Program Assistant

World Bank Group - Washington, DC4.3

Job #: req1558
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Administration/Office Support
Grade: GC
Term Duration: 2 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment
Location: Washington, DC
Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 1/25/2019 (11:59pm UTC)


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2017, the World Bank Group committed more than $61 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses. Overall, the Board approved $42.1 billion in financial assistance in fiscal 2017 through 383 operations, comprising $22.6 billion in IBRD lending and $19.5 billion in IDA support.

The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macro, Trade and Investment; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and Digital Development; and Water. The 5 Global Themes are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Knowledge Management; and Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships. The Global Practices and the Global Themes, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients' most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to achieve its twin goals by 2030: (1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%; and (2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country.

Water resources are under unprecedented and increasing pressures, driven by greater climate variability, population and economic growth, land use changes, and declining quantities and qualities of both ground and surface waters. With cross cutting impacts on agriculture, education, energy, health, gender equity, and livelihood, water is an essential resource for all life on the planet and is at the center of economic and social development. Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available, its dynamics, and an assessment of competing demands for its usage. Making best use of available supplies requires complex and sensitive economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs. Planning for a more uncertain and more constrained water environment in the future only makes the situation more complex.

The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century - human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, energy security, and universal access to services – unless we ensure a water-secure world for all. To achieve this goal the Global Practice will need to work on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take such an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower, and irrigation problems through partnership, finance and knowledge. The Water GP places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, rivers and deltas), Service Delivery (to households, businesses and farmers), and an understanding of water in the context of the broader economy at the center of its efforts to help countries address the challenge of managing water. The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation; managing the trade-offs around the agricultural use of water), disaster risk management (floods and droughts), energy (hydropower; energy cooling systems), management of rivers and deltas, and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban; utility performance; wastewater management; targeting the poor). In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment and operations in the context of governance, institutions and policies. Finally, we recognize that any focus on water will need to address and take into account the complex dynamics of climate change, superimposed on the natural short and long-term variability and climatic uncertainty.

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) a Practice Manager for Global Programs; (c) a Practice Manager for Strategy and Operations (Knowledge and Communications), and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) institutions and governance for service delivery of irrigation and urban and rural water and sanitation, (ii) water resource management, including addressing large hydraulic infrastructure and trans-boundary issues; (iii) analytical work on linkages of water to the economy and poverty outcomes; and (iv) operations analysis and support to feedback lessons from implementation into new program design.

The institution is governed by 189 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with more than 10,000 staff located globally. The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Global Themes to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The Water for SEA unit covers Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar, working with three country management unit. Its annual lending delivery is around $500-$700 million and its portfolio is $680 million without major implementation challenges. The 30 staff members are actively involved not only in lending, implementation support or ASA work but also in various aspects of unit management work. The unit is known for its progressive vision and highly motivated team work culture. It operates in agile manner and respects work and life satisfaction. Our unit has taken on various innovative activities such as Water Platform and Strategy Development engagements, which initially encompassed three countries and now is expanding to seven countries. The Water for SEA Unit also hosts the Water GP’s MFD agenda by leading the Financial Innovation Team (FIT). FIT is a global team to support the World Bank’s Mobilizing Finance for Development (MFD) agenda in the water sector, operating under oversight of the practice manager of Water for South and East Asia Unit (GWA09), with co-leadership with two other senior colleagues. Globally water sector requires over $110 billion of investments to meet SDG goals while only $16 billion are invested in the sector in reality. With the MFD agenda, the team’s objectives to help clients gain access to capital markets so that the current financing gap can be narrowed. The strategic focus of the FIT is to (i) build consensus within and outside the WBG of relevance and application of MFD in water, (ii) develop and collate knowledge and training programs, (iii) outreach and communication and (iv) provide transaction support to projects that include an MFD approach. To build on the great initiatives of the past years, FIT has arranged itself into teams focused on addressing specific challenges, with champions for each team. It provides proactive expert support for the priority engagement activities in the water sector across the globe, advise teams on promoting the water sector MFD agenda for the Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks, and help manage knowledge sharing, learning and external outreach. It has about 30 colleagues, located in many country offices as well as in Washington DC office.

Role & Responsibilities:
  • Provide comprehensive administrative and operational support to work program team(s) on all aspects of project preparation and implementation according to the project cycle;
  • Maintain full familiarity with contents and processing steps of operational documents, reports and Board documents and keep work program teams abreast of changes in institutional and regional operational and administrative procedures;
  • Ensure effective processing of documents through all stages of the project cycle including appropriate clearance, distribution and handling of logistical planning for negotiations, review meetings, Board presentations, signings and other key meetings;
  • Monitor and download project/budget reports and update milestones for the task teams and/or unit’s portfolio
  • Draft letters, emails etc. conforming to the Bank and Regional standards as well as finalize (proofreading and formatting) documents as required;
  • Assist TTLs with the creation, maintenance and tracking of contracts for STCs, and STTs, process SOE submissions for consultants, as well as travel arrangements and submission of statement of expenses, and STCs commitment monitoring.
  • Track assigned task/project steps/timetables, coordinate with relevant staff and provide assistance and/or information on project-related matters.
  • Organize and support conferences, meetings, workshops and videoconferences; including preparation of material for conferences/seminars/BBLs/VCs being organized by the unit.
  • Independently responding to diverse inquiries and making decisions when multiple courses of action are possible.
  • Assume a back-up role for other ACS staff during absences or peak periods
  • Perform other ad-hoc duties and support other staff as assigned by the Practice Managers and others in the Unit.
This internal requisition is open to WBG and IMF staff only (including short-term and extended term consultants/ temporaries). External candidates are requested not to apply. In case an external candidate applies, their application will not be considered.

Selection Criteria

High school diploma with 5 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Excellent organizational and administrative skills demonstrated ability to organize, prioritize, schedule, plan and coordinate work and other activities internally and externally.
Solid experience and demonstrated knowledge of the World Bank Group’s organizational structure, administrative processes, policies and procedures.
Proven track record in managing confidentiality. Strong personal ethics and sound judgement.
Reliability, resourcefulness and flexibility.
Strong attention to detail and to maintaining high quality standards.
Proven ability to create and work in a team-oriented, multi-cultural environment, to perform effectively in a constantly changing environment with competing activities and demands, and to effectively serve as a team member.
Effective analytical, research and problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently and make judgments and decisions with minimal supervision.
Fluency and strong communication skills in English, including ability to draft, proofread and edit correspondence.

Technology and systems knowledge - Exhibits excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and proficiency of technology or/and systems relevant to functional area. Able to coach less experienced staff on relevant technology and systems.
Project and task management - Able to undertake diverse and complex assignments with minimal supervision and resolve competing demands.
Demonstrates good organizational skills, can plan and prioritize own work and work of internal clients.
Institutional policies, processes, and procedures - Demonstrates relevant functional knowledge and understanding of institutional priorities, policies, operational and administrative procedures, and people. Able to practically apply and guide others in policy application.
Lead and Innovate - Suggests improvements to solve problems.
Deliver Results for Clients - Takes personal responsibility to make things better for the client.
Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries - Initiates collaboration beyond the team.
Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Proactively and regularly shares knowledge.
Make Smart Decisions - Identifies information needed to support decisions.
The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.