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Water Economist

The World Bank Economics logo

The World Bank
Washington, DC - United States
S: Competitive

Background / General description:


1. The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century - human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, and energy security - without improving how countries manage their water resources. Even today, 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, of which 1 billion people practice open defecation. Poor sanitation, including inadequate wastewater collection and treatment, impacts health, education, the environment, and industries such as tourism. At least 700 million people lack access to safe drinking water. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation results in significant economic losses in many countries.

2. The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower and irrigation problems through finance and knowledge. The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation), disaster risk management, energy (hydropower), and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban, assisting utilities on efficiency and financial sustainability; targeting the poor). In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment alongside issues such as governance, institutions and policies. The World Bank is the largest external source of financing for water supply and sanitation projects, and also has a large and growing portfolio in irrigation and water resource management.

3. The World Bank's Water Global Practice comprises about 300 staff working across the full range of the water sector agenda including rural and urban sanitation, provision of water services, integrated water resource management as well as irrigation. The Global Water Practice is headed by a Senior Director, two Directors, and nine Practice Managers. In addition to these managers, the Water Global Practice Leadership team also includes the Leads of three Global Solutions Groups (GSGs). One of the GSGs focuses on Water, Poverty and the Economy (WPE).

4. The Water, Poverty and the Economy (WPE) GSG's main role is to build new knowledge and curate relevant existing information not only to strengthen programs and projects, but more significantly to influence water related strategies and policies in client countries.

WPE now seeks an Economist with outstanding analytical and communication skills with experience in preferably both infrastructure economics and natural resource economics as these relate to Water. The Economist will be expected to work closely in building the WPE GSGs analytical program of activities and support regional teams in a variety of tasks that call for economic analysis. An immediate priority of the selected candidate will be to assist in the preparation of methodologies for rapid diagnostics on the interrelation between water and the economy, and their application to selected countries.

The Economist will report to the Practice Manager, Strategy and Operations (GWASO), and will work closely with the WPE GSG Global Lead Economist. This position is designed to take advantage of the synergies that can be achieved through seamlessly linking across the operational teams.

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 2 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Economist will:

• Support the WPE GSG by contributing to policy notes, major studies, country reports and briefs on a wide range of issues related to the role of water;
• Participate in the design, preparation and dissemination of analytical work and knowledge dissemination activities;
• Identify critical knowledge gaps and recommend activities to address these;
• Assist country teams on projects and analytic activities, paying particular attention to the economic aspects of the work;
• Collaborate closely with other Practices in analytical work and assist in building strong relationships with internal partners from other GPs.

Selection Criteria:

• Minimum of a Master's Degree in Economics with at least 5 years of relevant work experience (PhD Preferred).

• Recognizing the role of water as natural resource, public good and a private commodity the candidate will have a demonstrated track record of working on both infrastructure economics and natural resource economics. Specific expertise in the Economics of Water is highly desirable.

• Strong analytical skills in data analysis, data management and especially advanced econometrics.

• Exceptional written and oral communications skills in English.

• An ability to function well in a multi-cultural environment, and work in teams.

• Expertise with econometric software such as STATA or other statistical packages is essential.

• Proven track record of intellectual leadership and ability to integrate analytical work with operational expertise to formulate policy advice.


• Strong and demonstrated command of economics (preferably with experience in the water sector) and econometrics.

• Demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and the use of analytical tools to conduct economic analysis and produce user-friendly written outputs.

• Advanced computer skills and full proficiency in the use of relevant software applications.

• Ability to learn quickly and the capacity to work simultaneously and effectively on a variety of tasks, independently adjusting priorities and achieving agreed results.

• Strong and proven written and verbal communication skills with experience in writing compelling briefs and reports.

• An ability to communicate with internal and/or external clients.

• Create, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions.

Job summary


The World Bank


Washington, DC, United States


Master's Degree





Job Type:





1st August 2017

Apply By:

15th August 2017

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