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Job Title: Economist / Education Economist / Education Specialist
Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region
We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.
Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.
In West and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 350 projects totaling more than $38 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation- all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives. Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87% of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved.
Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID.
Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region:
The Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG)
Human development is at the core of the World Bank’s strategy to improve people’s lives and support sustainable development. The Human Development research program spans education, health, social protection, and labor.
Education Global Practice
Education is a human right, a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. It delivers large, consistent returns in terms of income and is the most important factor to ensure equality of opportunities. For more information: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education
Country Management Unit Context
The AWCW1 Country Management Unit (CMU) covers the countries of Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Bank has been actively working in the human development sectors for many years through lending operations, analytical work and policy dialogue. While the Bank has a growing program in each of the countries’ education sectors, the Ghana portfolio is large, spans the whole education sector, and is instrumental in contributing to the country strategy for improving improved access to basic services in underserved areas and increased employability and earnings. Ghana has been among the leading countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in its commitment to supporting public education. Yet, despite significant improvements over the past two decades, there are still about 500,000 children out of basic school, low transition rates to post-basic education, and persisting gender, spatial and income inequities. The quality and relevance of education remains a pressing concern.
Education Sector in Ghana
In Ghana, the Bank’s education portfolio in Ghana includes the following: an IDA-financed Secondary Education Improvement Project, IDA-GPE-financed Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP), including the Additional Financing financed by grants from the Global Partnership for Results-based Approaches (GPRBA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and the regional Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact Project (ACE-IMPACT). The World Bank is also active in knowledge generation on key issues in the education sector in Ghana. Analytical work in Ghana includes several impact evaluations related to, among others, teaching at the right level in primary school and teacher training for Kindergarten teachers. In collaboration with other human development GPs (SPJ and HNP), the Ghana education team is also working on the Human Development Public Expenditure and Institutional Review and contributes relevant analysis and inputs to cross-sectoral and macroeconomic/public finance reports and strategic documents.
The selected candidate will report to the Practice Manager for HAWE3 and is expected to work in close collaboration with the CMU, and the other members of the education and HD team, colleagues in other GPs based in Accra, as well as other team members based in Washington DC working on the different programs.
Duties and Accountabilities
The incumbent will lead or contribute to policy dialogue with the client on key issues in education and skills development, provide daily implementation support to the government on the lending operations, lead and/ or contribute to the preparation of new lending programs, as well as analytical work to inform policy discussions in Ghana. While this position will be focused primarily on Ghana, the work program could extend to Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other countries in the unit.
The main responsibilities include:
• Policy Dialogue and Building Client Capacity. Supporting building client capacity to use findings of policy research/analytical work for developing new policies and undertaking sector reforms. Providing technical advice on key issues and strategic directions for the country’s education sector development, by bringing relevant international experience and research to assist in developing local solutions.
• Operations: Leading and/or contributing to the design, preparation, implementation, and evaluation of lending operations, both in education and multi-sectoral, tapping into the Bank’s full-range of lending instruments; mobilize global experience and evidence and tailoring them to the local context. Providing day-to-day operational support and advise the government on technical and operational aspects of project implementation for ongoing projects. Working with staff from other global practices on HD/education-related issues (e.g., development policy operations (DPOs) with HD triggers, analytical work related to governance, management and financing of education sector, etc.)
• Analytical Work and Non-Lending Services. Leading and/or contributing to the design, preparation, and dissemination of analytical products (e.g., sector assessments, policy notes, impact evaluations, public expenditure reviews, country systems diagnostics, case studies, etc.) and providing input on a range of issues (e.g., education finance, management and governance, teacher policies, skills development, etc.) that respond to critical policy questions identified by the client and have an impact on policy and operational design. Working on cross-sectoral teams to contribute to products such as public expenditure reviews, service delivery surveys, and impact evaluations. Contributing to the country diagnostics and other core analytical work.
• In performing these roles, the selected candidate will interact with counterparts in government, a variety of international and other partner organizations, and with Bank colleagues within the Education GP, the CMU, as well as those in other GPs. She/he will be expected to work in close collaboration with the other members of the education team and colleagues in other GPs.
The education GP is seeking an experienced, versatile, and highly motivated candidate to work on a large and growing portfolio as part of the education team based in Accra, Ghana. The ideal candidate will combine excellent team work and client dialogue skills, excellent technical skills, 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; and operational skills to provide effective implementation support for the Bank’s growing portfolio. The candidate should have:
• Education: Advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) from a recognized university in economics, education or related social sciences (with a focus on the economics of education).
• Experience: A minimum of 5 years relevant work experience in education, labor market and skills issues; and demonstrated expert-level knowledge of education policy.
• Operational skills and understanding of World Bank processes, including preparation and implementation support for projects, is desirable. Knowledge of Bank and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) policies and procedures would be a plus.
• Analytical/technical skills: Excellent analytical/technical skills in economics (with a focus on education), along with a deep understanding of issues in public finance. Proven ability to produce high-quality reports under pressure; and translate analytical/technical skills and products into new programs, policies, and operational innovations and results.
• Strong client orientation. Proven ability to support policy dialogue with government agencies (e.g., Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance), and with other stakeholders.
• Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills. Proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively across and within practice boundaries, inspire commitment to excellence and teamwork, and to liaise tactfully as a member of a multicultural team.
• High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility. Proactive attitude to challenges and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements. Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to internal and external client requests, and set realistic priorities for self and others.
• Language and communication skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. The candidate will be expected to write concisely and expediently; present technical information to clients; and represent the • WBG education team among donors and the client.
For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: https://bit.ly/2kbIA7O.
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