Senior Nutrition Specialist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Health / Medical, Social and Inclusive Development
  • Deadline:





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


The central contribution of the HNP Global Practice to the World Bank’s twin goals is to enable the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), in which all people are effectively covered by essential health services, and nobody suffers undue financial hardship as a result of illnesses. In the quest for UHC, the HNP Global Practice is building on progress made in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, an array of analytical and advisory services, strategic partnerships with partner institutions and other financing agencies, and an active lending portfolio. The HNP Global Practice includes staff members in Washington, DC, and many country offices.

The HNP Global Practice is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Senior Director is assisted by the Director, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Practice. The HNP Global Practice Leadership Team, which leads and manages the HNP GP, consists of the Senior Director, the Director, eight HNP Practice Managers and six Global Leads (for Financing; Healthy Societies; Nutrition; Population and Development; Decision and Delivery Science; and Service Delivery). The HNP Global Practice works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that HNP outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the HNP sector. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving HNP outcomes.


Major challenges to maternal and child health and development due to poor nutrition remain across multiple countries and regions despite recent progress on some indicators. West and Central Africa countries are producing new generations of their population who are locked into low productive capacities because of malnutrition on children’s physical and cognitive development. Countries affected by stunting and other forms of malnutrition lose billions of dollars in waged employment and avoidable health care spending.
West and Central Africa region is one of the highest malnutrition regions with high rates of child stunting, wasting and anemia among women. At the same time, obesity rates in Africa have been rising rapidly. This double burden of malnutrition saps human capital and future productivity in Africa, particular in Western and Central Africa.


African HNP is organized in four units. HAWH2 covers the health engagements in the Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal Country Management Units. HAWH2 is recruiting a Senior Nutrition Specialist. The selected candidate will lead and support operational and analytical work in the unit, with a focus on countries with high burden of nutrition deficiencies such as Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, and may also spend some of her/his time to support nutrition work in other countries within or outside HAWH2 unit. The position is based in Dakar, Senegal.

Note: This position is subject to international recruitment.  The duty station is Dakar, Senegal.


The Senior Nutrition Specialist will:

• Provide direct technical support in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the nutrition engagement in West Africa, support operations to ensure that high quality, relevant, and cost-effective programs are designed and implemented in line with international best practice.

• Work closely with partners, the nutrition Global Solutions Group and Africa HD teams to develop relevant nutrition analytics across HNP, Agriculture, WASH, Education and Social Safety nets;

• Promote the integration of nutrition into maternal, child and adolescent health programs and delivery platforms, while ensuring that it takes place within the broader health system strengthening efforts at the country level; and linking to WBGs focus on human capital development and building resilience.

• Provide technical resources, learning and guidance to address nutrition within the design and implementation of operations across sectors, including through identification of both policy and programmatic barriers. Explore opportunities to support multi-sectoral interventions for nutrition-specific and sensitive actions in existing (and future) investments in the health, social protection, agriculture, education and WASH sectors.

• Coordinate closely with the private sector working groups in West Africa to leverage platforms and partnerships to support nutrition; Participate in and contribute to the Nutrition Global Solutions group via global events/ASAs, peer reviews, learning events, etc. 

• Summarize and document results, lessons learned success and best practices, strategies and approaches to support the effective integration and delivery of nutrition services to vulnerable populations in the region.


Selection Criteria


• Advanced degree (PhD preferred) in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: public health and/or nutrition, or a closely related field, with minimum 8 years of relevant experience;
• Demonstrated operational experience working with large multisectoral teams on nutrition issues to design, support the implementation and evaluation of nutrition-focused operations;
• Knowledge/skills in economics will be an asset;
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
• Fluency in spoken and written English and French is a requirement;
• Ability to work independently, with initiative and minimal supervision within large teams;
• Demonstrated grasp of prevalent nutrition challenges (both undernutrition and obesity) affecting countries in Africa and the principal interventions and policies available to control and prevent them, and understanding of barriers/bottlenecks to nutrition policy and programming at country level;
• Experience/skills in developing costed investment plans for nutrition and knowledge of World Bank policies, practices, and operations environment will be an asset.
• Previous experience working in West Africa or other fragile and conflict affected states will be an asset.


• Policy Dialogue Skills – possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.
• Health, Nutrition and Population Knowledge and Experience – can critically assess the performance of health systems, to identify key challenges and solutions. Understands and is able to articulate the basic economic issues related to HNP. Has broad cross-sectoral understanding relevant to HNP and is able to identify how HNP issues relate to overall country development strategies, non-HNP policy decisions, and development initiatives across sectors. Ability to lead the Bank’s overall strategy development and policy dialogue in a country.
• Integrative skills – is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.
• Lead and Innovate – encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions. Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission. Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context.
• Deliver Results for Clients – Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients. Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.
• Collaborates Within Teams and Across Boundaries – collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect. Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due. Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes. Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners. Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff. Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks.
• Make Smart Decisions – applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long-term implications of decisions. Commits to a decision and acts once a decision has been reached. 


World Bank Group Core Competencies

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.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

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