World Bank

Senior Agriculture Economist/Specialist

World Bank

Job Description


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

The Agriculture GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices. The Agriculture GP is part of the Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group which is led by two Regional Directors in the Africa region. The Agriculture GP Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Directors mentioned above and ten Agriculture Practice Managers, who manage the roughly 250 staff working on Agriculture in all six Regions and on global programs. About a third of the staff are located in Country Offices. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.

The Africa Region currently has four Agriculture GP Units. The SAFA2 Unit covers Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, and consists of 23 staff, half of whom are based in the Country Offices. The Unit has a portfolio amounting to about US$2.1 billion (IBRD/IDA), covering three Country Management Units (CMU) in the Africa Region. The WBG agriculture program in the Mozambique CMU comprising Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles with total commitments of around $400 million and an additional $500 million in the pipeline, focuses on increasing Agricultural Productivity and climate resilience, promoting nutrition smart agriculture, linking farmers to the markets, supporting the emergence of value chains, and facilitating the engagement with the private sector.

Country context:

While Madagascar’s growth is at its highest level in ten years and has been progressively gaining momentum, growth trends have not been pro-poor and have not targeted regions of extreme poverty. It is estimated that close to 78 percent of the population of 25 million lives below the international poverty line of $1.90/day. In the last decade, GDP growth has accelerated from 2.3 percent in 2013 to an estimated 5.2 percent in 2018, driven by the trade and technology sectors. However, the benefits of this growth have not trickled down to rural areas where almost 80% of the population lives, and poverty rates are nearly twice as high as in urban areas. Extreme poverty and higher levels of inequality are especially pronounced in the south of the country. Female-headed households and families with more children are associated with higher poverty levels. The Government of Madagascar’s vision for the agriculture sector has given top priority to the achievement of food security, by investing in rice production. In the Madagascar Emergence Plan (2019) the Government vision for the agricultural sector has placed food security as an utmost priority to be achieved mainly through reaching self-sufficiency in rice production. Agriculture has a large economic footprint in Madagascar and enhanced sector performance is central to poverty reduction. The agriculture sector accounts for 70 percent of total employment and four-fifths of the population employed in the sector is poor. Contributing nearly 20 percent of total exports and 25 percent of GDP, the sector punches well below its employment weight. However, research shows that agricultural growth is associated with more than 3 times poverty reduction generated by similar increases in growth outside agriculture.

Duties & Accountabilities:

The primary responsibility of the Senior Agriculture Specialist/Economist will be to provide technical and strategic leadership for the development and implementation of the Agriculture GP’s work program in Madagascar and other countries in the Mozambique Country Management Unit. The Ag GP’s program in Madagascar works closely with the Water, Land, Social, Environment teams in different operations (led by each GP) and it is expected that the candidate is familiar with providing leadership to the Ag team in such multi-sectoral teams.

The Senior Agriculture Specialist/Economist will report to the Practice Manager in charge of SAFA2, who is based at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, and assist her 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 Specialist/Economist will work under the overall guidance of the Country Manager based in Antananarivo and the Director" id="link" class="link">Country Director, Operations Manager and Sector Leader, who are based in Maputo, Mozambique.

In particular, the Senior Agriculture Specialist/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;
• Serve as an Advisor to colleagues who are themselves Task Team Leaders of demanding operations, providing them with advice and support;
• Work with the Sector Leader and staff of the Agriculture GP and other GPs to identify opportunities for addressing agricultural issues in Madagascar and other countries in the CMU as part of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework, country policy dialogue, sector investment operations, budget support operations, and other multi-sectoral projects;
• Identify innovative opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agricultural sector, including bringing in experience from other countries within Africa and other regions;
• Remain current with relevant major pieces of analytical work in the profession. Lead or participate in strategic analytical work in Mozambique and/or on a sub-regional level, and work with teams engaged in analytical work relevant to the Agriculture GP’s work program Madagascar;
• Represent the World Bank in fora involving the community of development partners. Provide support, either explicit or implicit, to the work of the development partners in the sector;
• As necessary, represent the World Bank and the Agriculture GP’s management at events with sectoral focus that take place in the field;
• Develop strong client relations and partnership, including with the International Finance Corporation, on operational matters and policy dialogue;
• • 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 in Madagascar;
• 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;
• Mentor and coach other Agriculture GP staff in the country office and in the CMU.

Selection Criteria

• Masters, MBA or PhD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or in a relevant discipline;
• At least ten years of operational experience and specific experience with agricultural investment operations, irrigation operations, landscape management approaches;
• Strong technical and analytical skills in the range of issue of relevance to agriculture including private sector development, public expenditure, policy advice, and policy dialogue;
• Recognized substantive leadership in one or more of the strategic/ technical areas noted above;
• Demonstrated experience with Bank operations;
• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and team skills with ability to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions also in a multi-disciplinary context;
• High level of energy, ability to work under pressure, and willingness to travel;
• Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and French, including the ability to present complex issues to World Bank management and senior Government representatives, as well as to non-specialist audiences.

Click here for the five WBG Core Competencies for all staff:

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.

Apply Now