Job posting: Water economist


WPE now seeks an Economist with wateroutstanding analytical and communication skills with experience in preferably both infrastructure economics and natural resource economics.  The Economist will be expected to work closely in developing the WPE GSGs analytical program of activities and support to operations.

The Economist will report to the WPE GSG Global Lead Economist, and will work closely with Global Programs World Bank operational staff in the Water GP, Poverty GP and the Country Management Unit.  This position is designed to take advantage of the synergies that can be achieved through seamlessly linking across the operational and WSP teams.

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 places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, etc.) at the center of its efforts to help countries adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.  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 of about 350 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 and a Director, with six regional Practice Managers as well as two additional managers, including a Senior Manager heading the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).  In addition to these managers, the Water Global Practice Leadership team also includes four Global Solutions Leads that work across all regional programs as well as the WSP to provide technical leadership in specific areas. 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.

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.

For Duties & Accountabilities, and Selection criteria, please visit the job posting on the World Bank website.