Senior Operations Officer (Project Management)
The World Bank - Washington, DC

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Regional integration and cooperation are vital for Africa’s development. They can permit Africa’s multiple small countries and economies to benefit from economies of scale in infrastructure and markets; a better business environment; for a more attractive and competitive environment for investment; greater weight in international negotiations; and improved peace and security. 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 to promote regional integration and cooperation. As a keen supporter of the regional approach, the World Bank seeks continuously to deepen and expand its support for these initiatives strategically and selectively. There is also increased support for this agenda from both traditional donors and new partners.
The World Bank overall strategy for engaging in Africa 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 RIAS prioritizes regional infrastructure development, 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 Department emphasizes: (a) measurable results on the ground; (b) being selective and supporting transformative interventions; (c) using knowledge to support policy reforms; (d) innovations in design, financing, implementation and management of programs and projects; (e) forging partnerships with the public and private sectors, and civil society; (f) delivering quality and timely products within budgets; (g) respecting differences and encouraging diversity of thinking; (h) being at the frontier of knowledge in our areas of expertise; and (j) enjoying our work.

Our Structure:
AFCRI is structured as a country department in the Africa Region but with regional rather than national strategic and operational responsibilities. It 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. Since October 1, 2012, a Director for Strategy and Operations in the Office of the Vice President also serves as Director for Regional Integration, underscoring the centrality of this agenda to the World Bank’s engagement with the continent.

Our 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. Roughly 45% of this portfolio is in energy, 25% in transport and trade facilitation, 12% in ICT, 9% in agriculture, 7% in water and environment, and the rest is in finance and health. Several large and complex transformative multi-country programs and projects are likely to enter the portfolio in coming years.

Primary Responsibilities:
The Senior Project Management Specialist will work with sector departments to help the Bank respond to the growing demand from clients and development partners to focus increasingly on investing in transformational projects. He/she will bring to this effort specialized project management skills, particularly expertise in (a) packaging and managing large infrastructure contracts, and in (b) options for structuring project implementation and management.

Such projects are not only expected to be large scale and complex, but could also have major environmental and social dimensions, involve new technologies and legislation; many stakeholders; and significant risks. Under these circumstances, project management is more than a technical construction process. It is also a process of creating, managing and maintaining interfaces between all the elements and actors in the delivery process. This will involve attention to procurement approaches (within the Bank’s evolving procurement reform process) and possible innovations that would assure efficiency, cost effectiveness and speed of delivery.

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 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:
The Senior Project Management Specialist will report to the Director for Strategy and Operations in the AFRVP, who is also the Director for Regional Integration and Partnerships, and the Regional Integration Program Manager. He/she will also work closely with other department staff based, and staff in Sector Management Unit (SMUs) who typically lead project development. He/she will also work closely with the four Country Directors designated and concerned Sector Managers and Sector Leaders to coordinate sub regional integration activities, and other Country Management Unit (CMUs).

A. Project Management (including structuring and managing large contracts, and designing arrangements for project implementation and management)
  • Work closely with TTLs/colleagues, clients, and partners to introduce innovations in program and project management and related aspects of design and implementation.
  • Participate in country and task teams of the sub-regions and provide hands on intellectual and operational experience on project management options, including structuring managing contracts.
  • Contribute to analytical work and the preparation of senior management briefs related to regional integration, particularly those related to project management issues.
  • Develop strong partnerships with domestic and regional client and stakeholders.

B. Portfolio Implementation Support:
  • Provide technical support to task teams in project management. Oversee all aspects of portfolio management related to project management..
C. Client and Partner Relations:
  • Develop and build strong partnerships with client counterparts (RECs, governments), potential project sponsors and financiers.
  • Develop and maintain close working relations with CMUs, SMUs, Operational Services department as well as with IFC, MIGA, and the Finance Complex.
Selection Criteria:
The position requires deep knowledge of project management approaches for large, complex operations (including knowledge in designing and applying of contract and contact incentives, to achieve the best quality, lowest costs and timely delivery from contractors); relevant legal and sectoral policy frameworks; excellent oral and written communication skills; the capacity to resolve differences of opinion/conflicts constructively; the ability to respond to shifting work priorities and deliver high quality work on time. Candidates need to be self motivated and possess superior interpersonal skills involving teamwork with professionals of other disciplines and other departments. In addition, the following criteria need to be met:
  • Masters degree in finance, 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 project financing, generation and management of infrastructure deals including deep knowledge of contractual arrangements to support project financing; issues for the host governments’ legislative provisions, financing structures; credit requirements of lenders, and management of mega and complex infrastructure projects with substantive private sector participation, etc.
  • Knowledge of professional disciplines ideally related to key priority sectors, especially infrastructure and natural resource management;
  • Technical expertise for the management of the design and physical elements of project delivery, and for designing options for project implementation and management, including in a multi-country context.
  • Deep knowledge and experience in using innovative contracts such as alliancing (with risk shared incentives) and more generally integrating the Design, Build, Finance and/or maintain and/or Operate (DBFMO) approaches, and anchoring such contracts in the sub-national and national context.
  • Deep knowledge and experience in designing and applying contract award criteria that go beyond price and include capability, quality, timescales, and other value for money features.
  • Deep knowledge and experience in effectively managing contract and commercial interfaces, including pre-empting and managing possible tensions, risks, and communication failures.
  • 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 in French and Portuguese 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 especially in infrastructure; and good understanding of the political economy of regional collaboration; and
  • Willingness to travel extensively and regularly within Africa and elsewhere, based on business need.
OPCS Operations Officer Competencies – in addition to the above mentioned selection criteria specific to this position, the generic OPCS competencies are also part of the selection criteria:
Project Management - Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of the project management concepts, as they relate to the implementation of complex, multi-functional projects in varied geographical and economic conditions
Bank Instruments, Policies, Procedures, and Systems - Recognized by peers and/or managers for providing high quality, pragmatic advice to teams on the appropriate use of Bank policies, procedures and instruments and financing mechanisms.
Portfolio Management (OS) - Leads the monitoring of country/sector strategy and work program; Ffags implementation issues for attention of clients and Bank management and takes a leading role in resolving these.
Analytical and Technical Skills, Operational Strategy Development & Advice - Recognized by peers and/or managers for ability to identify and pro-actively solve operational issues and problems.
Operational Project Management - Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, as well as of Bank instruments and processes related to project preparation & implementation, resource management, and stakeholder communications.
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.

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Collectively known as the World Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD) and its sister organization the...