Senior Irrigation and Drainage Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Job Description

JOB #: 172351
JOB TITLE: Senior Irrigation and Drainage Specialist
JOB FAMILY: Water and Sanitation
JOB TYPE: Professional & Technical
LOCATION: Washington, DC
RECRUITMENT TYPE: International Hire
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: English [Essential]; French [Essential]
CLOSING DATE: 05-Feb-2018

Background / General description:

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). 

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.  

The Water Global Practice supports irrigation development and improved management through various instruments to achieve (a) faster agricultural growth and poverty reduction in areas where agricultural productivity and inclusive rural development in the Region require enhanced attention and where the development potential is significant, such as Africa, and (b) efficient agricultural water management use throughout the world and particularly in contexts where scarcity increases. The main instruments are investment projects and programs as well as policy reform instruments, knowledge generation and sharing. 

The Water GP seeks an experienced irrigation and drainage specialist to work on operational and policy issues in the areas of agricultural water management and water resources management. He or she is expected to have an extended operational experience to lead preparation and supervision of infrastructure projects in agricultural water management with extensive field experience. as well as specific experience in transboundary water issues.  He or she should be familiar with policy options about water management and irrigation, and different models of organization and financing, at system or national level.  He or she should be able to conduct dialogue with clients and interact with partners on these issues.  

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.

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:

i) Coordinate, participate in and lead studies and participate in study teams on Agricultural Water Management and related topics. 

(ii) Coordinate, participate in and lead technical assistance activities for client countries and their organizations in the areas of irrigation and water resources management.

(iii) Coordinate and carry out preparation (identification, preparation, appraisal, negotiations) and supervision of lending operations, and provide advice to other task teams in preparation and implementation support of lending operations and sector studies.  This should include oversight of feasibility and pre-feasibility studies, review of contracts and bidding documents during implementation, as well as quality control in the field during implementation support missions. 

(iv)  Define, contract out, and supervise the work of external consultants and technical specialists while ensuring consistency with Bank guidelines and best practices;

v) Participate in large multidisciplinary teams working on large dam complex projects where irrigation is an essential component, notably in relation with resettlement and safeguards.
 Selection Criteria:

• At least a Master’s degree or engineering degree in a discipline relevant to irrigation. 

• A minimum of 12 years relevant professional and operational experience. 

• Substantive international experience working on agricultural water development, notably in Africa.

• Work experience and good knowledge of the Sahel Region of Africa

• A track record working on irrigation, with experience working with schemes of varying sizes and with a range of partners and contractual arrangements. 

• Proven ability to work independently and flexibly on of assignments, and adjust to and prioritize a variety of complex and evolving tasks, pro-actively seeking guidance on complex tasks/issues from senior specialists and staff.

• Strong inter-personal and team skills, ability to think strategically and to develop effective relations with clients, beneficiaries, and within the World Bank

• Excellent organizational, research, written and oral presentation skills.

• Proven ability to work in a team and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision;

• Hands-on and action-oriented and proactive approach;

• Computer skills should be adequate for the analytical and report writing demands of this position;

•  Fluency in English and in French;

• Enthusiasm for and commitment to development work;

• Willingness to travel and work to remote areas in the field.

Required Competencies

• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level. 

• Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions on subjects such as climate change and resilience/adaptation with representatives of the government and non-government partners. 

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

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

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

• Public Private Partnerships – Good understanding of the various models for partnering with the private sector in the delivery of sustainable services 

• Water Financing – Good understanding of approaches to irrigation sector financing 
• Water Resource Management – Experience with water resources management and monitoring as it links to agricultural water agenda

• Irrigation and Drainage Infrastructure and Technologies – Extensive experience with irrigation and drainage infrastructure and technologies, with ability to apply knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice. 

• Lead and Innovate – Develops innovative solutions with others. 

• Deliver Results for Clients – Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client. 

• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiates collaboration across boundaries and broadly across GPs and WBG, and brings differing ideas into the forefront. 

• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. 

• Make Smart Decisions – Recommends and takes decisive action. 

• Work Independently – Meets commitments and accepts accountability with minimum supervision.