Senior Water Resources Management Specialist

The World Bank

Vienna, , AT

Background / General description:

The World Bank

Established in 1944, the WBG 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) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

Global Practices & Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas

The World Bank’s GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of:  (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promoting shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.

Six of the World Bank’s GPs are grouped under the Sustainable Development Practice Group (SDPG), including Agriculture; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water. The SDGP is led by a Vice President for Sustainable Development; in most of the Bank’s CMUs, the coordination of the work of the GPs is facilitated by a SD Program Leader based within the CMU team.

The Water Global Practice

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 on agriculture, education, energy, health, gender equity, and livelihood, water is an essential resource for all life on the planet and is at the center of economic and social development.  Climate change expresses itself through water and sound water management lies at the heart of the resilience agenda. Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available and an assessment of competing demands for its usage. Making best use of available supplies requires complex and sensitive economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs. Planning for a more uncertain and more constrained water environment in the future only makes the situation more complex.

The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century – human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, energy security, and universal access to services – unless we ensure a water-secure world for all. To achieve this goal the Global Practice works on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.    

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take such an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower, and irrigation problems through partnership, finance and knowledge.  The Water GP places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, rivers and deltas), Service Delivery (to households, businesses and farmers), and an understanding of water in the context of the broader economy at the center of its efforts to help countries address the challenge of managing water.  The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation; managing the trade-offs around the agricultural use of water), disaster risk management (floods and droughts), energy (hydropower; energy cooling systems), management of rivers and deltas, and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban; utility performance; wastewater management; targeting the poor).  In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment and operations in the context of governance, institutions and policies.

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) a Practice Manager for Portfolio management, strategy and operations, and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) water and sanitation services (WSS), (ii) water resource management (WRM); (iii) water economics; (iv) water in agriculture; and (v) hydropower and dams.

The WTR GP also has strong external partnerships and houses the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP) and the 2030 Water Resources Group as integrated with our operational programs and leadership structure.  In addition, the WTR GP also builds on several regional programs, one of them being the Danube Water Program (

The Water GP engagement in Europe

GWA03 is the unit covering the Europe and Central Asia engagement of the water GP. The unit brings together about 30 staff (half of which in Washington DC), covering an existing project portfolio of 40+projects and overall commitments of 3.3billion USD, and a pipeline of 7 new operations over the next two years. The unit also manages two important regional programs, the Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program and the Danube Water Program.

Over the last years, the demand from clients in Central and Eastern Europe has been shifting from traditional infrastructure lending, to a broader set of services around the concept of water security and water management, including technical assistance and reimbursable advisory services, in addition to sector-wide programs. To respond to those changing demands, the unit has also been staffing up to bring the necessary skillset and human capacity.

Furthermore, the unit has also decided to expand the focus of the Danube Water Program, one of its leading technical assistance instrument, which traditionally was concentrated on technical and policy advice for water and wastewater services, to cover also a broader water security theme. A third phase of the program is currently in discussion with the main donor (Austrian Government), and is expected to include significant new dimensions around water resources and water risks management alongside the existing water services delivery scope.

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 Sr. Water Resources Management Specialist will serve as a key team leader or member supporting the ECA water team’s engagement on water resources primarily in the EU sphere of influence (EU member states, EU candidates and potential candidates, and association agreement countries). He/she will take over the management of the Danube Water Program third phase, support the unit in the implementation and delivery of identified investment lending operations, help to curate and generate knowledge (with support of the GSGs on WRM and WSS) to improve the effectiveness of the portfolio, participate in business development and support the teams in enhancing partnerships within and outside the WBG.

The appointee will report to the Practice Manager and will work, out of the World Bank Vienna office, closely with several teams in the unit. Specific duties will include:

• Manage the Danube Water Program’s together with the existing team, with a focus on the new water security activities as well as overall program management and administration; in doing so, ensure close alignment with other teams and on-going or proposed operational and analytical activities of the Bank in the water sector and beyond.
• Support, as a team leader or member, high-visibility Reimbursable Advisory Services in EU member states around water management and EU legislation compliance challenges.
• Support, as a team leader or member, the ECA water team’s efforts to deliver new high-impact lending operations, as well as successfully implement on-going operations.
• Lead or participate in the development of relevant analytical work on WRM issues as needed and identified.
• Support the ECA water team’s efforts to enhance learning, exchange and communications on WRM related issues.
• In close coordination with the rest of the ECA water team and its Practice Manager, other GPs and the respective CMUs, develop new business in the WRM and water security fields, among others.
• Coordinate and help maintain key internal partnerships including with other GSGs and GPs.
• Manage and support partnership initiatives with internal and external stakeholders, including detailed follow-up on strategic discussions, and organization of events or other activities.
• Other relevant tasks as agreed with the unit’s Practice Manager.

Minimum Education Requirements

Master’s degree in civil or environmental engineering, economics, institutional development, water resources management, or other fields relevant for water sector development.


• 8 years of relevant professional experience in Water Resource Management, part of it in an EU context.
• Familiarity with European environmental and water acquis (Water Framework Directive and daughter directives) and their implementation in Member States.
• Demonstrated track record of bringing together analytical work, policy advice and operational activities to support clients in responding to a broad water security agenda.

WB Operations Cross Cutting Competencies
1. Integrative Skills: Integrates divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent project/program/strategy.
2. Policy Dialogue Skills:  Is able to translate broad policy objectives into concrete development proposals. Has a track record of conducting effective policy dialogue with country counterparts.  Facilitates and organizes intra and inter- sectoral teams, international experts to debate and exchange ideas on key issues. Has ability to communicate and defend orally and in writing difficult issues and positions (including in a hostile environment, as necessary) to senior bank management and government officials. Actively promotes dialogue with relevant counterparts, the donor community, the private sector, government officials, as well as with civil society.
3. 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.
4. Written and Verbal Communication Skills:  Demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers).