Local hire: Water Resources Management Specialist

Tashkent, , UZ

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 2017, the World Bank Group committed more than $61 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) saw continued client demand for its services and made commitments totaling $22.6 billion. The International Development Association (IDA) provided $19.5 billion in concessional financing to support the poorest countries.

The institution is governed by 189 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 World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices as well as Cross-Cutting Solution Areas to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century – human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, and energy security – without improving how countries manage their water resources. The World Bank (WB) seeks to help governments take an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower and irrigation problems through finance and knowledge.  The WB’s Water Global Practice (GP) is mandated to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation), disaster risk management, energy (hydropower), and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban, assisting utilities on efficiency and financial sustainability; targeting the poor). In each sub-sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment alongside issues such as governance, institutions and policies. The WB is today the largest external source of financing for water supply and sanitation (WSS) projects, while also carrying a large and growing portfolio in irrigation and water resource management (WRM).

The Water GP is organized around: (a) a Senior Director and two Directors in the Front Office; (b) 9 region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (c) two Global PMs: a  PM for Strategy and Operations, who brings together Operations, Knowledge, and Communications, and a PM for Global Programs; and (d) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs) led by 5 Global Leads.  The regional PMs report to one of the two Directors in the Practice, while the two global PMs and the Global Leads report to the Senior Director to reinforce the globality of the Practice. The Water GP comprises of approximately 300 staff.  


Water Resources in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is one of the most water-dependent countries in the world, with over 80 percent of the country’s renewable water resources originating in neighboring upstream countries. Because of the arid environment in the country, irrigation is essential to sustaining agriculture and rural incomes, employment and livelihoods of the many poor that depend on it. Irrigated agriculture contributes one-third of the national GDP, 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings, and 45 percent of employment. Annual water availability is close to 1,700 m3 per person and approaches stress levels. Despite water stress, water use efficiencies are low and unaccounted losses high. This is compounded by deteriorated irrigation and drainage infrastructure, poor irrigation practices and inadequate institutional capacity for proper management, operation and maintenance.

The impacts of climate change are also becoming more prominent, and recent projections indicate that water resource management and the agriculture sector must adapt to increasing temperatures, varying precipitation and reduced surface water resulting in increased aridity and desertification.

The water supply and sanitation sector in Uzbekistan is also facing significant challenges, which include amongst other items: fragmented management of water resources, degraded and failing infrastructure, institutional capacity constraints, and serious limitations related to sector financing. In general terms across the country, the sector challenges and constraints are influencing service provision, with water service access and quality indicators stagnating in recent years.

The Government of Uzbekistan is aware of the development impacts associated with water supply and sanitation services and irrigation and drainage modernization and existing sector deficiencies, and is concerned to address these challenges proactively. The Government of Uzbekistan has implemented some reforms to improve the sector’s sustainability and financial viability, including support for Water Consumer Associations, and has adopted a phased approach to irrigation and drainage modernization. Recently, the Government of Uzbekistan initiated an ambitious water sector reform program which is aimed at supporting universal access to safe, reliable and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services.  

The Government of Uzbekistan has expressed its interest in seeking from the World Bank support for the implementation of Government-led sector reforms, including investments in infrastructure and strengthening institutions to enable service delivery improvements.  The current portfolio of water sector projects in Uzbekistan consists of five projects with a value of approximately US$681 million of lending, including financing of irrigation rehabilitation and modernization, drinking water supply and sanitation, and associated institutional strengthening of key sector agencies. The Bank also supports water sector reforms through analytical work and policy advice to the Government. In addition to the support provided through the country program, the Bank is supporting analytical activities and efforts to further transboundary water collaboration in the Central Asia region with funding from the Central Asia Energy Water Development Program. To support this large and growing program, the World Bank is looking to recruit a Water Resources Specialist in Tashkent.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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 Water Practice seeks to appoint a Water Resources Management Specialist to support operations, policy dialogue and analytical work in the Bank’s Water program in Uzbekistan and potentially elsewhere in Central Asia. Reporting to the ECA Water Practice Manager, the selected candidate will be based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and will work closely with other Water GP staff based in Tashkent, in other Central Asia countries and at HQ in Washington, DC, as well as with staff in other GPs and the Country Management Unit based in Tashkent.

Selection Criteria:

• Master’s degree in civil or environmental engineering, economics, institutional development, water resources management, water and sanitation, or other fields relevant for water sector development.
• 5 years of relevant professional experience in either:
o Economics of Water or relevant field such as Public Economics or Applied Econometrics;
o Irrigation and Drainage;
o Water Resource Management;
o Water Supply and Sanitation;
o Related field(s).

• Demonstrated ability to effectively work with multi-disciplinary teams and organizational units, as well as to maintain high service standards and high quality assurance under pressure, meet deadlines, and accommodate simultaneous demands from various sources.  

• Excellent oral and written communications skills. Strong client orientation, diplomatic skills, and drive for results are essential.

• Good command of spoken and written English, Russian and Uzbek.   

Required Competencies

• Integrative Skills

Works to develop a broader view across all facets of current sector. Understands core issues and knows where to get additional expertise when needed. Task team member in integrative products and provides analytical written inputs.

• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena

Understands policy-making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process. Able to find relevant information/data and examine similar policy questions in multiple regions and to distill operationally relevant recommendations/lessons from this analysis for clients.

• Policy Dialogue Skills
Identifies and assesses policy issues and communicates findings/points of view verbally and through reports and papers. Plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders as part of Bank teams.

• Water Policy, Strategy and Institutions
Has a foundational familiarity with relevant water policies and strategies, with water institutions and the roles each institution would play, and with water laws and regulations. Understands impacts on the operation or analytical work.

• 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.