THE WORLD BANK GROUPA World Free of Poverty



Senior Microfinance Specialist (Rural)

Closing date: Friday, August 15, 2003

The vaccancy announcement for this position can also be found at

Network : ESSD - Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development

Sector : RURAL - Rural Development

Department /Division : AFTS3

HR Contact : Kouame, Julienne A.

Language Preferences: French- Essential    

Duties and Accountabilities :

Greater access of the rural poor to financial services is an important element of the Bank's Rural Development Strategy, Reaching the Rural Poor, both for growth of incomes and for managing vulnerability.  This Rural Finance Specialist position is designed to provide strategic and operational support to client countries and Country Teams in rural and microfinance development and other means of increasing the access of the rural poor to financial services and income-generating opportunities. 

AFR serves a diverse group of client countries, including many of the poorest countries in the world, most with employment predominantly in agriculture and rural areas, and some with substantial oil and mineral wealth. All work within the overall framework of the World Bank's mission, which is to reduce poverty and improve living standards by providing resources,sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors in order to renew sustained growth, protect basic social services for the most vulnerable in society; and reduce environmental degradation and threats. 

In all of these countries, AFR's program of work aims at alleviating poverty and improving rural living standards, and increasing the access of the poor to financial services is an important component of enabling them to manage vulnerability to risk and to take advantage of income-generating opportunities.  To support this component of our program, AFR is seeking a professional  with a background in Finance and/or Agricultural Economics, and who also has broad practical experience in dealing with the strategic and operational issues concerning rural and micro finance and community based rural development.

Position Description: Roles and Responsibilities:

The selected candidate would take on the role of a Senior Technical Specialist for Rural and Micro Finance, managing both lending and non-lending tasks, as well as being the Unit's coordinator and focal point on rural and microfinance related work. Although organizationally located in an ESSD unit and expected to be familiar with rural development issues, the candidate is expected to have  expertise and network affiliation in the financial sector and to maintain close links with financial sector staff.

The Region's current rural and micro finance portfolio includes four stand alone projects, including one (IFAD operation) soon coming into supervision.  The RMF Specialist being recruited would take over three of these from the TTL who is leaving the Region.  Over 40 projects in the current portfolio also have significant rural or micro finance components, principally in agriculture and rural development, financial sector development, and social funds.  The RMF Specialist, in coordination with microfinance specialist staff in AFTFS/PS (as well as CGAP and OPD), would play an important role in supervising some of these components and advising on the design of others, especially new components relating to income generation in community driven development operations.

In particular, he or she will:

  • Provide technical and conceptual guidance and advice on rural and microfinance operations, including strategy formulation and design of innovative approaches;
  • Lead policy and conceptual dialogues on rural and micro finance matters with clients as well as other colleagues working on financial sector issues;
  • Task manage supervision of on-going projects and preparation of newrural finance/microfinance projects, either as self-standing or as components of ongoing and proposed projects;
  • Collaborate with staff and management in the ESSD, FPSI, PREM and HD networksand relevant sector units within AFR, to effectively integrate rural and micro financeissues into CAS, PRSP and multi-sector operations;
  • Occasionally participate in joint World Bank/IMF Financial Sector Assessments (FSAPs);
  • Ensure that AFR lending is consistent with relevant OPs or BPs, in particular with OP 8.30 and AFR's Rural Strategy and Framework for Development of Micro, Small Enterprise, and Rural Finance;
  • Maintain close working relationship with CGAP, IFAD and donors to ensure that rural and microfinance operations of the Region are consistent with the state of the art, best cases models in the markets; and;
  • Take the lead in disseminating lessons learned and best practice knowledge in the Region.

Selection Criteria :

  • Advanced degree in Finance, Economics, Agricultural Economics, Business or a related field with at least 12 years of international experience in dealing with rural and microfinance or related financial sector issues, with an understanding of broader rural development issues;
  • Substantial knowledge of financial sector issues, and familiarity with financial systems approach to rural/micro finance development and with best practice operations;
  • Extensive operational experience, as evidenced by leadership in the identification and delivery and supervision of high quality operations, preferably including significant components dealing with rural and/or micro finance and/or community-driven development;
  • Ability to combine practical, operational work with policy advice, with strategic vision and breath, and to work cross-sectorally;
  • Ability to think innovatively and strategically in dealing with policy issues while maintaining strong client focus;
  • Experience in working within country teams, linking rural and microfinance with the broader strategic and poverty reduction objectives;
  • Experience in participatory, community-driven approaches to rural development and microfinance;
  • An understanding of the governance and institutional challenges concerned with decentralization;
  • Ability to lead, inspire staff to technical excellence, foster teamwork, and resolve conflicts constructively; and
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

The World Bank offers an internationally competitive compensation package including pension, health insurance, and other benefits. The World Bank is committed to attracting and maintaining a diverse and dedicated workforce. Women and developing country nationals are encouraged to apply. Qualified candidates may apply by sending their CV to Julienne A. Kouame at and putting vacancy number 200307035 in the subject line.  Please note that only short listed candidates will be notified.

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