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  • Executive Career at The World Bank

  • Posted on: 14 April, 2015 Deadline: 27 April, 2015
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    The World Bank is a United Nations international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, and a member of the United Nations Development Group.

    Country Director


    Background / General description

    • 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 4 year renewable term appointment.
    • 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.


    The global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.

    To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors has approved a strategy for the organization. This strategy leverages, for the first time, the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.

    The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is the establishment of fourteen Global Practices and five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas that, in concert with the WBG Regions, will design solutions that address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity


    Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2013, the WBG committed $52.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $16.3 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). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


    The Africa Region, which is comprised of approximately 900 staff members, mostly based in 38 field offices, is committed to helping Africa realize its considerable development potential, with a focus on employment generation. The core values guiding our work are passion for our mission of sustainable poverty reduction with keen attention to quality and transformative impact, putting the needs of the client at the center of all our activities, trust and respect as a common currency, intellectual rigor and curiosity, honesty and integrity, teamwork, openness to learning and the courage to admit we do not always have the answer.

    Sub-Saharan Africa has a population of around 800 million people in 48 countries, and is a vibrant and changing environment for development work. The last two decades of democratic elections and, in some countries multiparty systems has created a greater openness to pro-poor reforms. A vibrant civil society has become increasingly vocal on policy issues, and African citizens are more and more holding politicians accountable for their actions (although there are variations across countries). Regional institutions, such as AU/NEPAD are applying peer pressure on national leaders to improve their performance.

    Until the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, Africa had been experiencing a period of sustained and widespread growth. In addition to the oil exporters, some 22 non-oil-exporting countries were experiencing better-than-four-percent growth for a decade and two third of the population lived in countries that had grown by between 5.9 and 8.1 percent per year. The sources of this growth were three-fold: (i) external resources—aid, debt relief, private capital flows and remittances were all increasing; (ii) strong commodity prices and a buoyant global economy; and (iii) improved macroeconomic policies, reflected for instance in the fact that the median inflation rate in the mid-2000s was about half that in the mid-1990s.

    While the overall business climate in Africa is the weakest in the world, several countries—including some fragile states—have made great strides in improving their environment for business. What is emerging as a result is a growing region, with setbacks from time to time, that is increasingly seen as a destination for investment as much as for aid; and one where leaders are increasingly willing to address problems of poor governance that harms development effectiveness.

    The Africa Region seeks to seize this unprecedented opportunity to better support our clients in realizing the ambition of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting prosperity.


    With a population of about 170 million people, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population. It is also the biggest oil exporter in Africa, with the largest natural gas reserves in the continent. With these large reserves of human and natural resources, the country is poised to build a prosperous economy, significantly reduce poverty, and provide health, education and infrastructure services to meet its population needs.

    Since 1999, Nigeria embarked on an ambitious reform agenda. The most far reaching of those was to base the budget on a conservative reference price for oil, with excess saved in a special Excess Crude Account (ECA). The economy responded with strong growth between 2003 and 2014 – averaging over 7%. Weaknesses in the oil sector have increased macroeconomic risks. Oil accounts for close to 90% of exports and roughly 75% of consolidated budgetary revenues.  Declining oil revenues in 2014-15 will provide additional budgetary challenges, against the additional backdrop of Presidential elections.

    Nigeria was among the first countries to adopt and implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to improve governance and oil sector. The power sector reform initiative was launched in 2005, recognizing that improving power sector performance is critical to address development challenges. The challenging process of implementing reforms was revitalized in August 2010 through the 2010 Roadmap, which clearly outlines the government’s strategy and actions to undertake comprehensive power sector reform to expand supply, open the door to private investment and address some the chronic sector issues hampering improvement of service delivery.

    Nigeria is both AFR’s largest IDA recipient, with a lending envelope of approximately USD1.5b per year, and has recently moved to blend status, giving it also access to IBRD resources. The coming years thus provide a unique opportunity to support the government in tackling range of pressing development needs. With a strong federal structure, and States responsible for service delivery in the social sectors, the Bank has increasingly engaged state level reform and IDA investments. Enhancing the volume and effectiveness of social spending will be critical to tackle pervasive poverty and poor local indicators. In addition, Nigeria faces a large income gap between the South, and Northern States, with the latter also affected by the Boko Haram terrorism and violence. Hence, Nigeria has both elements of middle-income challenges (such as urbanization in Lagos State) and fragility (in the North and oil delta region) that need to be addressed simultaneously in the Bank’s engagement.

    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 4 year term appointment.

    Duties and Accountabilities:

    The Country Director is accountable for performing the responsibilities, modeling the behaviors and maintaining the technical competencies (listed below) in his or her capacity as a member of the Regional Management Team in the Africa Region. Accountability means being answerable for managing quality, risks, results, institutional initiatives and compliance with Bank policies and procedures.


    The Country Director is responsible for performing activities in the following areas:

    Business Management responsibilities:

    • Manages the day-to-day operations of the country office.
    • Leads or support the coordination and delivery of the Bank’s strategy and related work program.
    • Manages the day-to-day dialogue with the Government on a broad range of policy and implementation issues
    • Provides ongoing updates, guidance, advice and support on local political, social, economic and other relevant developments country team members, including visiting missions as needed.
    • Develops and implements the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), with special attention to transformative non-lending and lending interventions at the sub-regional, country, practice and program levels that produce practical, visible and sustainable development results.
    • Supports the development and monitors the implementation of high quality work programs and sector strategies that are based on the CPFs and are attuned to client demand and country contexts.
    • Provides oversight on portfolio (including trust fund) management and quality issues, working with clients and the country teams to provide timely and effective implementation support.
    • Oversees, supported by an operations adviser, the regional integration portfolio for West Africa

    People/ Talent Management responsibilities:

    • Leads and motivates the country teams with a focus on client orientation, development outcomes, strong cross-practice coordination and problem solving, and takes responsibility for achieving and communicating these outcomes with operational staff, Global Practice technical staff, and the country management team.
    • Manages the functioning of CMU and RI West unit in partnership with global practice management, models integrity and inclusion, offers mentoring and development opportunities for local and international staff.

    Resource Management responsibilities:

    • Ensures that deployment of Bank's resources are consistent with Resource Management rules, policies and internal controls
    • Sets priorities and allocates budget within and across countries, in line with institutional priorities and a view to maximizing the impact and value-added of the Bank's activities.

    Relationship Management responsibilities: (Internal and External):

    • Maintains strong partnerships with the governments concerned, development partners, civil society, media, the private sector, and other stakeholders to further the aid effectiveness agenda.  Exercises courageous and transformative leadership in dialogue
    • Leads or maintains and further strengthens the relationship and policy dialogue on a broad range of economic and sectoral issues with the Government and key stakeholders.  This includes conveying government positions and concerns to the Country Director and Country Team; clarifying the Bank’s advice, perspectives, and policies/procedures as needed, helping both Government and the Country Team translate policy objectives into concrete development proposals.
    • Works proactively and innovatively with IFC and MIGA to leverage World Bank financial and technical support, including with the private sector.
    • Appreciates the complexities and relevance of political economy considerations on the Bank’s development effectiveness in Nigeria and collaborates appropriately with other CDs, regional and sub-regional institutions in West Africa, and other partners to enhance such effectiveness.

    Knowledge Management responsibilities:

    • Embraces good corporate citizenship, including contributing to the development, implementation and communication of corporate policies, strategies and priorities (including ongoing reforms in investment lending, knowledge management, HR policies, and the “Global Bank”).
    • Champions regional management initiatives.


    • Implements and is accountable for a Country Office/regional security and safety program covering Bank Group personnel (including registered dependents, travelers on Bank Group business, etc.), property, programs and information in the assigned Country Offices.
    • Represents the Bank in the c

    Selection Criteria:

    • PhD or Master’s degree in relevant field/discipline and substantial professional experience  (typically the successful candidate will have about 12 to 15 years of experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility).
    • Prior work experience in achieving results on the ground in more than one world region (including both pre-Bank and Bank experience).  A corporate assignment (e.g. Network, Anchor, DEC, WBI, FAC Units) may substitute for experience in a second world region.
    • Sound operational experience, including thorough knowledge of Bank Group policies, programs, products, and procedures, and exposure to economic and sector work, CPF, and PRSP activities. Demonstrated results in lending and non-lending products, portfolio management, and implementation support.
    • Strong strategic orientation in order to link macro and sector strategies as well as lending and non-lending  services within a consistent development framework, and to anchor and integrate the overall economic and sector policy dialogue.
    • Ability to innovate and leverage the Bank’s knowledge and lending tools, beyond the direct financial contribution of the Bank.


    Bank Managerial Competencies

    • Courage of your Convictions

    Outstanding WBG managers demonstrate the confidence in their convictions and the integrity to express themselves to peers and superiors even if it is easier or more comfortable to refrain from speaking up. They have the confidence, balanced with humility and judgment, to operate with the intent of doing what is right for the WBG and its clients. Key themes include: confidence, resilience, agility, judgment and adaptability.

    GI level description:

    Takes on challenges in a very diplomatic way, seeing them as an opportunity for both personal and organizational improvement. Pushes back against one's peers, manager and others higher in the organization, and clients, when necessary or in the best interests of the WBG mission and its clients. Advances bold ideas in the face of resistance (internal and external), especially when they are consistent with the WBG mission and values.

    Leading the Team for Impact

    Outstanding WBG managers focus on the WBG purpose and mission in order to provide on-going clarity and vision to their teams. They align capabilities and resources around the WBG mission. They create an energizing and empowering work environment where people are engaged and have the resources necessary to do their jobs, while holding team members accountable for results and improvement. Key themes include: building, focusing, constructing, empowering and aligning teams through clarity and resources.

    GI level description:

    Inspires through linking the vision of their department/organization to the WBG mission. Ensures that others buy into the vision through taking symbolic actions and reinforcing desired changes. Energizes through positive encouragement and reinforcement for thinking about possibilities of what can be done versus what can't be done. Aligns people around the WBG mission as a way to focus people on the most critical priorities. Includes resolving competing priorities as they exist.

    Influencing Across Boundaries

    Outstanding WBG managers persuade, convince and create buy-in for ideas and initiatives in order to advance their own goals and strategies, consistent with the WBG mission and vision. Key themes include: having a positive impact on others through varying sophistication of influence techniques, scope of impact and effective navigation through the culture.

    GI level description:

    Takes a broad view of the organization, seeking to influence across multiple departments in order to advance initiatives. Displays awareness and respect to other's position when making a case for an opposing opinion. Anticipates other's reactions, preparing responses and contingency plans in advance. Crafts an argument unique to the individual in order to gain buy-in and participation; engages the heart and mind of the individual by making one's point of view relevant to them and by connecting with their emotions.

    Fostering Openness to New Ideas

    Outstanding WBG managers create open and innovative climates for the people around them. They are transparent, open to divergent views and encouraging of these attributes in others. They promote broad thinking and frank discussion, welcoming others' input into the decision-making process, and they build on others' ideas. Key themes include: openness, humility, true two-way communication, strategic thinking and the space to be innovative without negative repercussions.

    GI level description:

    Creates and models norms around how others should interact. Encourages and supports the people with whom they come into contact to embrace differences, create transparency and promote frank and respectful discussions. Changes systems or processes to encourage more open communication and to facilitate new ways of doing things.

    Building Talent for the Future

    Outstanding WBG managers build people's capabilities for the future by supporting and leveraging the diversity of staff in terms of their race, gender, nationality, culture, educational and professional backgrounds. They create growth opportunities for others, encouraging them to stretch beyond their current experience or comfort zone. They provide ongoing feedback and development, including long term career development and mentoring, as well as hold their team members accountable for developing others. Key themes include: Supporting the growth of all staff to further their development technically, professionally and personally to better address clients and WBG's mission.

    GI level description:

    Creates opportunities for development, such as full job change or project assignments (as appropriate for their career path) in order to grow their breadth of knowledge and/or leadership capability; may include moving people to different groups or business units. Makes the time to reach out to key talent to mentor them and determine their aspirations, both within and outside the immediate team, regardless of benefit to own self. Identifies future leaders in the organization and develops them over the long-term, incorporating building leadership and WBG specific behaviors. Prioritizes the development of diverse talent in order to ensure that the Bank's staff is able to meet the needs our of clients both now and in the future. Holds team members accountable for providing development opportunities and activities for their people.

    Core Competencies:

    • Lead and Innovate- Mobilizes the organization for innovation.
    • Deliver Results for Clients- Leads an organization that focuses on results for clients and impact rather than transactions or processes.
    • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries- Takes accountability for collaboration at all levels of the WBG and with external partners.
    • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge- Drives a culture where knowledge is created, applied, and shared to strengthen WBG’s leadership role, development impact and to improve solutions for internal and/or external clients.
    • Make Smart Decisions- Models decisiveness and accountability.

    Method of Application

    To apply for this position, click here

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