Note: A potential candidate has been identified and intends to apply for this position. However, this remains a competitive process and interested candidates are encouraged to apply.
The mission of the Africa Region is to reduce poverty by helping countries to formulate policies and implement programs that support sustainable economic and social development. Within the region’s matrix structure a core Disaster Risk Management (DRM) team works under direct supervision of the Sector Manager (SM) of the Africa Water Resources Management Unit (AFTWR) as part of the Sustainable Development Department (AFTSN) which is responsible for seven business lines:
- Water Resource Management,
- Post Conflict and Social Development,
- Environment and Natural Resource Management (NRM),
- Urban & Water,
- Agriculture & Rural Development,
The Africa Water Resources Management Unit (AFTWR) is engaged in management and development of water resources at the regional and country levels in key African river and lake basins and countries. The Unit works closely with the Country and Sector Management Units that are engaged in about $ 1B worth of investments related to water resources management in the basin countries as well as significant TA (e.g., for the development of river basin organizations and national institutions) and analytical work (e.g., Country Water Resources Assistance Strategies). The Unit consists of professionals in water resources management and related fields at HQ and in the country offices and works with a broader Bankwide team of technical specialists. Water and DRM Water is central to realizing the development and economic growth potential of Africa. Yet, despite a reasonable natural endowment of water, insufficient water security has been a critical element in hindering progress of the Continent. One critical challenge is high climatic variability, which results in extremes of drought and flood and in high degrees of vulnerability, particularly amongst the poor. In addition, the continent has a deficit of water related infrastructure to mitigate the effects of variability, and existing infrastructure stock is also continually deteriorating. Institutional capacities are also severely stretched. Increased water demand and growing conflicts between water uses further exacerbate the situation. Countries need to strengthen their capacities for effective and sustainable water resources management by addressing these institutional and infrastructural gaps. In addition, many of Africa’s major river basins – more than 60 -- are shared between two or more countries, adding layers of complexity in the management of water resources. Cooperation on international waters can provide a vital component for broad based economic development and regional security The main objective is of the DRM Team, as part of AFTWR is to address the underlying causes of vulnerability to natural disasters by mainstreaming DRM into sustainable development and enable the Africa region to respond timely to disaster situations. The business model consists of three pillars:
- regional cooperation,
- in-country DRM mainstreaming,
- disaster response
Regional Cooperation on Disaster Risk Management strengthens regional organizations’ capacities to reduce risks, prepare for and respond to effects of natural disasters by equipping them with knowledge through experience sharing in disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation; developing a shared understanding and common vision for managing disaster risks; catalyze cost-effective disaster risk reduction and risk transfer initiatives at regional level and build capacities in preparedness and response. The approach builds on the World Bank Strategy for Africa ’s three strategic pillars:
Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and climate adaptation (CCA) has as objective to better evaluate and understand disaster risks for inclusion of appropriate measures in various development strategies and investment operations. To ensure that the underlying risks and vulnerabilities of African countries are well reflected and policy actions to mitigate those risks are considered, the Africa DRM team is engaged in client dialogue and provides technical advice on the integration of DRR and CCA while Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs) and Country Assistance Strategies (CASs) are formulated. To translate the policies in to practice, the AFR DRM Team assists task teams in the design and supervision of DRM projects as integral part of larger investment projects and programs.
Building on the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) and the Africa Union (AU) regional strategy, capacities of African countries are strengthened to reduce disaster risk through a comprehensive programmatic approach. For this purpose nine priority countries were identified: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, and Togo. Rapid Response: in time of disaster the DRM team serves as focal point to facilitate the World Bank response. This can consist of post-disaster emergency missions, including the organization of damage assessments and support to local authorities in the mobilization of recovery resources and design of recovery as well as just-in-time advisory support in the form of knowledge notes on the application of lessons learned to guide strategy development and future investments.
Duties and Accountabilities
The Africa Water Resources Management Unit (AFTWR) is engaged in management and development of water resources at the regional and country levels in key African river and lake basins and countries. The Unit works closely with the Country and Sector Management Units that are engaged in about $ 1B worth of investments related to water resources management in the basin countries as well as in significant TA (e.g., for the development of river basin organizations and national institutions) and analytical work (e.g., Country water Resources Assistance Strategies, DRM work, etc.). The Unit consists of professionals in water resources management, DRM and related fields at HQ and in the country offices and works with a broader virtual Bank wide team of technical specialists.
AFTWR is now seeking a dynamic and proactive Program Assistant based in Washington, D.C. to work with Disaster Risk Reduction team in AFTWR in leading sector operations and in supporting country and sector units. The Program Assistant reports to the Regional Coordinator DRM under the general management of the SM AFTWR should provide high-quality office support including services to internal and external clients.
- Operational support in project cycle, preparation, AIS creation, memos to procurement, memos to loan dept, PCN reviews meetings, etc.
- Assisting in coordinating DRM team both in HQ and country office
- Managing and processing the assigned operational team’s project-related documents ensuring adherence to regional and Bank guidelines, clearance requirements, processing procedures, as well as quality enhancements for all documents to be cleared/approved by the Sector Manager/Sector Director/Country Director.
- Independently preparing a variety of written outputs (letters, faxes, memos, and minutes of meetings as required) and maintaining an effective up-to-date filing system of all relevant data, documents and ensuring the smooth flow of information, as well as performing basic research related to the team’s project reports.
- Prepare Trust Fund extension including adhering clearances from various units.
- Assist in event coordination as needed (unit retreats, BBL, etc.)
- catering, bus transportation, headcount of participants, logistics, print shop, GSD, IT), holiday and other events (farewell/welcome functions).
- Facilitating communications between Washington and Country Office’s team members and organize meetings and conferences including handling logistical planning of video/teleconferences to ensure the smooth running of meetings (i.e. staff meetings, review meetings, etc.).
- Coordinate travel arrangements with AMEX (flights, hotels), preparation and clearance of travel-related activities and maintaining contact information.
- Create trip requests and submit reimbursement of expenses for consultant travel.
- Collaborating with budget assistants/team members and monitoring the team’s task budgets; preparing reports on task budgeting and keeping task team apprised of task budget including trust funds.
- Preparing, maintaining and updating staff lists, distribution lists, emergency contact lists, event calendar, other Unit’s administrative documents.
- Assist proactively in preparation of consultant requests (e-Consultant) and procurement process.
- Work collegially as a team member to support the goals of the unit, assisting other colleagues during peak periods and working with other ACS staff in the unit to contribute to overall operational and administrative support work and providing guidance and back-up support in their absence, including AWS.
- Other ad hoc administrative function, i.e. TRS and LARS coordinator, etc.
- Track record as an excellent team-player with a positive attitude with excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to prioritize work and handle a variety of con current activities in a timely manner with little supervision and often under pressure working in a team-oriented and multicultural environment
- High degree of initiative, judgment, resourcefulness and flexibility as well as attention to detail.
- Strong communications skills, ability to interact tactfully and diplomatically with staff at all levels in the Bank and with persons outside the Institution
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English including ability to draft a variety of correspondence and edit reports.
- Bachelor’s degree with 5 plus years of experience preferred.
- Strong knowledge of SAP system.
- Knowledge of the WBG policies and procedures on the Selection and Use of eConsultants2 (AMS 15.01A and AMS 15.01B).
- High degree of flexibility and ability to work independently under pressure, willingness to work overtime under short notice.
- Familiarity with the World Bank Group operations and correspondence protocol.
- Superior knowledge of and demonstrated experience in specialized operational/administrative support functions (e.g., database management, operational portal, SAP, TRS, Lotus Notes, Internet and computer proficiency in Word/ Excel/PowerPoint, Encorr, WBDocs).
- Demonstrated knowledge of Bank operational policies and procedures.
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