Senior Health Specialist

World Bank, Monrovia, Liberia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th February, 2020

Job Description


We are on a mission to change the world; do you want to join us where it matters the most? Invest in your personal and professional development and acquire the skills that are vital for a global career in international development. A role in an FCS (Fragile and Conflict Affected Situations) location will be a truly impactful experience!

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.


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 heath-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.


Africa has registered strong economic growth in recent years that has helped to reduce poverty levels in the continent. Yet, as Africa’s population expands, the region faces a critical challenge of creating the foundations for long-term inclusive growth. Many countries still contend with high levels of child and maternal mortality, malnutrition is far too common, and most health systems are not able to deal effectively with epidemics and the growing burden of chronic diseases. These challenges call for renewed commitments and accelerated progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC)—the principle that everyone receives needed health services without financial hardship.

Most African countries have integrated UHC as a goal in their national health strategies. Yet, progress in translating commitments to UHC into expanded domestic resources for health, effective development assistance, and ultimately, equitable and quality health services, and increased financial protection has been slow. To accelerate progress toward UHC in Africa, the countries will require political leadership and a clear strategic vision to achieve their UHC targets and to be able to eliminate preventable maternal and child deaths, strengthen resilience to public health emergencies, reduce financial hardship linked to illness, and strengthen the foundations for long-term economic growth. 

The region benefits from the (GFF) in Support of “Every Woman Every Child” which is a country driven partnership that aims to accelerate efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, adolescents and children, and thereby prevent up to 3.8 million maternal deaths, 101 million child deaths, and 21 million stillbirths in high burden countries by 2030. To know more about the Global Financing Facility (GFF) 
The region is implementing several projects with the Result-Based Financing as a key mechanism to improve service delivery and contribute to boosting human capital index in African countries.


All these projects, while being led by the Ministry of Health, involve close coordination and collaboration with other key Development Partners in the country. The Bank is also preparing a new project which would address the persisting challenge of high maternal and neonatal mortality in the country, and thereby improved Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) outcomes.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The Senior Health Specialist or Senior Economist will have the following key responsibilities, inter alia:

  • Provide implementation support, as needed, to the Bank’s HNP portfolio in West and Central Africa, which includes: (a) several Health system Support Projects aiming at (1) improving health service delivery and governance and (ii) responding to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) needs; (b) Regional Projects such as SWEDD, REDISSE and Sahel Malaria Regional Project (d) future Investing in UHC and Human capital as well as Early Years and Fertility Project;
  • Contribute to the technical discussions and monitoring of the Bank portfolio in close collaboration with the relevant government agencies and development partners with a focus on Liberia;
  • In Liberia: assist the team in policy dialogue, communications and interactions with government counterparts, country stakeholders as well as development partners;
  • Contribute to sector-specific inputs for various operational products/outputs (e.g. sector/country briefings, background reports, portfolio performance reviews, etc.);
  • Review and contribute to sector-specific policy and other documents related to Liberia but not limited to Liberia;
  • Contribute to organize and participate in missions of the health team in Liberia and outside Liberia as directed; and
  • Respond to ad hoc information requests from internal and external parties.

The work will be substantive in nature, requiring frequent missions in the field and interactions with various external and internal counterparts in Liberia.

The Senior Health Specialist or Senior Economist will report to the Practice Manager (Health Nutrition and Population) for West and Central Africa – HAFH3. Being based in the field, the selected Senior Health Specialist or Senior Economist will work closely with the respective Task Team Leaders from HNP GP and other GPs. The Senior Health Specialist or Senior Economist will be subject to all World Bank regulations and guidelines applicable to staff in country office.

Selection Criteria

  • Graduate degrees (Master’s degree required, PhD or equivalent would be an asset) in public health, epidemiology, health economics, health financing, business administration. Candidates without a core qualification in at least one of these domains need not apply. Candidates with combined degrees will have an added advantage.
  •  Minimum of 8 years as senior specialist or senior program management positions in one or more of the following areas: health systems, public health program management, service delivery, monitoring and evaluation, operations research in health, results-based financing. Experience in two or more of these areas is advantageous.
  • Prior experience in an international development institution (public, NGO or private) is preferred. Ability to function effectively in multi-disciplinary teams within a matrix environment 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 strategies for working collectively with others on the team to deliver products of the highest caliber.
  • Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills.
  • Fluency in English and French (excellent oral and written communication skills) is essential and with ability to prepare documents on complex subjects, speak and write persuasively, and present ideas clearly and concisely.


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