Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Washington, United States

Organization: The World Bank

Country: United States

City: Washington

Office: World Bank in Washington, United States

Closing date: Friday, 20 January 2023

Disaster Risk Management Specialist

Job #: req20583

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Urban

Grade: GF

Term Duration: 4 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 1/20/2023 (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. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.

Global Practice for Urban, Resilience and Land

The World Bank’s Urban, Resilience, and Land Global Practice (GPURL) works with cities and governments throughout the world to help them tackle the challenges of disaster risks and climate change. We do this through comprehensive investments in infrastructure, social programs, and the support to policy and regulatory reforms to plan cities better and leverage their financing capacity. Ultimately, these efforts aim to contribute to the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by improving the living standards of the poorer segments of the population, oftentimes the most affected by uncontrolled urbanization.

GPURL covers a wide array of issues including: (i) supporting the development of green, inclusive, resilient and productive cities, including harnessing urbanization to contribute to growth and poverty reduction, and strengthening local governments‘ capacity to plan, finance and deliver services and infrastructure investments; (ii) promoting efficient, well-coordinated spatial and territorial development processes including strengthening rural-urban linkages and developing lagging regions; (iii) strengthening disaster risk management policies, institutions and regulations and mainstreaming resilience across development sectors including risk assessment and mapping, risk reduction (including urban flood management, stormwater 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 and recovery (including post-disaster damage and needs assessment); (iv) post-conflict reconstruction and recovery; (v) strengthening land tenure, management and information systems; and (vi) supporting the development of national and sub-national spatial data infrastructure and supporting the development of geospatial information.

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), established in 2006, is a multi-donor partnership and grant-making financing mechanism. The Facility contributes to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by supporting on-the-ground technical assistance to help developing countries integrate Disaster Risk Management and climate change adaptation into development strategies, policies and investment programs, including post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. The GFDRR Secretariat is hosted within GPURL at the World Bank in Washington D.C. with satellite offices in Brussels and Tokyo. The Secretariat is responsible for resource mobilization, awarding and managing grants, reporting on results, and carrying out outreach and partnership development. It also acts as the support hub for a decentralized network of Disaster Risk Management experts within the World Bank and supports a number of global platforms for knowledge-sharing and capacity building.

GFDRR implements most of its activities through the World Bank, in partnership with national, regional, and other international agencies. The GFDRR program is currently organized around eight areas of engagement with specific program targets. These are: Science and Technology, Inclusive Community Resilience, Urban Resilience, Resilient Infrastructure, Hydromet and Early Warning Systems, Financial Protection and Insurance, Resilience to Climate Change, and Resilient Recovery. The Facility maintains expert teams within each area of engagement that provide grant recipients with specialized knowledge and quality assurance in the design and implementation of activities. Along with these teams, GFDRR maintains communities of practice that help connect a broad array of partners, facilitate global engagements and capacity building, and produce innovative knowledge.

GFDRR’s operating model is underpinned by seven principles: (i) a demand driven approach to ensure maximum impact; (ii) leveraging development investments and policies; (iii) focusing on inclusive design and participation; (iv) empowering women and mainstreaming gender; (v) jointly addressing disaster and climate risk; (vi) developing knowledge and sharing best practices; and (vii) prioritizing results-oriented approaches.

Global Program on Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Resilience

Housed within GFDRR is the Global Program on Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Resilience. The Global Program has the objective to increase investment in Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) for addressing climate resilience challenges across the World Bank portfolio. The Program aims to achieve the objective through the development of targeted knowledge, tools and operational support modalities for task teams and their Government clients. The Program helps task teams and their counterparts at national and city level to identify, prepare, implement and finance NBS for climate resilience purposes as stand-alone interventions or as part of wider investment, policy and analytical engagements. The Program furthermore use its position as a Global Program to support the development and transfer of knowledge on NBS within and outside the World Bank Group. In its objectives and approach, the Program is aligned with World Bank strategies including the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 and the Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID) approach.

The Program is structured along three pillars: Operations, Knowledge and Partnerships.

Pillar 1: Operations

Under this Pillar, the Program supports World Bank Task Teams and their Government counterparts in the identification, operational assessment, implementation and financing of NBS for Climate Resilience. The Program has a core team of technical experts, a curated pool of firms and consultants and key operational tools to assist in the mainstreaming of NBS for Climate Resilience across Global Practices. In FY22, the Program supported over 30 projects globally with the integration and implementation of NBS for climate resilience.

Pillar 2: Knowledge

This Pillar strengthens the Bank’s knowledge position on NBS and aims to make the Global Program a hub for NBS knowledge both internally and externally, with a focus on climate resilience at urban, coastal and river basin level. Activities include developing and consolidating knowledge products and tools; training staff and clients on preparing and implementing NBS ensuring best practices are integrated into operations; and publishing operational reports and externally facing peer-reviewed articles. Key knowledge pieces that are currently under development include a guidance note on the economic analysis of NBS for climate resilience, as well as the NBS Opportunity Scan which is a geospatial analysis tool used to identify NBS opportunities in operational projects.

Pillar 3: Partnerships

Under the Partnerships pillar, the Program strengthens internal and external partnerships needed to advance NBS in the World Bank portfolio. Internally, this will include relationships with other teams across the World Bank Group, including with other Global Practices as well as with IFC. Externally, partnerships are being established with key knowledge and implementation partners, donors and co-financiers, in close coordination with GFDRR donor and partnerships teams.

Role and Responsibilities

The selected DRM Specialist’s primary objective is to support the implementation of the Global Program and enhance its assistance to World Bank task teams and government clients in increasing access to tools, knowledge and technical support for the effective identification, analysis, implementation and monitoring of NBS for climate resilience purposes. The candidate will work across all three pillars, with a focus on operational support (Pillar 1) and the development of technical, economic and operational tools and knowledge (Pillar 2). The DRM Specialist will work closely with the Task Team Leader for the Global Program, under managerial supervision of the Practice Manager, GFDRR.

Specific responsibilities and duties will include (but not be limited to) the following:

Take a leading role in the process design for delivery of operational support to Task Teams and government clients under the Operations Pillar of the Global Program.

Provide direct support to clients and Task Teams globally in the identification, assessment, implementation and monitoring of NBS, by conducting and supervising technical studies, providing input to project documents, developing result indicators, participating in virtual and in-person meetings and missions, and related activities.

Take a leading role in the development of geospatial, economic, ecological, technical and analytical tools, approaches and knowledge products to advance the integration of NBS across Bank operations, in collaboration with internal and external partners, including a leading role in the roll-out of the NBS Opportunity Scan

Lead the work related to environmental economics under the Program, specifically on the development of knowledge and operational support on the economic analysis of NBS

Supervise consultants and firms for global and country-level activities related to the Global Program

Cultivate and advance partnerships with firms, consultants, external institutions, and internal World Bank teams for the co-development of new products, support to operational Task Teams, and advancement of the field of NBS.

Support the development of the Upscaling NBS for Climate Resilience Strategy 2022-2025, which will form a strategic basis for the Global Program

Illustrate Program advancements and contributions in the form of blogs, peer-reviewed papers, conference contributions, etc.

Contribute to programmatic outputs including results monitoring, reporting, budgeting, and branding

Deliver presentations and workshops at a variety of settings, including with Task Teams, government counterparts, at internal and external events, and in donor meetings

Participate in virtual and in-person missions to support task teams and present the Global Program at internal and external events.

Selection Criteria

Advanced university degree(s) (at least Master’s, preferably a PhD) in a field relevant to NBS and climate resilience, such as environmental sciences, environmental economics, geography, engineering or economics, with an excellent understanding of NBS and climate resilience challenges at urban, coastal and river basin levels

A minimum of 5 years of full-time work experience including at least 2 years in project management and implementation in an international setting. Experience in analyzing and/or implementing NBS for climate resilience purposes in international projects is required.

Knowledge of and facility in Geographic Information Systems, particularly related to climate change and NBS.

Knowledge of remote sensing tools and products, particularly related to climate change and NBS.

Expertise in environmental economics and specifically the economic analysis of NBS for climate resilience

Demonstrated experience in writing and coordinating peer-reviewed publications in a field relevant to the assignment.

Working knowledge of World Bank operations, especially resilience, disaster risk management, urban development, environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. Prior working experience in NBS within a World Bank project context is an advantage.

Strong background in disaster risk management, environment, urban planning, climate and disaster resilience, post-disaster reconstruction, poverty reduction, or other related fields

Experience managing people and budgets oriented to specific deliverables.

Experience interfacing with and delivering high quality presentations and interactive workshops to government counterparts in developing countries and to donors.

Proven capacity to multi-task, deliver results, and respond quickly and effectively to requests; ability to work under pressure.

Strong oral, written, and visual presentation skills.

Strong creativity and problem-solving skills.

Excellent written and spoken English essential; knowledge in a second language is a plus (French and Spanish preferred).

Ability to deal sensitively in a multicultural environment and build effective work relations with clients and colleagues as part of strong interpersonal, organizational, and team management skills to achieve results.


Ability to deliver in a dynamic environment with multiple demands and quick turnaround of outputs. Ability to work under pressure while retaining perspective and professionalism.

Strong technical skills and ability to translate analytical results into actionable guidance at a project level.

Results oriented, with an ability to work independently as well as devise and produce results in collaboration with departments across the WBG.

High degree of motivation, initiative, flexibility, reliability, and responsiveness to changing demands; capacity for effective multi-tasking, with demonstrated ability of being an independent starter with minimal supervision, and a high capacity to persevere for results.

Highly developed communication and advocacy skills, including ability to write concisely and clearly in English and synthesize complex documentation and ideas into fluent, understandable, English.

Strong interpersonal, organizational and team management skills, with demonstrated ability to build strong networks and teams to achieve results. Strong team skills with successful history working effectively across organizational and units and/or sectoral boundaries.

Knowledge of social media and other knowledge communications tools is an advantage.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current World Bank Group Staff Member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, they will retain their Regular or Open-Ended appointment. If the selected candidate is a current World Bank Group Staff Member with a Term appointment that expires later than the end date of this appointment, they will retain the duration of their current Term appointment.

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.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

Link to the organization’s job posting: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1671735042891