The World Bank Economist (Human Development) Job in Nairobi Kenya

Job #: 120951
Job Title: Economist (Human Development)
Job Family: Education
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Appointment: International Hire

Closing Date: 20-Jun-2012

Language Requirements: English [Essential] 
Background / General description
The Bank’s Africa Region is committed to working with client governments, the private sector and civil society in Africa, as well as its development partners, to support countries in achieving their plans for strong economic growth as well as for human development.  The Africa Region is comprised of around 1,500 staff, many of whom are based in country offices.  
The Human Development Department (AFTHD) has around 200 staff.  The core values guiding our work are passion for our mission of sustainable development and poverty reduction, putting the needs of the client at the center of all our activities, trust and respect as a common currency, intellectual rigor and curiosity, honesty and integrity, teamwork and multisectorality, openness to learning and the courage to admit we do not always have the answer and therefore foster partnerships to broaden our open development values.

The new Africa Strategy “Africa’s Future and the World Bank Support to It” underpins country and sector strategies for the Bank’s engagement in the Region. The Strategy aims at enhancing competitiveness and employment, reducing vulnerability and building resilience, and improving governance and public sector capacity on the continent.  AFTHD, which covers three sectors:  Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP), Education, and Social Protection,

Developing country governments allocate roughly a third of their budgets to education and health, and donor allocations to health in particular have reached historic highs. 

Weaknesses in quality in large part explain why the increased spending and expanded access to education and health services have not been matched with commensurate improvements in human development outcomes.  
This is also evidenced in the uneven progress toward the MDGs in, especially in the human capital-related MDGs.

In the education and health sectors quality is critically dependent on what service providers know and what they do.  

But, there is little robust and representative data of what teachers and health workers do during a typical work-day, their levels of knowledge and skill. Inspired by the Bank’s 2004 WDR Making Services Work for Poor People, the Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) is the first attempt to standardize human development service delivery indicators across Africa that focus on provider effort and competence, in addition to the usual focus on inputs.

The vision of the Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) project is that within 5 years across Africa in about 15–20 countries, Service Delivery Indicators would be a highly trusted data source, anticipated by policymakers, NGOs and the media every 2–3 years to feed into 

(i) high level policy discussions on effectiveness of public spending; 
(ii) old and new media so that citizen groups and NGOs could engage governments to improve accountability for service delivery; and 
(iii) at the global level, result in a highly visible annual scorecard on Service Delivery in Africa.

The Service Delivery Indicators project is a unique partnership of the World Bank, the African Economic Research Consortium and the African Development Bank is expected to become an important tool for accountability for performance—both for governments to monitor results, as well as enabling citizens to challenge poor governance. 

The World Bank is the implementing agency for the first five years of the project, and it is within this context that the capacity of the SDI Team—located in the Africa Human Development Department (AFTHD)—is being expanded. 

The economist would be expected to work closely with the AFTHD Director and the SDI Program Leader, in particular. 

The candidate would be expected to be based in Nairobi and to undertake extensive travel on a regular basis.

Duties and Accountabilities
The candidate will provide technical support to: 
(i) oversee implementation and provide quality assurance of the data collection, data entry and data cleaning to the end of producing a clean, robust dataset ready for analysis; 
(ii) provide support in the preparation of Country SDI Report; and 
(iii) build capacity on a continuous basis. 
The incumbent will be supervised by the SDI Program Leader.

Tasks and duties:

  • Work collaboratively as a member of the SDI Project Team.
  • Oversee the implementation of education and health service delivery indicator surveys in multiple African countries, including in conflict-affected countries.
  • Ensure consistency with SDI methodology and meticulous oversight of quality standards.
  • Provide strategic guidance to country implementation partners to help address implementation challenges.
  • Facilitate strategic partnerships for communication between different stakeholders (government, think-tanks, academic institutions as well as non-government organizations) to ensure widespread use and application of SDI findings.
  • Contribute to analytical products on service delivery for human development.
  • Take responsibility for preparation country reports in based on SDI data within the expected time-frame.
  • Innovate new ways of data collection and creative data dissemination.
Selection Criteria
  • Advanced degree (Master’s or PhD), PhD preferred, in microeconomics.
  • Experience with survey design and execution (survey instrument design, field work management, data entry programming, etc.).
  • An ability to work with an exceptional high level of delegation and skill in seeking guidance from others when it is needed.
  • An ability to find pragmatic and implementable solutions to problems in a timely and cost effective manner.
  • Strong client orientation and an ability to work as a member of interdisciplinary teams.
  • Proven teamwork and leadership skills, working with multi-disciplinary teams across different sectors, and across operational boundaries within the World Bank Group and outside it.
  • Strong communications skills, ability to develop and deliver persuasive oral and written presentations.
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.

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