Sr Economist (Health)/Sr Health Specialist at the World Bank. 176 views

Job #: req12627
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Health/Nutrition/Population
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment
Location: Kyiv,Ukraine
Required Language(s): English, Ukrainian
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 8/4/2021 (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. Visit

Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice Context

The central contribution of the HNP Global Practice to the World Bank’s twin goals is to enable the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), in which all people are effectively covered by essential health services, and nobody suffers undue financial hardship because of illnesses. The HNP Global Practice includes staff members in Washington, DC and many country offices.  The HNP Global Practice works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that HNP outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the HNP sector. The HNP Global Practice supports country and regional efforts to: (i) improve health outcomes, especially for the poor and most vulnerable; (ii) expand access to high-quality HNP services, interventions and technologies that give the most value for money; (iii) strengthen health systems for results; (iv) establish and improve health financing mechanisms that promote efficiency, equity and sustainability of investments; (v) strengthen health-relevant institutions within and outside the health sector; (vi) harness multisectoral policies and investments for better health outcomes; and (vii) develop and learn from rigorous impact evaluations.

Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region Context

ECA is a highly diverse region, with countries of all income levels and wide differences in resource endowments, human capital, and institutional capacity. ECA has a strong lending pipeline as well as a large and growing portfolio of Trust Funds and Reimbursable Advisory Services. Knowledge is critical to the Bank’s value proposition to client countries in the ECA region in both lending and advisory services.

Despite being a predominantly middle-income region, ECA continues to experience a weak recovery from the 2009 crisis. Slow growth and persistently high unemployment threaten to reverse the region’s achievements in reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity. The region continues to face projected low growth rates and struggle with multiple structural weaknesses, including high public debt burden, tight fiscal space, low investment, and financial sector vulnerabilities. This situation has been further exacerbated by COVID-19. Regional output collapsed in the first half of 2020, as growing domestic outbreaks and pandemic-related restrictions caused domestic demand to plummet, exacerbated supply disruptions, and halted manufacturing and services activity. The sharp decline in remittance inflows — which account for about 10 percent of GDP in the region, excluding the Russian Federation and Turkey — contributed to worsening living standards. In the emerging and developing countries of ECA, GDP is expected to contract 4.4 percent in 2020. While growth is projected to recover in 2021, the pace of recovery is highly uncertain and depends on the duration of the pandemic, the availability and distribution of a vaccine, and the degree of improvement in trade and investment.

The region also faces longer-term challenges, most notably rapid population aging (especially in Europe), with implications for labor productivity and fiscal sustainability of social spending including health.

In view of these challenges, the ECA region’s strategy is based on two pillars: (i) competitiveness and shared prosperity through jobs; and (ii) environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability. These, together with the goals of the HNP Global Practice pertaining to financial protection, effective coverage of essential health services and health public policies, constitute the framework for WBG engagement in the broader health, nutrition and population sector. As such some of the outstanding challenges include:

– in higher middle-income countries: (i) rapid ageing of the population and consequent multi-morbidity (non-communicable diseases, NCDs); (ii) the unfinished agenda with healthcare financing, purchasing and payment reforms; (iii) second generational service delivery reforms for better integration and coordination of care across all levels of healthcare.

– in lower and middle-income countries: (i) universal and effective health coverage; (ii) equitable access to care and financial protection; (iii) the unfinished MDG agenda (goals 4, 5 and 6) and the consequent double burden of illness with the advent of NCDs and injuries as a result of demographic and epidemiologic transition.

– in all countries: to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19.

Duties and Responsibilities

The selected candidate will play a central role in the development and implementation of the HNP lending and advisory portfolio in Ukraine, working with the larger ECA HNP team, Country Management Unit (CMU), and staff in other Global Practices. The Health Specialist or Economist will be responsible for supervising on-going World Bank loans and also preparing new World Bank loans, in line with the priorities of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The Health Specialist or Economist will also provide rigorous technical assistance to the Government of Ukraine, and in particular the Ministry of Health and the National Health Service of Ukraine. In line with the HNP Strategy and CPF, the focus of the engagement is expected to be on assuring health system revenues and efficiency of spending; modernizing the hospital delivery system, strengthening people-centered services, particularly for non-communicable diseases and including the integration of health and social care for the elderly; developing data-driven and digital health systems; and aligning private sector development with public goals. The Health Specialist or Economist may also be asked to lead or contribute to Bank-financed projects or technical assistance in other countries in the region.

Specifically, the responsibilities of the Health Specialist or Economist will be the following:

* Supervise the implementation of the Bank’s HNP lending portfolio in Ukraine, which includes a health system strengthening project, aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of hospital care, and a COVID-19 vaccination project

* Lead and/or contribute to the preparation of the next phase of health systems strengthening projects in Ukraine, while continuing to ensure sufficient support for the Government of Ukraine’s COVID-19 response

* Lead and/or contribute to high-impact analytical and advisory work, including major reports and just-in-time policy briefs, that finds new ways of addressing long-standing challenges

* Lead and/or contribute to the supervision and preparation of Bank-financed loans, as well as analytical and advisory work, in other countries in the ECA region

* Facilitate knowledge-sharing between the Government of Ukraine and other countries in the region and beyond, both in areas of immediate policy importance and areas of longer-term capacity-building

* Build and maintain effective relationships with government counterparts and sustain a strong policy dialogue that draws on the Bank’s country-specific and global knowledge

* Work effectively with development partners in the health sector

* Maintain effective relationships with the CMU and contribute to CMU-led products and activities (e.g., Systematic Country Diagnosis, CPF, portfolio performance reviews, country briefings etc.)

* Contribute Ukraine-specific analysis to regional and global knowledge products

* Collaborate with colleagues in other Global Practices, within and outside the Human Development Practice Group, on multi-sectoral health-related challenges in Ukraine and other countries in the region

The Senior Health Specialist/Economist will report to the HNP Practice Manager for ECA. 

Selection Criteria

* Master’s degree or higher (preferably PhD or equivalent) in health or public health, epidemiology, medicine, health economics, economics, public policy, or other relevant discipline.

* Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in the areas of health systems strengthening, public health, health service delivery, and/or health financing

* Expertise in priority issues in the Ukrainian health sector, such as hospital reform, integrated care, strategic purchasing, and governance would be an asset.

* Prior experience in an international development institution (public, NGO or private) is preferred.

* Ability to lead, contribute and function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams is essential.

* A drive for results, including a proven track record of high standards/accountability for work products, meeting deadlines, an ability to prioritize tasks within his/her work program, and work effectively with others to deliver products of the highest caliber.

* Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills.

* Fluency in English and Ukrainian (excellent oral and written communication skills) is essential, with ability to prepare documents on complex subjects, speak and write persuasively, and present ideas clearly and concisely.

* Willingness to travel regularly within Ukraine and abroad.

In addition to the above, the successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following

WBG competencies:

– Integrative Skills — Understands core issues and knows where to get additional expertise when needed. Task team member in integrative products and provides analytical written inputs.

– Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena — Understands policy making process and role of the health sector in that process.  Is able to find relevant information and examine similar policy questions in multiple regions and to distill operationally relevant recommendations and lessons from this analysis for clients.

– Policy Dialogue Skills — Identifies and assesses policy issues and communicates findings/points of view verbally and through economic reports and papers.  Plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders as part of Bank teams.

– Client Orientation — Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.

– Drive for Results — Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.

– Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion — Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.


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. 


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