The World Bank Group serves 48 client countries in the Africa Region (AFR). Clients range from low income countries among them many 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 Education Sector Unit for Eastern and Southern Africa is responsible for policy, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the sub-region. The unit currently has a portfolio of IDA projects, Trust Funds and major studies and technical assistance products in IDA and middle-income countries. The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from early childhood education to higher education and research. The unit is committed to delivering high quality technical products to support education development in the Bank’s client countries, and to do so in a manner that builds capacity through collaborative interactions with country counterparts.
The unit’s core goals are to (i) expand coverage of early childhood development in a cost-effective manner (ii) ensure universal completion of quality primary/basic education (iii) improve learning outcomes, particularly in reading, mathematics and science and (iv) expand access to and quality of secondary, TVET and higher education, with a focus on applied sciences, engineering and technology and strengthening the links between post-basic education systems and labor markets. The unit is also developing innovative approaches to education, including the use of ICT to expand access and improve quality and results-based modalities for Bank projects. It tries to achieve these goals through education sector interventions (financial and analytical) and through interventions in other sectors that influence education outcomes, as well as through partnership activities with a variety of partners.
The World Bank financed/managed project portfolio in the education sector in Uganda is growing rapidly. By the end of July 2016, the portfolio is estimated to be around US$400m, with six distinct operations covering four sub-sectors (basic, secondary, skills, and higher education). All the operations have elements of support on improving access, quality, equity and relevance of education. Financed by the Global Partnership for Education Fund, the US$100m operation in primary education is focused on improving teacher and school effectiveness. There is also a US$100m IDA-financed skills development operation focused on enhancing the capacity of institutions to deliver high quality, demand-driven training programs in target sectors. There is an ongoing analytical program to support the Government in developing its next Education Sector Strategic Plan.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Education Specialist/Economist will work under the supervision of the Education Practice Manager. S/he will support the daily management of the Uganda education portfolio and is expected to be responsible for the following tasks and duties:
• Provide support to respective governments and implementing agencies to help identify and resolve implementation problems and bottlenecks, advance progress of various activities and components, based on a thorough understanding of the development objectives and design of the project. Specific focus on monitoring of budgets and implementation progress of major activities and components. Identify monthly key milestones to be met by the government and the Bank across all components and implementing agencies.
• Participate in the formulation and facilitate the implementation of Annual Work Plans (AWP) and procurement plans and assist as needed with the review of requests for IDA’s ‘no objection’ on key planning documents, reports and others as needed. Ensure that the results frameworks are updated every six months and help the government to use the results framework to guide project implementation.
• In close coordination with the Procurement Specialist and Financial Management Specialist and under the supervision of the TTLs, contribute to the efficient processing of all procurement requests and withdrawal applications.
• Monitor and provide advisory support to task teams on the adherence to World Bank’s operational policies and quality requirements in technical and fiduciary due diligence. In addition, the candidate may contribute to development of pipeline projects and the mobilization of resources and expertise for its realization.
• Provide inputs to the preparation of diverse operational products/outputs (e.g., projects briefs, portfolio performance reviews, Trust Fund (TF) Grant Fund Request (GFR), Grant Report Monitoring (GRM) and closing reports, Back to Office Reports, Aide Memoires, Implementation Summary Reports (ISRs), activity completion reports, etc.).
• Interact with government counterparts, local education group, and other partner organizations (civil society organizations, academia, etc.) on project related issues as required by the task team.
• Participate in missions and in discussions regarding advice to borrowers and grant recipients.
• Participate in review meetings and represent the education teams in relevant Bank-wide initiatives.
• Other duties and tasks as specified by the Practice Manager, and the relevant project Task Team Leaders or whoever they may designate.
Desired Skills and Experience
• Education: At least a Masters degree in Education/ Economics/Business or relevant field.
• Experience: A minimum of 7 years of relevant international work experience is required, preferably in Uganda. Familiarity with World Bank operations, including preparation and implementation support for projects, is highly desirable. Knowledge in Bank operational policies and systems (including SAP, operations portal, Business Warehouse), Trust Fund policies, and GPE policies and procedures would be a plus.
• Good understanding of the main issues, dynamics and evolution of the education sector in Uganda or in other countries.
• Strong client orientation and proven ability to work with government agencies, ability to identify problems, provide technical support, build consensus and arrive at solutions. Ability to coordinate and work across different govt. departments.
• High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements.
• Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to country and management requests, and set priorities for self and others.
• Must have proficiency in English and excellent writing skills.
The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
For further details and to apply, please go to http://www.worldbank.org/careers and under “current job openings” seek vacancy number 152523. Deadline is December 14, 2015. Only selected candidates will be contacted.