Senior Education Specialist/ Economist

World Bank - NIamey (Niger)

Reference 140495

Type of Contract International

Education Bac + 5 et Plus

Work Experience Au moins 5 ans

Department: Education

Position n° 261

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About the employer / working context

JOB TYPE: Professional & Technical


LOCATION: Niamey, Niger

RECRUITMENT TYPE: International Hire

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: English [Essential]; French [Essential]

CLOSING DATE: 19-May-2014

The World Bank Group serves 48 client countries in the Africa Region (AFR). Clients range from low income countries among them several fragile and conflict states to a small but growing number of middle income countries (MICs) but with weak human development indicators. Average annual per capita income varies widely and inequalities persist in most AFR countries, with most of the Region's people living in poverty. The Bank's strategy in AFR is focused on two pillars - competitiveness and employment, and vulnerability and resilience - and a foundation - governance and public-sector capacity. 

The Human Development Department in the Africa Region is comprised of three sectors: Health, Education and Social Protection. As part of the implementation of the Bank-wide Sector Managers' Span of Control reform, the education sector is divided into two sector units.  The Africa Education Sector Unit for West and Central Africa (AFTEW) unit covers 23 countries (including Niger), eleven of which are fragile and conflict countries. It is responsible for policy dialogue, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the sub-region. The unit currently has a portfolio comprising lending operations, grant-funded operations, analytical work and technical assistance products in both IDA and middle-income countries.  The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from early childhood development to higher education as well as skills development.  Many countries have achieved considerable progress in access to basic education but particular attention is now needed on issues of improving the quality and relevance of education at all levels; expanding access to post-basic education and training with particular emphasis on science, technology and innovation; and improving skills development so as to produce a quality workforce to sustain, innovate and expand on the current growth in the region. 

AFTEW works with client countries – at the regional, sub-regional, national and sub-national levels – to address these challenges. The aim is to contribute to breaking the equilibrium of low-level quality at all levels of education, increasing the efficiency and accountability of education services, modernizing the higher end of the formal education continuum, more effectively integrating science and technology, and better aligning skills formation with the needs of fast-growing Region, including MICs. In doing this, AFTEW aims to not only deliver high quality products but also to build capacity in client countries through collaborative interactions with country counterparts and other development partners. . It seeks to bring the best possible knowledge to bear on the practical challenges facing client countries and at the same time puts a high priority on knowledge generation, including through rigorous impact evaluations of education interventions. The portfolio is increasingly using new lending instruments to support systemic reforms, and the unit also plans to produce innovative and programmatic AAA work, particularly for our MIC clients (including fee based services). 

Specifically, AFTEW (i) assists countries in developing and implementing strategies for ensuring quality teaching and learning at all levels of education (pre-school, basic education, secondary education and tertiary education), and in addressing the issues that face these countries' disadvantaged population groups; (ii) ensures that education systems respond to the needs of labor markets; (iii) continues to stress the focus on results; builds capacity for monitoring and impact evaluation of reforms; fosters knowledge sharing; (iv) promotes innovative approaches, cross-sectoral linkages, and partnerships with the private sector and other development partners whenever relevant; (v) develops and scales up successful strategies for regional collaboration to leverage economies of scale; and (vi) works to strengthen governance, accountability, and transparency in the education sector.

In Niger, the Bank is supporting the Government across the entire sector through policy advice, analytical work and operations. Niger is categorized as a fragile and conflict country but is currently on a recovery path that has registered significant progress. Despite impressive progress made in the last two decades, the country lags behind in achieving the MDG targets and is unlikely to achieve the education MDGs. The country also has a large population of out of school children and youth and major challenges in gender parity at the post-basic education levels. At present, the Bank is the supervising entity for a $83 million grant-funded operation under the Global Partnership for Education and a $50 million skills development IDA operation. Several pieces of analytical work (country-specific and regional) are also in progress.

In the light of the above, AFTEW is seeking a Senior Education Specialist/Economist to support policy dialogue and to lead the Bank program on the ground. The successful candidate is expected to have: (a) strong experience in policy dialogue, particularly in fragile and conflict countries; (b) strong analytical skills; and (c) interest in the practical aspects of World Bank operations. The selected candidate will be based in Niamey, Niger and will work primarily on Niger and other countries in West and Central Africa. AFTEW staff may also be asked to work in Eastern and Southern Africa or other regions in the Bank, depending on business need.     

The ideal candidate will combine excellent technical capabilities, experience in analyzing policy options and recommending practical policy reforms, and a capacity to translate analytical findings into policy and into innovative Bank operations to help clients shift policies in new directions or to pilot new approaches. He/she will demonstrate experience in negotiating the complex world of policy implementation with different types of clients, civil society, the private sector and development partners and in managing and providing implementation support to complex  Bank operations, preferably including joint financing with development partners and the private 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 3 year renewable term appointment.

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will be expected to influence the design and execution of major policy and/or research initiatives for the Bank, the clients, and other donors. He/she will lead or participate in ground-breaking or precedent-setting education work and play a key role in developing innovative practical approaches to challenging financing and policy issues.
In addition to the above, the selected candidate will be expected to undertake the following specific responsibilities:

1. Contribute to the education policy dialogue, particularly in post-basic education, and enhance client capacity to carry out and use economic analysis and impact evaluations in policy and decision making. The selected candidate will be expected to interact with clients at all levels, including the highest policy levels. He/she will also be expected to work with the AFTEW Sector Manager, Country Management Units (CMU), the Sector Leader, the AFR education team, colleagues from other sectors and our clients to develop our education assistance program and to weave the education agenda into Country Partnership Strategies (CPS).  He/she will also work constructively with other partners, including bilateral donors, UN agencies, the European Union, and NGOs.
2. Provide technical contributions to or selectively lead “cutting edge” knowledge products on a broad range of issues including the reform and strengthening of education systems (e.g. reform of education finance, management and governance, teacher policies, science and technology education), public expenditure reviews, efficiency and effectiveness of education expenditures, service delivery surveys, impact evaluation in education and its relation with equity and poverty.
3. Provide technical support for the design, preparation, appraisal, supervision, and evaluation of new education operations using various Bank instruments (including sector investment loans, performance based lending products and policy based lending). 
4. Design and manage economic analyses of education operations and other economic and sector work.
5. Participate in multi-sector lending and non-lending tasks (Health, Nutrition, Social Protection, Poverty Reduction, Sustainable Development, Private Sector Development and Economic Management).
6. Lead the monitoring and evaluation of education and human development interventions, with a particular focus on designing and implementing impact evaluations with the greatest strategic value to Bank operations. Supporting the incorporation of evidence from impact evaluations into lending and knowledge products.
7. Contribute to the development of new business in the education sector; including innovative financing approaches, technical advisory services, fee based services and regional/multi-sectoral operations.

Job Qualifications & Skills / Selection Criteria

AFTEW products require high quality technical content and analysis. The candidate should have:

• A post graduate degree in education or economics at masters or Ph.D. level 
• Strong analytical and client skills, microeconomic skills (education, labor economics) along with good understanding of issues in public finance 
• Five years of relevant work experience in the development field, preferably in the social sectors, and knowledge of and experience in education operations and sector analysis 
• Strong technical leadership skills and knowledge, as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications and/or Economic and Sector Work in developing countries
• Experience in analyzing policy options and recommending practical policy options based on evidence; and; conceptualizing and implementing monitoring and evaluation of public programs
• Demonstrated combination of analytical rigor and practical and solution oriented approaches
• Understanding of the political economy of education reform
• Ability to convey complex technical ideas to a non-specialist audience
• Strong client orientation and excellent interpersonal and team skills. Proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively within and across sector boundaries, and inspire commitment to excellence. 


General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills - Possesses a demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and analytical tools and models to conduct economic analyses and produce user-friendly written outputs; understands underlying statistical concepts. 
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. 
Technical and Quantitative Skills - Has experience in conducting independent research and analytical work related to: (i) human development economics, (ii) policy design for anti-poverty strategies; (iii) risk and vulnerability; (iv) monitoring and evaluation of government programs. 
Education Knowledge and Experience - Possesses strong analytical and technical skills, including an understanding of the core education data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of this data, and the use of evidence for education policy. Has some experience in the education sector. 
ESW/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues - Provides inputs to key AAA documents by analyzing relevant issues, soliciting input from others, and using data and facts to support conclusions and/or position. 
Written and Verbal Communication – Delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup

Client Orientation - Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success. 
Drive for Results - Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization to do so. 
Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view. 
Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner. 
Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Additional Information about the position

Position Type: Temps plein

Working Hours: Horaire normal

Working Language: Français

Second Language: Anglais

Salary: Voir annonce