Senior Education Specialist/ Senior Economist

  • Location:
  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Economics, Education
  • Deadline:
    December 14, 2022



Job #: req20156
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Education
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Juba,South Sudan
Required Language(s): English, Arabic
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 12/14/2022 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC




Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 and promoting shared prosperity. 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

Education Global Practice 

Education is a human right, a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. It delivers large, consistent returns in terms of income and is the most important factor to ensure equality of opportunities. For more information:

Education is central to achieving the WBG’s twin goals:  it is a reliable route out of poverty through large and consistent returns to income for individuals and as a driver for 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 and 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. In the past two decades, the developing world has made great advances in education, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school and in approaching gender equality. Despite these successes in expanding access to education, critical challenges remain: removing persistent educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile and conflict-affected states, and improving the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning.  In recent years, the WBG, and the broader education development community, have shifted their focus to include learning outcomes. Traditional input-driven programs have shown that they do not always lead to improved learning outcomes, so that 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.  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 of evidence, and practical know-how in these three areas, the WBG is helping its partner countries accelerate their progress in the education sector.

The Education Global Practice is led by a Global Director, who has overall responsibility for the practice, together with Regional Directors who oversee the human development program in the regions working with ten Practice Managers.

Education and the Africa Region

The WBG serves 48 client countries in the Africa Region (AFR). Clients range from low-income countries, among them several fragile and conflict-affected 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 population living in poverty. The Bank’s strategy in AFR is focused on two pillars – competitiveness and employment, and vulnerability and resilience –and prioritizes cross-cutting approaches founded in governance and public sector capacity.

In AFR, many countries have achieved considerable progress in access to basic education. But challenges persist, namely: improving the quality and relevance of education at all levels; expanding access to early childhood development (ECD) and post-basic education; developing emphasis on science, technology and innovation; and improving skills development. Efforts are needed in each of these areas to produce a quality workforce to sustain, innovate, and expand on the current economic growth in the region.

The Education GP team in the region works with client countries – at the regional, sub-regional, national, and sub-national levels – to address their unique and shared challenges. We do this by addressing low quality at all levels of education, increasing the efficiency and accountability of education services, modernizing the higher end of the formal education continuum, integrating science and technology more effectively, and aligning skills formation with the needs of a fast growing Region, including LICs. The GP aims to not only deliver high quality products but also to build capacity in client countries through collaborative interactions with country counterparts and other development partners. It seeks to bring the best possible knowledge to bear on the practical challenges facing client countries and at the same time places a high priority on knowledge generation, including through rigorous impact evaluations of education interventions.

The Education GP is comprised of four Practice Management Units in AFR. 

Many of our operations and analytical products are based on approaches that: (i) assist countries in developing and implementing strategies for ensuring quality teaching and learning at all levels of education (ECD, basic education, secondary education and tertiary education), and in addressing the issues that face these countries’ disadvantaged and vulnerable groups; (ii) ensure that education systems respond to the needs of labor markets; (iii) continue to stress the focus on results; (iv) build capacity for monitoring and evaluation of reforms, and foster knowledge sharing; (v) promote innovative strategies, cross-sectoral linkages, and partnerships with the private sector and other development partners whenever relevant; (vi) develop and scale up successful strategies for regional collaboration to leverage economies of scale; and (vii) aim to strengthen governance, accountability, and transparency in the education sector.

The Education Sector Unit for Eastern and Southern Africa (HAEE1) is responsible for policy, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the sub-region. The unit currently has a portfolio of regional and country projects and programs, analytical and technical assistance activities financed through IDA grants and credits, Trust Funds and Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) and using investment and results-based financing.  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) expand coverage of early childhood development in a cost-effective manner (ii) ensure universal completion of quality primary/basic education (iii)  improve learning outcomes, particularly in reading, mathematics and science and (iv) expand access to and quality of secondary, technical, vocational, 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 digital technologies 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.

South Sudan Country Context

South Sudan is poised to lay the foundations of a new development trajectory. The new nation is rich with economic potential given its considerable natural resources and young population, 41 percent of which are under the age of 15. Despite this, an oil-led growth strategy has had limited impacts on the welfare of most citizens and an estimated nine out of ten South Sudanese people live in poverty. The momentum for development and institution-building that the country experienced post-independence was paused by the internal conflict, but the signing of the Revitalized Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan in September 2018 and the subsequent formation of a unity government in February 2020 have created a new window of opportunity in policymaking to lay the foundations for a peaceful society with equitable growth.  With the right investments in human capital, South Sudan’s youthful population could drive the country’s economic growth and build strong socioeconomic foundations for the newest nation in the world.

While the education system faces enormous challenges –including low access and quality of education, high inequality, and a largely untrained and insufficient teaching workforce— the government is strongly committed to invest more in the education sector, introduce evidence-based reforms, and start the transition from a humanitarian model (where service delivery is mostly led by international partners and NGOs) to a long-term development model led by the government. There is also a vibrant and active development partner with strong potential and expertise to support the process.

The World Bank is well-suited to play a key role in the transition. The Bank is actively engaged in policy dialogue, analytical and operational work in South Sudan for improving the coverage and quality of education services. The World Bank team has been providing analytical support on service delivery, early childhood development, women empowerment, learning poverty, teaching innovations, among others. Currently, the World Bank is preparing an investment project that will support South Sudan to improve teacher quality, strengthen systems and provide opportunities for digital skills development.   

The advertised position is an International recruited position based in JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN. 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 unit is seeking a Senior Education Specialist/ Senior Economist to work in the South Sudan country office to lead the education policy dialogue; lead or co-lead the preparation of education and multisectoral operations and ASAs; supervise the education portfolio; serve as focal point for the World Bank on all education related activities; and develop the IDA pipeline and contribute to/ lead other tasks in the Country Management Unit.

The candidate will provide rigorous technical assistance to clients in South Sudan and the World Bank country management teams to ensure that flexible, high quality, relevant, and cost-effective program interventions are designed and implemented based on country analytics and in line with international best practices in delivering education services in Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) environments. He-she will also lead the effective implementation of the proposed program to help make “things happen” and ensure that the various parts of the program proceed effectively.

The Senior Education Specialist/ Senior Economist will report to the Education GP Practice Manager and maintain a close relationship with the South Sudan Country Manager and AFCE3 Country Management Unit. The person will also work closely with the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict, & Violence (FCV) Group – so as to allow for both an effective engagement as part of the AFCE3 CMU team and a strategic alignment of the South Sudan program with the Bank-wide FCV Strategy currently under development. 

In particular, the Senior Education Specialist/ Senior Economist will:

• Provide strategic and operational leadership on the Education agenda in South Sudan;
• Lead the technical educational dialogue in the country and serve as focal point for the World Bank on all education related activities;
• Lead or co-lead the preparation and implementation of education and multisectoral operations and ASAs;
• Facilitate and coordinate the Knowledge, Analytics and Assessments activities
• Provide high level policy advice to counterparts in the areas of education systems reform; offer international comparative perspectives; and recommend policy options and implementation strategies;
• Coordinate, maintain and foster partnerships with government actors, bilateral donors, humanitarian and development partners engaged on the education sector;
• Identify opportunities for collaboration with other sectors to improve education service delivery, efficiency, outcomes, and impact of education interventions and to enhance human development impact where relevant.

The Senior Education Specialist/ Senior Economist may be assigned other tasks and deliverables as deemed appropriate by the Education GP Practice Manager.


Selection Criteria

In addition to the WBG-wide core competencies, the successful candidate will have the following qualifications, experience, skills and personal attributes:

• Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (Masters or PhD), and a minimum of 8 years of relevant operational experience.
• Strong knowledge and understanding of educational issues, political economy, institutional economics, and governance.
• Solid knowledge on and operational experience in the education field, particularly in FCV environments.  Demonstrated capacity to understand the political economy and local context of situations and develop context-appropriate solutions.
• Proven ability to think strategically, connect the dots easily across a range of topics to develop a broader coherent approach; ability to analyze and integrate information into conclusions and recommendations.
• Client orientation and results focus; pragmatism and effectiveness. Ability to develop and foster new relationships with both development and humanitarian actors.
• Sound operational judgment. In-depth understanding of Bank operations, including CMU-GP relationships, SCD / CPF processes, projects, and analytical work, dialogue with clients and other development partners. Prior experience as a TTL or co-TTL.
• Leadership and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to work in teams.  Experience in working across disciplinary boundaries and with multiple stakeholders. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Excellent written and oral communication. Able to synthesize, analyze, and effectively present material from a wide range of sources. Articulates ideas, verbally, and in writing, using the most effective means of delivery.
• Integrity, tact and discretion.
• Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments, experience in working in developing countries and FCV environments

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.

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