Health Specialist

World Bank, Khartoum, Sudan

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource MobilizationFundraisingResearch and AnalysisTraining and Capacity Building
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th February, 2020

Job Description


We are on a mission to change the world; do you want to join us where it matters the most? Invest in your personal and professional development and acquire the skills that are vital for a global career in international development. A role in an FCS (Fragile and Conflict Affected Situations) location will be a truly impactful experience!

Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. .

Health, nutrition and population global practice context:

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 because of illnesses. The HNP GP includes staff members in Washington, DC and many country offices and works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that HNP outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the HNP sector. The HNP GP supports country and regional efforts to:

  •  improve health outcomes, especially for the poor and most vulnerable;
  •  expand access to high-quality HNP services, interventions and technologies that give the most value for money;
  •  strengthen health systems for results;
  •  establish and improve health financing mechanisms that promote efficiency, equity and sustainability of investments;
  •  strengthen heath-relevant institutions within and outside the health sector;
  •  harness multisectoral policies and investments for better health outcomes; and
  •  develop and learn from rigorous impact evaluations.

Africa region context:

Africa has registered strong economic growth in recent years that has helped to reduce poverty levels in the continent. Yet, as Africa’s population expands, the region faces a critical challenge of building the foundations for long-term inclusive growth. Many countries still contend with high levels of child and maternal mortality, malnutrition is far too common, and most health systems are not able to deal effectively with epidemics and the growing burden of chronic diseases. These challenges call for renewed commitments and accelerated progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC)—the principle that everyone receives needed health services without financial hardship.

Most African countries have integrated UHC as a goal in their national health strategies. Yet, progress in translating commitments to UHC into expanded domestic resources for health, effective development assistance, and ultimately, equitable and quality health services, and increased financial protection has been slow. To accelerate progress toward UHC in Africa, the countries will require political leadership and a clear strategic vision to achieve their UHC targets and to be able to eliminate preventable maternal and child deaths, strengthen resilience to public health emergencies, reduce financial hardship linked to illness, and strengthen the foundations for long-term economic growth.

The region benefits from the Global Financing Facility (GFF) in Support of “Every Woman Every Child” which is a country driven partnership that seeks to accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, adolescents and children, and thereby prevent up to 3.8 million maternal deaths, 101 million child deaths, and 21 million stillbirths in high burden countries by 2030. The GFF acts as a pathfinder in a new era of financing for development by pioneering a model that shifts away from focusing solely on official development assistance to an approach that combines external support, domestic financing, and innovative sources for resource mobilization and delivery (including the private sector) in a collaborative way. To do this, the GFF seeks to reduce inefficiency in health spending through smarter financing, resulting in a reduction in the resource needs for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) by 2030. The GFF also aims to mobilize additional funding through the combination of grants from a dedicated multi-donor trust fund (the GFF Trust Fund), financing from International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the crowding-in of additional domestic and external resources. The GFF uses the private sector expertise of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, to attract private sector resources to priority investment areas.

The region is implementing several projects with the Result-Based Financing as a key mechanism to improve service delivery and contribute to boosting human capital index in African countries.

Sudan context

The position advertised will provide leadership to the HNP program in Sudan and potentially play a central role in other HNP portfolios in countries in the sub-region.
Sudan posts very poor human development indicators for its level of GDP. In 2018 it ranked 139 out of 157 according to the World Bank Human Capital Index (HCI) and 167 out of 189 countries based on the Human Development Index (HDI). It did not meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and its progress compared to that achieved by its neighbors and the Sub-Saharan African average lags on many fronts. It is important that public expenditure in key sectors, such as education, health, and agriculture promote equity among all citizens.

Based on the household Food Consumption Score (FCS), a measure of dietary diversity, food frequency, and the relative nutritional importance of foot items consumed, the incidence of poor and borderline food security increased substantially between 2010 and 2014, from 10.1 percent to 18.5 percent of the population. Food insecurity is concentrated in Central and North Darfur, where 50 percent and 40 percent of the population are classified as having poor or borderline food security, respectively.
The Bank supports analytical work that covers strengthening management of human resources; demographic dividend; nutrition; health financing; and pandemic preparedness. Building on these the Bank team will be working with the Government to identify new priorities for engagement.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The Health Specialist will provide rigorous technical assistance to World Bank country management teams and clients in Sudan to ensure that flexible, high quality, relevant, and efficient program interventions are designed and implemented based on country analytics and in line with international best practice in delivering health services in Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) environments. The effective implementation of the proposed program will require the appointment of a highly experienced staff member to help make “things happen” and ensure that a strategic results engagement is developed.

The Health Specialist will report to the HNP GP Practice Manager and maintain a close relationship with the Sudan Country Manager and AFCE3 Country Management Unit. He/she will also work closely with the World Bank's Fragility, Conflict, & Violence (FCV) Group - so as to allow for both an effective engagement as part of the AFCE3 CMU team and a strategic alignment of the Sudan program with the Bank-wide FCV Strategy currently under development.

In particular, he/she will:

  •  Provide strategic and operational leadership on the HNP agenda in Sudan;
  •  Provide operational support to the ongoing and pipeline IDA 19 operations in the region;
  •  Facilitate and coordinate the Knowledge, Analytics and Assessments activities;
  •  Contribute to the technical discussions and monitoring of the Bank portfolio in close collaboration with the relevant government agencies and development partners;
  •  Assist the team in policy dialogue, communications and interactions with government counterparts, country stakeholders as well as development partners;
  •  Contribute to sector-specific inputs for various operational products/outputs (e.g. sector/country briefings, background reports, portfolio performance reviews, etc.);
  •  Provide high level policy advice to counterparts in the area health systems reform; offer international comparative perspectives; and recommend policy options and implementation strategies;
  •  Coordinate, maintain and foster partnerships with government actors, bilateral donors, humanitarian and development partners engaged the health sector;
  •  Find opportunities for collaboration with other sectors to improve health service delivery, efficiency, outcomes, and impact of health sector interventions and to enhance human development impact where relevant.
  •  Contribute to coordinate and participate in missions of the health team in the country and outside Sudan as directed; and respond to ad hoc information requests from internal and external parties.
  • He/she may be assigned other tasks and deliverables as deemed appropriate by the HNP GP Practice Manager.

The work will be substantive in nature, requiring frequent missions in the field and interactions with various external and internal counterparts.

Selection Criteria

In addition to the WBG-wide core competencies listed below, the successful candidate will have the following qualifications, experience, skills and personal attributes:

  •  Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (Masters or PhD), and a minimum of 5 years of relevant operational experience;
  •  Strong knowledge and understanding of HNP issues, political economy, institutional economics, and governance;
  •  Proven knowledge on and operational experience in public health and health service delivery, particularly in FCV environments.•
  • Demonstrated capacity to understand the political economy and local context of situations and develop context-appropriate solutions;
  •  Ability to think strategically, connect the dots easily across a range of topics to develop a broader coherent approach; ability to analyze and integrate information into conclusions and recommendations;
  •  Client orientation and results focus; pragmatism and effectiveness.
  •  Ability to develop and cultivate new relationships with both development and humanitarian actors; Leadership and interpersonal skills. Ability to work in teams.
  •  Experience in working across disciplinary boundaries and with multiple stakeholders.
  •  Strong verbal and written communication skills; Excellent written and oral communication.
  •  Able to synthesize, analyze, and optimally present material from multiple sources.•
  • Articulates ideas, verbally, and in writing, using the most effective means of delivery; Integrity, tact and discretion;
  •  Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments, experience in working in developing countries and FCV environments.


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