Senior Operations Officer

World Bank Group

Sydney, Australia

The World Bank’s Pacific department (EACNF) covers twelve countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) and is home to more fragile states than any other region outside of Africa. Over the past few years, we have substantially scaled-up our program in the Pacific.  Lending volumes have more than doubled with 91 active operations and US$2.7b committed currently. The program offers many opportunities to test innovative approaches designed to maximize impacts in contexts characterized by remoteness, fragility, small size of human settlements and capacity constraints.  The program focuses on four main thematic areas:

  • promoting sound economic management,
  • strengthening human development outcomes,
  • improving service delivery and fostering sustainable growth; and
  • responding to climate change risks, especially through adaptation. Building resilience to shocks, promoting gender equality, and encouraging regional/global integration are key cross-sector objectives. 

A large and rapid increase in size of the PNG and Pacific Department’s portfolio in a fragile and capacity-constrained environment means that managing the portfolio requires additional support to client countries.  The Bank has been piloting several new approaches that address development projects implementation challenges in Fragile and Small States and has scaled up its work on supporting Capacity Building in client countries. 

Duties and Accountabilities

n experienced and dynamic development professional is being sought to join the PNG and Pacific CMU Team as a Senior Operations Officer. The selected candidate will work closely with the Operations Manager, and will have four primary responsibilities: (i) support to the preparation and implementation of strategy and program support documentation; (ii) support the implementation and monitoring of the expanded operational portfolio across all Global Practices to ensure synergies across the GPs; (iii) support TTLs in the development and implementation of the Bank’s investment operations, and (iv) support management of country and donor relations.

More specifically, the Senior Operations Officer will have the following principal duties and accountabilities:

Strategy and Program Support:  Assist in preparation, implementing, and monitoring of various ASA and sector tasks for lending and non-lending products and activities such as sector investments, public expenditure reviews, country assistance strategies (CAS), and coordinating with task teams to help ensure product integration into Bank strategies and compliance with Bank requirements.

  • Support to the implementation and monitoring of the pipeline and expanded operational portfolio: Reporting to the Operations Manager based in Sydney and work closely with Country Managers and Resident Representatives on portfolio quality issues. Tasks will include:
  • Assisting the Operations Manager as needed in day-to-day management and supervision of the Sydney office, including mentoring/coaching, and assisting national staff in career development and appropriate learning and training opportunities.
  • Monitor and report on remedial actions which task teams have developed to address project problems and on risk mitigation measures incorporated into the project.
  • Pilot innovative approaches to implementation and link implementing units to broader Bank knowledge in monitoring and evaluation, procurement, and financial management.
  • Supporting country teams with analyzing portfolio trends/issues impacting project implementation.
  • Advise Operations Manager and the CMUs on appropriate pipeline and its integration with the overall strategy.
  • Play a role in mentoring country office staff to build skills in providing implementation support to clients.
  • Document periodically key lessons learned during project implementation in the Pacific and innovative approaches which the Bank can extend to other low-capacity countries.
  • Contribute to the review of operational documents including Board packages, Implementation Completion Reports, Implementation Status Reports and Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) products.  
  • Contribute to the preparation of Bank strategy products, briefs, and trust fund progress reports.
  • Contribute to the Pacific Department’s Capacity Building Initiative including delivery of training to clients and staff.
  • Project implementation support: In close consultation with the Task Team Leader and appropriate team members of each project:
  • Assist implementing agencies on project management and implementation.
  • Advise implementation agencies on compliance with Bank Financial Management requirements including the preparation of Interim Financial Reports and the contracting and submission of project audits.
  • Assist implementation agencies with monitoring and evaluation.
  • Assist the implementing agency in the preparation of documentation required to support project restructuring / completion / evaluation / additional financing.
  • Assist implementing agencies in the preparation of procurement plans, bidding documents, and providing overall advice on compliance with World Bank procurement policies including the development of contract management and project filing procedures.
  • Assist task teams with the review of technical reports and bidding documents.
  • Client and Partner Relations:  Assist in building and sustaining effective relationships with national counterparts, international development partners, and civil society.  
  • Respond to requests for information on the Bank's programs in coordination with the country office staff.  
  • Assist the country teams in building long-term relationships with local stakeholders through sector policy dialogue, strategic communications, and outreach activities. 
  • Lead efforts in knowledge management to ensure best practices and lessons learned are reflected on the unit’s operations and that clients are assisted in improving their ability to plan, prepare, and implement sector studies, projects, and related follow-up activities. 
  • Assisting the Operations Manager, Country Manager and Resident Representatives, as requested, in dialogue with donors, representing the Bank at donor meetings and events, following up on donor working group decisions, and helping to promote the donor harmonization agenda consistent with international commitments.


  • The Senior Operations Officer will report to the World Bank’s Operations Manager in Sydney Australia.

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s degree in relevant field/discipline and 8 years of relevant experience.
  • Prior work experience in achieving results on the ground in more than one world region (including, where appropriate, experience other than with the World Bank). For current Bank staff, a corporate assignment (e.g., DEC, WBI, FAC Units) may substitute for experience in a second world region.
  • Sound operational experience of preparation and implementation of development projects and programs, a thorough knowledge of Bank Group policies, programs, and procedures, and exposure to economic and sector work, CPF, and PLRs activities would be an advantage.
  • Portfolio management experience and competent in implementation support.
  • A consistent track record in development operations with demonstrated results in lending and non-lending products.
  • Broad and deep understanding of the full range of the Bank’s financial and advisory products, services, and procedures, gained through solid operational experience.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, diplomatic and partnership skills required for building and maintaining collaborative relationships with senior government officials, partners, and stakeholders, including experience with donor coordination with the aim of strengthening country-led development processes.
  • Strong communication skills, ability to communicate and defend orally and in writing difficult issues and position to senior Bank management, government official and partners, including the ability to speak persuasively and present ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Superior level of resourcefulness, ability to work with considerable autonomy as well as willingness to work under tight deadlines and through the whole spectrum of activities from the strategic level to the resolution of specific implementation issues.
  • Ability to operate effectively in a matrix management environment, both as a team leader and a team member.
  • Legal right to work in Australia.