Program Assistant

World Bank, Turkey

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
27th October, 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 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.


The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Three of our clients are IDA only and another 2 are IDA blend countries. The remaining 25 are IBRD eligible. Although 10 of our clients have joined the EU and 7 of these have graduated, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and/or lending services. ECA has a strong lending pipeline as well as a large and growing portfolio of Reimbursable Advisory Services. Knowledge is critical to the Bank’s value proposition to client countries in the ECA region in both lending and advisory services.

A predominantly middle- and high-income region, ECA continues to be at the forefront in confronting the numerous challenges as well addressing challenges facing in the evolving global economy. The region is at the vanguard of building regional connectivity while having to manage the changing structure of the labor market. At the same time, digital technologies are changing the nature of work, populations are aging, and large migration flows have generated social tensions that have contributed to increased political polarization. These emerging trends threaten to reverse the region’s achievements in regional integration, poverty reduction and shared prosperity. Many parts of the region continue to struggle with multiple structural weaknesses, including high public debt burdens, tight fiscal space, low investment, lack of contestable markets, and financial sector vulnerabilities.

The ECA region is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change. It has a large potential to strengthen climate change resilience and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change. Other important challenges affecting parts of the region include frozen conflicts and domestic political instability.

In view of these challenges, the ECA regional strategy is to help countries (i) create Solid Foundations for higher productivity and resilience— macroeconomic and financial stability, effective governance and institutions, enabling the environment for the private sector-led growth, and capacity to address global public goods, especially climate change; (ii) build an environment for Productive Individuals to overcome vulnerability and achieve middle-class status—investing in maternal and child health, investing in safety nets to protect households during times of adversity, improving labor productivity and labor force participation to achieve higher incomes, fostering inclusion and engaged citizenry for shared prosperity; and (iii) Enabling Markets to achieve sustained and inclusive growth—support private sector growth, promote entrepreneurship, competition and innovation, facilitate access to new markets, foster regional economic integration, and participate in global value chains.


Turkey is one of the largest countries in ECA, with per-capita GDP on the verge of reaching high-income. Solid growth, accelerated by deeper integration with the European Union, helped more than triple GDP per capita and incomes for the bottom 40 percent over 2002-12, with a large decline in poverty and remarkable improvements in health and education outcomes. Following the global financial crisis, demand shocks to the economy, including an attempted coup in mid-2016, prompted the government to stimulate the economy through increased public consumption, credit expansion, minimum wage increases, and incentives to employers. These policies delayed much needed structural reforms and ultimately resulted in overheating, which together with a sharp depreciation of the Turkish lira in the summer of 2018 fueled inflation and threatened some of the economic and social gains of the past two decades. In this context, the influx of over three million refugees from the conflict in Syria further complicates Turkey’s challenges.

Against this background, the World Bank Group’s 2017 Country Partnership Framework, based on a Strategic Country Diagnostic completed in 2016, is formulated around three pillars: sustaining growth, building inclusion, and ensuring sustainability. Across a substantial program of loans, investments and analytical services, there is a growing focus on strengthening citizen engagement and new initiatives to address social and governance challenges. A key business objective is to develop opportunities for reimbursable advisory services. The existing CPF runs through the end of FY21 and the mid-term review (aka Program and Learning Review of the CPF) is currently under preparation.

The IBRD portfolio counts about a dozen active operations. Under the current CPF there has been a gradual shift from DPOs and lines of credit towards investment projects (IPFs), with an emphasis on energy and municipal development. In addition, IBRD is currently managing EU trust funds benefiting Syrian refugees and Turkish host communities. Turkey in recent years has been among the largest clients of both IFC and MIGA; there is a large IFC regional operational hub in Istanbul.

The World Bank Office in Ankara is looking for a Program Assistant to join Administrative and Client Support (ACS) team to carry out the full range of office support work, including managing processes and monitoring schedules related to their team's/unit's products and tasks. He or she will report to the Country Director and initially will work under close supervision and guidance. He/she will need to coordinate extensively with service units and liaise frequently with team members both at headquarters and in the field, as well as external counterparts.

Duties and Accountabilities:

Country Office in Turkey is looking for a dynamic and highly motivated individual to provide administrative, logistical and operational support. The main functions include but are not limited to the following tasks:

Provide full range of office support work within a project team including managing processes and preparing and monitoring team schedules, organizing interpreters and translators, making hotel and travel reservations.Support the project teams in project preparations including drafting a variety of standard documents, proofreading materials, translating short documents.Maintain up-to-date work unit project, assist the project teams in proper data filing, respond to requests requiring data collection and file search.Attend mission meetings as required, draft minutes and ensure timely clearance and distribution.Assist in preparation and logistical planning for various events, e.g. conferences, workshops, negotiations, etc. Identify and resolve diverse issues/problems as they arise, which often requires interpretation of existing procedures and processes, and independently determine the appropriate application.Suggest ways to enhance work organization and effectiveness.Maintain excellent relations with internal and external stakeholders, vendors and clients to facilitate and ensure optimal outcomes.Organization of incoming mission agendas (drafting letters, organization of meetings with the Government, daily support of the mission, etc.)Provide when necessary, back up support and/or assistance to other ACS colleagues in coordination with the Executive Assistant in order to ensure smooth operation of the office support work.

Selection Criteria

Excellent communication skills in English and Turkish (verbal and written).Bachelor’s degree with 5 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.Proficiency in Microsoft office applications, i.e. Word, Power Point and Excel. Knowledge of advance commands such as Macros in Excel, advance graphic features in Power Point, use of surveying online tools (e.g. Survey monkey), and organizing tools (e.g. Gantt charts) are required. Selected candidate will be required to pass standard Bank Group tests at time of recruitment (English language, MS Office applications). Experience with and clear understanding of the development sector (e.g. UN Agencies, IFIs), Non-government sector, bilateral and multilateral donors and government structures.Superior organizational skills.Ability to manage a range of diverse concurrent issues.Ability to perform tasks with minimum supervision.Ability to interact tactfully and effectively with staff at all levels.Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills, and ability to work as part of a team in diverse and multi-sector environment.


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