Program Assistant

World Bank Group

Bangkok, Thailand

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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.
The East Asia and Pacific Region presents a dramatic illustration of the principal global dynamics, opportunities and risks of the 21st century. After making the fastest progress in growth and poverty reduction of any region around the world in the last quarter century, some countries in the region are poised to become middle-income, and others are preparing to join the small group of high-income countries. Such rapid transformation is leading to the largest shift in rural-to-urban population in human history, generating rising inequality within and across countries, while leaving some countries, sub-national regions and groups behind. The continuing global financial crisis also threatens the sustainability of the gains with countries across the region being forced to address the resulting impacts on macroeconomic stability, economic growth, employment and poverty.
Thailand stood out in Southeast Asia for its strong social, policy, and administrative stability and security throughout the second half of the 20th century, which paved the way for rapid social and economic development into the 21st century.  By contrast, the country’s political governance has been marked by significant volatility and frequent extra-constitutional changes of government. Since the coup in May 2014, the political outlook has been broadly stable, the royal transition proceeded smoothly, and national elections are currently expected in the first part of 2019.  Economic growth has accelerated from an average of 2.3 percent in 2014-2016 to around 4% in 2017-2018. Strong exports and a fiscal stimulus, much of it for public infrastructure investments, are the key drivers of growth.  Still sluggish private consumption and investment remain a challenge.  Thailand is taking a keen interest and a leading role in promoting regional integration, and is an important source of cross-border investments for neighboring countries.  Inequality has been declining slowly, but remains high: the Northeast and deep South are lagging; with an ongoing conflict in Southern Thailand contributing to poverty in the area.  A new 20 Year National Strategy (2017-2036) has been developed, with a vision to lift Thailand from low-tech, labor-intensive sectors to higher value-added and technologically advanced activities, propelling Thailand towards becoming an innovative, knowledge-based economy.  
The BMPT Country Management Unit (CMU), manages the World Bank’s programs in Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, four dynamic countries in South East Asia.  There is considerable variation in the program across the four countries – the Philippines continues as an IBRD Borrower with a strong analytical and technical assistance program; Thailand has a new and growing RAS program and a number of trust funded operations; Malaysia is the home of a Malaysia-government financed WBG Knowledge and Research Hub and an established RAS program; and Brunei is a high income country with an emerging RAS program.  The common thread is the importance of the knowledge partnership among the Bank and the host governments and other partners.  This knowledge partnership is vibrant and innovative and has exciting potential to bring the development experience of all four countries to the 
Duties and Responsibilities:
Program Assistant (PA) positions are held by experienced staff whose acquired knowledge and skills enable them to independently undertake diverse and complex work assignments.  The PA is part of the Administrative and Client Support (ACS) team in the country office.  With only routine supervision, the PAs work closely with other staff within the unit to make a significant contribution to the overall achievement of the unit’s work program.  The PA reports to the Country Manager and coordinates with the Executive Assistant who provides day to day guidance on the work priorities of the ACS team.  The Program Assistant will provide a wide range of administrative support to a Program Manager and Unit/Team as assigned by the Country Manager.  

Her/his duties and responsibilities will include, but not limited to, the following: 
  • Fully responsible for time management and scheduling on behalf of the Practice Manager, to include effective prioritizing and resolving related conflicts and competing demands.
  • Works with the highest level of discretion in providing wide-ranging executive assistance support, setting and managing priorities and the workflow of the Practice Manager, as well as administrative coordination within the VPU or equivalent organizational structure.
  • Serve as an information resource on project processing and drafts a variety of standard project-related correspondence.
  • Provide administrative support to workshops/conferences, missions, set up meetings, organize group trips of counterparts, make extensive travel arrangements, prepare trip requests and reimbursement, flight/vehicle arrangement.   
  • Attend meetings, draft minutes and ensures timely clearance and distribution.
  • Work typically requires interpreting existing procedures and processes, independently determining which should be used, and applying these appropriately. Work requires extensive coordination with other Bank Group Units and frequent liaison with team members, regardless of location, and external counterparts.
  • Monitor budget/milestones for specific projects on behalf of the team.
  • Process consultant contracts, consulting firms, ensure the fulfilment of statutory requirements for onboarding, organize their travel arrangements and reimbursements. 
  • Use word processing or desktop publishing skills to produce complex text, reports, figures, graphs, etc., according to standard Bank formats and distribution
  • Coordinates schedules taking priorities into account, monitors changes, and communicates the information to appropriate staff, inside and outside the immediate work unit, including officials outside the Bank Group
  •  In conjunction with and under guidance from staff in a specific discipline (i.e., Resource Management, etc.) monitor specific activities, (i.e., task, budget, etc.) within teams or clusters.
  • Maintain current distribution lists, phone/address lists of project/product contacts, and distributes documents for the team
  • Maintain up-to-date work unit project and other files (both paper and electronic)
  • Assist team or work unit by translating/drafting a variety of routine documents, applying effective proofreading and grammar skills in English and Thai language
  • Independently perform various system-related and process-related tasks unique to the World Bank
  • Maintain relationship with Country Office staff and external counterparts 
  • Suggest ways to enhance work organization and effectiveness
Selection Criteria:
  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of professional working experience in related field with international development institutions or other donor organizations would be an advantage. 
  • Excellent communication skills and excellent command of Thai and English both written and spoken
  • Computer literate e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, e-mail, and ability to search as well as extract information on the internet
  • Excellent skill in preparing PowerPoint and other visual presentation 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with ability to interact diplomatically with clients and staff at all levels, recognized ability to exercise good judgment in interpersonal dealings at all levels and in handling confidential information; 
  • Excellent organizational, administrative and time management skills; 
  • Effective analytical, research and problem-solving skills. 
  • Able to coach less experienced staff on relevant technology and systems.