Data Scientist

World Bank , Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, IT and ICTStrategic Alliances
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th March, 2020

Job Description


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. For more information, visit

Poverty and Equity Global Practice

The Poverty and Equity GP, part of the EFI Cluster of Global Practices, plays three key –leading and supportive– roles: sectoral integrator at country level; generator of knowledge and dialogue; and operational solutions supporter. The country-level work of the Poverty and Equity global practice typically falls under one or more of the following three streams:

  • Laying the foundations for evidence-based policy by strengthening data on household welfare: this is the foundational work, mostly delivered through TA and occasionally through statistical capacity-building investment operations, to support the design and implementation of household surveys, provide advice on best-practice methodologies for estimating household welfare, poverty, and shared prosperity, and build capacity and strengthen country systems for collecting data on and monitoring household welfare.
  • Defining the agenda through integrative analysis and dialogue: this stream of work has focused on using the household-level data, wherever available, to undertake integrative analyses to inform the policy dialogue and advance the poverty reduction and shared prosperity agenda and priorities at the regional, national and occasionally sub-national levels.
  • Delivering operational solutions: this stream of work focuses on collaborating with internal and external partners to translate the upstream analytics into concrete implementable measures and support the implementation of particular interventions aimed at reducing poverty. This includes supporting the preparation of Systematic Country Diagnostics and Country Partnership Frameworks, as well as the analysis of poverty and social impacts of Bank operations.

The development and flow of global knowledge within the practice is facilitated through four cross-cutting global solution areas, each of which is led by a thematic Lead Economist. These are:

  • Poverty monitoring and statistical capacity building,
  • Markets and institutions for poverty reduction and shared prosperity,
  • Fiscal and social policy for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, 
  • Resilience to shocks and sustainability of poverty reduction and shared prosperity.

Equity Policy Lab

Embedded in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice, the Equity Policy Lab is a team of data scientists and economists tasked with providing just-in-time assistance to teams working on the distributional impact of policy reforms. The objective is to increase the likelihood that the Bank’s analytical and operational work regularly considers the distributional impact of interventions by providing the appropriate just-in-time expertise.

The Equity Policy Lab works with the Practice’s Global Solutions Groups to develop tools and solutions that can be used across teams. It ensures that these new tools and approaches are disseminated throughout the practice and across the Bank. The Lab also provides a space to improve existing models, pilot new methods and approaches that can support teams and clients in answering important policy design questions.

The Equity Lab program is guided by the following principles:

  • Addressing World Bank Group’s commitment to assess the poverty and social impact of policy reforms through just-in-time assistance and tool development. The Equity Policy Lab enables teams to comply with the Bank’s corporate commitment to assess the potential distributional impact of policies in the context of its policy development lending by developing tools and providing an evidence base for its technical assistance and policy advice. This work includes development of ex-ante micro-simulation models, as well as diagnostic tools that can be used to guide projects and programs.
  • Introducing innovations and technologies in the distributional analysis of reforms to amplify the impact of the WBG’s thought leadership in evidence-based analysis of the distributional impact of policy reforms.
  • Promoting cross-sectoral collaboration and learning by embedding in country teams within Poverty GP and engaging with colleagues in other Global Practices, including the macro-fiscal, social protection, education and health Global Practices.

Duties and Accountabilities

The selected candidate will be based in Washington, DC. The Practice is seeking to recruit an economist or data scientist with strong quantitative methods and advanced programing skills, including working experience in micro-econometric analysis and statistical techniques. The selected candidate will support country poverty programs, embedding with country teams in the context of just-in-time support, and provide training and capacity building. Experiences and skills required to conduct such programs will be a plus.

Specific responsibilities will include the following:

  • Contribute to the development, implementation and/or improvement of standardized analytical/micro-simulation and visualization tools to support the Bank’s analytical and operational work;
  • Support poverty programs in selected countries engaging in operational work with clients to design and deliver innovative analytical work, capacity building services, financial products and technical assistance using recent development in technologies and methods;
  • Build partnerships with other groups in the WB, including Development Economics (DEC) teams and other Global Practices (GPs) on poverty, shared-prosperity and equity monitoring issues and applications using recent technologies and methods;
  • Disseminate knowledge gained across country and regional teams in the practice, increasing the use of web-based visualizations on these indicators to tell clear stories;
  • Participate in activities and exchange information with other World Bank teams working on similar issues across sectors and Global Solution Groups.
  • Like all members of the Poverty global practice, the economist/data scientist will also be expected to contribute to the global knowledge base of the practice.

Selection Criteria

  • A Master’s or PhD degree in Economics, Statistics or Computer Science or a closely related field, with a minimum of five years’ relevant experience;
  • Technical and Quantitative Skills as an Applied Development Microeconomist - Has experience in microeconometrics and statistical modeling – working with household surveys & performing complex econometric analysis;
  • Experience building or working with micro-simulation models to assess the distributional impact of alternative policy reforms. Experience working with both household and administrative data is desirable.
  • Advanced programing skills in modern statistics, scripts and programming languages such as Stata/Mata, R & Python, and Excel macros (VBA) with a publication record of user-written routines;
  • Commitment to teamwork, knowledge-sharing, and ability to influence across organizational boundaries; Experience in using Git or code sharing platforms;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement complex tasks, including a track record of building partnerships and collaborations across institutional boundaries;
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and to effectively carry out multi-disciplinary analyses;
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills. In particular, the candidate will exhibit the ability to communicate ideas effectively and to interpret statistical data quickly and clearly, including with informative graphs and charts; Experience working with Business Intelligence (BI) tools and in preparing data visualizations such as Tableau, R-Shiny, D3, etc. is desirable;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a demonstrated track record of meeting tight deadlines and of working in a multicultural team environment with multiple priorities;
  • Ability to work with staff from all levels and to mentor, coach and motivate more junior staff.
  • Reading, Writing and Spoken fluency in Portuguese, Arabic, French and Spanish is desirable.


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