Communications Officer

The World Bank Group
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 10

Position description

The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG)’s mission is to improve World Bank Group (WBG) development results through excellence in evaluation. IEG is directly responsible for

Assessing whether WBG programs and activities are producing the expected results;

Making recommendations to help improve the development effectiveness of WBG programs and activities, and their responsiveness to member countries’ needs and concerns;

Appraising WBG self-evaluation and development risk management systems and attesting to their adequacy to the Boards;

Reporting periodically to the Boards on actions taken by the WBG in response to evaluation findings, and on the measures being taken to improve the overall evaluation system, including dissemination and outreach activities;

Cooperating with the evaluation heads of other international organizations; and

Encouraging and assisting client countries to build effective monitoring and evaluation associations, capacities, and systems.

IEG also aims to promote an operational learning culture in the WBG by identifying and disseminating the lessons learned from evaluation work.

IEG is operating in a changing context. Internally, the launch of the WBG new twin goals in 2013 for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, and the new WBG Strategy and organizational change process in 2014, are profound changes designed to transform the WBG. Externally, the global community has reached consensus on ambitious post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and country clients and development partners are demanding increased focus on development impact and results.

In response to this changing landscape, IEG has launched an organizational change process to enhance its impact and influence, and ensure that IEG’s products, processes, and structure are “fit for purpose.”

Key strategic changes in the IEG work program include:

Introduction of new Strategic Engagement Areas to develop a more selective and coordinated program of work, focusing on three cross-cutting areas: inclusive growth, service delivery for the poor, and environmental sustainability;

Introduction of a new Results Framework, focused on the objectives of (1) deepening evidence about the contribution of WBG programs to the achievement of the twin goals, and (2) generating evidence on the early implementation experience of the WBG strategy to promote a stronger internal culture for results, accountability, and learning.

Scale up of IEG learning and knowledge sharing to help develop the “Solutions Bank;”

Continued improvements in evaluation methodology and quality assurance; and

Enhanced cost-effectiveness, including productivity improvements, business line shifts and trade-offs, and investment in staff professional development.

IEG is led by the Director General, Evaluation (DGE), who reports directly to the Board of Executive Directors. The organizational structure was recently updated to ensure better alignment with WBG reforms and global development challenges. The new structure comprises

•    Office of the DGE;
•    Human Development and Economic Management Department;
•    Financial, Private Sector, and Sustainable Development Department; and
•    Knowledge and Communications Department.

The mandate of the Knowledge and Communications Department (IEGKC) is to strengthen IEG’s impact and influence by increasing the dissemination, use, and accessibility of IEG’s evaluation knowledge, and promoting effective evaluation partnerships and capacity development, both internally and externally. 

IEGKC staff and work are divided into three streams: (1) Knowledge and Learning, (2) Communications, and (3) Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD). IEGKC plays a central role in IEG’s growing focus on facilitating learning and knowledge sharing from evaluations

Within IEGKC, the Communications Officer will report to the Program Lead, Communications and Outreach. She/he will manage a team of two full-time and up to six part-time editors. She/he will lead IEG’s editorial and publishing function, which supports evaluation teams in writing clear, powerful reports; and produces 60+ evaluation reports per year, in print and digital format. A primary responsibility of the Communications Officer will be to lead efforts to strengthen writing skills and overall quality within IEG, with respect to its various reports. 

This position requires a professional with strong team leadership and project management skills, excellent technical writing and editing skills, and demonstrated experience working in a busy publishing environment. The candidate must have demonstrated excellent supervisory, budget management, and stakeholder engagement skills.

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 term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

(a)    Editing, Writing and Publishing

• Edit complex manuscripts on several levels: substantively copy edit and occasionally rewrite materials, including web copy, for grammatical accuracy, adherence to Bank style and policy, purposeful structure, clarity of ideas and logical, persuasive presentation of content according to subject matter, product plan, and target audience.
• Coordinate multiple contributions by author teams/units to major initiatives, obtain clearances, and negotiate text and other changes, particularly on sensitive issues.
• Edit manuscripts and provide advice to evaluation specialists around the writing and formatting of their reports. 
• Review draft publications and recommend revisions or changes in approaches, scope, format, as needed to ensure best quality standards. 
• Actively develop programs (including workshops and training), processes and systems to build writing skills and capacity within IEG, especially among IEG’s evaluators. 
• Coach, mentor, and training evaluators and editing staff on how to write powerfully and effectively. 
• Periodically review IEG guidelines against best practice standards to determine whether format or content changes/updates are required. 
• Advise authors and authoring units on copyediting, design, typesetting, and manufacturing requirements and standards in addition to cost and service dimensions. 
• Work closely with authors and Publications Team to provide upstream advice on publication development, production, and dissemination.
• Serve as an institutional resource in IEG on publishing, promoting industry best practice.
• Apply World Bank Group/IEG disclosure policies to reports and papers.
• Maintain, update and frequently share writing guidelines and resources with colleagues.  
• Keep up-to-date with industry developments and standards and apply that knowledge to IEGKC work. 
• Interact regularly with publishing professionals in the Bank and representatives from publishing houses, counterparts in other institutions, and external vendors.
• Perform other duties as assigned in support of the Publications Team.
(b)    Project and Team Management

• Lead a small publications team in the production of multiple, complex projects. 
• Ensure that appropriate methodologies are employed to produce and disseminate IEG evaluations and reports and associated products in print and online formats. 
• Assign and coordinate the workload among staff and consultants, coaching and managing staff as appropriate. Oversee production and quality standards of other team members’ work as necessary. 
• Solve ongoing publishing/production issues. Extract lessons from experience and apply them to other IEG publishing work, eliminating or ameliorating future problems. Hold after-action reviews on flagship or problem projects to enhance the publishing team’s problem-solving abilities and to strengthen relationships within IEG.
• Create new processes and content products or develop new services to address evolving IEG needs.
• Ensure editors’ upstream involvement in evaluations by facilitating pre-production meetings and advisory services for evaluation team. 
• Advise evaluation teams on internal editorial services and capabilities; and publishing (print and online) options and procedures both before editing and during production. 
• Keep Communications Team Leader appraised of the Publication Team’s work status, foreseeable problems, new technologies and processes, and team successes. 
• Participate in the recruitment of production staff, consultants, and vendors and in testing and building up a freelancer pool. 
• Collaborate with Bank procurement to prepare and evaluate competitive bids, negotiate with and select contractors, recommend blanket contracts for blocks of similar work across projects, and administer contracts. 
• Manage and guide vendors to enhance IEG’s production capabilities.
• Initiate and sustain effective professional relationships with key internal and external constituencies, including vendors, and EXTOP.  

(c)    Marketing

• Conduct market research to identify opportunities for product creation and additional penetration opportunities for existing products.
• Create distribution strategies in consultation with IEG Management and advise and collaborate with authors/authoring units on upstream market planning and on promotion and distribution issues.
• Periodically assess internal and external publications and apply new knowledge and technology (such as electronic tracking technology, wikis, SharePoint, etc.) to update, improve and track publications and the means of dissemination. 
• Keep up-to-date with industry developments and standards and apply that knowledge to IEGKC work. 
• Explore distribution platforms and partnerships for making IEG evaluations available to a wider audience. 
• Interact regularly with publishing professionals in the Bank and representatives from publishing houses, counterparts in other institutions, Internet companies, and other external vendors.

Qualifications

Specialized Skills/Knowledge 

• Master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Publishing, International Relations, Economics, Public Affairs, Marketing, or other related discipline.
• Excellent grasp of all facets of academic and/or technical publishing. 
•  Exceptional understanding of copyediting, typesetting, cover and text design, proofreading, offset and digital pre-press, printing, binding, and other related aspects. Solid understanding of the Chicago Manual of Style is required.
• Five or more years of relevant work experience; 
• Prior experience in successfully managing a diverse group of highly skilled professionals; capacity to motivate and develop teams.
• Excellent communication, diplomatic, and negotiating skills, with demonstrated strong personal maturity, balanced judgment, and a track record of building and maintaining partnerships with colleagues and clients.
• Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills, and ability to operate collaboratively across organizational boundaries.
• Proactive, inclusive and innovative, with an open and collegial work style and ability to listen and integrate ideas from diverse points of view.
• Ability to coach, mentor, develop and empower more junior staff, provide seasoned advice to more senior staff and managers, and work collaboratively with peers.
• Familiarity with evaluation concepts and terminology is a plus.

Industry Experience
• Excellent grasp of all facets of publishing and proven ability to conceptualize, design, and implement major campaigns and programs. 
• Excellent understanding of copyediting, typesetting, cover and text design, proofreading, offset and digital pre-press, printing, binding, etc. Knowledge of electronic publishing hardware and software and new industry technology.
• Previous experience working in an organization with an active publishing program, such as a university, think tank, media house, publishing company as a writer or editor (preferably both)  

Job-Specific Competencies:

Communication strategy and execution in international development
• Proficiency level sufficient to lead the planning, development, and execution of a communication strategy for moderately complex projects.  
• Leads research efforts to identify and map project stakeholders or intended audiences; leads media and audience outreach to identify and analyze audience needs. 
• Independently develops and implements communication plans and strategies for moderately complex projects and can utilize feedback from monitoring and evaluation tools to improve work in communications and operations. 
• Contributes to the development of expertise in this competency in others. 

Broad business thinking
• Maintains an in-depth understanding of the long term implications of decisions both for related areas within the VPU and the client’s business.
Involves the key players in identifying operating needs, issues and immediate solutions. 
• Ensures that decisions are supported by relevant stakeholders and creates the business case for investment in process and enhancements. Sets clear explanations for the integration and alignment of services/solutions with business functions, focusing on the strategic value provided for area of responsibility within the client’s business.

Client understanding and advising
• Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients within own area as well as urges others to focus on meeting client needs.
• Works with others across the VPU to define client needs and develop the best approach to meet those needs (e.g., finds appropriate solutions and negotiates internally for needed resources and support).
• Advises the client and helps them think proactively about how to best meet their current and future needs.
• Builds an independent opinion of clients’ needs and opportunities that may challenge traditional approaches within WBG.
Content development and writing
• Takes full responsibility for the development of content for communication and/or knowledge products or leads others who contribute to developing content. 
• Can be relied on to ensure the development of communications products to the WBG standard, including purposeful structure, clarity of ideas, and the logical, persuasive presentation of content. 
• Contributes to the development of expertise in this competency in others.
Social Media, Information Channels and Communication Tools Awareness
• Demonstrates excellent familiarity with and working knowledge of media channels and tools. 
• Modifies communication strategies and products to leverage existing or upcoming innovative communication tools or new media channels. 
• Leverages WBG's Knowledge Management products to establish knowledge sharing partnerships with various internal groups. 
• Contributes to the development of expertise in this competency in others.
Access to Information policy
• Utilizes the WBG's Access to Information Policy when consulting with others in the development, design, and delivery of communications products and in other information dissemination activities.  
• Fully understands the risks and opportunities resulting from increased access to information and more substantial engagement with stakeholders. 
• Demonstrates in-depth proficiency sufficient to develop others in this competency.
Relationship management, political awareness, and diplomacy
• Strategizes, plans, and implements the development and maintenance of relationships with critical internal and/or external constituencies to foster strategic partnerships and to strengthen the WBG's overall effectiveness and image or to mitigate reputational risks.  
• Develops, systematically maintains, and leverages high-level communication networks and contacts within key constituencies. 
• Provides guidance to other internal WBG groups on how to best manage critical relationships. 
Operational Communications
• Capable of designing and managing communications components in complex projects in a single country. Knowledgeable about the instruments and resources available to support projects.
Behavioral Competencies 
• Courage of your Convictions  - Leads in a decisive, firm and fair manner, inviting, encouraging, and listening to all other's opinions and suggestions and making decisions based on expertise, data, and an understanding of what is best. Facilitates open debate and remains confident when challenged, stating the rationale for one's views clearly. After stating one's views clearly and confidently, stands by team and organizational decisions regardless of personal viewpoint.
• Leading the Team for Impact - Obtains the necessary resources to enable the team to do their jobs, including hiring or attracting the best people with the right skills from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Directly addresses performance related issues, consistently motivates team to high performance standards. Looks for ways to differentiate rewards to recognize individual and team performance and give credit where credit is due. Protects the team and their actions/decisions from negative influences when actions/decisions are based on sound judgment and in line with WBG values/mission.
• Influencing Across Boundaries - Has broad networks and is able to use them to influence indirectly within and outside of own unit or department. Leverages understanding of the informal organizational network in order to develop trusting relationships; for example, knows who influences whom and seeks their involvement in influencing the target audience. Invests personal energy and time in building buy-in to ideas, strategic direction or key decisions. Recognizes that diversity may lead to different opinions and values and ensures that its impact is incorporated into their approach to persuading.
• Fostering Openness to New Ideas - Invites others into the decision-making process through collaboration, group discussion and debate. Creates an environment in which respect, equity, and positive recognition of differences are cultivated. Adjusts tactics or approach in response to input from others. Requests feedback with the intention of taking action based on consideration of that feedback. Encourages others to seek diverse views from across the organization. Identifies ways to ensure that diversity of thought is incorporated into and strengthens our overall solutions and approaches to problem solving.
• Building Talent for the Future - Provides challenging stretch assignments to build employee capabilities and increase confidence for handling situations in the future. Broadens others' understanding; for example, exposes them to broader business issues and provides growth opportunities even when this involves risk for meeting short term goals. Encourages others and provides feedback after a setback to help them learn from their experience, expressing confidence in their ability to grow. Takes ownership for people that they develop and promote. Consistently finds ways to identify and spotlight diverse talent and provide them with tangible opportunities to develop and broaden their skill sets.

Application instructions

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