Senior Health Specialist

World Bank, Kabul, Afghanistan

Skill Required:, Finance and AccountsHR and AdminResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
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 Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice (GP) 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 GP 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 South Asia Region (SAR) has the largest concentration of poor people of any region, home to 1.5 billion people with over 1 billion living under $2/day. It has had high growth of 6 percent average annual rate in the last 20 years, despite its poverty, conflict, and instability. The SAR strategy is based on three pillars which are promoting growth, enhancing social inclusion and strengthening climate/environment.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. Living standards are threatened by continued drought conditions, generating food insecurity in many areas of the country. The displacement crisis also continues. Despite conflict-related challenges, improvements in health outcomes are evident: e.g., under-five mortality rates have declined by almost half, from 2001 to 2017; life expectancy has increased over the same period, from 56 to almost 64 years. Nevertheless, despite some progress, health indicators remain among the lowest in the SAR region and several challenges remain including high rates of fertility, malnutrition, inequalities, and growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The Senior HNP Specialist will be responsible for the following tasks and duties, mainly in Afghanistan but possibly in other countries in South Asia or other regions:

Knowledge Services:

  •  Identify critical gaps in knowledge and identify opportunities to address those gaps.
  •  Lead or contribute to the generation of 'cutting edge ' knowledge in the HNP sector in Afghanistan on topics such as chronic diseases, malnutrition, public health and health systems development.
  •  Provide high level policy advice to federal and local governments in Afghanistan in systems reform; offer international comparative perspectives and recommend policy options and implementation strategies.
  •  Mentor junior staff in the Afghanistan country office.
  • Convening Services:
  •  Maintain a constructive relationship with key HNP partners and interact with counterparts in Government and international organizations, as well as with Bank colleagues and managers both within and outside of the Human Development (HD) sector.
  •  Represent the Bank at key local and international conferences and meetings.
  •  Identify opportunities for collaboration with other sectors to improve the impact of the Afghanistan program.
  •  Build and maintain relations with other sector departments and networks to enhance intersectoral collaboration where relevant and liaise with relevant units of the International Finance Corporation in relation to private-public partnership approaches.
  •  Contribute to the preparation and assessment of Country Assistance and Partnership Frameworks and other country-team efforts and represent the HNP sector effectively in these activities.

Financing Services:

  •  Advise clients and colleagues on technical matters to ensure the quality of World Bank-financed activities (lending, technical advice, and implementation support), conduct technical reviews of the key outputs from the unit and give guidance to teams to ensure coherence and relevance of policy advice and project design.
  •  Lead in the development of new business in the client countries in the HNP sector, including the expansion of new lending operations and technical advisory services.
  •  Lead missions and supervise projects in the health sector; oversee the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to World Bank standards and manage in collaboration with sector agencies and donors.

Selection Criteria

  •  Master’s degree or higher in Health or Public Health or a relevant discipline (Economics, Public policy, International Development or related social sciences field)
  •  A medical degree would be an asset
  •  Minimum 8 years of relevant experience in the areas of public health, health system management, or health economics, in preparation and supervision of major Bank-funded projects, and/or Trust Funds, or similar experience from other multilateral development institutions
  •  Track record in leading the design and implementation of health systems strengthening and/or public health projects
  •  Demonstrate ability to think and work across World Bank Group (WBG) practices and sectors
  •  Integrate divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent project/program/ strategy
  •  Consider corporate commitments (e.g., MFD, climate, gender) in project approach
  •  Possess political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills
  •  Build and sustain key stakeholder relationships with government and other key stakeholders
  •  Guide clients and/or development partners in identifying key operational issues and optional solutions with a demonstrated ability to bring together different perspectives
  •  Lead task teams, participates in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities
  •  Demonstrate sound knowledge of WBG’s Twin Goals and the complementarities among different WBG member institutions
  •  Demonstrate deep understanding of policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process
  •  Fully understand the World Bank’s development initiatives and policies and practices related to ending and non-lending operations
  •  Guide research efforts and translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies and for discussions with clients and development partners
  •  Anticipate client needs and requests and guide the development/ offering of relevant tools to clients.


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