Urban Specialist


Madagascar is witnessing a rapid urbanization. Urban growth was about 4 % per annum over the period 1960 to 2000. The level of urbanization increased from 11 % in 1960 to 27 % in 2005. It is estimated that the balance point between urban and rural population (50-50%) will be reached by 2030. However, cities already account for approximately ¾ of the national GDP, with Antananarivo, the capital, contributing by 50%. The agglomeration of Antananarivo has a population of about 3.6 million (2011) and is growing exponentially. It concentrates almost half of the urban population of the country. It is estimated that the population is growing at a rate of 5% a year, with an additional 100,000 new inhabitants from countryside. The lack of employment opportunities for this growing population has, however, led to a concentration of poverty of more than 66% compared to a national urban poverty rate of about 51%.

Madagascar is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world with a vast majority of the Malagasy living under the poverty line (90.3 percent of the population in 2016), a high geographical exposure to climate hazards (floods, cyclones, droughts) and a lack of readiness to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters. Recent risk modelling analysis estimate average annual losses around $100 million and that every year there is a 10% probability that damages due to multiple disasters will exceed $240 million.
In early 2015 when heavy rainfall triggered severe flooding in the country and especially over the capital city, Antananarivo, with damages to infrastructure estimated at more than 1% of GDP. As the country continues to urbanize massively, exposure and vulnerability to climate disasters will continue to increase. Indeed, the catastrophic flooding of January 2015 provided evidence of the consequences of dysfunctional urban systems and the inability of multiple agencies and levels of government to coordinate on strategic urban management, infrastructure maintenance, and service provision.

At the request of the Government of Madagascar, the Bank is re-engaging with the urban sector through analytical works and lending operations on a larger scale to finance required investments in infrastructure as well as capacity building. Due to the complex and structural nature of the reforms needed for urban development to be more resilient in the face of recurrent flooding, and more equitable to benefit a larger percentage of the population, the Bank is designing a long term urban resilience program.

To strengthen this growing engagement on urban resilience and DRM in Madagascar, GSURR is seeking an Urban Specialist to support its financial, technical assistance and analytical work. The Urban Specialist will report to the Practice Manager of Urban Development & DRM for Eastern and Southern Africa.

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 term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The selected candidate will be expected to provide operational support for the development, supervision and implementation of Madagascar Urban Resilience and DRM Program.
Specific responsibilities will include:

• Provide operational support to TTLs/Senior Specialists during the preparation and supervision of projects with special focus of assisting teams in day-to-day project management;
• Provide project supervision support on lending and analytical activities and liaise with project government counterparts and other Bank units as directed by the TTLs;
• Participate in missions; liaise and coordinate with government counterparts, donors and other stakeholders; provide technical inputs and guidance to counterparts on appropriate scope, technology, costs, etc.; prepares terms of reference for project- or sector-related work.
• Draft and/or support preparation of project briefs, aide memoires, Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and Project Papers, Project Implementation Summary Result (ISR) and other materials as part of The World Bank internal documentation;
• Support the operational aspects of the preparation, appraisal, and negotiations of Urban/DRM lending operations, including Sector Investments Projects and Technical Assistance activities;
• Assist in development of new business opportunities in the urban and DRM sector in line with the country strategy and the Bank comparative advantage;
• Assist country teams in the inclusion of urban and resilience agendas in Country Partnership Strategies, provide critical input to the design and execution of policy and research initiatives as relevant to the urban sector;
• Provide guidance and hands-on support to implementing agencies and management units as part of Bank teams, assisting them in monitoring project progress, procurement processing, preparing and maintaining essential documentation for these processes. Identify potential problems and advise on required actions.
• Participate in professional development and knowledge sharing activities in the urban and resilience sector and contribute specific knowledge both within the assigned countries and in the World Bank,
• Support the development of Trust Fund proposals, the implementation of Technical Assistance grants and preparation of progress reports for GFDRR, as well as other information required by the GFDRR Secretariat;
• Provide operational support in the event of a disaster related emergency in the country, which may include participating in Post-Disaster Recovery missions;
• Work independently, under limited supervision, seeking guidance on complex projects/issues from senior specialists;
• Perform other duties and functions as assigned by the Practice Manager,

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

• Country/Task Team Managers in Madagascar Country Office;
• Staff and managers within the GP and other units providing cross support;
• Government officials, donors, and staff in a variety of international and other partner organizations.


• Advanced university degree (Masters) in a field relevant to urban development such as urban planning, social development, economics, architecture, political science, public policy or a related field.
• At least 5 years of relevant experience in the urban development and/or disaster risk management sectors in Madagascar is required. 
• Practical skills in urban planning, project development, data analysis. 
• Excellent and effective command of English and French both in verbal and written forms.  
• Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to function effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.
• Proven track record of delivery of high quality outputs while working under pressure and within tight deadlines.
• Ability to engage national and subnational clients in the provision of technical assistance and advisory services.
• Experience in lending operations and/or project management in the urban and/or DRM sector with World Bank or other international financing would be an advantage.
• Work experience in Madagascar and familiarity with the Government of Madagascar and municipal government policies in the urban / municipal sector.
• Strong motivation to work in the urban development sector in Madagascar and ability to work flexibly and independently on a range of assignments, adjusting to and prioritizing a variety of complex evolving tasks.

• Integrative Skills. - Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.
• Lead and innovate - Develops innovative solutions.
• Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
• Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
• Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
• Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.

Knowledge and Experience in at least Two of the following areas:

• Urban Policy, Strategy, and Institutions: Familiarity with urban policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Urban Service Delivery: Foundational knowledge of urban services delivery, with ability to apply to operations and analytical work.
• Urban Poverty and Slums:  Foundational knowledge of urban poverty, with ability to support operations and analytical work.
• Land and Housing:  Foundational knowledge of land and housing, with ability to support operations and analytical work.
• Urban and Regional Planning: Foundational knowledge of urban and regional planning, with ability to support operations and analytical work.
• DRM Policy, Strategy, and Institutions - Has a solid understanding of disaster risk management policies, institutions, and regulations.
• DRM Infrastructure - Deep experience in at least one subtopic; develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges.
• Emergency Preparedness and Early Recovery - Broad understanding of emergency preparedness and recovery strategies, with ability to support operations and analytical work, and draw conclusions and take action based on results of analyses.
• Disaster Risk Financing - Solid knowledge of a wide range of disaster risk financing alternatives; can propose solutions to most financing needs.

Source: World Bank

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017