Local recruitment: Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist

The World Bank
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


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About 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 2017, the World Bank Group committed more than $61 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. Overall, the Board approved $42.1 billion in financial assistance in fiscal 2017 through 383 operations, comprising $22.6 billion in IBRD lending and $19.5 billion in IDA support.

The institution is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 10,000 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). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Global Themes to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

Global Practices & Global Themes

The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macro, Trade and Investment; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and Digital Development; and Water. The 5 Global Themes are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Knowledge Management; and Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Global Themes, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients' most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country.

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 $4-5 billion 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 persistent 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) 10 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) one Global PM for Strategy and Operations, who brings together Operations, Knowledge, and Communications; and (d) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs) led by 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.

The Water and Sanitation Sector in Haiti

Access to quality water is a significant challenge in rural areas and small towns of Haiti. A substantial portion of systems is not operational for lack of sufficient funds for operation and maintenance and less than ten percent are equipped with chlorination devices. Access to sanitation in rural areas and small towns is low. Both urban and rural populations mostly rely on individual on-site sanitation solutions, as sustainable collection and treatment of sewage are practically non-existent.

The Haiti’s National Water and sanitation Directorate (DINEPA) has initiated a sector reform with a vision to develop the WSS sector and tackle the low levels of service. The main pillars of this reform are: (i) the reinforcement of the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation--DINEPA’s regulatory role; (ii) the deconcentration of implementation and service delivery responsibilities; (iii) the professionalization of service providers and promotion of private sector participation in service delivery; and (iv) the introduction of volumetric billing schemes.

Major progress has been made in some of these areas, particularly the reinforcement of DINEPA and the deconcentration of sector institutions. In this sense, today, thanks to the efforts of the Government of Haiti and the support of the international community, DINEPA, as well as the four Regional Water and Sanitation Offices (OREPAs), the Rural Water and Sanitation Development Units (URDs, one per province) and the Community Water and Sanitation Technicians teams (TEPACs) are all in place and fully staffed – albeit with procedures and capacities that still need to be strengthened.

On the other hand, although the steps taken so far by DINEPA in the introduction of domestic private sector participation and volumetric billing schemes for the provision of water services are still timid, the results of initial experiences in these two areas have so far been promising. 

DINEPA has also developed and enacted a National Sanitation Strategy which, in terms of rural sanitation, proposes to move away from subsidies and focus on generating demand and improving the supply chain of improved sanitation solutions. The enactment of this Strategy is a key first step to improve the alignment of the different stakeholders working in the sanitation sector and therefore the effectiveness of their interventions.

The important advances mentioned above have helped to prepare the terrain for an effective and sustainable increase in the access to improved water and sanitation services in Haiti. However, to ensure that this process continues a number of important conditions still need to be met, including: (i) improved coordination between DINEPA and the donor community; (ii) increased and predictable medium-term funding; (iii) strengthened implementing capacity of DINEPA’s decentralized agencies; (iv) scaling up of private sector participation in water service delivery; and (v) the definition of mechanisms and tools to operationalize the National Sanitation Strategy.

The World Bank is supporting the efforts of Haitian sector authorities in these areas through the Sustainable Rural and Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project (EPARD), a US$70 million investment project financed by IDA, and through a portfolio of Bank-executed advisory services and technical assistance activities funded by the Global Water Security Partnership (GWSP), PPIAF and other programs.

In this context, the Bank is seeking to hire a Water and Sanitation Specialist to be based in Port-au-Prince to join the Task Team in charge of managing and further developing the business portfolio of the Water GP in Haiti.

Scope of Work/Tasks

The candidate will be expected to work independently with guidance on complex projects/issues from senior specialists and Task Team Leaders (TTLs). The successful candidate will support the lending and advisory services and analytics activities in the areas of water supply and sanitation and water resources management in Haiti, with the following duties:

  • Support 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.
  • Generate knowledge reports and participate in Advisory Services and Analytics (ASAs) activities for the Water Global Practice.
  • Maintain liaison and dialogue with development partners, research institutions, 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 LCC8 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 five years of relevant professional experience in water supply and sanitation; experience in water resources management, 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 rural WSS, with a thorough knowledge of the water supply and sanitation sector and the water resources sector;
  • Knowledge and experience working with rural water operators 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 is 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 Haiti
  • 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 English and French;
  • 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.
  • 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 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.