Urban Development Specialist

World Bank, Djibouti

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th July, 2021

Job Description


  • Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 MNA Urban, Resilience and Land Unit (SMNURL) is led by Practice Manager based in Beirut country office, in Lebanon, and serves the whole MNA Region.
  • The Urban Development Specialist will be based in Djibouti City, Djibouti and will report to the SMNUR Practice Manager.

Regional/ Country Context

  • The Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA) at the World Bank serves 21 client countries with a total population of about 335 million. Clients range from upper middle-income countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which are more interested in the Bank’s Reimbursable Technical Assistance, analytical and advisory services; to IBRD middle income countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, and two IDA countries, Yemen and Djibouti where more traditional Bank services are required. Hence the range of needs for advice, support and cross-fertilization of experiences is wide and challenging.
  • The MNA Urban, Resilience and Land Unit (SMNUR) consists of both headquarters and field-based staff in eight country offices (Amman, Tunis, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Rabat, Riyadh and Jerusalem). The portfolio comprises a diverse set of projects under supervision and has an active lending pipeline which is poised for further growth.
  • The SMNUR team works across a complex institutional environment, in partnership with many different units within the Bank given the cross-cutting nature of urban, DRM, land, and resilience issues. The span of work of SMNUR extends to all active clients in the region, and across a variety of financial and technical assistance support. This includes IBRD/ IDA financial and technical assistance to client countries, as well as the provision of Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) from the Bank to the GCC countries.
  • The thematic work of the SMNUR unit cover an active portfolio and a growing pipeline for lending, and a large RAS and TF program. The portfolio responds to the demands articulated by the MNA strategy and covers a range of urban programs and a growing risk management and resilient recovery agenda, given the vulnerability of most of MNA countries to a wide range of risks, including disasters, climate change, and most prominently, conflict.
  • SMNUR has a substantial and growing lending and analytical program in Djibouti, including but not limited to urban and slums upgrading, sustainable cities, resilience and disaster risks management. SMNUR is particularly supporting the development and implementation of the National Zero Slum Program through an ongoing US$50 million IDA project. Going forward, the urban, resilience and land program will focus mainly on urban development and informal settlements, Djibouti City development, affordable housing and land, and climate change agenda.


  • SMNUR is seeking an Urban Development Specialist to support and substantially contribute to the development and implementation of the Djibouti Urban, Resilience and Land Program.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Participate in/co-lead task teams to develop the pipeline and provide implementation support to Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) activities in Djibouti;
  • Contribute to policy dialogue and just-in-time advisory work in the areas of urban development, affordable housing, slum upgrading and DRM areas, and help enhance the capacity of government to respond to urban development challenges through analytical works and lending operations;
  • Develop new business opportunities in the urban development, affordable housing and land areas by identifying key priority areas for engagement;
  • Participate in professional development and knowledge sharing activities in the urban sector and contribute specific knowledge both within the assigned countries and in the Bank;
  • Maintain liaison and dialogue with government counterpart, development partners, research institutions, non-Government organizations, the private sector, and other sector-related institutions;
  • Working with the Global Practice, help develop knowledge products/training activities to improve best practices in the urban sector both within and outside the Bank;
  • Generate 'think pieces' and 'best practice' papers; handles complex technical, institutional and program implementation issues in the sectors; lead the development of proposals;
  • Contribute to dialogue and provide technical inputs for the preparation of country strategy documents such as SCD, CPF, PLR, etc;
  • Work with consultants and technical specialists in support of policy reviews and recommendations and supervises consultants' reports and outputs; and
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing, dissemination and awareness raising activities with key clients.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree in engineering, urban planning and slum upgrading, urban economics, affordable housing or similar field with at least 5 years' experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Solid experience and expertise in slum upgrading, affordable housing and urban development.
  • Experience in initiating and implementing programs with development impact.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Ability to anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government, other stakeholders and bilateral and multilateral development partners.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English and French, with demonstrated ability of making effective presentations to diverse audiences.
  • Excellent command of English and French are essential.


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