Senior Country Officer

World Bank - Yaounde (Cameroun)

Reference 132533

Type of Contract Autre contrat

Education Bac + 5 et Plus

Work Experience Expérience sur poste similaire requise

Application Deadline 31/12/2013

Position n° 10

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About the employer / working context

Background / General description:

Sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of around 780 million people in 48 countries, is home to 36 of the world’s poorest countries and despite recent progress continues to present the world with its most formidable development challenge. The Africa Region comprises over 1,700 staff members, with about 60% are based in the Region’s 37 field offices.
The Region has an active work program encompassing a large number of IDA operations, a smaller number of middle-income clients, a wide-ranging advisory and analytical program, active partnerships with Regional and Sub-Regional institutions and a large portfolio of around 400 projects under supervision. The core values guiding our work are passion for our mission of sustainable development and poverty reduction, putting the needs of our clients at the core of our work, trust and respect in everything we do, intellectual rigor and imagination, teamwork, openness to learning from our successes as well as our failures.
Country Management Unit: AFCC1 oversees Cameroon, Gabon, Central Africa and Equatorial Guinea (EQG).  Starting February 1, 2014, it will also be in charge of Angola and Sao Tome and Principe (STP).  The Country Director (CD), who is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, works closely with the Country Managers for Central Africa and Gabon (based in Bangui, and Libreville respectively); with a liaison officer based in Luanda, Angola; with Sector Leaders based in Yaoundé; and with the Washington-based CMU team of two (comprising a Country Program Coordinator and one Country Program Assistant) who support the entire program. The Senior Country Officer (SCO) will be based in Yaoundé and will report to the Country Director. 

Projects and programs: 

Cameroon currently has the largest work program in the unit.  It receives an IDA allocation of about US$350million.  The lending portfolio currently stands at US$ 1,170 million in commitments and consists of 21 projects including 12 national projects, five regional projects and four trust fund-administered projects. These investments cover the following sectors: education, health, water, urban management, local development, governance, agriculture, energy, natural resource management (forestry, mining, the environment), transport, and information and communication technologies.  The Bank strategy was laid out in a CAS covering FY09-13, which was extended until FY14, year during which a new Country Partnerhip Framework (CPF) is scheduled to be prepared.

Currently, the main development challenge facing Cameroon entails stimulating growth and ensuring that its benefits are equitably distributed among the population with the aim of poverty reduction. The World Bank objective consists of reducing poverty from its current high level of 40 percent, and to support Cameroon’s strategy to become a middle-income country by 2035, making it an industrialized country, and strengthening democracy and national unity. It is also aimed at boosting productivity in the agriculture, livestock, and mining sectors as well as in the main value chains (wood, information and communication technologies, and tourism), and improving the business climate. It further seeks to strengthen human development and to create massive employment in the formal sector.

The Central African Republic is a small, landlocked fragile state that was barely emerging from the previous political crisis of 2003 when it was confronted in early 2013 with the Seleka rebellion which toppled former President Bozize.  The country has been under the regime of OP7.30 since March 25, 2013, with de facto suspension of disbursements.  An assessment mission was conducted in September and it is expected that the current political stabilization under Mr. Djotodia, transitional president, will lead to a reengagement,  even though the security situation remains challenging and calls for cautious risk management from the Bank.  CAR’s IDA allocation is about US$45 million for three years, and the current portfolio is comprised of 7 national IDA projects with net commitments of US$145 million (61 million undisbursed); two regional IDA projects with net commitments of US$223 million of which 134 million is undisbursed; and four trust funded operations for smaller amounts.  The previous CAS covered 2009-12 and it is expected that an Interim Strategy Note will be prepared during FY14.

Gabon is an oil-rich, upper middle income country with a per capita income (PPP) of about US$12,000 and is eligible for IBRD lending.  There is only one active IBRD project but the FY12-16 CPS establishes an IBRD lending ceiling of US$250 million and calls for the Bank to support Gabon’s Emergence strategy through various lending interventions (private sector development, rural electrification, vocational training, e-Government…. ) as well as through a fast developing portfolio of Reimbursable Assistance Services (RAS).  A first RAS of US$2 million agreed upon in early 2012 is reaching completion, and its successor under negotiation, is expected to grow significantly in scope and financing volume.  Areas of cooperation under the RAS include public finance management, tax reform, macroeconomic planning and modeling, human development, poverty assessment, natural resource accounting, and waste management.  The Bank has an office led by a Country Manager in Gabon.
EQG is one of the richest countries of Africa on a per capita basis (with a PPP GNI of about $19,000).  Oil revenues enabled EQG to embark in the mid-2000s on an ambitious ‘vision 2020’ agenda under which it first implemented a massive public investment program.  The authorities are now transitioning to the second phase of their agenda for 2020, which involves greater emphasis on human development and the ‘soft’ dimensions of development including systems and capacity building, and reforms.  This has given the Bank an opportunity to engage into a dialogue leading to a RAS-based work program.  This program started with the development of national accounts and has been expanding considerably in scope (a fourth RAS is currently being negotiated).  Areas of cooperation include: (i) building up the Statistics Institute; (ii) advice on private sector development and diversification; (iii) debt management; (iv) higher education, from the delivery of stand-alone courses to assistance towards the establishment of faculties; and (v) development of the national health systems, and of social safety nets.  In financial terms, RAS 2 and RAS 3 amounted each to about US$2million, and RAS 4 is expected to involve even higher amounts.
Angola. Since the peace agreement of 2002, Angola has made progress towards democracy and experienced rapid economic growth.  Due to increasing oil production and high international oil prices, per capita income (PPP) reached about $5,400 in 2010, and GDP has resumed growth at 6-7% in 2010-11, following a year of stagnation in the context of the financial crisis.  Despite recent economic performance, the country continues to face massive development challenges, including very high poverty rates and social indicators among the worst in the world, the need to reduce dependency on oil, and severe weaknesses in terms of governance and public financial management.   The Bank just approved the new Country Partnership Strategy which will guide its operations during FY 2014-16, and under which Angola is expected to transition from IDA only (about $150 million under IDA16) to IBRD only status.  Given Angola’s income level and its ‘oil economy’ nature, the strategy is expected to redefine in-depth the Bank’s modalities of engagement, and to place increasing emphasis on capacity building and hands on technical assistance, possibly  developing reimbursable technical assistance as a new delivery mechanism.  The IDA portfolio still comprises five active projects with a total amount of committed credits and grants of about US$460 million, of which about US$350 million is undisbursed. 
Sao Tome and Principe is Africa’s smallest economy with an estimated GDP of US$ 191m in 2009, a population of about 170,000, and limited income and government capacity.  About 54 percent of the population is poor and 15 percent live in extreme poverty.  Sao Tome and Principe relies heavily on outside assistance to implement its PRSP. The current portfolio is currently limited to a GEF project as IDA has delivered its assistance over the last years in the form of budget support, while intensifying donors’ coordination towards technical assistance and capacity building .   A new CPS covering FY14-18 is being finalized and is expected to be discussed by the Board in December 2013.  The Bank expects to intensify support on key structural reforms that will be part of a new PRSP, notably public finance management, private sector development, and management of natural resources.  It plans to deliver its resources through a combination of DPOs and IPFs (e.g. Education sector).

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 2-3 year renewable term appointment. 
While this is local hired, the position is open to "cross country assignment" or "third country national".
The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of race, gender, nationality, culture, and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.

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 Responsibilities

Duties and Accountabilities:

Based in Yaoundé, the SCO will be expected to support primarily the Cameroon program but may be called upon to assist the other countries composing the CMU, particularly those where the Bank is currently not represented by a country manager (e.g. Angola, Sao Tome and Equatorial Guinea). The incumbent will have the following principal duties and accountabilities.

Overall Responsibilities. 
The SCO will be a key member of the CMU Management Team and will report to the Country Director.
He/She will be expected to provide operational support/guidance and quality assurance on cross-cutting dimensions to task teams and the CMU management (Country Director, Country Managers, Country Program Coordinator, and Sector Leaders) including advice on the implementation of operational policies and guidelines and the use of instruments. The SCO will also support the CD, CMs, CPC and the Sector Leaders to help track overall project implementation performance and facilitate resolution of portfolio problems, and will maintain up-to-date information on portfolio performance for all AFCC1 countries in close collaboration with the Washington Anchor Unit. 
Specific duties include:
Country Partnership Strategy Formulation
•    Lead, or make substantive contributions to, the strategy formulation process (including CPS, and results framework), as well as its implementation and its evaluation (e.g. progress reports, completion reports).
•    Catalyze and integrate various perspectives from Country Team members and other stakeholders in the strategy formulation.
•    Review and provide quality enhancement advice on all operations throughout the project cycle: identification, design, appraisal, implementation, and evaluation. Provide leadership and advisory support in all phases of operations. Facilitate resolution of cross-department and cross-sectorial problems. 

Portfolio Monitoring and Quality
Quality Oversight 
•    On a regular basis, provide timely technical and operational leadership and advisory support/guidance to the project teams throughout the project cycle (identification, design, appraisal, implementation, and evaluation), including reviewing and providing comments.
•    Participate in meetings, facilitate and/or provide guidance to the teams regarding issues pertaining to portfolio quality. Facilitate resolution of cross-department and cross-sectoral problems. Support quality enhancement, risk management and implementation issues.

Portfolio Management
• Organize or lead the Country Portfolio Performance Reviews on a regular basis. Flag implementation problems for attention by clients and Bank management, and take the lead in resolving systemic portfolio issues in the CMU.  Follow-up with Governments on recommendations in close consultation with the CD, CMs and Sector Leaders.
• Interact directly with the Sector Leaders on daily work program issues, and provide operational support for problem or risky operations.
• Lead the development of key training programs for the client at a portfolio level on fiduciary, safeguards, and the governance and anti-corruption work, drawing on fiduciary, safeguards and governance specialists. 
• Assist the CMU management in the review of projects from the concept stage to final approval. Assist in the review of appraisal documentation prior to Board submission. Assist the CD, CMs, and CPC in the review of ISRs. 
• Advise the AFCC1 country teams on operational policies, instruments, and procedures and on complex operational issues.
• Reviews draft project and ESW documents and advises CPC/CD prior to review meetings.

Operational Support. 
• Advise the country team on operational policies, instruments, and procedures and on complex operational issues. Interact directly with the team on daily work program issues, and provide operational support for problem or risky operations. 
• To the extent possible, participate in operational missions and meetings and assist teams in resolution of difficult issues.  Support preparation of high level meetings and contribute to related briefing books as appropriate.

Client and Partner Relations 
• Responds to routine inquiries from clients, donors, NGOs, and other civil society representatives.  
• Contributes to selected notes on Bank activities to other partners.

Country Team
• Provides key input in the preparation of briefs, including for senior management and for Meeting briefs.  S/he will help coordinate CMU contributions into the review of regional and corporate products
• Acts as the contact point for the country team for all matters relating to review procedures and Board procedures; checking all documents for internal consistency and follow-up on needed revisions.

Country Office Management (Yaounde)
• Play a key role in overall management of the Yaoundé country office, especially in regard to office administration.  Support the CD in the management of the Yaoundé office.
• Support the work program for ACS staff in the Yaoundé office; and also mentor junior staff, particularly on operations and portfolio issues.

Job Qualifications & Skills / Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria:

•    Post-graduate degree (Masters or PhD) in a relevant discipline (Economics, Business Studies, Political Science, International Law, Finance, International Relations, or similar field) 
•    A minimum of 8 years of substantive operational experience, combined with a good knowledge of World Bank strategic directions. Additional years of experience would be an advantage.
•    Strong knowledge of operational policies and procedures, and experience relevant to portfolio management (e.g. direct experience with portfolio management, varied project experience). Experience of the bank policies and procedures is a plus. 
•    Communication Skills – ability to write quickly and accurately producing high quality written work to tight deadlines and the ability to clearly communicate orally including preparing and delivering presentations. 
•    Ability to influence, without formal supervisory role, a team of professionals in the execution of projects or programs. Ability to lead a team of professionals in the execution of major projects.
•    Proven capacity to view project-level issues in a broader context where the sector setting and policies, the macro context, and the Bank’s country strategy all intersect. 
•    Demonstrated political sensitivity and mature judgment, as evidenced by previous work experience. 
•    Outstanding inter-personal skills with proven ability to work with, and relate to, a wide range of stakeholders-donors, clients, and staff. Ability to work across the matrix in a collaborative manner is essential. 

In addition to the above selection criteria, the following competencies are expected of the successful candidate:
•    Country Strategy - Recognized proficiency in playing a central role in and make substantive contributions to the strategy formulation process and related products.  
•    Country Program Management - Contributes to preparation, including the story line, of the CMU's annual reporting, budgeting, and business planning, focusing in particular on the Region's performance indicators.  
•    Country Operations Knowledge and Application - Ability to providing high quality advice to teams on the appropriate use of Bank policies, procedures and instruments.  
•    Stakeholder Engagement - Ability to advance and make substantive contributions to the country dialogue.  
•    Country Team Management - Ability to coordinate mechanisms to ensure CMU responsiveness to country team members, including an ability to respond substantively to challenging queries and efficient and effective procedures for routine workflow.  
•    Project Management - Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of the project management concepts, as they relate to the implementation of complex, multi-functional projects in varied geographical and economic conditions 
•    Portfolio Management - Leads the monitoring of country/sector strategy and work program; Flags implementation issues for attention of clients and Bank management and takes a leading role in resolving these. 
•    Sector Dialogue - Able to conduct a dialogue with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector. 
•    Bank Instruments, Policies, Procedures, and Systems - Recognized by peers and/or managers for providing high quality, pragmatic advice to teams on the appropriate use of Bank policies, procedures and instruments and financing mechanisms. 
•    Team Leadership - Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members. 
•    Analytical and Technical Skills, Operational Strategy Development & Advice - Recognized by peers and/or managers for ability to identify and pro-actively solve operational issues and problems. 
•    Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.

Additional Information about the position

Salary: Voir annonce

Closing Date: 2013-12-31