Job # 112118
Job Title Operations Officer ( Country Porfolio)
Job Family Operational Services
Location Freetown, Sierra Leone
Appointment Local Hire
Language Requirements English [Essential]
Background / General description
The World Bank Freetown Country Office (AFMSL) is currently seeking an Operations Officer based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This is a three-year renewable term appointment. The Operations Officer will support the Country Manager in managing the country portfolio, and will work in close collaboration with the Anchor Unit (AFCW1) staff based in Washington DC, and members of the Sierra Leone Country Team. Seven years out of brutal conflict, Sierra Leone is now a peaceful and stable country, and has already had two full-fledged, peaceful and credible elections for President, Parliament and Local Councils, including the 2007 elections where political power passed from government to the opposition in a peaceful and orderly fashion. Sierra Leone’s post-conflict economic performance has been robust. Sierra Leone’s strong recovery, which began in 2000, has continued for a number of years, and there are significant opportunities for growth and development lie ahead. Much of this growth was concentrated in the informal agricultural, fishing, mining, and services sectors that make up the bulk of the economy. Formal economic activity is confined primarily to large scale mining, construction, retail services, tourism, and government employment. Despite notable progress, with fall in poverty, Sierra Leone’s recovery remains fragile and the country continues to rank amongst the least advantaged countries against various measures. For example, Sierra Leone continues to rank low in the UNDP Human Development Index rankings. Much remains to be done to improve governance and accountability, tackle high levels of unemployment, the high number of infant, child and maternal deaths, and a very high youth dependency ratio. The World Bank Joint Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) prepared jointly with ADB and IFC was approved in early 2010, and supports Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Change (2nd PRSP). The CAS supports two broad pillars: human development and promoting inclusive growth.
The World Bank works closely with other development partners in supporting GoSL deliver on its priorities. Its assistance is in the form of financial support and technical assistance. The Bank’s Sierra Leone country team consists of staff based in Freetown, other parts of West Africa and Washington DC, who work collectively to deliver on the CAS objectives. The position of Operations Officer is a new position in the team in order to strengthen the focus on quality, delivery and results in the country program. Note: 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 renewable term appointment.
Duties and Accountabilities
There are three principal tasks for the Operations Officer:
(i) Strengthen Portfolio Coordination / Monitoring;
(ii) Contribute to Quality Assurance of Bank portfolio; and
(iii) Strengthen Donor Relations and Harmonization. The job holder is expected to work closely with other members of the team. His / her specific responsibilities will be to: Strengthen Portfolio Coordination / Monitoring Manage effective monitoring systems to follow-up on programs and activities across sectors, in close liaison with Task Team Leaders; Provide the Country Manager on a regular (monthly) basis, with a synthesis assessment of portfolio status and recommendations on necessary follow up actions; Liaise with the Country Team and Project Teams to ensure adequate follow-up on management decisions as regards the portfolio; Prepare inputs and contributions for reporting on progress with CAS implementation, in particular on sections dealing with portfolio performance and management of Bank Group operations. Contribute to Quality Assurance of Bank portfolio Provide leadership in identifying issues which may affect portfolio quality and possible remedies. Follow-up on recommendations from the recent Country Portfolio Performance Review. Monitor, and seek the views of relevant parts of the Bank on the conduct of due process on all Bank operational activities; Follow up with the Country Team and Project Teams to ensure adequate action plans are developed and implemented to improve portfolio quality (for both generic and project-specific issues); Meet with Task Teams/TTLs both at start and at end of missions, and provide guidance and follow up as appropriate; and Review, as may be necessary, project documents, back-to-office reports, statements of mission objectives, etc., with a view to strengthening portfolio quality. Strengthen Donor Relations and Harmonization Support the Country Manager with donor coordination and harmonization work, and in helping the World Bank deliver on broader commitments in this area; Maintain a steady flow of information, at technical level, with donors, NGOs, and co-financiers on operational-related matters; Support the Task Team Leaders with donor coordination issues.
Candidates must meet the following selection criteria:
• A minimum of a Masters Degree in a relevant field/discipline (such as economics, finance, business administration, engineering, or equivalent) and 5 years of relevant professional and operational support experience.
• Solid experience in the field of development – in any relevant sector, but must demonstrate ability to work across sectors. Must demonstrate program and process management skills and also analytical skills to examine portfolio performance issues.
• Ability to think strategically and be innovative in both substance and process in the design and implementation of country strategies and work programs; ability to acquire and apply experience to strategic and practical problems; confidence to innovate intelligently without fear of failure.
• A high degree of integrity and commitment to achieving results through teamwork; a strong willingness and a proven ability to work cross-sectorally and in partnership with government, donors, and CSOs; an ability to earn the trust of peers; superior organizational and logistical skills, with ability to look ahead, address and prioritize a wide range of issues and activities for timely completion; a proven ability to take initiative and work independently, and to work in a dynamic fast-paced work environment; proven ability to work effectively in complex, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams; superior inter-personal skills, client-orientation, diplomatic skills, and mature judgment as well as sensitivity to social and cultural issues.
• A proven ability to write brief, clear and analytical reports and concise discussion notes; strong written and oral communication skills in English.
• Previous experience in the public sector, including a good understanding of Bank operational policies, practices and procedures, together with a working knowledge of Sierra Leone’s political economy and development issues, would be an advantage.
AJS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS AND AJS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON BANK ACCOUNTS.
SOME EMPLOYERS MAY ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF YOUR APPLICATION.