The World Bank, Islamabad, Pakistan

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th May, 2019

Job Description

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 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 WBG is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and fourteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

Health, Nutrition, and Population (HNP) Global Practice

The central contribution of the HNP Global Practice to the World Bank’s twin goals is to enable the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), in which all people are effectively covered by essential health services, and nobody suffers undue financial hardship as a result of illnesses. In the quest for UHC, the HNP Global Practice is building on progress made in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, an array of analytical and advisory services, strategic partnerships with partner institutions and other financing agencies, and an active lending portfolio. The HNP Global Practice includes staff members in Washington, DC and many country offices. The HNP Global Practices works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that HNP outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the HNP sector. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving HNP outcomes.

Country Context

Even though there is sign of improvement, Pakistan has made limited and uneven progress in improving nutritional and health outcomes of children and mothers. The 2017/18 PDHS indicates that declines in child mortality rates have been slow with under 5 mortality rate at 74 per 1,000 live births. The rates of change vis-à-vis child malnutrition indicators has been also nominal since 1965, with more than one in three children being stunted. Malnutrition is also prevalent among women of reproductive age with 18% being underweight. Maternal morality ratio is also higher than those of other countries in the region and estimated to be 165.6 for the year 2017 and total fertility rate remains nearly unchanged at 3.6.

The suboptimal health and nutrition outcomes can be partly explained by limited and uneven utilization as well as inadequate quality of essential health and nutrition services. For example, coverage of selected health indicators for MCH services is improving such as skilled birth attendance (69%), full immunization rates (66%), but other indicators are stagnant like use of contraceptives (34%, with modern contraceptive only 24%). Significant inequity exists in health service access and utilization (e.g., ANC4+-23% in the lowest quintile vs 84% in the highest quintile PDHS2017/8).

The HNP portfolio in Pakistan includes three projects under implementation: the National Immunization Support Project (NISP), the Enhanced Nutrition for Mothers and Child Project, and the Sindh Enhancing Response to Stunting Project. In addition, there are several projects under preparation, including Punjab and Sindh Human Capital Projects. Finally, there are a number of analytical products under preparation, and several others in the pipeline.

The HNP team for Pakistan includes staff in the Country Office in Islamabad, other South Asian countries, and the Washington DC. To strengthen the team, the WBG is recruiting a GF level Economist through a term position based in Islamabad. The Economist will support the World Bank’s HNP portfolio in Pakistan and the broader Human Development (HD) agenda, including the ongoing policy dialogue with Governments and partners, preparation of analytical products, and the preparation and implementation of operations in the sector.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Economist (Health) will report to the HNP Practice Manager and will be responsible for the following tasks and duties:

  • Lead and contribute to high-quality analytical and advisory services tasks (and sub-tasks) related to health financing, public expenditure reviews, household survey data analytics, health systems strengthening, public-private partnerships, and/or related topics in the South Asia context.
  • Support task teams in the preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of lending operations with the focus on health economics and health financing.
  • Participate in and contribute to technical assistance work to support relevant capacity-building activities including workshops, seminars, etc.
  • Participate in and contribute to policy dialogue with government counterparts - including at the national and sub-national levels - and with other relevant stakeholders.
  • Help teams with building and maintaining partnerships and networks within the Bank (in HNP as well as other sectors) and with external partners.

Selection Criteria

  • At least a Master’s degree in economics or related discipline, with a minimum of 5 years of relevant experience. A PhD and experience in the health sector would be advantageous. Although a strong background in the health sector is not required, interest in and willingness to learn about HNP issues in Pakistan is essential.
  • Ability to design and analyze cross-sectional household and facility-level surveys as well as macro-level time-series data.
  • Familiarity with statistical analyses, econometric methods, and related software, preferably STATA.
  • Demonstrated track record of synthesizing complex analytics and results into user-friendly written outputs.
  • Proven analytical skills linking economic thinking and quantitative analysis, and the ability to inform high-level policy dialogue through strong communications (including writing) skills (in English and Urdu).
  • Experience with designing, implementing, and monitoring development projects would be a plus.
  • Diplomatic and client engagement skills, as well as a track record on successfully working as a team member.
  • Proactive and results-focused work style with strong problem-solving capabilities.
  • Knowledge and experience working in multicultural institution is desirable.

In addition to the above, the successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following WBG competencies:

  • Integrative Skills - Understands core issues and knows where to get additional expertise when needed. Task team member in integrative products and provides analytical written inputs.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Understands policy making process and role of the health sector in that process. Is able to find relevant information and examine similar policy questions in multiple regions and to distill operationally relevant recommendations and lessons from this analysis for clients.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills - Identifies and assesses policy issues and communicates findings/points of view verbally and through economic reports and papers. Plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders as part of Bank teams.
  • Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
  • Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.


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