Operations Officer

The World Bank Group
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 28

Position description

The World Bank Group’s Vision and Strategy

The vision of the WBG is 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 that leverages 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.
VPU Context

Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) plays a pivotal role in achieving the World Bank Group’s mission. OPCS assists frontline staff in delivering results to clients through sound operations policy and strong country support. In the World Bank Group structure, OPCS is at the center of operations and delivery, and serves as the link between the Global Practices and the Regions. OPCS develops and oversees the Bank’s operational policies for country strategies, lending operations, advisory services and analytical support, financial management, procurement, and environmental and social safeguards. It also oversees the Bank Group’s Corporate Scorecard; manages interactions with the Bank’s oversight units; and co-leads the results measurement and evaluation stream in the Bank Group. OPCS teams provide advice and support to World Bank management and staff as well as hands-on assistance to help teams leverage the Bank’s policies, processes, and risk management tools for our country clients. Working in OPCS helps World Bank professionals gain broad exposure to strategic operations issues and develop a deeper understanding of the Bank’s business. Some of the major initiatives OPCS is currently working on include: simplifying processes and procedures to help clients get faster results; implementing the new country engagement model and new operations risk framework; reforming and implementing environmental and social safeguards; implementing the new procurement framework; and measuring client feedback and progress towards the Bank Group’s goals; operationalizing partnership commitments with the United Nations (UN) organization.  OPCS’s 140 staff are organized in three departments: 

• Operations Standards, Procurement, Financial Management (OPSPF) is responsible for safeguards, procurement, financial management and anti-corruption policies and support to operations, including on engaging and financing modalities of UN agencies and organizations. 
• Operations Policy and Quality (OPSPQ) consolidates the corporate support and oversight of country strategies and all financing instruments as well as operational learning and managing the Operations Help Desk and the Operations Committee.
• Operations Strategy, Risk, and Results (OPSRR) focuses on Bank strategy; risk management in operations, strengthening results and effectiveness throughout the institution, including the Corporate Scorecard; support to the country directors’ and management communities; and portfolio monitoring and oversight.
Departmental Context

OPSPF is responsible for the policy frameworks for financial management (FM), procurement, environment and social standards and anti-corruption that is integrated with, and supportive of, the overall corporate risk management and for World Bank operations. The Department houses the Standards and Accreditation Panels for FM, Procurement, Environment and Social Standards. It also houses Global Support Team on UN Agencies Engagement under WB-financed Operations. It coordinates the corporate interface between Operations and the Internal Audit Department (IAD), Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), the Inspection Panel (IP) and manages the Grievance Redress System. The scope of work of the department includes: leading policy reforms and reviews; interpreting operations policy; advising senior management; supporting teams by developing and updating operations guidance and tools; prioritizing and implementing simplification efforts; overseeing the quality of FM, PR and ESS products and services; and providing corporate support for high risk activities. The Department also takes the lead or contributes to special assignments with high corporate visibility or sensitivity, including on working with the UN. 

General Description

OPSPF is looking for a dynamic Operations Officer to join the Global Support Team on UN Agencies Engagement under WB-finance Operations (“UN Program”).  This program is cross-cutting across the OPSPF units, is managed by the Program Lead and reports to the Director.  The position is of a dual reporting: program reporting to the Program Lead and administrative reporting to the OPSFM manager. We are looking for a self-starter, detail-oriented professional, preferably with prior experience with the UN system.

In the last decade, around US$4 billion of World Bank funds were used to finance UN agencies’ engagements in supporting the borrowing countries’ investment projects, technical assistance, analytical and research work, mainly involving 10-15 UN organizations (specialized UN agencies, programs, foundations and conferences).  The Global Support Team was set up in 2015 to facilitate simplification of engaging and financing of UN organizations in the context of the Bank-financed operations.  The Bank and UN partnership spreads over 70 year period and a wide spectrum of sectors, countries and areas of collaboration. There is no one single unit at the Bank that deals with the entire spectrum of relationship with the UN. The Global Support Team acts as an advisory service and a help desk to the Bank’s operational task teams across the Global Practices to find the most efficient, fit for purpose solutions to operationalize partnership commitments in support of our client countries.  Several innovative approaches aimed at simplification of the procedures, requirements and the tools for UN engagement were tested during the recent years’ emergency response operations to the outbreak of epidemics, conflict and natural disasters, and week client capacity environments.  In middle income countries, the engagement of specialized UN organization in provision of advisory and capacity building services to the borrowing countries has been on the rise as well, especially in the context of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2013 Agenda. The Global Support Team is now charged with mainstreaming these innovations by developing standard tools, procedures, training modules for the Bank’s operations, , outreach and joint training of UN agencies’ teams, Bank staff, and the client countries’ counterparts.  The Global Support Team is now looking for a dynamic candidate who can be part of this challenging mainstreaming process.  The work on the UN cuts across the World Bank’s structures and units and is done in close coordination with multiple internal and external stakeholders.

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.

The primary responsibility of the Operations Officer position is to support the Program Lead with respect to the management of the Global Support Team Program that operates as an agile team. The Operations Officer will have the following duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Program Lead:

•  To carry out responsibilities for a variety of operational tasks (e.g. participating as a full member of a multi-disciplinary team in undertaking preparation and supervisions of a wide range of operational tasks and activities);
• To provide inputs to or prepare operational product and outputs, including issue notes, Board papers and technical briefings, background reports and briefings to OPCS VP and Senior Management;
• To manage the help desk account ([email protected]) in coordination with OPCS Help Desk to promptly to address any bottlenecks that the Bank’s task teams are facing on the ground;
• To coordinate preparation and annual updates of and contribute to internal briefs for each agency by using the inputs from the technical experts- members of the core team of the Global Support Team. These briefs are then used by the operational task teams as key inputs into the mandatory assessments (financial management, procurement, safeguards, integrity);
• To maintain and update the Program-relevant databases and use the data to prioritize work program of the Global Support Team, in particular, for sequencing development of standard tools (Standard Agreements), outreach and training;
•  To contribute to development of the operational tools and applicable operational procedures and guidance notes, e.g., standard agreements (on Technical Assistance, and Delivery of Outputs) for the use by the Bank’s borrowers in engaging (contracting) UN agencies under Bank-financed investment lending projects; coordinate translations into French and Spanish;
• To lead and/or coordinate meetings, BBLs and round tables and the signing events;
• To coordinate the work with the Legal Vice Presidency and the offices of the Senior Vice President on UN Partnerships and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing an internal procedure for different Bank units in entering into individual Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with international organizations;
• To coordinate development and periodic updates of internal and external web-pages dedicated to operational aspects of working with the UN in the context of Investment Lending Policy and the financing modalities; 
• To contribute to conducting training webinars and coordinating development of e-learning module for the Bank staff and for the Bank’s borrowers;
• To support the Program Lead in a variety of tasks and ad hoc assignments and information request from internal and external parties.
• The position implies frequent interaction with both, the external counterparts (e.g. within the UN system and other partner organizations) and internal units (e.g. LEG, INT, DFI, Global Practices, FCV, SVPMM, BPS, WFA).


• Minimum of a Master’s level degree in a relevant discipline (eg. Law, International Relations, or Business Administration or another field related to development) with minimum of 5 years of relevant experience. 
• Solid knowledge of country clients developing priorities and needs, understanding of development and developing countries’ issues;
• Familiarity with analytical tools and ability to translate theoretical concepts into practical approaches for the Bank’s operational work; 
• Proven strong organizational skills; Strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing of an integrated point of view around development challenges.
• Diplomatic skills to handle sensitive and confidential issues; 
• Solid understanding of strategic priorities and roles of external clients and stakeholders of the developmental agenda;
• Proven ability to work in a small team and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision and under tight deadlines;
• Strong oral communication and presentation skills in English, ability to chair, moderate or facilitate meetings and events with internal stakeholders and external stakeholders;
• Computer skills in standard Microsoft applications (Word, Excel), advanced skills in Power Point and other types of presentations for external audiences. Practical knowledge of multi-media and web-based tools is an asset;
• Field experience working with UN agencies in developing countries, especially in fragile or conflict states, is a plus;
• Ability to operate effectively in a matrix system, work in a virtual team modality, coordinate with managers of respective OPSPF programs, and work independently under the general direction of the Program Lead. 

Language requirements
• Oral and written mastery of English is required. Ability to succinctly formulate and record the outcomes of the meetings and discussions with relevant stakeholders, and then proactively follow up on the agreed actions. A written test will be offered to the short-listed candidates; 
• Working level of French and/or Spanish is an advantage.

• Knowledge of Bank Instruments, Policies, and Procedures, and Ability to Proactively Apply Them. An ability to provide inputs in the preparation of project components and country products as well as in the operational quality assurance process. 
• Operational Knowledge Sharing. An ability to contribute in design and delivery of knowledge dissemination/learning programs 
• Strategy formulation and policy and program design. Ability to distill programming options from strategic engagement issues and priorities. 
• Project Design, Implementation, and Management. An ability to support project teams, partners, and clients in project preparation and implementation. 
• Portfolio Management and Results Monitoring and Evaluation. Analyzing pipeline and portfolio data, identifying cross-cutting issues and key trends.  Providing inputs into design and implementation of result frameworks. Basic understanding of business planning principles. 
• Team Leadership. An ability to serve as a team member making contributions and taking responsibility for operational tasks assigned. 
• Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
• Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
• Develops innovative solutions.
• Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
• Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.

Application instructions

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