Senior Education Specialist/Economist



Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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

Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region
We need the best and brightest talent focused on our region in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent.  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.

The sub region 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.

Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID!

Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region: For more information, visit

The Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG)

 Human development is at the core of the World Bank’s strategy to improve people’s lives and support sustainable development. The Human Development Practice Group spans three parties: education; health, nutrition and population; and social protection and jobs.

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.

HAEE2 Unit

The Education Sector Unit for Eastern and Southern Africa (HAEE2) 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.

The selected candidate will report to the Practice Manager for HAEE2 and is expected to work in close collaboration with the teams and CMUs to which s/he will be assigned to as well as other members of the education and HD team, colleagues in other GPs.

Duties and Accountabilities

The incumbent will lead and contribute to policy dialogue, projects, programs, analytical and advisory services. Knowledge and experience in higher education, edtech, and/or skills development is highly desirable. The incumbent will work in a number of countries and across different tasks.

The main responsibilities include:

Operations: Lead and contribute to the design, preparation, implementation, and evaluation of lending operations, both in education and multi-sectoral, tapping into the Bank’s full-range of lending instruments; mobilize global experience and evidence and tailoring them to the local context. Provide operational support and advise clients on technical and operational aspects of project implementation for ongoing projects. Working with staff from other global practices on HD/education-related issues (e.g., development policy operations (DPOs) with HD triggers, analytical work related to governance, management and financing of education sector, etc.)

Analytical Work and Non-Lending Services. Lead and contribute to the design, preparation, and dissemination of analytical products (e.g., sector assessments, policy notes, impact evaluations, public expenditure reviews, country systems diagnostics, case studies, etc.) and providing input on a range of issues (e.g., education finance, management and governance, teacher policies, skills development, etc.) that respond to critical policy questions identified by the client and have an impact on policy and operational design. Work on cross-sectoral teams and lead/design knowledge sharing products through workshops, conferences, study tours.

Policy Dialogue. Lead and/or contribute to policy discussions with clients and development partners.

Business Development. Promote business development with internal and external clients focusing on priority areas in education.

In performing these roles, the selected candidate will interact with counterparts in government, a variety of international and other partner organizations, and with Bank colleagues within the Education GP, the CMU, as well as those in other GPs. She/he will be expected to work in close collaboration with the other members of the education team and colleagues in other GPs.


Selection Criteria


The education GP is seeking an experienced and highly motivated candidate to work on a large and growing portfolio in the set of countries in East Africa covered under the unit. The ideal candidate will combine excellent team work and client dialogue skills, excellent technical skills, 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; and operational skills to provide effective implementation support for the Bank’s growing portfolio.

The candidate should have

• Master’s Degree in Education (economics of education, evaluation, etc.) or in another related human development area (economics/econometrics, statistics);

• Minimum of 8 years of experience in education sector analysis, development of education strategies, or evaluation of education systems.

• Familiarity with World Bank operations and instruments, including preparation and implementation support for projects, is highly desirable.

• Knowledge of Bank operational policies and systems.

• Strong client orientation and proven ability to work with government agencies, ability to identify problems, provide technical support, build consensus and arrive at solutions, as well as the ability to coordinate and work across different government departments;

• Strong technical skills;

• Experience working in developing countries 

• Experience preparing analytical work.

• Creativity, resourcefulness, strong interpersonal skills;

• Ability to take the initiative, work with limited supervision, and consistently meet deadlines;

• Excellent written and oral communication in English; 

• Strong organizational skills;

• Ability to take direction, active listening skills, project management and tactfulness.
WBG Competencies

In addition to the above, the successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

Education knowledge and experience: Possesses technical skills, including an understanding of key core education issues with regard to quality, relevance, and equity at all levels. Has familiarity with analytical resources, data sets, indicators, tools for data analysis, and the use of evidence for education policy.

General economic knowledge and analytical skills: Possesses a demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and analytical and produce user-friendly written outputs.

Policy Dialogue Skills: Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills; applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners; anticipates needs and requests in the field and develops/offers relevant tools to clients.
Knowledge and experience in development arena: Understands policy making processes; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients; understanding of political economy issues as well as a good grasp of governance issues in education.
Integrative skills: Demonstrates strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing an integrated point of view around development challenges.

Analytical Services and Advisory (ASA) policy, strategic and technical analysis for country/sector Issues:  Provides inputs to key ASA documents by analyzing relevant issues, soliciting input from others, and using data and facts to support conclusions and/or position.
Written and verbal communication:  Delivers information effectively.

Client orientation:  Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.

Drive for results: Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization skills to do so.

Teamwork (collaboration) and inclusion:  Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team’s work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.

Knowledge, learning, and communication:  Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner.

Business judgment and analytical decision making:  Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others’ work

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit: 

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.


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