The World Bank
Washington, DC - United States
Background / General description:
THE WORLD BANK GROUP'S VISION AND STRATEGY
The vision of the WBG is to eradicate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country. To achieve this vision, our 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.
The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is the establishment of fourteen Global Practices (GPs) and five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) that, in concert with the WBG Regions, will design solutions that address clients' most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
ECA is a highly diverse region, with countries of all income levels and wide differences in resource endowments, human capital, and institutional capacity. ECA has a strong lending pipeline as well as a large and growing portfolio of Reimbursable Advisory Services. Knowledge is critical to the Bank's value proposition to client countries in the ECA region in both lending and advisory services.
Despite being a predominantly middle-income region, ECA continues to experience a weak recovery from the 2009 crisis. Slow growth and persistently high unemployment threaten to reverse the region's achievements in reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity. Five years after the crisis, the region (especially Central and Southeastern Europe) continues to struggle with multiple structural weaknesses, including high public debt burdens, tight fiscal space, low investment, and financial sector vulnerabilities. The region also faces longer-term challenges, most notably rapid population aging (especially in Europe), with implications for labor productivity and fiscal sustainability of social spending.
In addition, the ECA region is highly vulnerable to climate change. The region has a large potential to strengthen resilience to climate change and also to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change. Other important challenges affecting the region include diverse fragility risks related to regional tensions (e.g. Russia-Ukraine, Tajikistan-Uzbekistan), frozen conflicts, closed borders, poor governance, and domestic instability in some geopolitically important countries (e.g., Ukraine, Turkey). High youth unemployment and a recent history of conflict is also a source of fragility in the Western Balkans.
In view of these challenges, the ECA region's strategy is based on two pillars: (i) competitiveness and shared prosperity through jobs; and (ii) environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability. Under the first pillar, the WBG supports reform programs and investments to enable the private sector to create jobs. This involves reforms to create a favorable business climate conducive to investment and innovation; a sound macroeconomic framework; a robust financial sector; a flexible and skilled workforce; and investments in modern infrastructure. Under the second pillar, ECA supports programs for social inclusion, especially for unemployed youth and disadvantaged communities such as the Roma; reforms to ensure sustainable pension, safety net, and healthcare systems to protect the elderly and the poor; and climate mitigation and adaptation, including energy efficiency, flood protection, and climate-smart agriculture.
THE ECA CHIEF ECONOMIST OFFICE
The Chief Economist Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is located within the Regional Vice President's office and its main functions are to:
- Develop the strategic agenda for analytic work in the region;
- Oversee the production and dissemination of cutting-edge regional analytic work; in particular, the office manages the ECA's regional studies program which supports thematic and cross-country studies in areas of institutional and regional priority;
- Enhance the quality of all strategic and analytic work at the country and sectoral level in the region;
- Engage with external partners on regional-level issues and represent the regional view in relevant external fora.
In addition, the office directly carries out analytical work to derive lessons of experience, and disseminates this knowledge within and outside the Bank in conferences and seminars. It also maintains links with DEC, IMF, EBRD, academic institutions and think tanks on research relevant to transition and development issues in ECA and support capacity building in economics training and policy-oriented research institutions in the counties of the region.
The ECA Chief Economist office is currently is seeking an Economist, with strong analytical and research 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 4 year term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The Economist will be a key member of the ECA Chief Economist's Office. S/he will participate in all aspects of the Office's work program. Specifically, s/he will:
1. Produce and publish independent, policy-relevant research.
2. Contribute to presentations and regional studies organized in the Chief Economist's Office.
3. Contribute to or coordinate the review and quality assurance of analytical work produced in country offices or global practices.
4. Coordinate the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for the ECA Region.
5. Contribute to the organization of conferences and workshops.
6. Contribute to analytical work done by country units.
• General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills – Shows solid understanding of both macro- and microeconomic theory; possesses a demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and analytical tools and models to conduct economic analyses and produce user-friendly written outputs.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Understands policy making process, distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
• Integrative Skills – Develops an integrated view across all facets of economic development, including international relations, monetary and fiscal policy, labor markets, distributional issues, and social protection policies.
• Written and Verbal Communication – Delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup
• Client orientation – takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.
• Drive for results – Able to take personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results and has the personal organization to do so.
• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion – Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.
• Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner.
• Business Judgement and Analytical Decision Making – Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and other's work.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
• Minimum of Master's degree (PhD strongly preferred) in economics, international development or related field;
• Minimum of five years of relevant professional and/or academic experience, with an established track record of analytical and policy research (preferred)