Local hire: Environmental Specialist

Monrovia, Liberia 🇱🇷


The World Bank Group

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2015, the WBG committed more than $65 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which more than $20 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 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.

Global Practice Context:

Sustainable environment and natural resources management (ENRM) is at the heart of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) poverty agenda. Biodiversity and natural resources constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood.   Sustainable ENRM promotes a green, clean, and resilient world where natural resources – from forests to fisheries, freshwater, oceans, coastal zones and ecosystems – are managed to support livelihoods and strong economies. Sustainable ENRM builds a world better prepared for shocks and global challenges, helping countries limit their exposure to resource scarcity, more-volatile weather patterns, and the long-term consequences of climate change.

The Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice (ENR GP) has been set-up to deliver on the opportunities, benefits and outcomes offered by enhanced management of the environment and natural resources. The ENR GP has close to 300 operations under management, representing close to $7 billion, and a growing pipeline of new investments under active development.

The ENR GP has three broad and distinct functions:

1. Provides clients with lending and non-lending services aimed to support the GP’s three core business lines, namely: (i) Forests, Watersheds and Sustainable Landscapes; (ii) Marine, Coastal and Aquatic Resources; and (iii) Pollution Management and Environmental Health. The GP’s activities also include a focus on Clean and Resilient Growth through its work on environmental economics and support to institutional development.

2. Supports effective environmental risk management and sustainability by managing risk at the project level and creating opportunities to advance sustainable development, in part through the implementation of the Bank’s environmental policies.

3. Works closely with other sectors, including by leveraging GEF grant financing, to mainstream environmental considerations into their policies, strategies, and operations.

Country and Position Context:

The Liberia Country Partnership Strategy covers the period FY13-FY17.  Its objective is to support the Government’s Agenda for Transformation to contribute to sustained growth, poverty reduction and shared prosperity, while exiting fragility and building resilience.  Its key pillars are: (i) Economic Transformation; (ii) Human Development; (iii) Governance and (iv) Public Sector Institution.

Within the first pillar, the Agenda for Transformation, highlights the forest sector as a key sector with the potential “to significantly contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth—including from international carbon financing opportunities” The Forest sector represents an important sector for the reduction of extreme poverty, increased shared prosperity and advance towards sustainability.

Since 2004, the WBG has provided financial and non-financial support to Liberia’s efforts and reform process towards a more sustainable, transparent and development-focused approach to forestry. These efforts introduced the “four C’s (4Cs)” approach that aims to balance and integrate community, commercial, conservation and carbon uses of the forests. One of the most significant elements in the sector reform was the involvement of the country in the purpose of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks; a process known as REDD+. The WBG has been an active partner in Liberia’s REDD+, supporting several activities including: (i) the submission of the REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal that identified the driving forces of deforestation and forest degradation in the country and suggested emerging opportunities to address such drivers through REDD+; (ii) the ongoing support to the development of long-term and sustainable solutions to manage protected areas, while ensuring that local communities are committed to sustainable development; particularly through the project “Expansion of the Protected Area Network”– EXPAN- that is currently active; (iii) the ongoing implementation of a consultative and quantitative analysis of the different land use options for development of the national REDD+ Strategy, financed by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF); and, (iv) the design and future implementation of a US$150 million program endorsed by the partnership between the Government of Liberia and the Government of Norway. This partnership was established through a Letter of Intent signed in September 23, 2014 with the purpose of:  (i) supporting the development and implementation of Liberia’s REDD+ strategy to ensure significant net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; (ii) contributing to sustainable development in Liberia through protecting natural forests, restoring degraded lands, and developing Liberia’s agricultural sector; and, (iii) working together to support progress on global efforts regarding climate change and sustainable development in general and REDD+ in particular.

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.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The World Bank Group (WBG) is seeking to locally recruit a highly qualified Environmental Specialist to be based in the World Bank Country Office in Monrovia, Liberia to contribute to the business lines of the Global Practice on environmental and natural resources management.  The Specialist will play an essential role in the design and implementation of Liberia’s REDD+ Strategy Program supported through the partnership between the Government of Liberia and the Government of Norway and the FCPF.

S/he will support the Country Management Unit (CMU) in the implementation of the World Bank’s REDD+ and NRM program, being responsible for the monitoring and assessment of NRM program in Liberia and contributing to the preparation and supervision of the REDD+ program supported by the Government of Norway and the FCPF. S/he will work closely with the Africa REDD+ Program Coordinator and the Senior Forests Specialist for Liberia. The Environment Specialist will be part of a dynamic team of environment and natural resources management specialists working in the Global Practice. He/she will also provide technical expertise on a variety of environmental issues related to investment operations, development policy operations, and other instruments, such as Technical Assistance and other AAAs, including with regard to forests, biodiversity, climate change, natural resources management and green and inclusive growth.

The Environment specialist will have the following main tasks and responsibilities:
a) Participate as a team member in the preparation and/or supervision of the activities related to the country’s REDD+ Program including the activities supported by the Government of Norway as well as other activities involving natural resources management. The duties will include participating and providing leading support in identification and supervision missions; supporting policy dialogue; maintaining regular dialogue with the client and development partners working in REDD+; and contributing to BTORs and Aide Memoires.
b) Work in hand with the Liberia Forest Development Authority (FDA) on project implementation activities, spending substantial amount of time in mentoring and jointly working with FDA to ensure the project implementation on track.
c) Provide advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and GP management on technical natural resources management matters (with an emphasis in forests, biodiversity conservation and climate change themes);
d) Supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards; evaluates studies and project documentation;
e) Advice and assist task teams in maintaining policy dialogue and technical coordination between the Liberian national counterparts and the teams working in Liberia;
f) Facilitate and maintain effective communication with the local partners, NGOs, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations active in the Forest Sector in Liberia;
g) Advise and assist TTL and task team in coordinating work products, dialogues and financing opportunities in consultation with
h) development partners;
i) Prepare briefs and analytical notes, and contribute to the writing of environmental sections in analytical reports, preparation documents, risk analysis and legal documents, in particular for reporting to Norway and other donors on the REDD+ program;
j) Employ appropriate methodologies for handling simple and complex procurement tasks and/or issues;
k) Coordinate and carry out other tasks as needed to advance the overall environment/NRM/climate change portfolio in Liberia.

Selection Criteria:

In addition to meeting Bank-wide Grade GF level positions, it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

•  Master’s Degree in Environment, Natural Resources Management or equivalent
•  Documented evidence of at least ten years of professional experience with similar assignments
• Demonstrated skills in integrating landscape management approaches into a package of solutions to achieve development results;
• Demonstrated project management /operational skills and familiarity with Bank procedures and business practices
• Demonstrated ability to lead discussions at the policy and operational levels in the following areas: environmental management, environmental sector policy, REDD+, forestry or integrated development planning, community natural resources management or climate change mitigation or adaption;
•  Demonstrated client orientation through identifying, evaluating, and addressing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to assist with delivery beyond client expectations;
• Ability to function effectively in a multi-cultural environment with government officials and equivalent contacts in international organizations, partner entities, etc.
• Demonstrated capacity to understand the political economy and local context, as well as leading expertise on Liberia’s natural resource status, trajectory, and solutions;
• Strong inter-personal and communication skills with proven experience in dealing with local, national, and international stakeholders involved in natural resource management, forestry, agricultural development, and climate change.
• Ability to handle tasks independently and work in teams
• Excellent professional written and oral communication skills in English
• Willingness to travel in rural provinces of Liberia if necessary.

Required Competencies:

Integrative Skills:  Is working 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.

Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions:  Has a foundational familiarity with environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations relevant to project or analytical work. Identifies issues which would impact success of these outcomes.

Environmental Sciences:  Has direct experience in the environmental sciences, including deeper experience in at least one area. Has relevant experience applying this knowledge to projects, studies, and other deliverables. Can identify related issues and risks and propose solutions.
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.