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Senior Environmental Engineer at World Bank

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

World Bank

Job #: req26835
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Environment
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Lilongwe,Malawi
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 4/12/2024 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC



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.  For more information, visit

Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE) Region

Home to about 700 million of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. Children under 18 make up almost half of the total population. The sub region boasts of some of the world’s richest human and natural resources and, apart from South Africa, the countries are predominantly raw material exporters.

The subregion harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continues to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade. But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future.

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1,200 staff, mostly based in 26 country offices, has been helping countries realize their considerable development potential by focusing on the following priorities:

• Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.
• Building up the Digital Economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.
• Making Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support helps governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.
• Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities.
• Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation:  In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure.
• Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.
• Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE) Region:

The Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food; Climate Change; Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy; Environmental and Social Risk Management; Urban & Disaster Risk Management; Resilience & Land; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; and Water.

Environment Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice

The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for economic growth and human wellbeing. When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction. For more information:

Unit and Country Context

The Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Unit for Africa East and Southern Region (one of four Environment units in Africa) has about 40 staff.  Half of these staff work on environmental safeguards/environmental risk management.  The other 50 percent work primarily on lending and knowledge products in client countries.  More than 50 percent are based in the field. The balance is based in Washington DC and travel to the region frequently.  The skills of these staff include, economics, pollution management, forestry, fisheries management, landscapes management, watershed management, and natural areas protection.

The position

This position will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi and will focus on environmental risk management, natural resource management and project development, and analytical support.  Malawi has a considerable recognized infrastructure deficit.  The World Bank is supporting the governments ambitions to develop the country through support for critical elements of its development strategy. The support includes financing for key infrastructure (such as large dams and irrigation infrastructure), health and community support programs, and forested landscapes programs.

This position will focus on implementing the World Bank environmental risk management policies (including the Safeguard Policies and the Environmental and Social Framework, or ESF).  All World Bank-supported investment projects must meet ambitious environmental, health, and safety standards. The Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice is responsible for providing technical support and oversight to all investment projects to meet these obligations.

The World Bank in Malawi has an increasing portfolio of natural resource management related projects. While the primary responsibility of this position is on environmental risk management (at least 75 percent), the position will include management and technical support of World Bank-financed projects in the area of environment and natural resource management.

The Senior Environmental Engineer will have the following key responsibilities: Environmental Risk Management

  • Ensure the effective integration of environment, health, and safety due diligence as defined by the World Bank Group (WBG) Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESF), World Bank Operational Policies on safeguards (for older projects that predate the ESF) as well as international good practice documents (e.g. Equator Principles) into the design, appraisal and implementation of WBG-supported projects.
  • Provide technical and experienced advice to client and counterpart organizations, project teams and WBG management with regard to the preparation and implementation of environmental impact assessments, including strategic and cumulative impact assessments; environmental management frameworks and plans, including plan for monitoring, reporting and evaluation; public consultation plans; and specific plans related to natural habitats conservation, natural resource management, resource use efficiency, waste management, traffic safety management, pest management, forest management, biodiversity management, occupational health and safety, and dam safety and international waterways management, to achieve Good International Industry Practice. Such advice will be based on a detailed analysis of baseline conditions, project scope, anticipated impacts and proportional mitigation measures, requirements from national legal and institutional frameworks and will be in compliance with the WBG’s operational policies.
  • Provide technical and experienced mentorship to clients in the preparation of project cycle documentation including terms of reference (ToR) for environmental safeguard instruments, such as environmental and social impact assessments (incl. strategic and cumulative); environmental and social management frameworks and plans, due diligence assessments, environmental audits, and environmental and social conditions; and supervising their implementation. Review contract specifications related to environmental safeguards and risks management, particularly for large infrastructure and water-related projects including hydropower and major irrigation schemes. Provide technical training for domestic EA practitioners on the ESF and requirements.
  • Provide environmental input in project documents in accordance with the ESF and World Bank operational policies including Project Concept Note (PCN), Environment and Social Review Summary (ESRS), Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and Decision/Negotiations Packages, and assist with handling timely and accurate disclosure procedures and public consultation requirements for all required environmental assessment and management instruments.
  • Provide guidance to clients and counterpart organizations in their preparation of project documents in accordance with the ESF and World Bank operational policies including Environment and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP), Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), Labor Management Procedures (LMP), Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF), Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRMs), and Project Implementation Manual (PIM).
  • Work closely with the Regional Safeguards Coordinators in the Africa region who are responsible for assigning safeguards tasks and ensuring the quality of the safeguards work and environmental risk management in the Region.

Project Operations and Analytical Work

  • Participate in and/or lead environment and natural resource management projects and the policy dialog with the government and other stakeholders. This includes coordination of sector support dialogue with government, coordination with other financiers, and supportive enhancement advice regarding sector policies, strategies, and legislation. A particular focus will be to build a portfolio of environment projects, which could include waste management (including hazardous substances and e-waste), flood management, watershed management, forestry development and land restoration, protected areas conservation management, and integrated natural resource development.
  • Participate as team member or team leader in the design and supervision of implementation of environment or natural resources activities or components in projects, including leading/participating in support missions; seeking and developing opportunities to integrate sound environmental management and policies in investment project operations; maintaining dialog with the client and enhancing their capacity for understanding and compliance with on environmental policies; and contributing to mission outputs such as back to office reports (BTORs), Aide Memoires (AM), and Implementation Review Summary (IRS)
  • Facilitate and maintain effective communication with relevant communities of practice, including NGOs, academia, civil society, the private sector as well as specialized international organizations in line with the Bank’s Disclosure Policy and need to harmonize with clients and other international financial institutions in the region. In particular, active participation in communities of practice and global level technical innovation and knowledge sharing in the area of integrated watershed/landscape management, especially with large hydraulic infrastructure, will be a valued component of this position.
  • Actively seek to learn World Bank Group procedures, and contribute to their improvement, by participating in training offered, by developing a personal training program, keeping abreast of research and development knowledge in the environment and natural resources sector, and relevant environmental risk management processes.
  • Coordinate and carry out other tasks as requested by the relevant Manager such as for example, contribute to the organization of training or knowledge sharing events.


Selection Criteria


General requirements:
• Advanced degree (PhD or Masters) degree in environmental engineering, civil engineering or natural sciences is required, with a strong preference for skills in environmental engineering or civil engineering with a focus on watershed management.

• A minimum of 8 years of full-time relevant professional experience in the engineering or environmental management sector is required.

• Fluency in English is required (writing, speaking, listening and reading).

• Knowledge and experience in environmental assessment and management of environmental compliance in investment projects involving large scale civil works, extractive or industrial activities is required.

• Good analytical skills, ability to think strategically, analyze and synthesize diverse qualitative and quantitative environmentally – related data and information.

• Technical experience in environmental assessment, Environmental Health and Safety, and compliance related to large hydraulic infrastructure, e.g.dams, irrigation schemes and large water conveyance systems, would be highly beneficial.

• Confirmed collaboration and successful experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.

• A strong sense of partnership and ability to work independently with limited supervision.

• Ability to work well with a range of stakeholders, including project-affected parties, government officials, non-governmental organizations / civil society, as well as project investors and their staff.

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

• Experience working in different developing countries.

• Willingness to travel extensively in Malawi, the Africa region and possibly globally is vital, including to remote rural areas.

The following would be an advantage but not required:

• A second language (French, Spanish, or Portuguese) would be beneficial to enable work in other non-Anglophone countries.

• Experience working in developing countries, understanding the institutional and political context and exposure to the national environmental policy challenges would be an advantage.

• Experience in the preparation of environmental safeguard/risk management documents of the lending projects of the WBG or other international organizations is beneficial but not required.

• Demonstrated project management / operational skills, including occupational health and safety management would be an advantage.

• Experience working with contractors that have weak implementation capacity in the area of environmental risk management would be an advantage.

• Competencies Level GG, Senior Environmental Engineer (see below):

Integrative skills:

• Demonstrates ability to think and work across WBG, practices and sectors.

• Integrates divergent viewpoints of multiple external and internal stakeholders into a coherent project/program/ strategy

• Considers corporate commitments (e.g., MFD, climate, gender) in project approach

Policy Dialogue skills:

• Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills

• Builds and sustains key stakeholder relationships with government and other key stakeholders

• Guides clients and/or development partners in identifying key operational issues and optional solutions with a demonstrated ability to bring together different perspectives

• Leads task teams, participates in formal negotiations, and assists government in establishing priorities

Knowledge and Experience in Development arena:

• Demonstrates sound knowledge of World Bank Group’s goals and the complementarities among different World Bank Group member institutions

• Demonstrates deep understanding of policy making process and the role of own sector of expertise in that process

• Fully understands Bank’s development initiatives and policies and practices related to l ending and non-lending operations

• Guides research efforts and translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies and for discussions with clients and development partners

• Anticipates client needs and requests and guides the development/ offering of relevant tools to clients.

Communication and Influencing Skills:

• Demonstrates the ability to influence and persuade others to accept ideas and suggestions (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers). Has ability to communicate and defend, orally and in writing, challenges and positions to colleagues and management.

Specialized Knowledge & Technical Skills: 

Environment & Natural Resources Management Technical Skills & Knowledge (Specialist / Engineer)

• Demonstrates solid understanding of environmental/NRM/climate change policies, technologies or strategies, and institutions needed to support development and for the success of project and analytic work.

• Demonstrates solid understanding of the roles of each WBG institution and its relationship to environment/NRM/climate change.

• Demonstrates strong knowledge of at least one relevant thematic business line, namely “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

• Translates technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research as they relate to any of the following thematic business lines: “blue”, “brown”, “green”, climate change, and environmental risk management.

• Provides guidance and coaching to others on technical and operational matters.

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit:

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.

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