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Senior disaster risk management specialist (strategy & innovations)

World Bank, the (WB)

Between 1999-2003, natural disaster assistance accounted for more than 14 percent of the World Bank’s overall portfolio and it continues to grow. In light of the Bank’s evolving role, the growing demands for the Bank to respond rapidly and effectively to emergencies and the need for a more strategic approach to disaster prevention in high risk countries, the Bank’s new emergency policy (OP/BP 8.00) aims to improve the flexibility, speed, and effectiveness of the Bank’s emergency response. It also enables the Bank to adopt a more strategic approach to crises and disaster risk reduction in the most vulnerable countries.

Demand for technical and financial assistance for disaster prevention and preparedness is expected to grow in all regions. A growing number of Bank disaster recovery projects either include disaster mitigation elements or are followed by specific investment lending for disaster prevention in client countries. Yet, the challenge remains daunting: disaster-related risks in developing countries continue to increase rapidly due to urbanization, environmental degradation, increasing vulnerability of the population, and low human and institutional capacity to handle disaster risks. With the climate trend pointing to more extreme conditions and increased climate variability in future, many countries in environmentally sensitive regions, particularly the island nations, will become more vulnerable to climate-related risks. By some estimates it is estimated that the Bank will continue to be called upon to provide an average of $1 billion in annual lending for disaster prevention and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. More than 300 Bank staff are currently involved in disaster risk management.

Globally, the Bank is uniquely positioned to provide technical and financial support to governments in disaster hotspot countries, integrate disaster risk reduction in development, and catalyze greater investment in disaster risk reduction through country diagnostics and programming. The Bank’s leadership role will require further strengthening its knowledge base through research and development in different elements of disaster risk management. It will also involve creating/expanding network of disaster risk management practitioners to exchange and learn continuously from its operations in related sectors of development. The Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a step in this direction.

The GFDRR is organized along three tracks of operation to achieve its development objectives at the global, regional and country levels. Track I focuses on enhanced global and regional advocacy, partnerships, and standardization of disaster risk management tools and methodologies. Track II provides technical assistance for targeted countries to mainstream disaster risk reduction in strategic planning and development policies focusing on poverty reduction strategies. Track III provides rapid and predictable disaster recovery assistance through the Standby Recovery Financing Facility (SRFF).
The GFDRR is funding more than 75 disaster risk reduction and inter-related climate risk management programs in more than 54 disaster-prone low and middle-income countries. Its portfolio has grown to over $ 75 million since the establishment of the Facility in September 2006. Under the overall guidance of a high level Consultative Group (CG) of donors, UN and World Bank, co-chaired by World Bank Sustainable Development Vice President and the Government of Denmark, GFDRR Secretariat at the World Bank headquarters manages the global operations of this partnership under the ISDR system.

Under the overall supervision of the GFDRR Program Manager, the Senior DRM Specialist (S&I) will contribute to development and implementation of the strategic approach to disaster prevention as well as development of innovative disaster risk management solutions. S/he will work in close collaboration with the Bank’s Regional Coordinators, GFDRR Team Leaders, and relevant network focal points in the Bank. The selected candidate will be directly reporting to Saroj Kumar Jha, as the Program Manager.

Specific tasks:

• Provide oversight for implementation of Bank’s strategic approach to disaster risk reduction and recovery Within the framework for Rapid Response Crises and Emergencies (OP/BP 8.00), the Bank has adopted a strategic approach in assisting its client countries that suffer from or are at risk of high mortality and economic losses due to multiple natural hazards, to mainstream risk management in country development strategies for good governance, sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The incumbent will work with the GFDRR Team Leaders, regional coordinators and sector focal points in the Bank to accelerate implementation of this approach.
• Advise the regions on preparation of a regional strategy and business plan for disaster risk management: In line with the strategic approach, all regions of the Bank are developing regional strategy and business plans to assist the clients to implement national programs for disaster risk reduction. The incumbent will assist the regions in formulation of their strategies and business plans. The incumbent will lead innovative business development in line with the Bank’s sector strategies in close collaboration with other units. Developing new, customized lending in catastrophe risk financing and advisory services will be central to this task.
• Provide advice to the regions and country teams on the design and implementation of the rapid response operations for natural disasters, in close collaboration with the Bank’s Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) Rapid Response Core Team. The new operations policy (OP 8.00) sets out a framework for a more rapid and effective response to crises and emergencies that is better aligned with borrower needs and the Bank’s experience and current engagement. It supports the Bank’s complementary role to other partners, including the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations, and includes provisions to facilitate the Bank’s participation in and/or support to integrated international response to crises and emergencies. The Sustainable Development Network (SDN) is a member of the Bank-wide Rapid Response Core group and the incumbent will work closely with OPCS and regional DRM teams for implementation of the new operations policy.
• Undertake research and knowledge management activities, including analytical papers and guidance notes for Bank staff, on best practices and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in all operations of the Bank. This task involves upstream review of PRS/CAS documents and providing feedback to advance the disaster risk management agenda in disaster-prone countries, preparing analytical papers to strengthen economic case for ex ante work on disaster prevention and developing guidance notes on mainstreaming disaster risk management for sustainable development. The incumbent, acting as a focal point of GFDRR team, will facilitate greater synergies between the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation teams.
• Provide portfolio oversight, including biannual reviews of all disaster-related operations. Disaster-related operations are a growing portfolio of the Bank and it requires systematic review to enhance the project outcomes. The incumbent will periodically prepare portfolio reviews for discussion by the relevant Sector Boards and undertake wide dissemination of the findings of the portfolio review. The incumbent will also undertake preparation of biannual report on all disaster-related operations which will act as the reference document on disaster risk management work of the Bank.
• Complete other assignments as requested by the GFDRR Program Manager.

The successful candidate should have:

• An advanced university degree in Economics, Environment, Engineering or other relevant discipline.
• At least eight years of relevant and progressively responsible professional experience in emergency recovery operations.
• Extensive field experience in disaster relief, recovery and risk reduction programs.
• In-depth knowledge of catastrophic risk financing instruments offered by the World Bank, other International Finance Institutions, and the private sector,
• At least three years of experience in managing Emergency Recovery Loans with multilateral Banks.

Required Competencies
• Good team player but also capable of operating independently when required
• Ability to take responsibility for substantial segments of the unit's work program and play a key role in implementing the strategic direction of the work program.
• Strong ability to analyze and resolve issues cross cutting areas of specialization, with an understanding of how solutions affect the overall work program strategy.
• Effective communication and negotiation skills and the ability to serve as spokesperson/advocate within and outside the Bank for important policy and project proposals.
• Ability to gain the assistance and cooperation of others in a team endeavor, and provide guidance and coaching to less experienced staff.
• Ability to deliver training/skill enhancement initiatives (e.g., through brown bag lunches, seminars, distance learning) to transfer global knowledge and experience within the sector.
• Sensitivity to working in multi-cultural and matrix environments.
• Ability to build effective working relations with clients and colleagues, as team member, to achieve results.
• Ability to perform efficiently and effectively in a highly demanding working environment with very tight deadlines.
• Professional and personal endurance and commitment to pursue and complete complex assignments.
• Strong conceptual and analytical skills.
• Extensive knowledge and understanding of practical project implementation issues.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Be willing to travel to post-disaster locations for long periods in short notice.

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.

The GFDRR Secretariat hosted by the Bank is now at the epicenter of all disaster reduction and recovery operations inside the institution. Each region at the Bank has nominated a Regional Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Coordinator who manages all DRM-related operations in the region, advises the country teams, and contributes to the GFDRR Secretariat’s corporate strategy and partnership programs.

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    United States of America

  • Additional location info Washington DC
  • Closing Date 8 Sep 2008

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