Job #: req25658
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Environment
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Lilongwe,Malawi
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish, or Portuguese
Closing Date: 1/18/2024 (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 www.worldbank.org.

Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE) Region

Home to about 700 million of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. Children under 18 make up almost half of the total population. The subregion boasts of some of the world’s richest human and natural resources and, apart from South Africa, the countries are predominantly raw material exporters.

The subregion harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continues to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade. But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future.

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1,200 staff, mostly based in 26 country offices, has been helping countries realize their considerable development potential by focusing on the following priorities:

• Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.
• Building up the Digital Economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
• Making Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support helps governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.
• Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities.
• Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation:  In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure.
• Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.
• Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE) Region: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/eastern-and-southern-africa

The Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food; Climate Change; Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy; Environmental and Social Risk Management;  Urban & Disaster Risk Management; Resilience & Land; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; and Water.

Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice

The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction. For more information:  https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/environment

Unit and Country Context

The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Unit for Africa East and Southern Region (one of four Environment units in Africa) has about 40 staff.  Half of these staff work on environmental safeguards/environmental risk management.  The other 50 percent work primarily on lending and knowledge products in client countries.  More than 50 percent are based in the field. The balance is based in Washington DC and travel to the region frequently.  The skills of these staff include, economics, pollution management, forestry, fisheries management, landscapes management, watershed management, and natural areas protection.

The position

This position will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi and will focus on  environmental risk management, and a small amount of environmental project management, analytical and policy work.  Malawi has a very large infrastructure shortfall.  As a result, the Bank has been investing heavily in infrastructure in the country, including some significant dams, making this an interesting assignment for candidates with a strong hydro/environment compliance background. This position would focus on implementing the Bank’s environmental risk management policies (including the Safeguard Policies and the new Environmental and Social Framework, or ESF).  All World Bank-supported investment projects must meet ambitious environmental management standards. The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice is responsible for providing technical support and oversight to all investment projects to meet these obligations.  In addition, the World Bank has an increasing portfolio of environment-related loans. While the primary responsibility of this position is on environmental risk management (at least 95 percent), there is an expectation that the position may include management and technical support of World Bank-financed projects in the area of environment.

The Senior Environmental Engineer will have the following key responsibilities: Environmental Risk Management

  • Ensure the effective integration of environmental due diligence as defined by the World Bank Group (WBG) Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESF), World Bank Operational Policies on safeguards (for older projects that predate the ESF) as well as international good practice documents (e.g. Equator Principles) into the design, appraisal and implementation of WBG-supported projects.
  • Provide experienced advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and WBG management with regard to the preparation of environmental impact assessments, including regional, strategic and cumulative assessments; environmental management frameworks and plans, including plan for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; public consultation plans; and specific plans related to natural habitats conservation, natural resource management, pest management, forest management, and dam safety and international waterways management. Such advice will be based on a detailed analysis of baseline conditions, project scope and impacts, requirements from national legal and institutional frameworks and will be in compliance with the WBG’s operational policies.
  • Provide experienced mentorship to clients in the preparation of project cycle documentation including terms of reference (ToR) for environmental safeguard instruments, such as environmental and social assessments (incl. strategic, regional and cumulative); environmental and social management frameworks and plans, and Pest Management Plans; and supervising their implementation. Review contract specifications related to environmental safeguards and risks management, particularly for large dams and water projects. Provide technical training for domestic EA practitioners on the ESF and requirements.
  • Provide environmental input in project documents in accordance with the  ESF and Bank operational policies including Project Concept Note (PCN), Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet (ISDS), Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and Decision/Negotiations Packages, and assist with handling timely and accurate disclosure procedures and public consultation requirements for all required environmental assessment and management instruments.
  • Work closely with the Regional Safeguards Coordinators in the Africa region who are responsible for assigning safeguards tasks and ensuring the quality of the safeguards work and environmental risk management in the Region.

Project Operations and Analytical Work

  • Participate in and/or lead natural resource or environmental management projects and the policy dialog with the government and other stakeholders on environment or natural resources. This includes coordination with other financiers, review of sector policies, strategies, and legislation. A particular focus will be to build a portfolio of environment projects, which could include waste management, flood management, forestry and land restoration, and protected areas management.
  • Participate as team member or team leader in the development and/or supervision of implementation of environment or natural resources activities or components in projects, including participation in identification missions; seeking and developing opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in investment project operations; maintaining dialog with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with on environmental policies; and contributing to mission outputs such as back to office reports (BTORs) and Aide Memoires.
  • Facilitate and maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations in line with the Bank’s Disclosure Policy and need to harmonize with clients and other international financial institutions in the region. In particular, active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of pollution management will be an important component of this position.
  • Actively seek to learn World Bank Group procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant  environmental risk management processes.
  • Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.

Selection Criteria

General requirements:
• Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) degree in environmental engineering, civil engineering or natural sciences is required.
• A minimum of 8 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the engineering or environmental management sector is required.
• Fluency in English is required (writing, speaking, listening and reading).
• Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of environmental compliance in investment projects involving large scale civil works, extractive or industrial activities is required.
• Technical experience in environmental assessment and compliance related to large scale dams  would be highly beneficial.
• Confirmed collaboration and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.
• A strong sense of partnership and ability to work independently with limited supervision.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
• Experience working in different developing countries.
• Willingness to travel extensively in Malawi, the Africa region and possibly globally is vital, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

• A second language (French, Spanish, or Portuguese) would be highly beneficial to enable work in other non-Anglophone countries.
• Experience working in developing countries, understanding the institutional and political context and exposure to the national environmental policy challenges would be an advantage.
• Experience in the preparation of environmental safeguard/risk management documents of the lending projects of the WBG or other international organizations is beneficial but not required.
• Demonstrated project management / operational skills, including occupational health and safety management would be an advantage.
• Experience working with contractors that have weak implementation capacity in the area of environmental risk management would be an advantage.
• Competencies Level GG, Senior Environmental Engineer:

Integrative skills:

• Demonstrates ability to think and work across WBG, practices and sectors.

• Integrates divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent project/program/ strategy

• Considers corporate commitments (e.g., MFD, climate, gender) in project approach

Policy Dialogue skills:

• Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills

• Builds and sustains key stakeholder relationships with government and other key stakeholders • Guides clients and/or development partners in identifying key operational issues and optional solutions with a demonstrated ability to bring together different perspectives • Leads task teams, participates in formal negotiations, and assists government in establishing priorities

Knowledge and Experience in Development arena:

• Demonstrates sound knowledge of World Bank Group’s goals and the complementarities among different World Bank Group member institutions

• Demonstrates deep understanding of policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process

• Fully understands Bank’s development initiatives and policies and practices related to l ending and non-lending operations

• Guides research efforts and translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies and for discussions with clients and development partners

• Anticipates client needs and requests and guides the development/ offering of relevant tools to clients.

Communication and Influencing Skills:

• Demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers). Has ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, challenges and positions to colleagues and management.

Specialized Knowledge & Technical Skills: 

Environment & Natural Resources Management Technical Skills & Knowledge (Specialist / Engineer)

• Demonstrates solid understanding of environmental/NRM/climate change policies, technologies or strategies, and institutions needed to support development and for the success of project and analytic work.

• Demonstrates solid understanding of the roles of each WBG institution and its relationship to environment/NRM/climate change.

• Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

• Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

• Provides guidance and coaching to others on technical and operational matters.

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: https://bit.ly/2kbIA7O.

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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