Agriculture is an essential pathway to meeting the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals—eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Food production must increase by at least 35 percent to meet the needs of the rising global population. Thus, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without more and better investment in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. Meeting today’s challenges on the food and agriculture agenda will require major strides in agricultural innovation and climate smart agriculture, efficiency in food production and distribution systems, promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production practices, strengthening agricultural policy and institutions, supporting agribusiness value chains, and joint private and public sector action. The Agriculture Global Practice (GP) of the WBG, working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), supports a Global Vision for Food and Agriculture with agriculture able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains in the food system are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets.
To help the achievement of the twin goals, the strategic focus of the Agriculture GP, as reflected in the Agriculture Action Plan, is to help client countries one the issues mentioned above. Our current workprogram (150+ operations) consists of engagement in policy dialogue, investment, and forging partnerships across the globe seeking to (i) raise agricultural productivity, (ii) link farmers to markets and strengthen value chains, (iii) support rural non-farm income, (iv) reduce risk, vulnerability, and gender inequality, and (v) enhance environmental services and sustainability.
The Agriculture GP is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Senior Director is assisted by the Director, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Practice. The Agriculture GP Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Directors mentioned above and ten Agriculture Practice Managers, who manage the roughly 280 staff working on Agriculture in all six Regions and on global programs. About a third of the staff are located in Country Offices.
The Agriculture GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that Agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.
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.
• Initiate and maintain a high level and quality of engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector and research/academic community on strategic and policy issues concerning agriculture, irrigation and natural resources in Mali;
• Participate in the dialogue with relevant representatives of the private sector in order to keep abreast with issues related to the business investment climate and identify possible areas of collaboration through public-private-partnerships;
• Lead/initiate/participate in analytical and strategic work pertaining to agricultural growth and productivity, including work managed by GFADR and that managed by other units, but requiring input from agricultural staff, such as public expenditure analysis;
• Identify innovative new opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agricultural sector, by bringing in experience from other regions and with a wide range of instruments;
• Lead complex operations as Task Team Leader (TTL) or co-TTL, both in agriculture and multi-sectoral operations, assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;
• Serve as an advisor to colleagues who are themselves TTLs of demanding operations, providing them with mentoring, advice and support;
• Assume an active role in the Mali country team with the aim to ensure adequate and appropriate integration of relevant aspects of the agriculture and rural development agenda in core Bank products, including systematic country diagnostics, country partnership frameworks, country economic memorandum and the like.
• Serve as an active member of the GFADR Global Practice, including contributing to the scale up of the Bank’s engagement on agriculture in Africa;
• Work across sectors with staff of other Global Practices and IFC to ensure coherence and integration of the agriculture portfolio in West-Africa and beyond.
• As necessary, represent the Bank and GFADR management at public events with agriculture sector focus.
• Postgraduate degree in Agricultural Economics or related discipline;
• A minimum of 8 years of relevant working experience in agriculture;
• Strong technical and analytical skills in a range of issues of relevance to agriculture;
• In-depth knowledge of the issues faced by smallholders participating in modern value chains;
• Recognized and respected by peers; demonstrated commitment to team work and ability to interact effectively and collegially with peers at all levels;
• Familiarity with the institutional context of Africa, and the Sahel region in particular, and experience interacting with institutions involved in agriculture and rural development;
• Demonstrated familiarity with Bank procedures, directives, business practices and experience in identifying, preparing, appraising, and supervising operations, as a task team leader or team member;
• Ability to think innovatively and strategically in dealing with policy issues while maintaining a strong client focus;
• Ability to take principled and balanced positions on complex issues and to communicate and defend them orally and in writing to Senior Bank management and Senior Government officials;
• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and team skills with ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions;
• High degree of discretion, ethics, tact and sensitivity in handling confidential and sensitive information;
• • Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation, coupled with willingness to travel extensively and work under challenging conditions;
• English essential, French essential.
• General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills – Possesses Cross-country knowledge in economic specialty and demonstrates ability to link the macro, institutional, and micro-level behaviors; able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools.
• Knowledge and Experience in Agriculture/Rural Development – Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
• Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners; contributes to the design and implementation of agriculture reforms in budget support operations.
• Integrative Skills – Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
• Agricultural Economics – Deep understanding of most of the economic concepts used in agriculture, with significant experience.
• Agriculture Policy, Strategy and Institutions – Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Project Design for Impact and Sustainability – Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.
• Sector Dialogue – Able to conduct a dialogue with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.
• Operational Project Management – Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, as well as of Bank instruments and processes related to project preparation & implementation, resource management, and stakeholder communications.
• Operational Policies Application to the Project Cycle (fiduciary, disbursement, safeguard and GAC policies) – Possesses a strong understanding of procurement and disbursement policies; knows what issues might arise and who to involve in problem resolution.
• Team Leadership – Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members.
• Knowledge of Relevant Operational Policy and Associated Good Practices .
• Advisory/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues – Participates fully in the production of quality AAA work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform and contributes to the design and implementation of agriculture reforms in budget support operations.
• Client Orientation – Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
• Drive for Results – Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion – Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Leads in the sharing of 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.
• 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.
The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture, and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
The selected candidate will directly report to the GFADR Practice Manager covering West-Africa. S/he will coordinate closely with the Country Director for Mali, based in Bamako, as well the Global Practice Program Leader for Mali, based in Bamako.