Senior Program Officer

Job #: req3504
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Urban
Grade: GG
Term Duration:  3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): Japanese
Closing Date: 7/12/2019 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC




Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 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). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


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.

GSURR covers a wide gamut: (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 Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) program is a partnership of the Government of Japan and the World Bank based in Tokyo, Japan.  It be mapped to the Global Practice for Urban, Resilience and Land as of July 1, 2019). TDLC supports and facilitates strategic WBG and client country collaboration with select Japanese cities, agencies and partners for joint research, knowledge exchange, capacity building and other activities that develop opportunities to link Japanese and global expertise with specific project-level engagements in developing countries to maximize development impact. The program is global in reach and thematically focused on urban planning, urban service provision, urban management, social development, land management, territorial development, sustainable tourism, local economic development, competitiveness, and municipal finance.  TDLC also serves as a platform for the dissemination of development knowledge and activities with the Japanese public sector, private sector and public   The TDLC work program is executed by a team of six staff and nine consultants, all based in the World Bank Tokyo office.  

GSURR is seeking a Senior Program Officer who will serve as Team Leader for the TDLC team, including the prioritization, preparation and delivery of Technical Deep Dives (TDDs) and their downstream operational support program, developing and maintaining the City Partnership Program in Japan, carrying out knowledge management/sharing and partnerships in urban development with Japanese institutions and initiatives including MLIT, JICA, TICAD, etc.  The incumbent will be based in Tokyo, reporting to the GSURR Practice Manager for Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization, and working under the guidance of the IAOJP Special Representative to Japan with respect to partnership relationships in Japan and/or activities involving Japanese partners and institutions.

Roles & Responsibilities:

The Senior Program Officer will serve as Team Leader for the Tokyo-based TDLC team members and will play a major role in implementing the TDLC work program.  Specific Duties will include, but not be limited to, the following: 

• Lead the TDLC team and delivery of its work program, including the prioritization, preparation and delivery of Technical Deep Dives (TDDs) and their downstream operational support program, developing and maintaining the City Partnership Program in Japan, carrying out knowledge management/sharing and partnerships in urban development with Japanese institutions and initiatives including MLIT, JICA, TICAD, etc 
• Lead TDLC local staff and operations on a day to day basis, inclusive of but not limited to: resource management, partner relations, activity coordination, office management, monitoring and reporting
• Prepare and ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the TDLC Annual Work Program, drawing on other TDLC team member and/or other GSURR staff as needed. 
• Build and nurture partnerships with public and private organizations in Japan to support the TDLC work program, in coordination and with the guidance of the WB Special Representative, Japan
• Develop & ensure the appropriateness of TDLC/Japan operational linkages and opportunities both at the upstream stage and at the project implementation stage
• Liaise with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism and JICA on behalf of GSURR on matters relating to the implementation of the Program and ensure coordination with relevant Japanese partners and institutions, in coordination and with the guidance of the WB Special Representative, Japan
• Provide advice and guidance to GSURR task teams on engagement with partners in Japan with respect to delivery of the TDLC work program 
• Represent GSURR at international meetings and events in Japan and elsewhere in the Region upon request of the GP’s management.
• Represent the TDLC team in WBG Tokyo Office-wide meetings and committees
• Lead preparation TDLC Annual Report and other progress reports and briefings, in consultation with relevant GSURR teams


Selection Criteria

• An advanced degree (Masters level) in relevant fields such as urban development, infrastructure, economics, public administration/policy or other related field.  
• Minimum 8 years of experience in urban development or fields relevant to the TDLC program; Technical knowledge and working experience in urban development or related sustainable development fields 
• Demonstrated experience in managing multicultural teams
• Ability to communicate clearly and succinctly to internal and external audiences 
• Familiarity with the political economy of Japan particularly at the municipal government level
• Familiarity and knowledge of common protocols and cultural norms of both the public and private sectors of Japan
• Familiarity with the WBG’s products, services and operations cycle
• Familiarity with WBG and external knowledge management and learning platforms and approaches
• Demonstrated experience in business development efforts with clients, partners or donors/investors
• Demonstrated experience in all phases of project management
• Ability to build alliances and promote open communication and collaboration for achieving shared objectives
• Ability to identify new and maintain existing partnership relationships with public sector, private sector, academic, civil society and development institutions in both donor and client countries.
• Outstanding interpersonal skills with multicultural sensitivities and tact in dealing with staff at all levels.
• Dynamic and outgoing personality with effective communication and networking abilities
• Strong English language oral and written communications skills required; Japanese language oral and written communication skills desirable but not required. 

Core Competencies:

• Deliver Results for Clients - Adds value by constantly looking for a better way to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself.  Immerses oneself in client experiences and perspective by asking probing questions to understand unmet needs. Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
• Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries - Appropriately involves others in decision making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work. Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
• Lead and Innovate - Contributes new insights to understand situations and develops solutions to resolve complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require and manages impact of own behavior on others in context of WBG’s values and mission. Identifies and pursues innovative approaches to resolve issues. Develops innovative solutions.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Leverages department’s expertise and body of knowledge across WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions. Seeks to learn from more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and helps others to learn. Builds personal and professional networks inside and outside the department unit. Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients
• Make Smart Decisions - Seeks diversity of information and inputs, researches possible solutions, and generates recommended options. Identifies and understands risks and proposes recommendations. Based on risk analysis makes decisions in a timely manner within own area of responsibility, considering the interests and concerns of stakeholders. Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward. 

The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.  Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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: 
Friday, July 12, 2019