Health Economist

World Bank, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th June, 2021

Job Description


  • Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 and promoting shared prosperity. 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.

The Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG)

  • The World Bank Group (WBG) is the largest provider of development finance and solutions for human development working with high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries to develop country-tailored solutions for human development (HD) under the themes of education, health, social protection, jobs and gender. The HD PG coordinates with other Practice Groups to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to development challenges, and through the World Bank Regional Units is expected to deliver the strongest and most pertinent support to our client countries.
  • The Human Development Vice Presidency (HDVP) at the World Bank Group is made up of the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition, and population; and social protection and jobs; additionally, the HDVP houses the gender group.  As such, HD is central to the World Bank Group’s goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and raise shared prosperity.
  • Over the past few years the World Bank’s Human development sector has been delivering a scaled-up program with an active portfolio over $71.3B with engagements in 121 countries. New commitments in FY21 are expected to reach a total $21.2B by FY end.  Human capital development, and in particular, the health sector program, has taken a central role for the WBG, as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.
  • The primary challenges of health development relate to health, nutrition, and demographic transitions that are responding to the COVID-19  pandemic both, through an agile short-term response, and a sustainable and inclusive longer-term response that tackles inequitable opportunities and outcomes in the health sector globally, regionally and within countries.  The fundamental challenge is to preempt, prevent and mitigate the developmental impact of these challenges now and into the future.  Specific challenges include: providing equitable, efficient, accountable and sustainable financing of health coverage; providing equitable, quality, appropriate and scaled-up delivery of priority public health services according to need; mobilizing the appropriate quantity and quality of key health systems inputs related to health workers, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare technology and facilities; and strengthening models of governance for the health sector that recognize core functions for government, responsibilities/accountability of key actors and enhance competencies for governance across levels (local, national, regional and global) and sectors (public/private/civil society, as well as government sectors such as education, transport, social protection, etc.).

Health, Nutrition & Population Global Practice 

  • The World Bank Group (WBG) supports countries’ efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and to provide quality, affordable health services to everyone —regardless of their ability to pay — by strengthening primary health care systems and reducing the financial risks associated with ill health and increasing equity. 

Global Financing Facility Context

  • The global community has made considerable progress over the past 25 years in improving the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents. Rates of preventable death have dropped significantly in many countries and improvements have been seen across a range of key measures of health and well-being. But the progress has not been enough: too many women, children, and adolescents have been left behind, dying and suffering from preventable conditions, in considerable part because of a large financing gap, estimated at US$33 billion annually.
  • The Global Financing Facility in Support of Every Woman Every Child (GFF) was launched at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015 as part of a global conversation about how to finance the SDGs, which requires a shift from thinking about billions of dollars to recognizing that we need trillions to achieve the ambitious targets that we have agreed upon. This shift is only possible through new approaches to financing that recognize that countries themselves are the engines of progress and that the role of external assistance is to support countries both to get more results from the existing resources and to increase the total volume of financing. Over the four years, the GFF has created a new model with countries in the driver’s seat that brings together multiple sources of financing in a synergistic way to support national priorities. A key element of this model is drawing on the other sectors that influence health and nutrition outcomes, such as education, water and sanitation, and social protection. The GFF supports countries to get on a trajectory to achieve the SDGs by:
  • Strengthening dialogue among key stakeholders under the leadership of governments and supporting the identification of a clear set of priority results that all partners commit their resources to achieving;
  • Getting more results from existing resources and increasing the total volume of financing from four sources: domestic government resources, financing from IDA and IBRD, aligned external financing, and private sector resources; and
  • Strengthening systems to track progress, learn, and course correct.
  • The GFF held a replenishment in 2018 for the GFF Trust Fund to respond to the demand from countries that want to be part of the GFF. It mobilized US$1.05 billion as a first phase to begin expansion over the period 2018–23 to 50 countries facing the most significant needs.
  • The GFF partnership is led by the GFF Director; the day-to-day management of the GFF team is the responsibility of the GFF Practice Manager. The GFF secretariat, which is based at the World Bank and is situated in the HNP Global Practice, works to deliver on the GFF objectives. This includes working with countries to develop quality investment cases, managing the GFF Trust Fund, technical assistance to regional teams, and support to the GFF Investors Group, the governance mechanism for the GFF.

Duties and Accountabilities

The GFF Secretariat is responsible for supporting countries, managing the GFF Trust Fund, supporting the GFF Investors Group, and the governance mechanism for the GFF.  The Secretariat is based at the World Bank, situated in the HNP Global Practice. The position advertised will work within the GFF’s Health Financing team which is responsible for supporting countries in mobilizing additional resources for health and improve the use of those resources to improve health outcomes and progress towards the health-related SDGs. The successful candidate will also act as a GFF country focal point for certain countries.

The successful candidate will:

  • Facilitate/ Coordinate the provision of technical support (or provide direct support if necessary) on health financing to countries in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Investment Cases to ensure that they support the achievement of the GFF health financing objectives:  improving domestic resource mobilization, improve the efficiency in the use of resources, improve financial protection in case of illness.
  • Provide technical support within the GFF Secretariat on health financing issues
  • Build partnership with key in-country constituencies to ensure that the GFF is aligned with the UHC national strategy and plan, under the leadership of the government.
  • Support GFF countries to monitor domestic resources (budgets) and donor funds in resource tracking systems to ensure that resource allocations are aligned and integrated. More specifically, the candidate will be a core team member of the resource mapping and expenditure tracking (RMET) team at the GFF which supports countries in conducting their resource mapping and expenditure tracking of their investment case to monitor its implementation. This implies supporting countries in gathering domestic and external budget and expenditure data with respect to costed IC to measure funding gaps and support MOH in prioritizing.  As the work program is heavily supported by consultants and firms, the successful candidate will also play a role in managing this external support and providing quality assurance.
  • Support countries in the analysis of relevant public financial management issues:  reviews of public expenditure, budget preparation, execution and monitoring.

Selection Criteria

  •  Minimum Education/Work Experience: Master's degree in economics, public health, health financing, or other relevant master’s degree and at least 8 years of relevant experience in supporting large scale development programs in low and low-middle income countries;
  •  Experience working with governments in LICs or LMICs
  •  Extensive field experience in working with national government (i.e. Ministries of Health, Ministries of Finance, Insurance agencies, etc.) and other partners at national and sub-national level in policy formulation as well as experience in supporting implementation of programs.
  •  Experience with systems of health accounts or other resource tracking systems
  •  Experience disseminating analytic information with multiple stakeholders and translating data in action and improvement in interventions and outcome;
  •  Experience with quantitative analysis including the use of EXCEL, SPSS, STATA, R or other similar software package an advantage;
  •  Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; Ability to speak and write in French a very strong advantage;
  •  Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and proven ability to apply these in carrying out complex research and operational tasks, identifying issues, presenting findings/ recommendations and contributing to resolution of sector and country issues.
  •  Strong analytical and conceptual skills with demonstrated ability to interpret data, identify problems and propose solutions.
  •  Capacity to work simultaneously on a variety of issues and tasks, independently adjusting to priorities and achieving results with agreed objectives and deliver against ambitious deadlines.
  •  Strong client focus including good interpersonal, diplomatic and team building skills required for building and maintaining collaborative relationships.


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