Jobs at World Bank

JOB TITLE: Senior Operations Officer ( Regional Integration )
JOB FAMILY: Operational Services
JOB TYPE: Professional & Technical
LOCATION: Abuja, Nigeria

CLOSING DATE: 26-May-2013

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JOB #131134
Senior Operations Officer ( Regional Integration )
Regional integration and cooperation are vital for Africa’s development.  Africa’s multiple small countries and economies are benefitting from economies of scale in infrastructure and markets; a better business environment; more attraction for investment; greater weight in international negotiations, and some progress in peace and security though challenges remain.  In recognition of these benefits, Africa has established several Regional Economic Communities, multiple regional technical bodies and launched the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to promote regional integration and cooperation.  As a keen supporter of the regional approach The World Bank Group  seeks continuously to deepen and expand its support to these initiatives. 
African leaders and citizens are increasingly embracing regional solutions. Across the continent, there is renewed momentum to enlarge and integrate markets, develop economies of scale, improve connectivity, invest in infrastructure and work together on a regional basis to address common problems. There is increased support for this agenda from both traditional donors and new partners.

West Africa has enormous potential. It is well endowed with natural resources such as livestock, fisheries, minerals and oil, and is characterized by a diversity of ecosystems suitable for animal and plant production. Rising raw material prices, sustained macroeconomic stability, increases in remittances and development assistance, and declining levels of political and civil conflict have all aided in the strong economic recovery of the region following the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet the sub-region is still vulnerable to both internal and external shocks, in particular the CFA franc zone countries, which are more susceptible to the uncertainties in the Euro zone and more recently increasing levels of political and civil conflict.

Progress toward regional integration in West Africa has been notable, though significant work remains, as illustrated by the low level of formal trade between countries in the sub-region. Missing links in connectivity and infrastructure remain. Political commitment to integration in high-level regional fora is robust, while implementation of regional agreements at the national level has often proven slow and uneven. Political and civil conflict has recently been a problem in Mali and Guinea Bissau with spill over effects in the Sahel region.

Regional integration is a means to overcome many of West Africa’s challenges and harness its vast opportunities for sustainable growth and development. Large, integrated regional markets can generate economies of scale, promote specialization and productivity growth and attract FDI. Regional collaboration can provide regional public goods, reduce collective vulnerability and increase resilience to external shocks and address conflict and political instability.

The Africa Strategy provides a strong framework to sharpen the priorities and impact of the Regional Integration Assistance Strategy (RIAS), with a focus on competitiveness and employment, vulnerability and resilience, governance and public sector capacity.  Within this framework, the updated Regional Integration strategy focuses on regional infrastructure development and specifically energy, institutional cooperation for economic integration, and coordinated interventions to provide regional public goods, with a cross-cutting theme of capacity development of regional institutions. In pursuing these priorities, the Africa region emphasizes:
1.            Focusing on positive impacts and measurable results on the ground;
2.            Being selective and supporting large transformational project;
3.            Using knowledge to support policy reforms;
4.            Building regional capacity and knowledge; forging partnerships with the public and private sectors, and civil society;
5.            Being collaborative and innovative;
6.            Delivering quality and timely products within budgets;
7.            Respecting differences and encouraging diversity of thinking; and
8.            Being at the frontier of knowledge in our areas of expertise;

The Regional Integration Department is structured as a country department in the Africa Region but with regional rather than national strategic and operational responsibilities. The Regional Integration department functions in the Bank's matrix structure in an analogous manner to country management units, but with special focus on strong collaboration with other country management units, sector management units and country teams. Coordinating Country Directors (CCDs) have been appointed to work closely with the Director of Regional Integration now based in Washington in coordinating regional integration activities in four sub regions. The designated CCD for West Africa is also Country Director for Nigeria.

The Portfolio:
The Africa Regional Integration portfolio is large and complex with commitments of US $6 billion for regional infrastructure, institutional cooperation and regional public goods programs. West Africa  has the largest portfolio of over US $ 2 billion of investments in infrastructure and public goods and a large robust knowledge program and policy dialogue.

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 1 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:
The first priority of this task is to provide proactive and effective support to the West Africa CCD in coordinating the implementation of the existing complex multi-country programs and portfolio. The successful candidate will support the CCD in identifying opportunities for increasing the poverty impacts of the ongoing regional integration program and projects and possible innovations that would assure efficiency, cost effectiveness and speed of delivery.  The Snr Operations Officer will also support the CCD to coordinate closely with other West Africa Country Directors, Country Management Unit (CMUs) and Sector Management Unit (SMUs) staff and with development partners as well as RECs (ECOWAS and UEMOA) and other regional institutions, think tanks and civil society.  Specific focus will be put on the agreement reached between the ECOWAS and the UEMOA and the Bank on a number of priority activities.

The Snr. Operations Officer will report to the West Africa Coordinating CD and work closely with the Regional Integration department staff based in Washington and the West Africa CDs. 

A.   Program Development   
•             Assist West Africa CCD to work closely with, TTLs, West Africa CMUs and SMUs staff, CDs, governments and development partners to identify transformative regional integration opportunities, approaches and instrument.
•             Assist the CCD in coordinating the West Africa Implementation Action Plan of the West Africa Regional Integration Assistance Strategy.
•             Prepare briefs for the CCD on a variety of issues related to the regional context and program in the sub region.
•             Assist CCD with coordination of analytical work related to regional integration, including those related to implementation issues and policy dialogue.

B.  Coordination of Portfolio Management and Implementation Support.           
•             Support CCD in overall coordination among CDs, CMU and SMU staff and project teams to ensure effective implementation of regional integration programs and timely production of deliverables.
•             Represent CCD in reviews of Project Concept notes (PCDs) Project Appraisal Documents (PADS. Initiating Memorandums (IMs), project supervision reports, and other reports including economic sector work for consistency with the Regional Integration Strategy and CASs.
•             Assist CCD in identifying cross-cutting portfolio issues and work closely with CMUs and coordinating CDs, sector leaders and AFTOS in addressing them.
•             Assist with the coordination and preparation of monthly West Africa CD meetings, minutes of meeting and monitor follow up actions.

C.  Client and Partner Relations. 
•             Develop and maintain regular contacts with client counterparts and other regional organizations, non-state actors on their role and contribution to the advancement of the regional integration agenda.
•             Contribute to donor coordination and develop and maintain contacts with key development partners, interfacing with other donors on the coordination of support programs.
•             Develop, and maintain close working relations with CMUs, SMUs, Operational Services department.
•             Assist CCD to liaise with private sector representatives and assist to tap full potential for private sector involvement and investment in regional integration activities.
•             Participate in ECOWAS/ UEMOA/ Partners Thematic Groups and bi annual meetings.
 D. Strategic Communication
•             Support CCD and  the Regional Integration Department, Coordinating CDs and TTLs in assessing questions of political economy and providing issues management for operations with high political and reputational risks;
•             Assist the CCD in monitoring the West Africa RI program and enhance knowledge management and dissemination of outputs of the WA
•             Provide strategic and capacity development support ECOWAS and UEMOA and other regional institutions aimed at enhancing advocacy and outreach for regional integration and building the coalition for the RI agenda;  
•             Assist the CCD to develop  more strategic and effective  media relations and enhanced communications program design and planning; and
•             Develop and disseminate Regional integration results

Selection Criteria:
The Snr Operations Officer requires excellent oral and written communication skills; the ability to respond to shifting work priorities and deliver high quality work on time and ability and capacity to negotiate and resolve differences of opinion/conflicts constructively.  Candidates need to be self-motivated and possess superior interpersonal skills involving teamwork and collaboration with development partners with professionals of other disciplines and other departments.  In addition, the following criteria need to be met:
•             Masters degree in economics, public policy, business administration, engineering, or other discipline applicable to the duties and responsibilities of the position;
•             Minimum 8 years of relevant experience in one or more professional disciplines ideally related to infrastructure sectors,  natural resource management, donor coordination;
•             Knowledge of the donor architecture, frameworks and priorities for supporting regional integration in West Africa;
•             Experience in setting up portfolio monitoring systems, quality assurance systems, and/or monitoring and evaluation systems. Knowledge and/or experience in the application of results-based approaches at project, program, and national/regional levels;
•             Strong analytical skills, with the ability to think strategically and creatively, and rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusions and recommendations;
•             Excellent oral and written communication and presentational skills. Spoken and written fluency required in English and French would be desirable.  Superior organizational skills and capacity to work simultaneously and effectively on a variety of tasks;

•             Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and virtual teams located in different regions;
•             High level of energy, initiative and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements;
•             Proven track record working simultaneously and effectively on a variety of tasks, independently adjusting to priorities and achieving results within agreed objectives and deadlines;
•             Sound knowledge of the general business environment in the Africa region, in particular, with regard to private sector involvement in infrastructure; and good understanding of the political economy of regional collaboration;
•             Willingness to travel extensively and regularly within West Africa.

•             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. 
•             Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables. 
•             Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches. 
•             Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels. 
•             Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Location: Abuja
Experience: 8 year(s)
Course of Study: Not Specified
Required Grade:  Not Specified