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. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.
Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region
We need the best and brightest talent focused on our region in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Home to about 700 million of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. The subregion harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continue to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade! But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future.
Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID!
Eastern and Southern Africa (E AFR) Region: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/eastern-and-southern-africa
The Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG)
Human development is at the core of the World Bank’s strategy to improve people’s lives and support sustainable development. The Human Development research program spans education, health, social protection, and labor. Additionally, the HD PG houses the gender group.
Education Global Practice
Education is a human right, a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. It delivers large, consistent returns in terms of income and is the most important factor to ensure equality of opportunities. For more information: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education
Education is central to achieving the WBG’s twin goals: it is a reliable route out of poverty through large and consistent returns to income for individuals and as a driver for economic growth. It is also a prime vehicle for promoting shared prosperity. The main challenge in the education sector is to achieve “learning for all and learning for life”- that is, to ensure that all children and young people acquire the knowledge and skills they need for their lives and livelihoods. In the past two decades, the developing world has made great advances in education, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school and in approaching gender equality. Despite these successes in expanding access to education, critical challenges remain: removing persistent educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile and conflict-affected states, and improving the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning. In recent years, the WBG, and the broader education development community, have shifted their focus to include learning outcomes. Traditional input-driven programs have shown that they do not always lead to improved learning outcomes so the WBG’s education strategy highlights the need for a more comprehensive ‘systems approach’ to education reform, investments, and service delivery. This approach is about increasing accountability and targeting results, as a complement to providing inputs. It also requires strengthening the knowledge base on education, to highlight where systems are achieving results, where they are falling short, and what the most effective solutions are. These efforts are increasingly guided by the need to invest early; invest smartly; and invest for all. Through high-quality analytical work, collection of evidence, and practical know-how in these three areas, the WBG is helping its partner countries accelerate their progress in the education sector.
The Education Global Practice is led by a Global Director, who has overall responsibility for the practice, together with Regional Directors who oversee the human development program in the regions working with ten Practice Managers.
Education and the Africa Region
The WBG serves 48 client countries in the Africa Region (AFR). Clients range from low-income countries, among them several fragile and conflict-affected states, to a small but growing number of middle-income countries (MICs) but with weak human development indicators. Average annual per capita income varies widely and inequalities persist in most AFR countries, with most of the Region's population living in poverty. The Bank's strategy in AFR is focused on two pillars - competitiveness and employment, and vulnerability and resilience –and prioritizes cross-cutting approaches founded in governance and public sector capacity.
In AFR, many countries have achieved considerable progress in access to basic education. But challenges persist, namely: improving the quality and relevance of education at all levels; expanding access to early childhood development (ECD) and post-basic education; developing emphasis on science, technology and innovation; and improving skills development. Efforts are needed in each of these areas to produce a quality workforce to sustain, innovate, and expand on the current economic growth in the region.
The Education GP team in the region works with client countries – at the regional, sub-regional, national, and sub-national levels – to address their unique and shared challenges. We do this by addressing low quality at all levels of education, increasing the efficiency and accountability of education services, modernizing the higher end of the formal education continuum, integrating science and technology more effectively, and aligning skills formation with the needs of a fast-growing Region, including LICs. The GP aims to not only deliver high-quality products but also to build capacity in client countries through collaborative interactions with country counterparts and other development partners. It seeks to bring the best possible knowledge to bear on the practical challenges facing client countries and at the same time places a high priority on knowledge generation, including through rigorous impact evaluations of education interventions.
The Education GP is comprised of four Practice Management Units in AFR.
Many of our operations and analytical products are based on approaches that: (i) assist countries in developing and implementing strategies for ensuring quality teaching and learning at all levels of education (ECD, basic education, secondary education and tertiary education), and in addressing the issues that face these countries' disadvantaged and vulnerable groups; (ii) ensure that education systems respond to the needs of labor markets; (iii) continue to stress the focus on results; (iv) build capacity for monitoring and evaluation of reforms, and foster knowledge sharing; (v) promote innovative strategies, cross-sectoral linkages, and partnerships with the private sector and other development partners whenever relevant; (vi) develop and scale up successful strategies for regional collaboration to leverage economies of scale; and (vii) aim to strengthen governance, accountability, and transparency in the education sector.
The Education Sector Unit for Eastern and Southern Africa (HAEE1) is responsible for policy, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the sub-region. The unit currently has a portfolio of regional and country projects and programs, analytical and technical assistance activities financed through IDA grants and credits, Trust Funds and Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) and using investment and results-based financing. The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from early childhood education to higher education and research. The unit is committed to delivering high-quality technical products to support education development in the Bank’s client countries and to do so in a manner that builds capacity through collaborative interactions with country counterparts.
The Unit’s core goals are to
(i) Expand coverage of early childhood development in a cost-effective manner
(ii) ensure universal completion of quality primary/basic education
(iii) improve learning outcomes, particularly in reading, mathematics and science and
(iv) expand access to and quality of secondary, technical, vocational, and higher education, with a focus on applied sciences, engineering and technology and strengthening the links between post-basic education systems and labor markets.
The unit is also developing innovative approaches to education, including the use of digital technologies to expand access and improve quality and results-based modalities for Bank projects. It tries to achieve these goals through education sector interventions (financial and analytical) and through interventions in other sectors that influence educational outcomes, as well as through partnership activities with a variety of partners.
Education plays a central role in the efforts by the Government of Ethiopia to transform its economy, reduce poverty and create jobs. Starting from one of the lowest levels of education coverage in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia has rapidly moved to expand access to primary education as well as to other levels. It is also placing great emphasis on improving the quality of education and developing technical-scientific capability. The country seeks to learn from international good practices, including from the countries of Asia and Latin America and is also striving to adapt these practices within the Ethiopian context. However, learning levels and retention remain low at the primary level and affect the quality of education at higher levels. There are problems of efficiency and accountability in the sector.
The Bank’s work in the education sector in Ethiopia, with a demanding client, is multi-dimensional. The education GP manages a large project, financed by IDA, GPE and a multi-donor Trust Fund, focused on improving quality in basic and secondary education. The education team works closely with the SP team and other GPs. With a rapidly urbanizing population and the drive to develop manufacturing, thinking of new collaborative approaches with non-HD practices is also critical. There is a significant program of analytical/ TA work, including PERs, and assessments of particular sub-sectors such as higher education, skills and early childhood education.
At the post-basic level, Ethiopia is participating in two flagship regional projects – the Africa Centers of Excellence project, as well as the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration project. Ethiopia’s efforts to integrate into the regional economy and to transform its economy to develop manufacturing and services require building up a skilled base. However, the higher education and skills sub-sectors suffer from inefficiency and poor quality. The creation of a new Ministry of Higher Education, which covers universities as well as TVET, provides an opportunity for better leadership and management of the sub-sector, as well as to engage in new models of delivery, including the use of technology. Ethiopia has started innovating in Bank operations with the use of disbursement-linked indicators in the regional projects, and Program for Results in general education.
The unit is seeking a seasoned Senior Education Specialist/Economist to work in the Ethiopia country office to co-lead the education policy dialogue along with a team of education specialists/economists. S/he will also co-supervise the education portfolio. The expected candidate is expected to help develop the IDA pipeline and contribute to/ lead other tasks in the Country Management Unit. The selected candidate will lead the implementation of the Human Capital Project which is a multi-sectoral IDA-financed project that will be approved in mid-June 2023, in addition to co-lead, and contributing to other projects.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or
The advertised position is an International recruited position based in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA.
Duties and Accountabilities
Specific responsibilities include:
The ideal candidate will combine excellent technical capabilities, experience in analyzing policy options and recommending practical policy reforms, and a capacity to translate analytical findings into policy and into innovative Bank operations to help clients shift policies in new directions or to pilot new approaches.
World Bank Group Core Competencies
The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.