullest potential through coaching and mentorship;

• Collaborative Leadership: Be mutually accountable for entire WBG’s corporate targets and success; Work across WBG and with clients and partners to achieve better results;

• Client Solutions Leadership: Be the leading provider of development solutions for country clients; Provide leadership in both knowledge generation and knowledge sharing;

• Decisive Leadership: Take informed risks and make decisions in a transparent manner resulting in transformative impact for clients; Commit to decisions once they have been made

WBG 5 Managerial Competencies: Courage of your convictions; Leading Teams for impact; Influencing across boundaries; Fostering openness to new ideas; and Building talent for the future;

WBG Core Competencies for all staff: Client orientation; Drive for results; Teamwork of collaboration and inclusion; Knowledge, learning and communication; and Business judgment and analytical decision-making

Duration, Funding and Location of Assignment:

The position is for an initial period of 3 years at level GH within the World Bank’s HR terms and conditions.  The preferred location of the will be Washington, DC, though a Singapore location could be considered for some candidates as the supervising Director is located in Singapore.  The work is likely to require extensive mission travel.   The Program Manager is expected to report to one of the Directors of the Water Global Practice.