World Bank

Manager (Strategy, Risk and Country Operations)

World Bank

Job Description

Manager Strategy, Risk and Country Operations

Job #: req11228 Organization: World Bank Sector: Other Grade: GH Term Duration: 4 years 0 months Recruitment Type: International Recruitment Location: Washington, DC,United States Required Language(s): English Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 4/3/2021 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC Description

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank consists of two entities - the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). It is a Global Development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and Advisory Services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, and coordinates responses to regional and global challenges. Visit

Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) plays a pivotal role in achieving the WBG's mission. OPCS is at the center of the 'operations complex' and plays a critical role in supporting MDO, MDD and the President of the World Bank on all issues related to Operations. OPCS develops and oversees Bank operational policies and procedures for country engagement products, lending operations, advisory services and analytical support, financial management, procurement, environmental and social safeguards, as well as development outcome risk and results. It also serves as a link between the Operational units and the Board of Directors. OPCS provides advice and support to World Bank management and staff as well as hands-on assistance to help teams apply the Bank's policies, processes and risk management tools for our country clients.

Working in OPCS helps World Bank professionals gain broad exposure to strategic operations issues and develop a deeper understanding of the business of the Bank.

OPCS's 160 staff are organized in three departments:
  • Operations Policy (OPSPO) consolidates the corporate support and oversight of country strategies and all financing and advisory instruments and manages the Operations Help Desk;
  • Operations Standards, Procurement and Financial Management (OPSPF) is responsible for safeguards, procurement, financial management and anti-corruption policies and support to operations;
  • Operations Strategy, Risk, Results and Learning (OPSRL) focuses on overall Bank strategy; risk management in operations; support to the country directors' and management communities; corporate-level results reporting; strengthening results and effectiveness throughout the institution; and operational learning. The OPSRL department is comprised of three units, each led by a Manager: i) Results (OPSRS); ii) Strategy, Risk and Country Operations (OPSSR), where this job is located; and (iii) Learning (OPSLR).
OPSSR encompasses four interlinked agendas and work-programs: (i) it supports the OPSVP and the MDs to inform and coordinate strategic directions across Practice Groups and Regions, including through yearly Board updates and the strategic and budget planning exercise; (ii) it coordinates the monitoring, management and reporting of Development Outcome Risk in the pipeline and portfolio of Bank-supported operations, including through the enhancement of current risk assessment and management tools, pipeline and portfolio reviews to ensure that highest risk operations are identified and acted upon, and the Analysis of risk data to provide guidance to Task Teams, management and the Board on trends and drivers of portfolio risk. An effort to strengthen the tools, systems, data and processes is underway with a view to enhancing their effectiveness in the coming period; (iii) it hosts the Secretariat for the Small States Forum, maintaining a view across the WBG, Regions and Practice Groups, to help shape the agenda and identify opportunities to strengthen support for small state clients, including organizing regular opportunities for members to discuss development challenges and solutions; and (iv) it serves as Secretariat to the Country Operations Services (COS) Board, supporting the COS professional community, including through the organization of regular meetings of Country and Operations Directors with Senior Management, the development of learning engagements for COS-mapped staff, and coordinating with the Operations Council.

Roles and Responsibilities

OPSRL is seeking a dynamic and experienced manager to lead the department's Strategy, Risk and Country Operations Unit (OPSSR). The ideal candidate will have solid operational experience, a strong client orientation and drive for results; as well as demonstrated analytical skills, creativity and intellectual leadership. S/he will have the ability to define and manage several disparate agendas simultaneously and to motivate teams within an evolving context. This requires strong leadership skills and proven team-building and management skills. The candidate will also possess the capacity and political acumen to work effectively on sensitive issues with senior management, the Board, IEG and different units across the whole WBG.

The demands of this job require strategic and innovative thinking, multidisciplinary perspectives, and the ability to multitask and deliver in a fast-paced and demanding environment, while effectively collaborating within OPCS and across the WBG institutions (e.g., Regions, Practice Groups (PGs), other institutional, governance and administrative (IG&A) departments, IFC, MIGA and IEG).

The Manager will oversee a wide range of programs and provide leadership, including in the following areas: Business Management responsibilities

  • Risk
  • In the context of historically high levels of lending and an increasing share of the Bank's portfolio in low income and institutionally weaker contexts, lead the Bank's effort to strengthen the framework for assessing and managing risk to development outcomes in World Bank operations.
  • Engage with the Board, Senior Management and operational staff and managers to design approaches that respond to the demands of shareholders and support teams in maximizing development impact.
  • Lead the team in strengthening the data, tools and processes underpinning the assessment, monitoring and analysis of risk in operations.
  • Oversee the review of the Bank's operational pipeline with OPCS colleagues to identify risk in pipeline operations with a view to determining the appropriate level of review for project preparation.
  • Lead the team in improving staff and management's shared understanding and application of risk assessment across the operations complex through the development of learning materials and tailored outreach to staff and key stakeholders.
  • Foster synergistic partnerships with other departments in the VPU to further enhance the efficiency and utility of risk information contained in specialized risk monitoring systems with a view to developing greater capacity for risk analysis, including predictive capacity, at the portfolio and project level.
  • Engage with other development partners to share knowledge and best practice on the management of development outcome risk with a view to sharing the Bank's experience and further advancing the thinking in this area.
  • Small States
  • In the context of the unique challenges facing Small States due to their small population and economic base and their vulnerability to external shocks, develop the Bank's forward-looking agenda for these clients, together with the relevant regions and global practices.
  • Through the management of the Secretariat for the Small States Forum which meets twice a year at the Spring and Annual Meetings, facilitate the discussion of issues facing these countries with a view to raising their profile in the global development dialogue and shaping the Bank's response as appropriate.
  • Strategy
  • Strengthen alignment of the Bank's budget with corporate priorities and operational drivers in the context of the "W" strategy and business planning process.
  • Oversee the preparation of the annual discussion between the Board and WBG Senior Management on the Regional and Practice Group Updates, including providing guidance to teams on the content of presentations and liaising closely with IFC and MIGA as well as with the MDD and MDO offices.
  • Provide broad advice and management support to Senior Management on operational matters as they arise on strategic issues at the program or corporate level and contribute to complex corporate issues that involve OPCS.
  • Country and Operations Services
  • Strengthen the communication of institutional strategic priorities to, and support the professional development of, country and operations services staff through various channels, including tailored learning and knowledge sharing engagements with staff.
  • As Secretary to the Operations Board, support the effective functioning of the Board, including alignment with priorities of the Operations Council as well as OPCS and the Bank more generally; ensure that key strategic and corporate priorities are communicated to COS staff through the Board and that the Board takes up the human resources issues that fall under its mandate.
  • Facilitate wider outreach to the COS community through the bi-annual engagement of the WBG President and Sr. Management with Country Directors and Operational Directors, the Director's outreach to GE-GH non-managerial COS staff and the COS learning series.
  • Strengthen the connection to operational staff in GPs and Regions in all streams of the unit's work.
People/Talent Management responsibilities

  • Model exemplary WBG leadership values and managerial behaviors and reinforce these qualities in own team and staff.
  • Drive and inspire technical excellence within the team by creating an environment of learning and innovation that attracts and develops the best talent, reflective of the diversity of our clients.
  • Manage and build an effective team, including recruitment, performance evaluation and career development.
  • Allocate tasks and responsibilities to staff members, balancing fit of individual skills/experiences and workloads, with professional interest and development needs (e.g., mentoring).
Resource Management responsibilities

  • Manage the unit's budget and be accountable for the development and maintenance of effective administrative and fiduciary controls for transactions and systems in the unit.
Partnership and Relationship Management responsibilities (Internal and External)

  • Manage internal relationships and lead collaboration across the WBG institutions (with other OPCS departments, Regions/PGs, other IG&A units, IFC, MIGA and IEG).
  • Foster an environment of openness that encourages innovation and rewards knowledge sharing and dissemination.
  • Develop and maintain constructive partnerships with other development institutions (multilateral and bilateral) and Civil Society Organizations, as relevant.
Selection Criteria

  • PhD or master's degree in relevant field/discipline (typically the successful candidate will have about 12 to 15 years of experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility). Previous managerial experience is desirable.
  • Solid experience in World Bank operations in achieving results on the ground in more than one world Region or one Region and a corporate assignment, with the aim of strengthening country-led development processes.
  • Sound understanding of the WBG strategic context, including the role of the Bank in the international aid architecture, thorough knowledge of Bank policies and procedures, and broad and deep understanding of the full range of the Bank's lending and non-lending instruments and CPF products.
  • Strong analytical and integrative skills to tackle multidisciplinary issues and a proven ability to effectively lead programs with a strategic vision and strong operational focus.
  • Demonstrated in-depth experience working across practice and disciplinary boundaries, and with multiple stakeholders, in building collaborative alliances for results.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking skills and ability to engage in a substantive dialogue on complex issues and corporate priorities. Must have experience in innovating, translating ideas into action plans and delivering results.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, diplomatic and partnership skills required for building and maintaining collaborative relationships across organizational boundaries, including experience in working across departments/VPUs and WBG institutions.
  • Ability to lead corporate level dialogue on a broad range of issues related to development outcome risk, small states development challenges, and other strategic issues. Strong oral and written communication skills to present ideas clearly, concisely and persuasively, and communicate and defend difficult issues and positions to senior Bank management, shareholders and other external partners.
  • Superior level of resourcefulness, ability to work with considerable autonomy as well as willingness to work under pressure and through the whole spectrum of activities from the strategic level to the resolution of specific technical-level issues.
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