Senior Education Specialist at Education World Bank: (Deadline 2 September 2022)
Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org
THE EDUCATION GLOBAL PRACTICE
Education is central to achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals: it is a reliable route out of poverty because it has large and consistent returns to income for individuals and because it can drive economic growth. It is also a prime vehicle for promoting shared prosperity. The main challenge in the education sector is to achieve “learning for all, learning for life”—that is, to ensure that all children and young people acquire the knowledge and skills they need for their lives and livelihoods. The developing world has achieved great advances in education in the past two decades, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school and in approaching gender equality. Yet these successes in expanding access to education have highlighted the major remaining challenges: how to remove the educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile states, and how to improve the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning. The WBG and the broader education development community are increasingly shifting focus to learning outcomes. Because traditional input-driven programs often fail to promote learning, the WBG’s education strategy highlights the need for a more comprehensive systems approach to education reform, investments, and service delivery. This approach is about increasing accountability and targeting results, as a complement to providing inputs. And it also requires strengthening the knowledge base on education, to highlight where systems are achieving results, where they are falling short, and what the most effective solutions are. These efforts are increasingly guided by the need to invest early; invest smartly; and invest for all. Through high-quality analytical work, collection and curation of evidence, and practical know-how in these three areas, the WBG is helping its partner countries accelerate their educational progress.
The Education Global Practice (GP) is led by a Global Director and two Regional Directors. The Education Global Practice Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Global Director, two Regional Directors and seven Practice Managers.
The World Bank Group serves 48 client countries in the Africa Region (AFR). Clients range from low-income countries among them many fragile and conflict states to a small but growing number of middle-income countries (MICs) but with weak human development indicators. Average annual per capita income varies widely and inequalities persist in most AFR countries, with most of the Region’s people living in poverty. The Bank’s strategy in AFR is focused on two pillars – competitiveness and employment, and vulnerability and resilience – and a foundation – governance and public-sector capacity.
The Education Sector Unit for Eastern Africa is responsible for policy, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the sub-region. The unit currently has a portfolio of IDA projects, Trust Funds and major studies and technical assistance products in IDA and middle-income countries. The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from early childhood education to higher education and research. The unit is committed to delivering high quality technical products to support education development in the Bank’s client countries, and to do so in a manner that builds capacity through collaborative interactions with country counterparts.
The unit’s core goals are to (i) equitably improve learning outcomes, (ii) ensure universal completion of quality primary/basic education; (iv) expand access to and quality of pre-primary, secondary, TVET, second chance education, and higher education, with a focus on applied sciences, engineering and technology and strengthening the links between post-basic education systems and labor markets. The unit is also developing innovative approaches to education, including the use of ICT to expand access and improve quality and results-based modalities for Bank projects. It tries to achieve these goals through education sector interventions (financial and analytical) and through interventions in other sectors that influence education outcomes, as well as through partnership activities with a variety of partners.
Despite improvements in primary enrollment, Rwanda faces serious problems in basic education, including limited progression in the early grades, low transition rates to lower secondary education and low learning levels. The country scores poorly on the Human Capital Index.
The Bank’s work in the education sector in Rwanda includes on-going projects in basic education, higher education. Cross GP collaboration, especially with health and social protection, is an important area for the education GP. Rwanda is an Early Adopter for the Human Capital Project, and Accelerator Initiative country, several ongoing projects involve multi-sectoral operations focused on human development. The GP is implementing several Trust Fund operations in Rwanda including Inclusive Education Initiative Grant, Accelerator Fund, and the GPE Grant for COVID19 response.
The unit is seeking a highly experienced Senior Education Specialist based in Kigali, to contribute to the education policy dialogue, program development and expansion, and implementation support for the education portfolio. He/she will be lead and support development of the IDA pipeline in Rwanda and engage in cross-sectoral operations and analytical work. The Senior Education Specialist/ Economist will work with the LRS staff based in Kigali, and possibly work on other countries in the CMU.
The advertised position is based in Kigali, Rwanda. However, depending on business needs, the selected candidate may work on education tasks throughout the Eastern and Southern Africa region if required.
Duties and Accountabilities
The incumbent will lead (and support) policy dialogue with the client on key issues in the areas of basic and secondary education with a focus on strengthening learning poverty, girls and women’s empowerment and education financing and governance; and, skills development. The incumbent will also, provide daily implementation support to the government on the lending operations, as well as lead the preparation of new lending programs. He/she will also be expected to lead or/co-lead analytical work to inform policy discussions.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:
- Operations: Design and supervise operations, both as leader and as member of team, in the education sector or multi-sectoral operations, including the full range of Bank instruments. Provide implementation support for the on-going portfolio which comprises of various lending instruments including IPF, DPO, and PforR. Provide timely advice and support to clients in implementing projects and help to build capacity of Ministry of Education to implement its program
- Policy Dialogue and Building Client Capacity: Conduct sectoral policy dialogue with clients at the highest levels, on a range of complex issues at different levels of education, especially on learning outcomes and productivity. Identify and nurture opportunities for participating in the broader policy dialogue in the country especially in so far as they impact on education or where the education sector can contribute. Build client capacity to use findings of policy research/ analytical work for developing new policies.
- Technical Advice on key issues in the sector and strategic directions for the country’s education development: Bring relevant international experience and research to assist in developing local solutions, on issues such as strategies to improve foundational literacy and numeracy outcomes, teacher quality and management efficiency, STEM, secondary education expansion, TVET and skills in priority areas, quality improvement and financing of higher education, early childhood education and use of ICT in education, and public private partnerships
- Analytical work and Non-Lending Services: Design and lead in the preparation of “cutting edge” technical products that respond to critical policy questions identified by the client and which have an impact on policy and operational design. Produce “just in time” notes of high quality as well as lead longer analytical reports. Contribute to the country diagnostics and other core analytic work. Contribute to the unit’s analytical work by generating “think pieces” and synthesis papers.
- Leadership: Work closely with the Practice Manager and education team and the CMU and other GPs to identify new business, including innovative financial products, technical advisory services and other services, as required.
- Partnership: Work constructively with partners, including bilateral and multi-lateral donors, UN agencies, NGOs and partners from the South, and private sector partners. Contribute to alignment and coordination around country led priorities.
The education GP is seeking an experienced, versatile, and highly motivated candidate to oversee and develop a growing portfolio. The ideal candidate will combine excellent technical capabilities, experience in analyzing policy options and recommending practical policy reforms, and a capacity to translate analytical findings into policy and into innovative Bank operations to help clients shift policies in new directions or to pilot new approaches.
- Education/Experience: A Ph.D./Doctorate in Education, Economics or relevant field or a Master’s Degree (in same areas) with a minimum of 8 years of experience is required.
• Demonstrated expert-level knowledge of and experience in addressing education issues. Deep technical knowledge and experience in one or more areas of education of relevance to the country is required plus demonstrated ability to identify, mobilize and supervise high quality international expertise to develop local solutions. Demonstrated combination of analytical rigor and practical/ solutions-oriented approaches.
• Ability to conduct high level policy dialogue with sophisticated clients, including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders
• Excellent writing ability to write short just-in-time notes, briefing papers as well as typical Bank operational and analytical products.
• Extensive experience with preparation and supervision of Bank projects; extensive experience in conducting and leading analytical work; experience in working across regions would be a plus.
• Prior field experience in another low-income country would be desirable but is not essential.
• Ability to lead and mentor a team of professionals with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively across within and across sector boundaries, inspire commitment to excellence and teamwork, and to liaise tactfully as a member of a multicultural team.
• High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements
• Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to country and management requests, and set priorities for self and others
• Language: Must have proficiency in English. Basic fluency in Kinyarwanda and French is desired
- 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.
• Education Knowledge and Experience – Possesses experience in designing and managing challenging education projects, and policy-relevant analytical work Able to independently formulate country-relevant solutions to complex sector problems, taking into account cross-sectoral linkages.
• Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
• Lead and Innovate – Develops innovative solutions with others.
• Deliver Results for Clients – Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client.
• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiates collaboration across boundaries and broadly across WBG, and brings differing ideas into the forefront.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions.
• Make Smart Decisions – Recommends and takes decisive action.
• 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.
The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.