Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
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 World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.
REGIONAL AND COUNTRY CONTEXT
The South Asia Region (SAR) comprises eight countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) that range in size from India (with a population of over 1 billion) to Maldives (with 0.3 million people). The region has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years. This strong growth has translated into declining poverty and impressive improvements in human development. The percentage of people living below the poverty line fell in South Asia from 61% to 36% between 1981 and 2008. The proportion of poor is lower now in South Asia than any time since 1981. Still, the South Asia region is home to many of the developing world's poor. According to recent poverty estimates, about 250 million people in the region are below the poverty line, and they make up more than 33% of the world's poor.
The SAR strategy is based on three pillars, which are: promoting growth, enhancing social inclusion, and strengthening climate/environment. Each of these pillars is directly relevant to Nepal, and the Bank’s support to the country constitutes critical elements of the SAR strategy.
Nepal is part of the Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal Country Management Unit and is an IDA borrower. Under IDA 18, Nepal received an allocation of $1.3 billion and is also one of the four pilot countries for the IDA 18 Risk Mitigation Regime, aimed at helping countries address the key drivers of fragility. The Nepal country office is comprised of approximately 80 staff.
Nepal presents unique opportunities and challenges for development. Situated between two of the world’s largest and fastest growing developing economies, China and India, and with per capita gross national income of US$853 (2017), Nepal remains among the poorest countries in the world. Over the past decade, Nepal’s economy has performed reasonably well. Growth averaged 4.3 percent over 2005-15. The incidence of poverty measured against the national poverty line fell by 19 percentage points from 2003/04 to 2010/11, and in 2010/11, 25 percent of the population was counted as poor. However, these gains remain vulnerable to shocks and setbacks, like the 2015 earthquakes which were followed by trade disruptions resulting in the lowest economic growth in 14 years in 2016.
A new constitution that defined Nepal as a federal democratic republic was promulgated in September 2015. With the formulation of the new Constitution in 2015, Nepal has migrated to a federal state structure with autonomous sub-national governments run by elected authorities. Following a series of elections in 2017, seven provincial and 753 local government were established with responsibility for managing funds, functions and functionaries which were previously done through the 75 District Development Committees under the unitary system of government. With the transition to federalism, transfers to subnational governments have increased but weak institutional capacity and weak oversight continue to be a key source of risks that could adversely impact service delivery and the goal of reaching MIC status by 2030.
As Nepal overhauls its government structure, civil servants’ roles and responsibilities and fiscal management, the World Bank’s (WB) support is changing significantly and adapting to the evolving country context. While the new federal structure presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop an engagement that is anchored in the momentous in the country’s political history, it also poses fiduciary risks as decisions and funds are decentralized. The World Bank’s engagement strategy is aligned with the agenda and needs of an emerging federal and local government structure, while building on ongoing support for service delivery, fiscal decentralization, municipal governance, public financial management, private sector development, social accountability, citizen engagement, among others.
GOVERNANCE GLOBAL PRACTICE CONTEXT
An effective and accountable governance framework, in the form of functioning institutions, is a necessary precondition for sustainable poverty reduction. Fragile, ineffective or inexistent institutions have long been put forward as explaining the relative underperformance of economies. Furthermore, poor governance and structural deficiencies in public and private institutions are often prevalent in fragile and conflict affected states. On the other hand, cross-country empirics have confirmed that higher institutional quality is correlated with higher levels of per capita income and greater economic growth. Thus, governance mechanisms and institutions are critical to sustained growth and poverty alleviation.
The Governance Global Practice (GGP) brings together professionals in procurement, financial management, taxation, public management, regulatory policy, transparency, digital governance, law and development, anticorruption, and social accountability to develop innovative, integrated solutions to pernicious institutional problems. The practice utilizes a problem-driven, diagnostic approach, combining global comparative knowledge of reform successes and failures with keen understanding of the institutional challenges and opportunities of developing countries.
The GGP comprises a variety of different professional disciplines working on public institutions, including public sector management, domestic resource mobilization, anti-corruption, procurement, financial management, citizen engagement, and justice reform. The GGP has the following thematic areas:
GGP interventions range from diagnostics, technical assistance, and advisory services, learning, innovation and knowledge management and sharing, creating peer learning platforms, lending and reform project implementation, and monitoring and reporting. An important part of its responsibilities is to deliver operational support to other Practices, including through inputs for policy-based operations, hands-on implementation advice and direct fiduciary due diligence of investment financing.
The Governance Global Practice is part of the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) practice network. Since January 1, 2018, the GGP is implementing an integrated model. This involves the FAR and PSI Groups coming together under regional and global Practice Managers who are responsible for integrated financial management and public sector units. From July 2019, as part of the realignment of global practices in the Bank, the regional PMs have dual reporting to the Governance Global Director and EFI Regional Director.
The integrated unit, ESAG2, covering the Bangladesh/Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka/Maldives/Nepal Country Management Units of the South Asia Region, seeks to recruit a Financial Management Specialist (FMS) to respond to the growing demands of the growing Nepal portfolio in the context of a federalism system of government. The FMS will perform as a member of the various tasks teams of the World Bank financed projects in addition to contributing and/or leading special purpose initiatives.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The selected candidate is expected to perform the following tasks:
The position requires a highly-motivated and well-organized professional accountant (CPA, CA or equivalent) with strong analytical, operational, interpersonal and integrative skills. The ideal candidate should also have the following competencies:
Note: Experience and in-depth familiarity with public sector financial management as well as exposure to corporate work, will be a distinct advantage.