Job #: req22275
Organization: World Bank
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 5/8/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC
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. Visit www.worldbank.org.
The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region comprises 30 extremely diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Many parts of the region continue to struggle with multiple structural weaknesses, including high public debt burdens, tight fiscal space, low investment, lack of contestable markets, and financial sector vulnerabilities. In view of these challenges, the ECA regional strategy is to help countries (i) create solid foundations for higher productivity and resilience— macroeconomic and financial stability, effective governance and institutions, enabling the environment for the private sector-led growth, and capacity to address global public goods, especially climate change; (ii) build an environment for productive individuals to overcome vulnerability and achieve middle-class status—investing in maternal and child health, investing in safety nets to protect households during times of adversity, improving labor productivity and labor force participation to achieve higher incomes, fostering inclusion and engaged citizenry for shared prosperity; and (iii) enabling markets to achieve sustained and inclusive growth—support private sector growth, promote entrepreneurship, competition and innovation, facilitate access to new markets, foster regional economic integration, and participate in global value chains.
The South Caucasus comprises a fascinating set of three countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The three countries of the South Caucasus have made significant development achievements since the early 2000s. Growth rates have been robust and poverty rates have declined sharply over the last decade, although, like elsewhere, these achievements have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. However, few good jobs have been created, and, as a result, poverty rates remain high despite the declines and inequality has been persistently high. While the nature and extent of the issues differs by countries, there is a consensus that productivity growth needs to improve across all countries, supported by more competitive markets, deeper financial markets, and more qualified workers. The WBG has a longstanding engagement in the South Caucasus, with 2022 marking the 30th anniversary in all the three countries.
Within the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan faces challenges like other resource-rich countries. It recorded unprecedented double-digit growth during the 2000s, achieved upper-middle-income status in 2009, and has attained dramatic poverty reduction. However, inequities and vulnerabilities persist, and the country is facing structural headwinds, including the decline in oil and gas reserves and the increasing international focus on energy transition, which highlight the need to transition towards a new growth model. Responding to these challenges, the recently released Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2022-2026) acknowledges the need to attain greener growth, inclusion and social justice, and a more competitive human capital. The World Bank is currently renewing its partnership with Azerbaijan to support the achievements of its aspirations.
The Macroeconomics Trade and Investment (MTI) Global Practice has an exciting program in South Caucasus, including Azerbaijan. We are seeking a highly qualified candidate for the position of Senior Economist for Azerbaijan, based in Baku. The selected candidate will report to the MTI Practice Manager and, in coordination with the Program Leader for the South Caucasus countries (who is based in Georgia), lead the MTI program for Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Local MTI Senior Economist. This will include leading core analytical and advisory work, and macroeconomic engagement with the government.
As the program is expected to expand, this will also include new potential lending, RAS, and/or technical assistance engagements. In addition, the selected candidate is expected to contribute to the broader South Caucasus program. The Senior Economist will engage regularly with other Global Practices on substantive topics. S/he will build and maintain networks across key economic agencies. The Senior Economist will work and lead on cutting edge policy issues in a resource-rich economy which is seeking to accelerate the transition towards a greener and diversified market economy.
The Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
The MTI Global Practice (GP) leads the World Bank Group’s dialogue and engagement with clients in macroeconomics, fiscal policy, trade, competition and investment. MTI links the macroeconomic dialogue with programs focused on expanding the role of the private sector in economic development. For more information: https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/unit/mti-gp
Duties and Accountabilities
The Senior Country Economist will:
- Maintain an effective high-level policy dialogue with senior government officials in Azerbaijan, actively develop new business, and work closely with the IMF and other development partners.
- Lead/contribute to analytical work relating to macro monitoring, growth, public finances, structural reform and other economic topics in Azerbaijan and the rest of South Caucasus countries.
- Playing a lead role in preparing lending operations in Azerbaijan.
- Serve as a focal point on economic issues in Azerbaijan to clients and other external constituencies and expert economic groups.
- Support the analytical work program of the CMU, including the preparation of SCDs, CPSDs and other key strategic pieces, and their quality control, and provide advice to the CD on country strategic engagement.
- Work closely with other GPs on the preparation of key strategic pieces and/or engagements.
This position reports requires technical breadth and depth to devise development solutions and carry out client dialogue, a combination of integrative skills, strong operational experience, sensitivity to the political economy of the client countries, in-depth knowledge of WBG services and products, and strong communication/language skills. Specifically, the candidates should have:
- Ph.D. or Master’s in economics with at least eight (8) years of relevant professional experience, including a track record of delivery of high quality analytical and advisory products.
- Strong analytical skills in macroeconomics, fiscal management, microeconomics, finance and development economics and proven ability to conduct policy-relevant research.
- In-depth knowledge of WBG financing operations as well as analytical and advisory services, including work programming, budgeting, task management, and strong familiarity with WBG instruments.
- Demonstrated client orientation through identifying and evaluating emerging opportunities aligned with WBG strategy, and challenging others to remove barriers and to deliver beyond client expectations.
- Proven experience in leading high impact development policy and/or investment operations; sound knowledge of Bank lending tools and procedures.
- Demonstrated ability to integrate sectoral inputs into a broader development framework.
- Demonstrated leadership in teamwork, in working across boundaries and in ensuring that diverse talent and capabilities is mobilized across the different GPs. Proven ability to work across practices and disciplinary boundaries.
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to present complex analyses to non-specialist audiences.
- Strong client-orientation and diplomatic skills combined with candor and courage of opinion.
- Ability to work flexibly on a range of assignments and adjust to a variety of complex evolving tasks to meet deadlines.
- Entrepreneurial capabilities that can be deployed in identifying and securing new business opportunities.
- High energy and demonstrated interest in achieving impact through analytical work and technical assistance for demanding and sophisticated clients. Previous experience in delivering high impact work in a country under economic transformation would be a plus.
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.