World Bank

Senior Agricultural Economist

World Bank

Job Description


Agriculture is an essential pathway to meeting the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals—eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Food production must increase by at least 35 percent to meet the needs of the rising global population. Thus, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without more and better investment in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. Meeting today’s challenges on the food and agriculture agenda will require major strides in agricultural innovation and climate smart agriculture, efficiency in food production and distribution systems, promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production practices, strengthening agricultural policy and institutions, supporting agribusiness value chains, and joint private- and public- sector action. The Agriculture and Food Global Practice (AGF GP) of the WBG, working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), supports a Global Vision for Food and Agriculture, with agriculture able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains in the food system are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets.

The AGF GP of the WBG works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that agriculture’s outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the AGF GP and agriculture’s outcomes often directly impact the outcomes other GP’s seek to achieve, such as on environment, jobs and health. Achieving sustainable results also requires active engagement and cooperation with other development agencies and stakeholders. Accordingly, a capacity to work across AGF GP, other GPs and institutional boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-sectoral and coordinated development solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving food system outcomes.

SSAA1 is one of two AGF GP Units covering Food and Agriculture in South Asia. The 5 countries and 3 Country Management Units (CMUs) that comprise the SSAA1 unit include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. SSAA1 is a highly decentralized unit, with a majority presence of staff in Country Offices (CO)s across the five countries and a small core staff team in HQ in Washington DC. In Nepal, WBG’s support to food and agriculture sectors in Nepal include support to livestock development, climate smart agriculture, food security and ‘market-pull’ approaches to connecting smallholders and rural entrepreneurs to markets. In addition, the AGF team working on Nepal is part of the larger Sustainable Development team, working closely together on issues like irrigation and Climate Change. The entire program is couched in the context of supporting the Government of Nepal (GoN) federalism agenda and is closely aligned to the WBG’s strategy for Nepal, led by the Country Management Unit (CMU) for Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Duties & Accountabilities:

The World Bank Group/SSAA1 is looking for a dynamic GG level agricultural/development economist to join the AGF team based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The primary responsibility of the Senior Agriculture Economist will be to lead the flagship operation(s) and analytical work on, in particular, market linkages and rural entrepreneurship and climate smart agriculture in the context of federalism, as well providing support to other country operations covered by SSAA1, as needed. They will join a strong local AGF team in Country Office on policy dialogue for the sector and for the delivery of the portfolio. S/he is expected to participate actively in strategic impact positioning of the AGF program within SD support to the region, with other GPs and with the CMU. S/he will be primary focal point for the IFC for Nepal and Bhutan programs and actively develop this WBG partnership.

The Senior Agriculture Economist will report to the Practice Manager (PM), who will also be based in Kathmandu. She/he will assist the PM in the delivery of the work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the government and private sector, and partnerships across the countries in the Country Management Unit.

In addition, the Senior Agriculture Economist will work day to day with the CMU team and the relevant Sector Leaders.In particular, the Senior Agriculture Economist will:
• Lead activities as Task Team Leader or as core team member, both in agriculture and multi-sectoral operations, assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;
• Lead strategic analytical work in the country and/or on a sub-regional level, and work with teams engaged in analytical work relevant to the AGF GP’s work program;
• Serve as an Advisor to colleagues who are themselves Task Team Leaders of demanding operations, providing them with advice and support;
• Work with the relevant Sector Leaders and partners within SD and beyond, to identify opportunities for addressing food system issues as part of the World Bank’s Country analytics and strategy processes, country policy dialogue, sector deep dives, sector investment operations, budget support operations, and other multi-sectoral projects;
• Further, and specifically, s/he will be primary focal point for the IFC for Nepal and Bhutan programs and actively develop this WBG partnership for operational and policy dialogue synergy;
• Promote a strategic approach to support sustainable, resilient and inclusive agricultural growth and effectively communicate that to the country team;
• Identify and innovative opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agricultural sector, including bringing in experience from other countries;
• Provide support, either explicit or implicit, to the work of the development partners in the sector;
• Work with other Global Practices in representing the country specific issues in regional and corporate strategies;
• With the rest of CO AGF colleagues, initiate and maintain a high level and quality of engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector and research/academic community on strategic and policy issues concerning agriculture and food security;
• Support the delivery of the Agriculture GP’s work program in other countries in the CMU, assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;

Selection Criteria

• Minimum of a Master’s degree in Economics, Agricultural Economics, or Development Economics or other related field;
• At least eight years of recent experience relevant to international Agricultural Development, preferably in the field, related to agriculture policy Analysis.
• Ability to present complex issues to World Bank management and senior Government representatives in country, as well as to non-specialist audiences.
• Strong technical skills on a range of issues of relevance to the program including agricultural policy, Climate Smart Agriculture, , environmental sustainability, and agribusiness and market-based approaches to poverty.
• A proven track record of contributing to knowledge generation and dissemination in the areas of relevance to agriculture and food;
• Familiarity with international Agricultural Research and other relevant organizations such as the FAO, IFPRI, CGIAR, and the OECD;
• Working knowledge of various modern methods of Data Analysis and experience in applying such methods to various datasets and/our using such analytical output;
• Proven sense of initiative, result orientation, teamwork and leadership qualities, and ability to work effectively across sector.

Technical Competencies:
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with high level representatives of the government and non-government partners.
• Integrative Skills - Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; ability to conceptualize scaling up micro and project level outcomes to macro and global transformative outcomes.
• Agriculture Policy, Strategy and Institutions - Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Project Design for Impact and Sustainability - Contributes to the design of projects and programs based on an understanding of the country and sector context.
• Multi-sector Dialogue - Able to conduct a dialogue with a range of clients including on complex issues related to climate change and its impacts, including agriculture, environment, finance, and private sector and markets, based on a solid understanding of interactions with agriculture.
• Client Orientation - Maintains Client Relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
• Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• Knowledge, Learning, and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, 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.
• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

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