Senior Operations Officer

World Bank Group

dakar, Senegal

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 and promoting shared prosperity. 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 World Bank’s Country Management Unit (CMU) for Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and The Gambia (AWCF1) develops strategy direction, oversees portfolio implementation, monitors impact, and evaluates results for the Bank’s portfolio in the five countries. The country unit includes offices in Dakar, Praia, Banjul, Bissau, Nouakchott and an Anchor Unit in Washington, D.C. It oversees a portfolio of 60 projects for a total of US$4.13 billion and a large ASA program (25 tasks). The portfolio comprises support to a wide range of sectors including energy, water and sanitation, transportation, education, decentralization, and social protection and we have ongoing DPO series in four of the five countries. The fragile states face important implementation challenges while the implementation of the other programs requires close Bank support in coordination with Government counterparts. 

The AWCF1 CMU is managed by a Country Director (CD), assisted by an Operations Manager (OM) and four Practices Leaders (PLs), all based in the World Bank Regional Office in Dakar. The CD coordinates and oversees the AWCF1country offices and an anchor unit in Washington D.C. The Country Manager (CM) for Mauritania, and Resident Representatives (RR) in Cabo Verde , Guinea Bissau and The Gambia,  reside and represent the Bank in the respective country where they lead the Bank dialogue with authorities, manage the day-to-day operations of the program, with the assistance of an Operations Officer, an Executive Assistant, other Country Office staff and the broader Country Team. The Bank team is working closely with the IFC and cooperates with MIGA as well.


  • AWCF1 is seeking a Senior Operations Officer (SOO) who will be based in the country office in Dakar and reports to the OM. The SOO is responsible for the CMU program, with a particular focus on the Senegal program but plays an important role in other countries as well: in particular s/he will coordinate the team of Operations officers working in other CMU Offices (the core Portfolio team). The Senior Operations Officer (SOO) will provide direct support to the Operations Manager (OM). He/she will closely coordinate with other members of the country management team – including the Country Manager and Resident Representatives (CM/RR), Program Leaders (PLs), other OOs in the CMU, and the AWCF1 Country Teams in advancing the CMU work program.  He/she will contribute to ensuring strategic focus, integration and consistency across and within the CMU portfolio. Under the leadership of the OM, he/she will lead program monitoring and portfolio management, support the CD/OM in managing the relationship with government counterparts on operational and portfolio issues and provide operational support to task teams in Senegal and across CMU countries.  He/she will also back up other members of the CMU, as needed.  More specifically, he/she will undertake the following tasks.  Specific duties include:

Country Strategy Formulation & Implementation 

  • Make substantive contributions to country and sector strategies, lending and non-lending work programs; help ensure that technical and financial support to Senegal and CMU countries is consistent with the Country Partnership Framework; play a key role in the formulation and implementation of the Senegal Country Partnership Framework (including Performance/Completion and Learning Reviews - PLRs/CLRs), and assess sector and thematic issues in relationship with the broader country developments and Country Partnership Framework (CPF).

Pipeline and Portfolio Monitoring 

  • In coordination with the OM, monitor the project portfolio and operational performance, quality (at entry, supervision, and exit) and trends, including ensuring compliance with Bank policies, reviewing Implementation Status Reports and Implementation and Completion Reports (ICRs), ensuring that project ratings are realistic, and working with teams to develop and implement action plans to improve implementation and resolve problems. The SOO will take the lead on the following:

Portfolio Monitoring and Reviews.

  • Responsible for quality control functions, portfolio monitoring including preparation of monthly and ad-hoc portfolio monitoring reports Organize and lead regular Country Portfolio Performance Meetings with the Core Portfolio Team (that comprises FM, Procurement and safeguards specialists, project Team Leaders and practice leaders) and Government to discuss and find solutions to the ongoing concerns and to anticipate potential future problems/bottlenecks. Flag implementation problems for the attention of clients and Bank management and take the lead in and provide support to project teams in resolving systemic portfolio issues. Follow-up with government on recommendations under overall guidance of the CM. Ensure the quality assurance of Trust Fund proposals to ensure that all TF proposals within AWCF1 are aligned with the CMU strategic direction and subject to a structured review and clearance process within the CMU. Coordinate the role of the Core portfolio Team in this respect.

Management of Deliverables.

  • In coordination with the OM, PLs and Project team leaders, ensure monitoring of key deliverables (projects under preparation, ISR, ICR and analytical products). Coordinate the role of the Core portfolio Team in this respect.

Package review.

  • Review and provide comments on all packages at each stage of the project cycle. Liaise with projects team leaders to ensure all comments are considered before CD/OM clearance. Coordinate the role of the Core portfolio Team in this respect.

Implementation Status and Results Reports (ISRs)

  • Implementation and Completion Reports (ICRs), Review, comment on and propose clearance to the CM on ISRs. Coordinate the role of the Core portfolio Team in this respect.

Quality assurance 

  • Quality Oversight. On a regular basis, and in coordination with the OM, provide timely technical and operational leadership and advisory support/guidance to the CD as well as the project teams throughout the project cycle (identification, design, appraisal, implementation, and evaluation). Risk management and implementation issues, in collaboration with the OM, Practice Leaders, and the core portfolio team.
  • Operational Support. Advise the country team on operational policies, instruments, and procedures and on complex operational issues. 

Support to OM and CO

  • Review, comment on, and clear all out-going correspondence; with input from the Core Portfolio Team, manage in-coming correspondence; review/comment/clearance of all operational requests (PIDs, AISs, etc.).

Reporting, Briefing:

  • Prepare a range of reports and briefs to regional and senior management including Spring and Annual Meetings briefs, visiting missions’ briefs and ad hoc briefs. Provide input to regional reports and respond to requests from regional front office on information related to the CMU program. Maintain up-to-date information on portfolio performance and provide analysis on portfolio quality, implementation issue and areas needing attention
  • In coordination with the OM and the Resource Management team, monitor the implementation of the WPAs, utilization of resources, including providing periodically updated information to TTLs for budget monitoring at task level. Monitor the utilization of CMU resources during the Fiscal Year including reallocation of CMU budget towards operational uses/projects. Assist OM in developing annual WPA for the CMU Program and assist in discussions with the sector leaders/units leading to the timely finalization of the WPA allocations.

Country Team Management:

  • Serve as a liaison, coordination and integration point for the extended country team; provide guidance and advice on country developments, operational priorities and strategies as needed; help foster teamwork and cross-sectoral cooperation on program preparation and implementation;  contribute to country team meetings and activities; and provide guidance or support to visiting missions to Burkina Faso and for the dialogue with country counterparts and development partners, as needed.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Guide and mentor other operational staff and provide inputs into the design of professional and operational training and development activities. Ensure close collaboration and information sharing among the four other country programs in AWCW3.

Client and Development Partner Relations:

  •  Assist the OM in representation of the Bank and outreach to key stakeholders, development partners and donors, as well as NGOs, civil society, and the media, especially as they relate to project operational matters and the broader strategic agenda of the Bank. With a focus on Senegal, day to day dialogue with the Government on a broad range of policy and implementation issues and keeping the Country Team abreast of that dialogue.

Selection Criteria

  • Minimum Education: MA/MS (In relevant discipline) 
  • Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience
  • Ability to operate effectively in a matrix management environment, both as a team leader and team member.
  •  Ability to lead a team of professionals in the execution of major projects.
  • Proven ability to think independently and demonstrated political sensitivity and mature judgment, with an ability to interpret challenging socio-economic trends
  • Ability to coach, mentor and develop more junior staff.
  • Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments and demonstrated effectiveness in developing and maintaining positive client (internal and external) and partners relations.
  • Ability to focus on key issues, while not losing sight of the big picture.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills including the ability to draft concise reports and correspondence under tight deadlines, and the ability to communicate and defend orally and in writing difficult issues and positions to a variety of stakeholders, including government officials, and partners.  Fluency in French and spoken and written English at an intermediate level are essential.


  • Project Management - Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of the project management concepts, as they relate to the implementation of complex, multi-functional projects in varied geographical and economic conditions  
  • Portfolio Management (OS) - Leads the monitoring of country/sector strategy and work program; flags implementation issues for attention of clients and senior management and takes a leading role in resolving these.  
  • Analytical and Technical Skills, Operational Strategy Development & Advice - Recognized by peers and/or managers for ability to identify and pro-actively solve operational issues and problems.  
  • Country Strategy - Recognized proficiency in playing a central role in and make substantive contributions to the strategy formulation process and related products.  
  • Stakeholder Engagement - Ability to advance and make substantive contributions to the country dialogue.  
  • Country Team Management - Ability to coordinate mechanisms to ensure CMU responsiveness to country team members, including an ability to respond substantively to challenging queries and efficient and effective procedures for routine workflow.  
  • Operational Project Management - Demonstrates in depth knowledge of the project cycle and understanding of project management tools & methodologies.  
  • Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.  
  • Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.  
  • Team Leadership. Solid experience of being a team leader or core task team member on one or more strategic or operational tasks. Demonstrated talent in forming, leading and making changes to team composition and delivering tasks on budget and high quality.
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.  
  • Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.
  • Please refer to the below link to know more about the COS Competencies :