E T Consultant
World Bank (World Bank)
Close on 2 Oct 2020
Location: Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Grade: EC2
D Hardship
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Added 2 weeks ago
Job Description



The World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2017, the WBG committed US$59 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which US$19 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

The vision of the WBG is the eradication of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity by fostering income growth of the bottom 40 percent in each country. To achieve that vision, in 2013 the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization that leverages the combined strength of WBG institutions and partnerships with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions. These solutions are backed by finance, world class knowledge, and convening services. It has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise, and ideas.


Education is central to achieving the WBG’s twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030; and (2) promoting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in every developing country. It is a reliable route out of poverty because it has large and consistent returns to income for individuals and because it can drive 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, 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. The developing world has achieved great advances in education in the past two decades, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school and in approaching gender equality. Yet these successes in expanding access to education have highlighted the major remaining challenges: how to remove the educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile and conflict affected countries, and how to improve the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning. The WBG and the broader education development community are increasingly shifting focus to learning outcomes. Because traditional input-driven programs often fail to promote learning, 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. And 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 and curation of evidence, and practical know-how in these three areas, the WBG is helping its partner countries accelerate their educational progress.

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.


The WBG serves 48 client countries under two regional Vice Presidencies: 22 countries in West and Central Africa and 26 countries in East and Southern Africa. 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 African 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 in order 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 MICs. 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 cutting-edge 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 for the Region. The HAWE3 unit covers 9 countries in West Africa, across three Country Management Units (CMUs), and includes Anglophone, Francophone, Spanish, and Lusophone countries. In that context, the unit is responsible for policy dialogue, analytical work, and operational investments in the education sector. The unit’s growing portfolio currently includes operations of about US$2.61 billion, sourced from IDA, IBRD, and Trust Funds, and technical assistance (TA) products in both low-income countries and MICs. The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from ECD to higher education as well as job-relevant skills development. The portfolio is increasingly using new lending instruments and approaches to support systemic reforms, including the program-for-results (PforRs) and the multi-phased programmatic approach (MPAs). The unit produces innovative and programmatic analytical and advisory services (ASA).

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.

In Sierra Leone, the Bank has a growing program. Ongoing education operations in Sierra Leone include the: (i) Free Education Project (US$50 million International Development Association [IDA] grant and multi-donor trust fund grant of US$16 million from DFID, EU and Irish Aid) was approved by the Board on June 29, 2020 and became effective on August 10, 2020. The project aims to enhance equitable access to education, improve learning outcomes and skills acquisition, and strengthen education system.; and (ii) Skills Development Project (US$20 million), which aims to be the platform to develop a demand-led skills development system by providing competitive grants to TVET institutions and private sectors. In addition, the World Bank is currently working with the Government on preparing two new operations: (a) Global Partnership for Education (GPE) COVID-19 Education Response Additional Financing (US$6.85 million), which will support the Government’s education emergency response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on learning; and (b) New Regional higher Education Project: Reforming Africa’s Institutes for Computer Science and Engineering and Digitization (RAISE) Project, which aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of the higher education sector and provide the technical skills to better deploy digital technologies across sub-Saharan African countries.

The World Bank is also active in knowledge generation on key issues in the education sector in Sierra Leone. In this regard, planned analytical work for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 includes analysis of and recommendations for reform on education public expenditure, education quality, and school catchment area and rationalization plan. In addition, the Sierra Leone education team contributes relevant analysis and inputs to cross-sectoral reports and strategic documents.

The unit is seeking to an Education Economist/Specialist as an Extended Term Consultant (ETC), based in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to provide operational and analytical support to the Sierra Leone education portfolio and related activities, who (a) has strong analytical skills; (b) has some expertise in at least one education subsector; (c) has strong communication skills and an understanding of political economy of reforms, enabling them to contribute effectively to policy dialogue; and (d) is interested in the practical aspects of World Bank operations or (for internal candidates) has experience in World Bank-funded/supported operations.

The selected candidate will be based in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and report to the Education Practice Manager for HAWE3. The ETC will collaborate closely with the Sierra Leone education team, which has members based both in Freetown and Washington DC.

This is a 12-months extended term staff position over the period October 2020 – 2021. The term of employment may be renewed for an additional 12 months based on performance.

Duties and Accountabilities:

- Contribution to education sector analytical work: Participate in analytical work and provide high quality customized analytical and advisory services linked to country circumstances (including relevant lessons from international experience) on wide range of issues and policies related to education.Skillfully manipulate large datasets, such as school census and national learning assessment data, summarizing findings clearly and drawing out policy recommendations. Contribute to activities such as impact evaluations, economic analysis of education operations, public expenditure reviews, and other education analytical work.

- Support of operations: In consultation with the TTLs, handle operational matters on a day-to-day basis.In this context, she/he would participate in the full cycle of project preparation, implementation support, and evaluation. She/he will support mission preparation and contribute to mission objectives, including inputs to mission aides-memoire and implementation status reports (ISRs). She/he will support monitoring and evaluation of project development objectives and implementation progress, intermediate outcomes, and results-based financing/disbursement linked indicators.The main objective is to help ensure the effectiveness and timely implementation of projects, including close follow-up on project implementation progress and alleviation of bottlenecks.

- Support to human development (HD) and other country analytical work: Provide education sector input to regular Bank products and outputs, e.g. HD-wide analytical tasks, CMU tasks.Liaise with HD staff on integrated HD inputs and activities.

- Support to ad hoc requests and briefings:Respond to ad-hoc information requests on education from internal and external parties.Draft briefings for management on education sector in general and specific topics as required.

Selection Criteria

- A minimum of a Master’s Degree (preferably PhD) in economics, education (economics of education, education policy, etc.), public policy, or a related field;

- A minimum of 5 years of experience in the education sector;

- Strong analytical and technical skills, including an understanding of the core education data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of these data, and the use of evidence for education policy;

- Strong client orientation and proven ability to work with government agencies, and with partner organizations;

- Excellent interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to work in a team and intercultural environment with minimal supervision;

- High levels of energy, initiative and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements. Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to internal and external client requests, and set priorities for self and others;

- Relevant experience with policies and interventions in the education sector, familiarity with World Bank's operations and business processes will be a plus;

- Excellent communication (oral and written) skills to convey complex technical ideas to a non-specialist audience, and lead substantive policy dialogue with clients and stakeholders;

- Fluency in written and spoken English; and

- Willingness to travel, as required by the different tasks.

Key Competencies:

- Integrative Skills: Demonstrates strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing an integrated point of view around development challenges;

- Policy Dialogue Skills: Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills; applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners; anticipates needs and requests in the field and develops/offers relevant tools to clients;

- Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena: Understands policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process; finds relevant information/data and examines similar policy questions in multiple regions;

- Client Orientation: Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success;

- Drive for Results: Takes personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization skills to do so;

- Teamwork: Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team’s work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view;

- Knowledge, Learning, and Communication:Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner; and

- Education Sector Knowledge and Experience: Possesses strong analytical and technical skills, including an understanding of the core education data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of these data, and the use of evidence for education policy.

Note: The selected candidate will be offered a one-year appointment, renewable for an additional one year, at the discretion of the World Bank Group, and subject to a lifetime maximum ET Appointment of two years. If an ET appointment ends before a full year, it is considered as a full year toward the lifetime maximum. Former and current ET staff who have completed all or any portion of their second-year ET appointment are not eligible for future ET appointments.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

About World Bank

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

World Bank's mission is to end extreme poverty by reducing the share of the global population that lives in extreme poverty to 3 percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity by increasing the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in every country.