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Lead urban specialist, disaster risk management

World Bank, the (WB)


The East Asia Urban, Water and Disaster Risk Management Unit (EASUR) is recruiting a Lead Urban Specialist in Disaster Risk Management to lead the unit’s Disaster Risk Management practice and to lead the overall coordination of the disaster risk management work for the SD Department in East Asia.  Candidates with substantial, relevant experience and success in the field of disaster risk management are encouraged to apply.  We are particularly interested in candidates who have demonstrated experience in developing new programs and building partnerships, have been recognized as experts in the field and can lead a multi-sector team of professionals to develop new lines of business and lead policy dialogue in the region.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Lead Urban Specialist (DRM) will have overall responsibility to advise and assist the EASUR Management, in six key areas: i) task management and operations oversight; ii) business development; iii) client dialogue and engagement; iv) knowledge management and v) staff mentoring; and vi) overall program coordination;.  

i)    Leadership, task management and operations oversight:
•    Provide Bank leadership to disaster mitigation agenda in the region; advocacy with all sectors of economic development to take disaster risks into all operations; establishing contingency financing window in at least one operation in targeted  countries;
•    Manage a number of projects under preparation and supervision;
•    supporting country offices to conduct post-disaster damage and loss assessments; and
•    Provide operational leadership on complex projects in an ever increasingly demanding and sophisticated client environment that will include national governments, local governments and private sector in the promotion of public-private partnerships;

ii)    Business development:

•    Lead innovative business development in line with the Bank’s country sector strategies in close collaboration with other SD units as well as different sectors at the Bank;
•    Provide out-of-the-box thinking in developing new, more customized lending and analytical services to EASUR clients.

iii)    Client dialogue and engagement:

•    As a sector representative, assist and/or lead the Bank team’s efforts in developing client strategies and reaching out to the counterpart and other key stakeholders to enhance a constructive policy dialogue;
•    Be acute to the needs of EASUR clients and be proactive to provide better, faster and better targeted client response; and
•    Engage with clients and other stakeholders to increase their support and understanding of project-related Bank’s policies.

iv)    Knowledge Management
•    Take the lead in developing new AAA, policy and TA products aimed at increasing the region’s understanding of disaster risk management;
•    Develop opportunities to increase client and Bank understanding, learning and horizontal knowledge sharing of best practice as regards regional economic development

v)    Staff mentoring:

•    Together with SM, enhance strategic staff development, skills-mix, and performance management through mentoring and coaching, particularly of country-based, local staff, who will play an increasingly important role in task management of projects;
•    Use your substantial experience as leverage to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of locally based staff

 vi)  Overall program coordination:

•    Liaise with and coordinate the priorities of GFDRR Secretariat at the regional level;
•    With direction from the DMT, develop the DRM business plan, establish regional priorities, and monitor business plan implementation including developing new business lines in risk assessment, risk mitigation and risk financing; dialogue with clients, donors and partners to identify their needs and country-specific issues;
•    Develop and foster regional partnerships to promote the DRM agenda (such as with the donor community, especially Japan and Australia, ISDR, ProVention, and others);
•    Keep the DMT informed of business plan progress, new initiatives and opportunities;
•    Maintain a virtual network of SDD and other sector specialists working on DRM activities in the region;
•    Maintain the regional SDD website on DRM
•    Maintain the regional roster of the Quick Response Team and protocols for post-disaster response in the region, developing the rapid response plan for the region in consultation with country teams; pre-identification of staff and consultants in the region for rapid response; advising on the restructuring of the portfolio to provide quick liquidity for the client countries to meet emergency needs;
•    Develop and promote regional training and informational brown-bag lunches (e.g., mainstreaming DRM into Bank operations, conducting post-disaster damage and loss assessments, application of the new OP 8.0, etc);
•    Assist the region and task teams in developing new business lines for disaster risk management to better serve clients (e.g. risk financing, promoting use of OP8.0, best practice in reconstruction, public-private partnerships for disaster risk reduction, etc.);
•    Lead task teams, project and sector work as appropriate; and
•    Manage the core DRM team within EASUR.

Selection Criteria

In addition to meeting Bank-wide Grade GH level positions, it is expected that the incumbent meets the following selection criteria:

•    Advanced degree in engineering, economics, urban and regional planning or other discipline sufficient to provide a strong foundation in the fundamentals of disaster risk management, project management, emergency response and preparedness and/or reconstruction.
•    A minimum of equivalent 12 years of relevant experience with a PhD or 15 years with a Masters Degree ;
•    Recognized by peers, clients and colleagues as an authority in the field;
•    Demonstrated mastery of the concepts in one or more of the following:  disaster risk management and mainstreaming, particularly in the infrastructure sectors, risk financing, post disaster response and recovery, post-disaster reconstruction and the proven ability to develop and structure innovative and practical projects in these areas;
•    A strong desire to work in a fast-paced, innovative environment with demanding client countries with high expectations for responsiveness and the development of projects and programs that are tailored to country specifics;
•    A desire to be a part of the team responsible for the largest urban and largest reconstruction portfolios in the Bank and and a willingness to develop new business models in a rapidly changing, challenging and increasingly complex development environment;
•    A proven high level of professionalism and innovation, with the ability to development new partnerships and demonstrate Bank valued added;
•    The proven ability to lead sector dialogue as well as a proven track record for the delivery of lending operations, technical assistance and sector work;
•    Work experience in middle income countries is strongly desired;
•    Work experience in East Asia would be a plus, but is not required;
•    Exceptional ability to identify long-range goals and objectives, develop strategic approaches, and conceptualize technical projects;
•    Proven ability to build client relationships involving multiple stakeholders and to respond effectively to demands and agenda from the dynamic business environment;
•    Demonstrated ability to effectively coordinate activities involving multiple disciplines and organizational units, as well as to maintain high service standards under pressure, meet deadlines, and accommodate simultaneous demands from various sources;
•    Proven teamwork and leadership skills, working with multi-disciplinary teams across different sectors, across operational boundaries within the World Bank Group and outside it;
•    Demonstrated ability to mentor junior staff to increase unit productivity and effectiveness; and
•    Excellent oral and written communications skills.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background.  Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.  All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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  • Additional location info Washington, DC
  • Closing Date 4 Mar 2008

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