Urban Specialist

JOB: #170275

JOB TITLE: Urban Specialist

JOB FAMILY: Urban Development

JOB TYPE: Professional & Technical


LOCATION: Tbilisi, Georgia



CLOSING DATE: 27-Feb-2017

 Background / General description:


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2014, the WBG committed $65.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $22.2 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 WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and – as of July 1, 2014 – has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships.  The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promote shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.


Urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Cities generate 80% of global GDP and are key to job creation and the pursuit of shared prosperity.  Yet one billion city residents live in slums today, and by 2030 one billion new migrants will arrive in cities.  This concentration of people and assets will exacerbate risk exposure to adverse natural events and climate change, which affects the poor disproportionately.  The absence of secure land tenure underpins deprivation and is a major source of conflict in the urban and rural space.  One and a half billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence.  In the absence of services, participative planning and responsive institutions, these trends will result in increased poverty, social exclusion, vulnerability and violence.  Finally, avoiding a 4-degree warmer world requires drastically reducing the carbon footprint of cities.

The WBG is in a unique position to support national and sub-national clients to: harness urbanization and enable effective land management in support of both growth and poverty reduction; foster social inclusion of marginalized groups; support the responsiveness and fiscal, financial, and management capacities of local governments – cities, municipalities, and rural districts – to deliver local infrastructure and decentralized services; strengthen resilience and risk management related to natural disasters; reduce conflict and violence; scale-up access to finance for sub-national governments; and reduce the carbon footprint of cities.  The WBG brings a combination of lending ($7-8 billion in annual lending to cities), analytical and advisory services (e.g., social inclusion flagship, urbanization reviews, Sendai dialogue), its growing portfolio of reimbursable advisory services, its convening power (e.g., understanding risk and the land conferences), its leveraging capacity (e.g., guarantees and risk mitigation), and its ability to work with the private sector to tackle the challenges at scale and to effect.

The SURR GP covers a wide gamut of development sectors and themes: (i) developing green, inclusive and resilient cities; (ii) addressing the social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups through accountable institutions, and ensuring compliance with social safeguards; (iii) enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and (iv) assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban drainage, coastal management, and retrofitting of infrastructure), disaster preparedness (including hydromet services, early warning systems, and civil defense), risk financing (including CAT-DDO), and resilient reconstruction (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment). A key responsibility of the GP is to provide professional expertise and operational support to other GPs to implement the WBG social policies (the WB’s safeguard policies and the IFC’s Performance Standards) to deliver sustainable development results that ensure that any adverse impacts of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.


The Europe and Central Asia region comprises 30 diverse countries, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Four of our clients are IDA only and another 5 are IDA blend countries. The remaining 21 are IBRD eligible. Although 10 of our clients have joined the EU and 7 of these have graduated, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and or lending services. Country Partnership Strategies (CPSs) reflect this strong diversity with substantial variation in lending prospects, but strong demand for Bank technical services across the board.

The ECA region’s Urban and Disaster Risk portfolio comprises a lending program of around US$ 2 billion and an important analytical and reimbursable program in the areas of regional development, municipal finance, urban management and services, and cultural heritage and sustainable tourism. The program includes active engagements in almost all of ECA’s client countries. 

GP SURR assists our clients through lending (including sector investment loans), implementation support (supervision), and advisory, knowledge, technical assistance, and reimbursable services.  

To support the growing demand from our clients and potential for further expansion of the portfolio in the Southern Caucasus, the unit is seeking a highly qualified and motivated Urban Specialist to support projects and analytical and advisory services. The South Caucasus Country Unit (ECCSC) includes Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia; three middle-income countries with active Bank Group programs in place.  The World Bank has been a leading development partner of Georgia since 1992 with total commitments of US$ 2 billion for the lending program underpinned by strong analytical and advisory services. Across the three countries in ECSC, the Urban and DRM unit has an important active program covering the areas of urban and local development for competitiveness and growth, cultural heritage and sustainable tourism, and municipal management and service delivery (including hosuing and solid waste management) as well as disaster risk management. The Urban and DRM Program emphasizes decentralization, municipal development and integrated local and regional economic development, as well as reducing vulnerability and strengthening our clients’ ability to manage natural disasters, to address poverty, regional disparities, and achieve the WBG twin goals.

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:  

Under the supervision of the Regional Practice Manager for Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management, the Urban Development Specialist will have the following main duties and responsibilities: 

The incumbent shall be responsible for providing operational and analytical leadership to activities implemented by the ECA GSURR Team in the South Caucasus, with a particular focus on support to the Bank’s important program supporting regional and municipal development (the RDP and RMIDP engagements in Georgia and the LEIDP operation in Armenia), with a strong focus on local investment for service delivery and cultural heritage and sustainable tourism. He/She would co-lead and contribute to technical work under the guidance of respective Task Team Leaders and maintain active and professional dialogue with government counterparts and development partner for implementing ongoing/preparing new investment projects and analytical work (including technical assistance) with a focus on the South Caucasus. In particular, the Urban Development Specialist would (i) contribute to and lead technical work including lending and non-lending in the areas of cultural heritage and sustainable tourism, local and regional development, and municipal infrastructure, services, and finance (ii) maintain regular contact and dialogue with counterpart agencies across all three countries within ECCSC, with a particular focus on the Government of Georgia; and (iii) support task teams, including those working on Disaster Risk Management, as a local resource person and key team member.

Selection Criteria:  

Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline.
2. Strong analytical skills and a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience with key aspects of the urban portfolio in the South Caucasus (such as support for local economic development through cultural heritage and sustainable tourism) is particularly important.
3. Ability to develop, analyze and articulate technical issues in the urban sector. 
4. Experience in providing high quality guidance to clients on urban sector policy issues including local infrastructure finance, cultural heritage and sustainable tourism, and land and service delivery. 
5. Knowledge of local counterpart institutions, procedures, and culture as well as ability to engage national and subnational clients in the provision of technical assistance and advisory services.
6. Ability to work independently, requiring only general guidance on complex issues.
7. Strong oral and written skills in English and the demonstrated ability to produce high quality analytical reports. 


• Integrative Skills. - Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.
• Urban Policy, Strategy, and Institutions - Familiarity with urban policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Urban Services Delivery - Foundational knowledge of urban services delivery, with ability to apply to operations and analytical work.
• Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions.
• Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
• Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.
• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Source: World Bank

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Monday, February 27, 2017