Environmental Specialist, The World Bank

Background/General Description

The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region serves 22 client countries with a total population of about 2 billion.  Clients range from IBRD, IDA and fragile countries with diverse opportunities and challenges.  A key characteristic of the EAP is a high level of decentralization; about 55% of staff are located in the field and over 50% of operations are managed and led from the field.  To address this high level of decentralization, the Sustainable Development Department Management Team is headed by a Sector Director at HQ, and three field-based Sector Managers responsible for the overall SD program and client interface in Vietnam, Indonesia and China; and two Washington DC-based Sector Managers for Infrastructure and Environment, Social and Rural Unit. Field based Sector Managers are responsible for SD program delivery in country and have delegated decision making authority.

As of October 2010, Vietnam’s portfolio consists of about 50 active operations with net commitments of US$ 5.8 billion, of which about 80% of the commitment is under the Sustainable Development Program. The next three year pipeline of SD Program consists of about 22 operations in energy, transport, urban development, agriculture and rural development, environment, and social development. Particular features include large infrastructure: hydropower, electricity transmission and distribution, expressways, urban and rural roads, water supply and sanitation, and natural resources management, disaster mitigation, climate change, and integrated rural development.

The work program for the Environment Team falls into the following areas: (i) providing technical input and advice to sector projects and programs and ensuring compliance of the EAP operations with the Bank’s environmental safeguard policies; (ii) leading the Bank’s work—including lending and non-lending operations—on environmental management, specifically focusing on strengthening institutional capacity, improving environmental quality and the sustainable management of natural resources, and promoting equitable solutions in climate change, biodiversity conservation and other areas related to environmental issues; and (iii) leading the Bank’s work on global environmental issues including the management of projects aimed at implementing international conventions supported through special financing mechanisms such as the multi-donor fund for the Montreal Protocol, the Global Environmental Facility, and various climate change funding sources. 

To respond to these challenges, the Vietnam Sustainable Development Program (EASVS) is seeking to recruit an Environment Specialist. Working in close collaboration with colleagues in other Sustainable Development units and other units of the Bank such as Human Development, the Environment Specialist will manage and support operations related to the work program as described above. The bulk of the position’s responsibilities will be concerned with the first area, ensuring adequate attention to environmental safeguards, but there are also needs and opportunities to contribute to other environmental responsibilities of the Bank. He/she will work according to an annual work plan, adjusted periodically as necessary. He/she will work under the guidance and mentoring of the Environment Country Sector Coordinator, reporting ultimately to the Sustainable Development Sector Manager, both based in Hanoi.

The assignment is for two years, starting April 1, 2011. The assignment can be renewed for additional years, based on satisfactory performance and subject to the Bank’s needs. The duty station is Hanoi with extensive travel to the provinces envisaged, as required to undertake the above assignments. Locally recruited Bank staff also have opportunities to work on assignments in other countries.

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 2 year renewable term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities

a.    On safeguard issues, which constitute the bulk of the work load, tasks may include: (i) supervise the Recipient’s preparation of safeguard documents and implementation of safeguard procedures to meet the Bank’s requirements; (ii) work with technical colleagues to understand technical proposals and identify environmental issues as well as management solutions at early stage of project; (iii) prepare Bank internal safeguard documents; (iv) carry out monitoring and supervision on client’s compliance to environmental commitments during project implementation; (v) promote knowledge sharing and experience exchange on safeguard issues. 
b.    Participate as task team member in lending operations undertaken by sector units, advising on environmental and safeguard approaches, the Bank’s policies and requirements, and technical issues, during preparation and supervision.
c.    Proactively work with the task teams, the Bank safeguards team, and clients to improve the performance of the portfolio with regard to environmental safeguards and outcomes.
d.    Support environmental operations financed by the Bank, GEF, or other sources including project identification, preparation, processing, and supervision.
e.    Undertake in-country safeguards reviews and thematic supervisions, prepare reports, and disseminate lessons learned.
f.    Contribute to environmental analytical activities under the guidance of senior staff.
g.    Participate in country dialogue on environmental policy and strategy, and contribute to preparation of the Country Partnership Strategy.
h.    Maintain effective communication with counterparts from MONRE and line ministries, (and donor community and NGOs as and when required or needed), and other local agencies and organizations on World Bank activities in the environment sector. 
i.    Represent the Bank in local meetings of environmental authorities, organizations, and multilateral and bilateral donors.
j.    Advise clients in the Government and colleagues on environmental policy and technical matters, and conduct on-the-job and formal training for clients and consultants.
k.    Assist in the design and delivery of knowledge management and training activities.

Selection Criteria

a.    Graduate degree in a relevant field such as environmental engineering, environmental sciences, environmental economics, natural resources management, or urban planning/management.
b.    A minimum of 7 years relevant operational experience and proven track record in working on projects covering a broad range of environmental management issues.  This should include specific field-based project experience.
c.    Good understanding of and extensive practical experience with environmental assessment policies, processes, and procedures (Government’s or donors’).
d.    Excellent communication skills, both written and oral in Vietnamese and English.
e.    Demonstrated capacity to work in teams and share knowledge.
f.    Track record of dealing effectively with external and internal clients. Strong client orientation with commitment to results on the ground.
g.    Demonstrated ability to work independently with limited supervision on environmental activities, and achieving results with agreed upon objectives and deadlines.
h.    Full competence with professional office software and communications technology.
i.    Willingness to travel frequently within Vietnam.