WB Job opening: Senior Agriculture Economist – Dakar, Senegal

Job Title: Senior Agriculture Economist
Job Family: Agriculture & Rural Development
Job Type: Professional & Technical
Grade: GG
Location: Dakar, Senegal
Recruitment Type: International Hire
Language Requirement: English [Essential]; French [Essential]
Closing Date: 20-Jan-2015

GFADR seeks a Senior Agriculture Economist to support its strategic, advisory, and operational work in Senegal and where needed elsewhere.  The Bank has a very active engagement on agriculture in Senegal, consisting of a significant portfolio of projects covering among other agricultural research, food security, agribusiness and value-chain development.  There is a very active policy dialogue and close coordination with other development partners.  Agriculture also figures highly in Senegal’s country partnership strategy.

Info at http://bit.ly/1BZUm1S

Background / General description:

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

The vision of the World Bank Group: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to 3 percent by 2030, and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.
To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors in 2013 approved a new strategy for the organization. This strategy leverages the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.
The architecture underpinning the strategy is the establishment of 14 Global Practices and five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas that, in concert with WBG Regions, will design and deliver 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.

Agriculture is one of the 14 Global Practices and its agenda is essential for achieving the Bank’s twin goals of eliminating poverty and boosting shared prosperity: 75% of the world’s poor are rural, and most are engaged in farming. Over 842 million people go to bed hungry every day, 26 percent of all children under age five are stunted, and 30 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. The world needs to produce about 50 percent more food to feed the world’s expected population of nine billion by 2050.  A changing climate means that, in Africa alone, a warming scenario of 1.5°C to 2°C for the 2030s and 2040s will trigger a 40 to 80 percent reduction of area where maize, millet and sorghum are currently grown.  Accordingly, agriculture is critical for fighting hunger, boosting food and nutrition security, improving incomes, creating jobs, providing environmental services, and stopping a “4°C world.”

The Agriculture Global Practice (GFADR) consists of about 280 staffs of which 36% are located in country offices.  The active portfolio consists of about 240 projects representing about US$18 billion in lending commitments.  There are about 200 ongoing knowledge activities.  Areas of focus include, among other:  (i) increasing smallholder agricultural productivity, and it’s resilience through support to improved land and water management in irrigated and rainfed areas; (ii) linking farmers to markets and strengthening value chains through support for improved infrastructure, information technology, postharvest handling; (iii) facilitating rural nonfarm income by improving the rural investment climate and skills development; (iv) reducing risk, vulnerability and gender inequality through support to risk management mechanisms ; and (v) enhancing environmental services and sustainability.  To advance this agenda, GFADR collaborates closely with numerous other GPs; it is also one of the joined GPs with IFC.

GFADR’s work program in Africa has been growing rapidly and is centered on the four pillars of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), as coordinated and supported by the AU and NEPAD; they include: (i) land and water management; (ii) market access; (iii) food security and vulnerability; and (iv) agricultural technology.  The AU has declared 2014 as the Year of African Agriculture and Food Security with the aim to bring the CAADP up to the next level following its launch in 2003 in Maputo with the adoption of the Maputo Declaration to allocate 10% of the African countries’ public budgets to agriculture with the aim to achieve 6% agricultural production growth and 3% agriculture productivity growth per year.

GFADR seeks a Senior Agriculture Economist to support its strategic, advisory, and operational work in Senegal and where needed elsewhere.  The Bank has a very active engagement on agriculture in Senegal, consisting of a significant portfolio of projects covering among other agricultural research, food security, agribusiness and value-chain development.  There is a very active policy dialogue and close coordination with other development partners.  Agriculture also figures highly in Senegal’s country partnership strategy.

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 Agriculture Economist will assist the GFADR Practice Manager covering West-Africa in the delivery of the work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the private sector, staff development and partnerships. The primary responsibility of the Senior Agriculture Economist will be to provide technical and strategic support to the development and implementation of GFADR’s work program in Senegal (and elsewhere if needed). In doing so, s/he will work closely with the Country Director and the CMU, including the Global Practice Program Leader.  In particular, the Senior Agricultural Economist will:
• Initiate and maintain a high level and quality of engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector and research/academic community on strategic and policy issues concerning agriculture, irrigation and natural resources in Senegal;
• Participate in the dialogue with relevant representatives of the private sector in order to keep abreast with issues related to the business investment climate and identify possible areas of collaboration through public-private-partnerships;
• Lead/initiate/participate in analytical and strategic work pertaining to agricultural growth and productivity, including work managed by GFADR and that managed by other units, but requiring input from agricultural staff, such as public expenditure analysis;
• Identify innovative new opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agricultural sector, by bringing in experience from other regions and with a wide range of instruments;
• Lead complex operations as Task Team Leader (TTL), both in agriculture and multi-sectoral operations, assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;
• Serve as an advisor to colleagues who are themselves TTLs of demanding operations, providing them with mentoring, advice and support;
• Assume an active role in the Senegal country team with the aim to ensure adequate and appropriate integration of relevant aspects of the agriculture and rural development agenda in core Bank products, including systematic country diagnostics, country partnership frameworks, country economic memorandum and the like.
• Serve as an active member of the GFADR Global Practice, including contributing to the scale up of the Bank’s engagement on agriculture in Africa;
• Work across sectors with staff of other Global Practices and IFC to ensure coherence and integration of the agriculture portfolio in West-Africa and beyond.
• As necessary, represent the Bank and GFADR management at public events with agriculture sector focus.

Selection Criteria:

• Postgraduate degree in Agricultural Economics or related discipline;
• A minimum of 8 years of relevant working experience in agriculture;
• Strong technical and analytical skills in a range of issues of relevance to agriculture;
• In-depth knowledge of the issues faced by smallholders participating in modern value chains;
• Recognized and respected by peers; demonstrated commitment to team work and ability to interact effectively and collegially with peers at all levels;
• Familiarity with the institutional context of Africa, and the Sahel in particular, and experience interacting with institutions involved in agriculture and rural development;
• Demonstrated familiarity with Bank procedures, directives, business practices and experience in identifying, preparing, appraising, and supervising operations, as a task team leader or team member;
• Ability to think innovatively and strategically in dealing with policy issues while maintaining a strong client focus;
• Ability to take principled and balanced positions on complex issues and to communicate and defend them orally and in writing to Senior Bank management and Senior Government officials;
• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and team skills with ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions;
• High degree of discretion, ethics, tact and sensitivity in handling confidential and sensitive information;
• Ability to work under pressure while retaining perspective and a sense of humor;
• Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation, coupled with willingness to travel extensively and work under challenging conditions;
• English essential, French essential.

Competencies:

• General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills – Possesses Cross-country knowledge in economic specialty and demonstrates ability to link the macro, institutional, and micro-level behaviors; able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
• Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.
• Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
• Agricultural Economics – Deep understanding of most of the economic concepts used in agriculture, with significant experience.
• Agriculture Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Project Design for Impact and Sustainability – Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.
• Sector Dialogue – Able to conduct a dialogue with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.
• 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.
• Operational Policies Application to the Project Cycle (fiduciary, disbursement, safeguard and GAC policies) – Possesses a strong understanding of procurement and disbursement policies; knows what issues might arise and who to involve in problem resolution.
• Team Leadership – Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members.
• Knowledge of Relevant Operational Policy and Associated Good Practices – Has a solid understanding of all aspects of OP 8.60 and associated Good Practice Notes; has experience in designing DPOs.
• Knowledge of Relevant Bank Procedures and Associated Guidance – Has a solid understanding of all aspects of BP 8.60 and associated Good Practice Notes; has experience in designing DPOs.
• ESW/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues – Participates fully in the production of quality AAA work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform.
• 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.

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.

The selected candidate will directly report to the GFADR Practice Manager covering West-Africa. S/he will coordinate closely with the Country Director and Global Practice Program Leader for Senegal, both based in Dakar.

Info at http://bit.ly/1BZUm1S.