Senior Housing Specialist, Singapore

Closing date: Wednesday, 4 April 2018
  • Grade
  • Location Singapore
  • Recruitment Type International Hire
  • Language Requirement English [Essential]
  • Closing Date 04-Apr-2018

Background / General description

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2014, the WBG committed $65.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $22.2 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and - as of July 1, 2014 - has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promote shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.


Urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Cities generate 80% of global GDP and are key to job creation and the pursuit of shared prosperity. Yet one billion city residents live in slums today, and by 2030 one billion new migrants will arrive in cities. This concentration of people and assets will exacerbate risk exposure to adverse natural events and climate change, which affects the poor disproportionately. The absence of secure land tenure underpins deprivation and is a major source of conflict in the urban and rural space. One and a half billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence. In the absence of services, participative planning and responsive institutions, these trends will result in increased poverty, social exclusion, vulnerability and violence. Finally, avoiding a 4-degree warmer world requires drastically reducing the carbon footprint of cities.

The WBG is in a unique position to support national and sub-national clients to: harness urbanization and enable effective land management in support of both growth and poverty reduction; foster social inclusion of marginalized groups; support the responsiveness and fiscal, financial, and management capacities of local governments - cities, municipalities, and rural districts - to deliver local infrastructure and decentralized services; strengthen resilience and risk management related to natural disasters; reduce conflict and violence; scale-up access to finance for sub-national governments; and reduce the carbon footprint of cities.

The WBG brings a combination of lending ($7-8 billion in annual lending to cities), analytical and advisory services (e.g., social inclusion flagship, urbanization reviews, Sendai dialogue), its growing portfolio of reimbursable advisory services, its convening power (e.g., understanding risk and the land conferences), its leveraging capacity (e.g., guarantees and risk mitigation), and its ability to work with the private sector to tackle the challenges at scale and to effect.

The SURR GP covers a wide gamut: (i) developing green, inclusive and resilient cities; (ii) addressing the social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups through accountable institutions, and ensuring compliance with social safeguards; (iii) enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and (iv) assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban 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 (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment).

A key responsibility of the GP is to provide professional expertise and operational support to other GPs to implement the WBG social policies (the WB's safeguard policies and the IFC's Performance Standards) to deliver sustainable development results that ensure that any adverse impacts of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated. The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.


The East Asia Pacific Urban Unit within the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (GSURR) is seeking to recruit a qualified and motivated individual for the position of Senior Housing Specialist, with a technical background and specialization in housing and housing finance related issues, who will report to the Urban Practice Manager, East Asia Pacific based at the Singapore Hub.

S/he will work closely with the unit's Task Team Leaders, as well as with others outside the unit in the Global Practice for Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience (GSURR). To support clients in addressing the large urbanization challenges, the urban group in East Asia Pacific is engaged in (i) financing investments, (ii) providing technical assistance, and (iii) undertaking non-lending analytical and policy advisory work, in response to client demands. Supporting the government on its rural-urban transformation is one of the three pillars of the Bank's country partnership framework. Support includes both advisory services and IDA/IBRD projects, with a strong pipeline.

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 4 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Senior Housing Finance Specialist will

  • Manage and lead the implementation of the Indonesia National Affordable Housing Program - a $450MM World Bank lending operation and technical assistance program in support of the development of housing and housing finance for the low and informal income consumer segments in Indonesia. Supervise all aspects of the program, including client interaction, analytical assessments, ongoing reviews and the preparation of internal project documentation for results, sustainability and development effectiveness
  • Evaluate markets and identify viable entry points for the GURR Global Practice. Develop lending and/or advisory opportunities to help advance affordable housing markets, policies and programs in a sustainable and financially sound manner
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with government officials and other housing stakeholders.
  • Provide assistance to the World Bank's regional units and the governments of countries in designing and implementing housing finance projects, especially on challenging and sensitive aspects, by providing world-class technical support
  • Providing technical leadership, including project leadership of technical assistance programs
  • Provide global advice to Bank staff in terms of integrating worldwide industry innovations, sharing best practices, drafting sector reports and research papers, participating in knowledge management activities
  • Facilitate cooperative arrangements within the World Bank Group including IFC and with other international donors, specialized agencies and related professional associations.

Selection Criteria

  • Master's degree with 8 years of experience in finance, economics or related discipline;
  • International experience in housing finance and substantial experience in emerging economies;
  • Operational experience in global financial and housing markets;
  • Significant policy and/or operational experience in affordable housing finance in emerging economies (including but not limited to rental finance, subsidies, micro finance, contractual savings, risk sharing tools);
  • Experience in housing policy including on related titling and registry aspects, urban development and construction regulations, land use and infrastructure, targeted subsidies programs;
  • Advanced analytical and synthesis skills in the housing finance area, and in its inter-relations with the overall financial sector and urban development agenda;
  • Capacity to propose and implement clear policy recommendations, via consultation with high-level government officials and the private sector;
  • Combination of technical and people skills likely to inspire trust and build effective working relationships with colleagues, clients and partners;
  • Strong interpersonal, cross-cultural and team player skills, yet with a capacity to work effectively on an independent basis;
  • Demonstrated capacity to prioritize decisions for operational results;
  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to leverage sector specific knowledge for broad-based diagnostic, policy, and TA purposes;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and stimulate debate and an exchange of ideas to develop practical and innovative approaches to difficult policy issues and implementation challenges;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to advocate positions and defend orally and in writing difficult issues and positions to government officials, WB management and others;
  • Familiarity with modern techniques of knowledge dissemination, capacity to organize and manage seminars, ability to supervise team of consultants;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively mentor staff and design effective training;
  • Willingness to undertake extensive travel.


  • Lead and Innovate - Inspires and influences others to drive innovation.
  • Deliver Results for Clients - Acts as a trusted, strategic advisor, partnering with clients to deliver results.
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Leads collaboration across WBG and with partners drawing on robust professional networks.
  • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Establishes an environment where knowledge is created, applied and shared.
  • Make Smart Decisions - Makes timely decisions that have a broad impact.
  • Project Design for Impact and Sustainability - Gauges appropriately the time/resources required to undertake a specific reform, design a policy / program, or improve efficiency of key procedures/systems.
  • Sector Dialogue - Able to lead a broad dialogue with the client, including high-level officials, based on an understanding of the client's objectives and constraints.
  • Team Leadership - Demonstrates inspirational leadership combined with practical delivery of large-scale Bank initiatives; sought out to mentor other team leaders.
  • ESW (Economic and Sector work)/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues - Leads through AAA work the analysis of key development issues; demonstrated ability to draw policy options underpinned by solid analytic basis and that are attuned to specific country circumstances.
  • General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills - Possesses a track record of intellectual leadership and ability to integrate economic-specific knowledge and specific micro/sector fields of expertise; provides quality assurance and assesses technical soundness of work/reports.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Influences the design and execution of major policy and/or research initiatives; conceives and promotes innovations in development policies, project design, organization and management to improve operational and sector work.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills - Has a track record of conducting effective policy dialogue with country counterparts; communicates and defends difficult issues and positions to senior bank management and government officials. 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.

Source: UN Jobs

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: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018