Local hire: Water Resources Management Specialist

The World Bank

Managua, Nicaragua 🇳🇮


Established in 1944, the World Bank Group (WGB) 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.

The Water Sector in Nicaragua

Sustainable and efficient natural and water resources management is critical for Nicaragua’s economic growth, for energy and food security and reducing poverty. This is particularly important due to the country’s high vulnerability to extreme hydrometeorological events as hurricanes, floods and droughts; concentration of poverty in rural areas and the impact of climate variability on water resources and agriculture, which accounts for 70 percent of total water demand.

Nicaragua is highly exposed to hydrometeorological events. In terms of climate risk, the country ranks 4th among 177 countries most affected by extreme weather worldwide . Between 2014 and 2015, El Niño weather event caused significant reductions in rainfall patterns and caused sizable losses in primary activities and affected regions across the Dry Corridor (Corredor Seco), that covers about 28 percent of Nicaragua’s territory, posing significant threats to water and food security. Available climate variability scenarios for 2030 by IPCC (2014) signal that water resources will be scarcer in the Pacific and Central regions where 87 percent of the total population resides. Water demand increase for different sectors, water quality deterioration and climate change will impact population and economy growth. Expansion of the agricultural frontier, expected increase in the hydropower generation and population growth together with water quality degradation and climate shocks will put serious stress over water availability.

The Water Global Practice (GP) has a long-standing and growing water portfolio in Nicaragua, including the on-going NI Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Sector (P147006) project and several on-going or recently completed analytical and advisory activities, such as the Strengthening Rural WSS Sector Institutional Policy and Planning Capacity in Nicaragua (P132171) and the Integrated Water Resources Management in Nicaragua and the Dry Corridor (P158256). The Water GP is also providing support to the on-going Adaptation of Nicaragua’s Water Supplies to Climate Change (P127088) managed by the Environment GP. As part of discussions over the IDA18 future lending, the Government’s priorities are shifting from water services provision to a broader water resources management and water security focus. It has requested further Bank support for two additional operations in that field, which build on recently completed analytical work and will be led by the Water GP (Nicaragua: Support to the implementation of the National Water Resources Plan (P164286)) and the Agriculture GP (Nicaragua Dry Corridor Climate Resilient Agriculture Project (P162982)). 

The Position

The appointee will join the World Bank office in Managua, Nicaragua and will provide operational support to the growing portfolio of the Water GP in Nicaragua 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. The appointee will work closely with teams spanning the Country Office and other Water GP staff covering Central America from the region and in Washington DC. The position will report to the Water GP Practice Manager responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean, 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 3 year term appointment.

The appointee will support Water GP activities in Nicaragua and beyond, including lending operations and non-lending knowledge advisory services. The appointee will also provide relevant operational and technical support to teams for other SD GPs, including in particular, Agriculture and Environment. The appointee is expected to work independently with guidance from senior specialists, Task Team Leaders (TTLs) and SD Global Practice staff in the Managua office, the Central America CMU and beyond. The assignment will involve regular travel within and beyond Nicaragua.

Specific duties are expected to include:

  • Planning, preparation and implementation of water projects including preparation and providing support for the adherence to World Bank’s operational policies and quality requirements in technical and fiduciary due diligence.
  • Coordinating project missions – both planning and execution.
  • Undertaking regular field visits.
  • Assisting with mobilizing and implementing trust grants linked to operational projects including procurement and contracting.
  • Organizing and running training workshops, study tours and other learning events for the client.
  • 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. 
  • Coordinating water related activities with other GPs and CMU as well as and with other actors, including IFIs and bilateral donors, as well as key sector stakeholders. 
  • Reviewing and commenting on Client documents (ToRs, technical memos etc.) from a technical and operational standpoint
  • Being a full member of the Country Office team and participating in country office 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) in water resources management; experience in water supply and sanitation will be a plus. 
  • Familiarity with the water issues and institutions in Nicaragua 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 Spanish. Other languages, Portuguese or French in particular, will be a plus. 

Required Competencies:

  • 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.