Operations Officer 170063

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 11 January 2017
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 01 February 2017

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Guinea-Bissau is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. Following its independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has suffered from frequent political upheaval and repeated economic shocks that have made it difficult to achieve and sustain development outcomes.

Guinea Bissau’s economy continues to expand in spite of political gridlock and the suspension of donor flows to the country. Following growth of 4.9% in 2015, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected at above 5% in 2016, based on preliminary information suggesting a good 2016 cashew season. The fiscal situation however is still strained by political instability and the suspension of budget support.

Real GDP growth is projected to average 5% over 2016-2018. The pickup in growth reflects the assumption that output from the agriculture sector will remain robust and that political stability is achieved to allow for a return of donor financing that would support a recovery in the secondary sector. This growth path also reflects the assumption of a recovery in electricity and water generation.

The reliance on cashew nuts for economic livelihood exposes two-third of the population to terms of trade shocks. Further diversification, either through moving up the value chain, addressing agricultural technology and market support systems, or capitalizing on other green shoots in the agriculture sector will be key to bolstering the resilience of the economy to shocks. Failure to introduce urgently needed reform measures to strengthen project appraisal capacity and introduce equity-based formulas for budget allocation could delay the gains from fiscal and economic improvements. Addressing high inequality in the country also requires efforts to improve service delivery and enhance the access to basic services, mainly in health, education and water. However, accelerating or even sustaining the pace of poverty reduction will be difficult if the political situation remains unresolved and if the major development challenges that constrain growth, inclusiveness and sustainability, are not addressed.

The current active portfolio for Guinea-Bissau consist of four national IDA operations (US$65.6 million), and two regional IDA operations (US$84 million) for a total commitment amount of US$149.6 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in the energy and water sector, as well as a community driven development program. Other larger upcoming investments include telecom, education and health.

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 Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

Roles & Responsibility

The Operations Officer (OO) position is based in Guinea-Bissau with primary responsibility for supporting the Resident Representative, Country Director, Country Program Coordinator (CPC) and Senior Operations Officer in Dakar with respect to the performance of the existing portfolio, including a substantial trust fund portfolio, and ensuring its strategic alignment with the CPS. The OO supports the RR, CD, CPC and the Program Leaders to conduct country-specific monitoring and reporting on the existing lending and TF portfolio, and to identify and resolve country-specific implementation issues. The OO maintains up-to-date information on portfolio performance (IDA, IBRD, and trust funds) for Guinea-Bissau in close collaboration with the CPC based in Washington and Senior Operations Officer in Dakar. The OO also specifically supports the RR in official duties and representation visa vis the government. He/she is also actively engaging with project implementation units (seven in Bissau) to help trouble-shoot and solve operational issues. The OO is a member of the CMU Management Team that includes senior staff, which meets frequently to share information and resolve all relevant operational and administrative issues in the country office.

Specific duties include:

Monitors and facilitates timely delivery on various milestones during the project cycle, including with respect to project closing and reporting. Support the implementation Support Team (comprising of FM, Procurement and safeguards specialists) and the Senior Operations Officer in Dakar by organizing its regular meetings with project TTLs and program leaders to discuss and find solutions to the ongoing concerns and to anticipate potential future problems/bottlenecks. Follow-up with government on recommendations in close consultation with the RR, CD, CPC, and Program Leaders. Follow up on the Portfolio Action Plan as formulated in the Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR), with special focus on portfolio-wide actions in the areas of FM, procurement, safeguards, and M&E. Prepare the TTLs periodic meetings. Review, and draft comments on Implementation Status Reports for the RR Provides inputs to or prepares diverse operational products/outputs (e.g. country briefings, background reports, case studies, portfolio performance reviews, etc.). Provide continuous case-by-case support to teams and the Implementation Support Team. Interact directly with the Program Leaders on daily work program issues, and provides operational support for problem or risky operations. To the extent possible, participate in operational missions and meetings and assist teams in resolution of difficult issues. The OO works closely and mentor junior/ACS staff on issues of portfolio management and monitoring. The OO will provide support to the management team Review, comment on, and clear all out-going correspondence; manage in-coming correspondence. Provide support in the Country Strategy Implementation program

Regularly interacts with project implementation units (7 in Bissau) to provide operational support, alert of training needs and trouble-shoot when needed.

In case of absence or non-availability of the RR, represents the World Bank at meetings with government, civil society and donor partners.

Support the RR, CD and CPC in the development and implementation of the Country Partnership Strategy and provide assistance in preparing CPS Progress Report and Completion Report, particularly regarding portfolio implementation.
Selection Criteria:
Selection Criteria & Competencies:

• MA/MS with minimum 5 years’ relevant experience; a post graduate qualification in finance with a supplementary Business Administration will be an added advantage.
• Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments and build effective working relations with clients and colleagues.
• Effective verbal and written communications skills.
• Ability to function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within a matrix environment.
• Good understanding of Bank policies, procedures and system.
• Recognized by peers and/or managers for ability to identify and pro-actively solve operational issues and problems.
• Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the CMU's annual reporting, budgeting, and business planning.
• Ability to coordinate mechanisms to ensure efficient and effective procedures for routine workflow in the County office.
• Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• Shares best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.

This vacancy is archived.

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