(Senior) Health Specialist or Economist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 months ago
  • Category:
    Economics, 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 www.worldbank.org


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 because of illnesses. The HNP Global Practice includes staff members in Washington, DC and many country offices.  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. The HNP Global Practice supports country and regional efforts to: (i) improve health outcomes, especially for the poor and most vulnerable; (ii) expand access to high-quality HNP services, interventions and technologies that give the most value for money; (iii) strengthen health systems for results; (iv) establish and improve health financing mechanisms that promote efficiency, equity and sustainability of investments; (v) strengthen heath-relevant institutions within and outside the health sector; (vi) harness multisectoral policies and investments for better health outcomes; and (vii) develop and learn from rigorous impact evaluations. For more information:


Africa has registered strong economic growth in recent years that has helped to reduce poverty levels in the continent. Yet, as Africa’s population expands, the region faces a critical challenge of creating the foundations for long-term inclusive growth. Many countries still contend with high levels of child and maternal mortality, malnutrition is far too common, and most health systems are not able to deal effectively with epidemics and the growing burden of chronic diseases. These challenges call for renewed commitments and accelerated progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC)—the principle that everyone receives needed health services without financial hardship.

Most African countries have integrated UHC as a goal in their national health strategies. Yet, progress in translating commitments to UHC into expanded domestic resources for health, effective development assistance, and ultimately, equitable and quality health services, and increased financial protection has been slow. To accelerate progress toward UHC in Africa, the countries will require political leadership and a clear strategic vision to achieve their UHC targets and to be able to eliminate preventable maternal and child deaths, strengthen resilience to public health emergencies, reduce financial hardship linked to illness, and strengthen the foundations for long-term economic growth.  https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/overview


Mali is ranked 170 out of 173 on the Human Capital Index (HCI) (2020). The HCI links outcomes in education, health, and nutrition to a country’s productivity. The HCI value for Mali is 0.32 meaning that a. A child born in Mali today could expect to achieve on average just 32 percent of her/his potential productivity as a future worker. This is lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa (0.40) and low-income countries (0.38). In 2018, 53 percent of girls aged 19 already had at least one child. On average, about 160,000 women and children under the age of 5 die every year. Despite improvement in recent years on key health outcome indicators, trends in progression remain slow and insufficient in relation to investments and expected targets. The maternal mortality ratio dropped from 1,010 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 325 in 2018 (with an SDG target of 70 for 2030), while the under-five mortality rate fell from 254 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 54 in 2018 (with an SDG target of 25 by 2030). Fertility, in particular adolescent fertility, is extremely high and in 2018, 53 percent of girls aged 19 already had at least one child. Since 2009, children’s nutritional status has not improved. The percentage of stunted children oscillated from 28 percent in 2009 (Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, MICS) to 38 percent in 2012 (Demographic and Health Survey, DHS), 30 percent in 2015 (MICS) and 27 percent in 2018 (DHS). Acute malnutrition rates for children under five have also remained high and constant since 2009, around 10 percent of all children under 5.

Low volume of financing resources for health is an important factor underpinning the underwhelming performance of Mali’s health system. With less than US$50 per capita per year available for current health expenditures, Mali is one of the 25 countries in the world with the lowest per capita health financing (US$42 per capita in 2015 according to WHO). Domestic public health expenditures (US$7 per capita) represent less than 1 percent of GDP, 4.5 percent of total government expenditures, and 16 percent of current health expenditures. By contrast, external health expenditures represent about 36 percent of current health expenditures, and out-of-pocket about 46 percent. Cost recovery through user fees often represents up to half of the revenues in primary health care facilities. Low domestic revenue mobilization and low prioritization of public health funding, high dependence on external funding, and on out-of-pocket payments inevitably lead to reduced coverage, delayed access, poor quality of care, problems of predictability and sustainability of funding, and increasing inequity in financial access to healthcare. 

The Project “Accelerating Progress towards Universal Health Coverage” (APUHC) aims to strengthen the health sector in Mali over the period 2019-2024. The project supports Mali in accelerating progress towards UHC by expanding innovative and high impact interventions, and by strengthening health system stewardship and financial governance. The innovations supported by the proposed project affect the health financing mechanisms (moving from input based to PBF), the delivery of community health services, and the data systems. Targeted areas consist of Koulikoro, Mopti, Ségou, and Gao regions.

A Programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics (PASA) Analytics Program to Support UHC in Mali (P172823) supports the implementation of the APUHC project by generating evidence and providing technical assistance to the Malian government to implement its UHC reform policies. The PASA is structured around three main pillars: (1) Frontline Service Delivery, (2) Health Financing, and (3) Performance Measurement.
The World Bank office Mali – https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/mali 

Duties & Accountabilities:

The (Senior) Health Specialist or Economist will be mapped to HAWH2 and report to the Practice Manager of the Unit.  Their primary role will be to serve as a key member of the HNP and Mali country team, with responsibilities across the Mali country program. More specifically, s/he will have the following key responsibilities, inter alia:
• Lead, co-lead or support development and implementation of the Bank’s HNP national and /or regional operations in Mali. This will include leading technical discussions and monitoring of the Bank defined portfolio on a day-to-day basis, in close collaboration with the relevant government agencies and development partners.
• Organize and lead missions of the health team.
• Lead or co-lead and contribute to high-quality analytical and advisory services tasks in Mali and HAWH2.
• Participate in and contribute to technical assistance work to support relevant capacity-building activities including workshops, seminars, etc.
• Participate in and contribute to policy dialogue with government counterparts, including at the national and sub-national levels and with other relevant stakeholders.
• Help teams with building and maintaining partnerships and networks within the Bank (in HNP as well as other sectors) and with external partners.
• Contribute to sector-specific or cross-sectoral inputs for various operational products/outputs (e.g. sector/country briefings, background reports, portfolio performance reviews, etc.).
• Review and contribute to sector-specific or cross-sectoral policy and other documents.
• Respond to ad hoc information requests from internal and external parties.
• Carry out any other activity required as part of the health and human capital portfolio.
• Mentor junior staff in the country office and unit.


Selection Criteria


Poverty knows no boundaries, and neither does excellence. Our success is fueled by our diversity and differences, and we are constantly seeking highly qualified individuals with varied backgrounds, both from within countries and across the world. We expect the chosen candidate to possess the following qualifications:

• Master’s degree in economics, public health, health systems, public policy, health financing, or related fields. Additionally, having an experience in the practice of public health in Mali with a substantial emphasis on public and/or private health sectors, or a focus on health financing / health economics, would be considered advantageous.
• Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in health and/or related fields.
• Demonstrated operational project management and portfolio management is essential.
• Significant experience with WBG or non-governmental institution policies, operations, instruments, and systems is desired.
• Proficiency in French (a prerequisite) and English (an asset), including excellent oral and written communication skills. The candidate should be capable of producing documents on complex subjects, delivering persuasive speeches, and conveying ideas clearly and succinctly in French. Additionally, the candidate should exhibit a satisfactory level of comprehension and written proficiency in English.
• Strong interpersonal and team skills, and a track record of functioning effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within a matrix environment are essential.
• A drive for results, including a proven track record of high standards/accountability for work products, meeting deadlines, an ability to prioritize tasks within his/her work program and strategies for working collectively with others on the team to deliver products of the highest caliber.


• Lead and Innovate: Encourages and works with others to identify 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. Ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
• 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. Maintain client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
• Collaborate 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. Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• 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.
• Seek mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentor junior staff. Leads in the sharing of best practice, 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.
• 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.


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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