World Bank Nigeria Job Vacancy: Senior Economist

World Bank Nigeria Job Vacancy: Senior Economist
Job Title Senior Economist
Job # 110709
Job Family Economic Policy
Location Abuja, Nigeria
Appointment International Hire
Closing Date 10-May-2011
Language Requirements English [Essential]; French [Essential]

Background / General Description
Regional integration in West Africa has been on the drawing board for at least three decades. Though substantial advances have been made, progress has been limited on a number of critical issues. Excluding Nigeria, countries in the region are too small to benefit from specialization and reaping economies of scale, with an average economic size of approximately USD 6.7 billion and population of 9.8 million in 2008. Integrating into global and regional supply chains can help increase productivity, foster growth and poverty reduction.
Current regional integration processes in West Africa cover a wide range of issues from creating an internal market to cooperation in key policy areas relating to regional public goods. However, the region remains far from achieving its overall objective of a borderless, integrated region, with a common market allowing free movement of goods and people, leading at an appropriate time to greater monetary and even political union. The lack of specific knowledge on likely costs and benefits of regional integration and their distribution, as well as the appropriate phasing of integration steps, seems to have resulted in decisions that are often not evidence-based; and sometimes captured by strong pressure groups. Weakly functioning implementation mechanisms have been another key factor contributing to the slow pace of regional integration. In addition, political commitment at national level towards concrete actions for regional integration has often been lacking and political commitment has sometimes focused on the more high profile integration steps instead of the practical implementation of these agreements.

The World Bank, in close cooperation with ECOWAS, UEMOA, the AfDB and DfID has developed a Support for West African Regional Integration Program (SWARIP) which aims to change the context within which regional policy decisions are taken and implemented in West Africa. The program will deliver demand-driven research outputs in close collaboration with West African analysts to ensure strong regional ownership of the analysis, analytical outputs, and its dissemination to effectively inform policy formulation by the region. The program will make new and relevant analysis and information available in the public domain that will allow evidence-based decision making and propose solutions to identified barriers to regional integration. This program will also develop performance indicators to permit effective monitoring and evaluation of the regional integration process across the 15 countries of ECOWAS.

The Senior Economist will lead and oversee a demand-driven research program on regional integration in West Africa that will 1) take stock of progress made so far (and identify where progress is lacking or absent) and analyze the political economy of the regional integration process, 2) examine the reasons for this mixed performance, 3) compile new analysis where important gaps are identified, 4) describe and quantify the costs and benefits of regional integration, 5) improve understanding of the appropriate phasing of regional integration, 6) develop and publish indicators to measure progress and generate demand for improvement, and 7) present practical solutions to overcoming key constraints to regional integration.
He/she will work in close collaboration with the regional integration bodies and a steering committee that will give guidance to the Senior Economist with regard to key priorities of the regional actors that will determine the research agenda under the program. The selected candidate will ensure that the program produces high quality research outputs responding to client needs and will work closely with researchers inside and outside the World Bank implementing elements of the research agenda.
The selected candidate will also help establish regional knowledge platforms and research networks, and support capacity building measures to help formulate and implement relevant policies and projects. At the same time, the selected candidate will also work on integrating relevant research outputs into World Bank operations by ensuring a continuous dialogue with staff working on trade and regional integration in the World Bank.

The position will be for an initial period of two years with the possibility of an extension for one or more years depending on the success of the program. The senior trade economist will report to the sector managers for AFTP4 and AFTP3 respectively, and will work closely with, and be advised by, the Lead Economist (Trade and Regional Integration) in the Africa PREM front office. The position is for a period of 24 months with possibility of renewal for another 12 months.

Duties And Accountabilities
The Senior Economist will be responsible for:
(i) Supporting the program Steering Committee to ensure regional priorities are adequately reflected in the research agenda and that the program is effectively implemented;
(ii) Promoting a dialogue with governments and regional institutions on issues of regional integration, identifying demand for analytical work in the area of regional integration, and helping transfer this demand into actual proposals for research that can be undertaken by the program;
(iii) Identifying researchers inside and outside the region who can conduct the research, and setting up procedures to evaluate their proposals and review their work;
(iv) Developing key indicators, including establishing benchmarks, to monitor progress of the regional integration process in West Africa. This activity will be undertaken in close collaboration with the African Development Bank;
(v) Working together with the steering committee, ECOWAS, UEMOA, and the AfDB to establish regional knowledge platforms on key policy issues, as well as establishing a network of researchers and think tanks in the region;
(vi) Developing, in cooperation with regional and national partners, innovative research outputs accessible to a broad audience of West African citizens by simplifying the complexity of analytical writing. Develop and implement innovative dissemination methods in terms of the selection of participants, methods of delivery, feed-back, and subsequent follow up to assess effectiveness of transferring knowledge;
(vii) Ensuring that World Bank quality assurance procedures are followed for work that is actually being led by World Bank teams; and provide quality advice on other research led by other institutions working with the steering committee;
(viii) Working in collaboration with Bank staff from FPD, PREM, SD, DECRD and WBI to ensure the project and its key research results link up with and inform other Bank activities;
(ix) Handling the overall administrative and financial management of the program, including the preparation of research grants, annual reports, etc.

Selection Criteria
• Advanced degree in economics and at least 10 years of relevant experience in trade policy and regional integration.
• Superior analytical skills demonstrated through a strong track record of major economic reports or other published work relating to economic policy and trade analysis. Ability to conduct innovative work in challenging environments is also required.
• Experience working in research capacity building and in policy dialogue with governments.
• Knowledge of West Africa preferable.
• Strong interpersonal skills and client focus.
• Ability to operate effectively both as team leader and team member.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French.
• Commitment to and experience with knowledge sharing.

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.
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