World Bank recruits 01 Senior Education Economist/Specialist

World Bank recruits 01 Senior Education Economist/Specialist

World Bank

Abuja, Nigeria

Senior Education Economist/Specialist

Job #: req20725

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Education

Grade: GG

Term Duration:  3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Abuja,Nigeria

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): French

Closing Date: 1/31/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank consists of two entities – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) – and is part of the World Bank Group. It is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank provides loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, and coordinates responses to regional and global challenges. For more information, visit

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.

Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades. 

In Western and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 350 projects totaling more than US$38 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water, and sanitation – all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives. Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87 percent of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved. 

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.

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

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.

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:

Country Management Unit Context

Nigeria is central to the World Bank’s mission of eliminating global poverty.  A multi-ethnic and diverse federation of 36 autonomous states, Nigeria is already Africa’s largest country (over 200 million people) and Africa’s largest economy. With its abundance of resources, a young and entrepreneurial population, and a dynamic private sector, Nigeria has the potential to be a giant on the global stage. At the same time, with over 40% of its population (over 80 million people) in poverty, Nigeria has the second largest population of extreme poor in the world. On human development, Nigeria ranks amongst the lowest in the world (6th lowest on the Human Capital Index). Nigeria needs to significantly transform its human development system to provide foundational and technical skills to more than 3 million young Nigerians coming of working age every year.

HAWE3 Unit

The Education GP team in the AFW Region is divided into two units (HAWE3 and HAWE2), each covering three CMUs.  HAWE3 covers nine countries mapped to three Country Management Units (CMUs): (i) Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo, (ii) Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone; and (iii) Nigeria. Clients range from low-income countries (LIC), 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 AFW countries, with most of the Region’s population living in poverty.  Despite the progress achieved in education, the AFW countries face major challenges with high level of learning poverty and out-of-school children, significant disadvantages adolescent girls face in terms of secondary education opportunities, and the low quality and limited relevance of skills programs for youth entering the labor market.

The Education GP team in the region works with client countries – at the 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 teaching and learning of science and technology at all levels, and aligning skills formation with the needs of a fast-growing Region, including LICs. 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 HAWE3 Unit is responsible for policy, analytical and operational work in the education sector in the AFW 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, IBRD loans, Trust Funds, and using investment, including results-based financing (including Program for Results (PforR) operations).  The portfolio spans the full spectrum of the education sector from early childhood development (ECD) to basic education, from secondary to technical and vocation education and training and to tertiary education, including the regional higher education projects.  

Recent analytical and advisory work includes the preparation of an AFW Regional Education Strategy to improve education outcomes – specifically, reducing learning poverty, improving secondary education opportunities for girls and increasing opportunities for youth to acquire market-relevant skills. The operationalization of the regional strategy will require Bank Education teams to closely work with the relevant governments in developing their country-specific targets and implementation plans to achieve set those targets. 

Education Sector in Nigeria CMU 

The World Bank has been engaged in the development of the education sector in Nigeria for over two decades. The Bank support to the Government of Nigeria (GoN) has ranged from basic education, secondary, technical and vocational skills to tertiary education. The Bank-GoN partnership in the sector has come in the form of policy dialogue, lending, analytical and advisory services. The Education engagement is aligned with the current WBG Country Partnership Framework (CPF, FY21-FY25) for Nigeria whose overall aim is to support the country create opportunities for gainful employment by creating an enabling environment where private firms can become more productive, by investing in human capital, and by enhancing resilience so that gains can be preserved. This is done through an integrated engagement through a mix of lending and analytical work, with focus on providing innovative technical solutions for impact at scale. 

The current World Bank portfolio in the education sector includes multiple operations that aim to increase quality of and access to education and training, increase adolescent girls’ empowerment, and provide market-relevant skills for better job opportunities. Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Program seeks to reduce the number of out-of-school children and improve literacy in basic education, as well as improving system accountability for results. The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) invests in both supply and demand-side interventions to improve secondary education opportunities among adolescent girls, especially from disadvantaged communities in targeted states, many of them in the north. The Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) project aims to improve the quality and relevance of skills in both the formal and informal sector, strengthening the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) system, with focus on strong private sector engagement and support to the larger skills development in the country. The Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Impact (ACE Impact) Project is a regional project with the largest component for Nigeria supporting select Nigerian universities across the country and the National University Commission (NUC), with an objective to promote applied science, technology, and innovation to address regional challenges. The Edo Better Education Sector and Skills Transformation (EdoBESST) is an Edo-state specific Program for Results operation that seeks to support the improvement of teaching and learning processes in basic education using innovative approaches including digital technologies.

To complement this strong lending portfolio in the education sector, the World Bank actively engages in policy dialogue, advisory services, technical assistance, and knowledge generation in basic education, human capital empowerment for adolescent girls, youth employment and skills and cross-cutting areas on governance, financing and digital development.

The World Bank has recently prepared an AFW Regional Education Strategy to support the region to address its key challenges – high learning poverty and out-of-school children, substantial disadvantages adolescent girls face in secondary education opportunities, and too many young people 

entering the labor market every year without the relevant skills. The Bank is also expected to support the Government (federal and state level) in adapting the regional strategy to a Nigeria-specific action plan to address the above challenges and achieve its own 2030 targets on the three indicators.

In light of the above, the HAWE3 Unit is seeking a qualified Senior Education Economist or Specialist to be based in Abuja, Nigeria. The selected candidate will report to the Practice Manager for HAWE3 and is expected to work in close collaboration with the Country Management Unit (CMU), and the other members of the education and Human Development team, colleagues in other GPs based in Nigeria. In addition, also work with other team members based in Washington DC working on the different programs. 

Duties and Accountabilities 

In the light of the above, the World Bank seeks to hire a Senior Education Specialist/Economist as part of a larger Nigeria Education team to lead and contribute to as appropriate, analytical work and operations in the Nigeria Country Management Unit’s (CMU) education portfolio and related activities. The candidate will work primarily in Nigeria and other countries in the unit as and when appropriate. The selected candidate will be expected to engage in high quality policy dialogue with government counterparts and stakeholders on key issues in education and skills development, provide timely and quality implementation support to the governments on the lending operations, lead or co-lead the preparation of new lending programs, and lead or co-lead analytical work. The candidate will further develop and support new business areas of engagement, including partnering with key stakeholders to attain results. The candidate must have: (a) strong education technical expertise and integrity; (b) ability and agility to identify areas for policy and/or institutional reforms that could be addressed through policy and results-based approaches; and (c) engage with other global practices to enhance Nigeria’s development trajectory

The main responsibilities include: 

• Operations: Design and supervise operations, both as leader and as member of team, in the education sector or multi-sectoral operations, tapping into the Bank’s full range of lending instruments (including investment project financing, result-based financing, etc). Provide implementation support for the on-going portfolio. Provide timely advice and support to clients in implementing projects and help to build capacity of the Federal and States’ Ministries of Education, as well as parastatals under the Ministries.

• Policy dialogue and building client capacity: Conduct sectoral policy dialogue with clients at the highest levels, on a range of complex issues at different levels of education. Identify and nurture opportunities for participating in the broader policy dialogue in the country especially in so far as they impact on education or where the education sector can contribute. Build client capacity to use findings of policy research/ analytical work for developing new policies. Provide technical advice on key issues and strategic directions for the country’s education sector development, by bringing relevant international experience and research to assist in developing local solutions, on issues such as strategies to expanding access to quality primary and secondary education, girls education, improving the quality and relevance of skills development, use of digital technology in education, and public private partnerships.

• Analytical work and non-lending services: Design and lead the preparation of “cutting edge” technical products that respond to critical policy questions identified by the client and which have an impact on policy and operational design on issues and policies related to education and training (including education finance, policy dialogue, governance, teacher policies, national large-scale assessments of student learning achievement, quality assurance systems, and skills development.  In addition, the successful candidate is expected to lead/contribute to activities such as impact evaluation, feasibility study, economic analysis of education operations, public expenditure reviews and other education sector work. Produce “just in time” notes of high quality as well as lead longer analytical reports.  Work on cross-sectoral teams to contribute to products such as public expenditure reviews and implementation of decentralization. Contribute to the country diagnostics and other core analytic work. Contribute to the unit’s analytical work by generating “think pieces” and synthesis papers. 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. 

• Leadership: Work closely with the Practice Manager, the education team, the CMU and other sectors to identify, develop and support new business areas of engagement, including innovative financial products, technical advisory services and other services, as required.

• Education and human development sector work: Provide education sector input to regular Bank’s products/outputs (e.g. HD sector briefings and memos, background reports, project performance reviews, etc.).  Liaise with HD staff on integrated HD inputs and activities.  Respond to ad-hoc information requests from internal and external parties.  

• Partnerships: Work constructively with Local Education Group (LEG), partners, including bilateral and multi-lateral donors, UN agencies, NGOs, and private sector partners. Contribute to alignment and coordination around country led priorities.

Selection Criteria

The Education GP is seeking an experienced, versatile, and highly motivated candidate to work on a large and growing portfolio as part of the education team based in Abuja, Nigeria. The ideal candidate will combine excellent team work and client dialogue skills, excellent technical skills, 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; and operational skills to provide effective implementation support for the Bank’s growing portfolio. The candidate should have:

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

• Experience: A minimum of 8 years directly relevant work experience in education; and demonstrated expert-level knowledge of education policy.  Experience in World Bank operations as demonstrated through TTL-ship and or being core member for lending operations. Demonstrated experience on education policy, including ECD, primary and secondary education, skills development and tertiary education. Experience working clients to build capacity and engage in dialogue on education service delivery. Experience working with development partners.  Knowledge of the GPE processes is plus.

• Strong analytical/technical skills: Analytical and economics skills (e.g., education, labor economics), education policy analysis, 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. Ability to support policy dialogue, including Ministries of Education, and Ministry of Finance, and other stakeholders.

• Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to lead teams. Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively in a team and multicultural environment, with minimum supervision.

• High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility.  Proactive attitude to challenges 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 realistic priorities for self and others.

• Language and communication skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. The candidate will be expected to write concisely and expediently; present technical information to clients; and represent the WBG education team among donors and the client.

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


In addition to the above, the successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies

• Education knowledge and experience: Possesses technical skills, including an understanding of key core education issues with regard to quality, relevance, and equity at all levels. Has familiarity with analytical resources, data sets, indicators, tools for data analysis, and the use of evidence for education policy. 

• General economic knowledge and analytical skills: Possesses a demonstrated track record of working with economic and sectoral data and analytical and produce user-friendly written outputs.

• 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 processes; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients; understanding of political economy issues as well as a good grasp of governance issues in education.

• Integrative skills: Demonstrates strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing an integrated point of view around development challenges.

• Analytical Services and Advisory (ASA) policy, strategic and technical analysis for country/sector Issues:  Provides inputs to key ASA documents by analyzing relevant issues, soliciting input from others, and using data and facts to support conclusions and/or position.

• Written and verbal communication:  Delivers information effectively.

• 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 (collaboration) and inclusion:  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.

• Business judgment and analytical decision making:  Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others’ work

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.

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