Education Specialist, Nur Sultan

Organization: The World Bank

Country: Kazakhstan

City: Astana, Kazakhstan

Office: World Bank in Astana, Kazakhstan

Closing date: Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Education Specialist

Job #: req12406

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Education

Grade: GF

Term Duration: 4 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment

Location: Nur-Sultan,Kazakhstan

Required Language(s): English, Russian, Kazakh

Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 7/13/2021 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. Visit

The global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to 3 percent by 2030 and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.

To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization in 2013. This strategy leverages, for the first time, the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.

The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is an operating model introduced in July 2014 based on fourteen Global Practices organized under 3 Practice Group Vice Presidencies: Sustainable Development, Economics, Finance and Institutions and Human Development. The Sustainable Development Vice Presidency is responsible for Agriculture, Energy and Extractives, Environment and Natural Resources, Transport and ICT, Urban, Rural and Social Development and Water. In addition to the 14 Global Practices, the WBG operating model comprises five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas. The Global Practices and the Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, in concert with the WBG’s six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, design solutions that address clients‘ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


Education is central to achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals: it is a reliable route out of poverty because it has large and consistent returns to income for individuals and because it can drive economic growth. It is also a prime vehicle for promoting shared prosperity. The main challenge in the education sector is to achieve "learning for all, learning for life"that is, to ensure that all children and young people acquire the knowledge and skills they need for their lives and livelihoods. The developing world has achieved great advances in education in the past two decades, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school and in approaching gender equality. Yet these successes in expanding access to education have highlighted the major remaining challenges: how to remove the educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile states, and how to improve the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning. The WBG and the broader education development community are increasingly shifting focus to learning outcomes. Because traditional input-driven programs often fail to promote learning, the WBG’s education strategy highlights the need for a more comprehensive systems approach to education reform, investments, and service delivery. This approach is about increasing accountability and targeting results, as a complement to providing inputs. And it also requires strengthening the knowledge base on education, to highlight where systems are achieving results, where they are falling short, and what the most effective solutions are. These efforts are increasingly guided by the need to invest early; invest smartly; and invest for all. Through high-quality analytical work, collection and curation of evidence, and practical know-how in these three areas, the WBG is helping its partner countries accelerate their educational progress.

The Education Global Practice is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the practice. The Senior Director is assisted by two Directors, who serve as Chief Operating Officers of the Practice. The Education Global Practice Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Senior Director, the two Directors and nine Practice Managers.


The World Bank Group serves over 30 diverse clients in the ECA region, with a population of nearly 500 million people. Clients range from large sophisticated middle income countries to IDA countries. Although eleven of ECA’s clients have joined the EU and seven of these have graduated, most continue to remain active recipients of knowledge and/or lending services. Two more countries have entered negotiations for EU membership and several others aspire to do so in future. Country Partnership Strategies reflect this strong diversity with substantial variation in lending prospects, but strong demand for Bank technical services is present across the board, as reflected by a large RAS portfolio.

Staff in the Education Global Practice in ECA typically engage with clients in in-depth technical assistance and policy discussions, design, supervision and evaluation of education sector projects, and leading and participating in AAA tasks such as Education Sector Policy Studies, Public Expenditure Reviews, Impact Evaluations, Country Economic Memoranda, Social Assessments, Institutional Assessments, and Regional Studies. They also lead and participate in other multi-sectorial lending operations, including Development Policy Lending, as well as performance-based operations. Policy dialogue is concentrated in impact evaluation, the economics of education, skills for competitiveness and jobs, education sector service delivery - including quality, relevance, efficiency, access, and financing of education. The ECA portfolio also includes a significant number of Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) where quality and timeliness of delivery is at the heart of the growth of this line of business.

The Education Global Practice is seeking an Education Specialist/Economist to help support the World Bank’s growing portfolio of human capital development activities in Central Asia, including its operational and analytical work in Kazakhstan. This Specialist/Economist will be based in Astana, Kazakhstan. While a large part of the work is expected to be focused on the Kazakhstan portfolio, the Specialist will also be expected to contribute to tasks related to the region.

The Specialist will report to the Education Practice Manager for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) and is expected to work on a day-to-day basis with the Education Lead based in Almaty, and Task Team Leaders (TTLs). S/he is expected to work with the ECA education team, the Education Global Practice, the Central Asia Human Development team and the Country Management Unit, the World Bank Group’s clients, representatives from development partners, and NGOs.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Education Specialist/Economist will be a core member of the Central Asia education team and is expected to be responsible for the following tasks and duties:

Local focal point, working closely with the ECA Practice Manager, regional education lead and Task Team Leaders to deliver results on the portfolio. Undertake research on education specific human capital development issues as related to Central Asia.

Prepare just-in-time reports and contribute to writing briefs to support the ECA education team in Central Asia, as required.

Maintain regular dialogue with education clients in Kazakhstan and with human development counterparts (internal and external).

Work extensively with the Client to ensure effective and timely implementation and reporting of on-going education operations in Kazakhstan. This includes proactively identifying and resolving bottlenecks to implementation; monitoring and updating implementation plans, results frameworks and key milestones.

Ensure that all operational tasks related to the Kazakhstan education portfolio are timely supervised (procurement requests, financial management, withdrawal applications, project management, monitoring results, reporting) in coordination with the relevant Task Team Leaders, procurement and financial management specialists.

Provide inputs to the preparation of diverse operational products/outputs (e.g., projects briefs, portfolio performance reviews, Trust Fund Grant Fund Request, Grant Report Monitoring and closing reports, Aide Memoires, Implementation Summary Reports, activity completion reports).

Interact with government counterparts, local education group, and other partner organizations (civil society organizations, academia, etc.) as required by the task team.

Participate in missions conducted by Task Team Leaders and in discussions regarding advice to the counterparts on human capital issues, particularly focusing on education.

Participate in review meetings and represent the team in relevant Bank-wide initiatives, and

Other duties and tasks as specified by the Practice Manager, regional education lead and the relevant project Task Team Leaders or whoever they may designate.

Competencies :

Knowledge and Experience in Human Capital Development arena - translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies.

Education Knowledge and Experience - Possesses experience in working on policy-relevant analytical work and challenging education projects.

Integrative Skills - Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas and how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

Deliver Results for Clients - Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client.

Make Smart Decisions - Recommends and takes decisive action

Tags advisory services architect central asia competitiveness development policy economic growth extreme poverty financial management government departments human development impact evaluation natural resources procurement project management russian language social development spss sustainable development

Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Initiates collaboration across boundaries and broadly across WBG and brings differing ideas into the forefront.

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Creates, applies and shares knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and/or external client solutions.

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit:

Selection Criteria


A minimum qualification of a Master’s Degree in education, economics, business or related fields.

Ability to undertake research.

Ability to work with data and national statistics.

Experience: a minimum of 5 years of relevant international experience.

Familiarity with World Bank operations, including preparation and implementation support for projects, would be an advantage. Knowledge in Bank operational policies and systems (including SAP, operations portal, Business Warehouse), Trust Fund policies, and Global Partnership for Education policies and procedures would be a plus.

Strong client orientation and proven ability to work with government agencies, ability to identify problems, provide technical support, build consensus and arrive at solutions. Ability to coordinate and work across different government departments.

Demonstrated deep knowledge in project management, with specific focus on monitoring of results.

Team player. Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and independently, seeking guidance on complex projects/issues from senior staff.

Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to management requests, and set priorities for self and others.

High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements.

Effective communication skills including the ability to speak articulately.

Strong results orientation, persistence, patience and positive attitude.

Excellent analytical and writing skills.

English and Kazakh language proficiency required. Russian language proficiency would be an advantage.

Proficiency on all standard operational software packages (including Excel and PowerPoint) and working knowledge of statistical analysis packages such as STATA, SPSS

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

Link to the organization’s job offer: