Local recruitment: Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist

The World Bank
Burkina Faso
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and French


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The World Bank Group (WBG)

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2016, the WBG committed $64.2 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $16.2 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 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 Role of the World Bank Group in Water

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 will need to work 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.  Finally, the WBG sees the WTR GP to play a pivotal role as an implementation arm of all water-related SDGs, and in particular SDG 6, as well as a global player in the interface of water, resilience and climate change.

Recognizing these unique opportunities, the Water GP has enjoyed a scaled up program both in lending (about $4-5b of new lending per year moving into programmatic approaches, PforRs, and building country systems), RAS, innovative ASA, and a global partnership agenda.  However, the portfolio has also faced some implementation challenges that need to be resolved.

The Water Global Practice is organized around: (a) a Senior Practice Director and two Practice 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) 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 two Directors in the Practice, while the global PM and the Global Leads report to the Senior Director to reinforce the globality of the Practice. The Water Practice comprises around 300 staff.

Reflecting its leadership in the global water agenda, the Global Water Practice also sustains and manages several external partnerships.  In addition, the Water Practice has launched the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP), which will provide support across the full water cycle agenda and with a consolidated results framework fully integrated with all other operational engagements of the Water Practice.

The Water Sector in Burkina Faso

Since the mid-1990s Burkina Faso has built a comprehensive legal and well-defined institutional framework for water supply, sanitation and water resources management (WRM). The Ministry of Water and Sanitation (Ministère de l’Eau et l’Assainissement, MEA) is responsible for determining priorities, setting policies and standards for water development, managing and regulating water resources, and regulating water and sanitation services. The National Office for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (Office National de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement, ONEA), an autonomous publicly owned utility, is responsible for the provision of water supply, on-site sanitation, and sewerage services in 57 urban centers in Burkina Faso. Since 2009, as part of the decentralization process, the municipalities are responsible for planning, developing, and delivering water supply and sanitation services in rural areas. However, transfer of responsibilities to municipalities has not been accompanied by adequate financial and human resources. Significant policy reforms have taken place, including: the commercialization and modernization of ONEA; the delegation of water supply operations in rural areas to water user associations (WUAs), NGOs, and private operators; and, the adoption of integrated water resource management (IWRM) principles in national policies and plans. 

Burkina Faso has gradually adopted a Program approach focused on improving water supply and sanitation services and IWRM. In 2003, Burkina adopted the Action Plan for IWRM (Plan d’Action pour la GIRE, PAGIRE, 2003–2015), under which five river basin organizations were created and two adopted master plans for water management and water sources’ protection plans. But river basin organizations are not fully operational and are understaffed. In 2006, the Government of Burkina Faso (GoBF) adopted the National Water Supply and Sanitation Program (Programme National d'Approvisionnement en Eau Potable et d' Assainissement 2015, PN-AEPA 2006-2015). The PN-AEPA encompassed a US$1 billion allocation for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in urban and rural areas , within a framework of IWRM. Under the PN-AEPA access to water and sanitation services was improved, though in rural areas the results were behind expectations. Also, improvements in programming, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and better harmonization of the reporting system were achieved. Finally, in 2016 a dedicated line ministry (the MEA) was created.

Most recently, Burkina has adopted a second generation of sectoral programs for 2016–2030. Based on the National Development Economic and Social Development Plan Program (Programme national de développement économique et social, PNDES, 2016–2020), the National Water Policy for 2016–2030, and in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),  the GoBF adopted: (a) the National Water Supply Program (Programme national d’approvisionnement en eau potable 2016–2030, PN-AEP); (b) the National Sanitation and Sewerage Plan (Programme National d’Assainissement des Eaux Usées et Excreta 2016–2030, PN-AEUE); (c) the National Program for IWRM (Programme National pour la Gestion Intégrée des Ressources en Eau 2016–2030, PN-GIRE); (d) the National Water and Sanitation Governance Program (Programme Gouvernance du secteur Eau et Assainissement 2016–2030, PGEA); and (e) the National Plan for Dam Development (Programme National des Aménagements Hydrauliques 2016–2030, PN-AH). These five programs reflect the GoBF's response to sectoral issues and challenges. The recently approved Program for Result PforR operation will finance key actions included under three of these programs: the PN-AEP, PN-AEUE, and PN-GIRE.

World Bank engagement in the sector: Over the last two decades, the World Bank has been Burkina Faso’s leading partner in the development of water and sanitation sector. Through the World Bank financed Ouagadougou Water Supply Project (P000306, 2001–2007), new water storage capacity (the Ziga Dam) and a primary transmission network were developed, in addition to secondary and tertiary water distribution networks, social connections (household and standposts) to low-income households. Furthermore, the World Bank has supported rural water supply development through the Water and Sanitation Program for more than a decade, including the development of a private sector strategy for rural water systems and a pro-poor water tariff study. In June 2017, in response to the Government’s request, the World Bank completed an assessment of water resources management in the country,  which provides a detailed road map to improve water resources management, including strengthening the knowledge of water resources in the country.  In June 2018, the Board of Directors of the World Bank approved a US$300 million Water Supply and Sanitation PforR operation which support institutional reforms and investments to expand access to water supply and sanitation services in urban and rural areas, while also strengthening capacities for water resources management.

There is growing client demand for World Bank support as the agenda shifts to a focus on reform for WSS service delivery at scale, integrated water resources management and irrigation. The GP has adopted a strategy to better leverage international and national sector specialists through increased field presence, where they work on a variety of programs ranging from policy dialogue and relationships with the clients to business development, project preparation and implementation, and technical and advisory support to clients.

Duties and Accountabilities

The candidate will be expected to work independently on complex projects/issues in collaboration with senior and junior colleagues. The successful candidate will support the lending and advisory services and analytics activities in the areas of water supply and sanitation and climate resilience/adaptation in Burkina Faso, with the following duties:

• Support/lead Bank Task Teams and/or participate in projects providing technical support in the identification, preparation and supervision of projects as well as in the preparation and implementation of analytical and advisory activities including formulation of background documents, monitoring progress of projects, and undertaking regular field visits.

• As appropriate, provide similar operational and analytical services in other countries where the Bank operates.

• Generate knowledge reports in Advisory Services and Analytics (ASAs) activities for the Water Global Practice. 

• Maintain liaison and dialogue with development partners, research institutions, government counterpart, non-Government organizations, the private sector and other sector-related institutions. 

• Supervise the appointment and work of short-term consultants and firms ensuring consistency and conformity to Bank standards; and evaluate studies and sector-related project documentation. 

• Provide technical support to the task teams, as needed, liaising closely and coordinating the water related activities with other Global Practices and Country Management Unit (CMU); and

• Monitor and provide advisory support for the adherence to World Bank’s operational policies and quality requirements in technical and fiduciary due diligence.

Selection Criteria

• A Master’s level degree, in a field relevant to water supply and sanitation, including civil, sanitary or environmental engineering, water resources/environmental management, economist, or other related fields; 

• A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience in water supply and sanitation; experience in water resources management; experience in hydrological analysis and modeling will be a plus; 

• The candidate’s track record should combine experience on institutional development and management of water and sanitation services, in particular urban WSS, with a thorough knowledge of the water supply and sanitation sector and the water resources sector;

• Knowledge and experience working with water utilities would be a plus.

• Experience in coordinating and/or managing multi-disciplinary projects on water or water resources.  

• Project management experience in international institutions/companies would be a plus

• Good understanding of policy, institutional, regulatory and management frameworks for water supply and sanitation, and water resources management, particularly in the context of Burkina Faso.

• Experience with multi-sectoral teams particularly desirable;

• Good external client relations skills

• High level of energy, initiative and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements;

• Excellent oral and written communication skills in French and English;

• Ability to effectively dialogue with and relate to clients and stakeholders;

Required Competencies

In addition to the above, the successful candidate should demonstrate the following:

• 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. 

• Operational Skills – Extensive experience and knowledge with operational requirements of donors and Government in the context of internationally financed projects and programs would be a plus.

• Integrative Skills - Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector. 

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

• Water Institutions – Strong understanding of water supply and sanitation sector institutions (ministries, regulators, service providers, community organizations) and how they are best organized to deliver services to end users in a sustainable manner.

• Water Financing – Basic understanding of approaches to water supply and sanitation sector financing of both capital and O&M costs 

• Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure and Technologies - Direct experience with water supply and sanitation infrastructure and technologies. 

• 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 GPs and WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients. 

• Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.