Senior Health Specialist/Economist, Brazzaville, Congo At The World Bank

Closing date: Sunday, 4 June 2023

Senior Health Specialist/Economist

Job #: req22801

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Health/Nutrition/Population

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment

Location: Brazzaville,Congo Republic

Required Language(s): English and French

Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 6/5/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


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


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.


While being a Lower Middle-Income Country (LMIC), Congo is experiencing significant residual fiscal stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economic slowdown, as well as the decline of oil prices (due to an economy that remains undiversified, with oil accounting for more than 80 percent of exports). Public spending on health in Congo is relatively low in absolute terms and by international standards compared to LMICs, with the recent decline in domestic revenues further compounding the health financing challenges.

Human development is a priority for the government and some recent progress has been noted in selected health and education indicators, but considerable challenges remain. The Congo ranks 137 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index, with a human capital index of 0.42. Nearly 8,500 children born today will not survive their 5th birthday.

Despite its LMIC classification, Congo’s epidemiological profile remains comparable to low-income countries. An estimated 62 percent of deaths are still caused by communicable diseases and poor maternal, prenatal, and nutrition conditions. Current health sector indicators remain poor, and the Maternal Mortality Ratio remains not only high but has increased from 378 in 2015 to 445 per 100,000 live births in 2021 (MICS 2105, WHO/Ministry of Health 2021). Under-five mortality is still high at 45 per 1000 live births. Only 69 percent of infants (aged 12-23 months) received three doses of diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT3) vaccination. The country still has over 20 percent of its children under-five years of age stunted, out of which 8 percent are severely stunted. Two-thirds of children under-five suffer from anemia. Malaria places an enormous burden on the Congolese healthcare system, being the leading cause of consultations (54%), hospitalization (40%) and mortality (42%). In terms of reproductive health, the contraceptive prevalence rate is low at 30 percent, and the proportion of health facilities offering modern methods of contraception is less than 20 percent.


The World Bank is a key partner in supporting Congo to advance its UHC agenda and strengthen its health system post-COVID-19. The Bank’s HNP portfolio in Congo is diverse and growing and presents further opportunities for strategic engagement. Active operations include a Health Systems Strengthening project anchored on using Performance-based Financing to improve the quality-of-service delivery and includes a strong emphasis on Governance and Public Financial Management. Further, a regional project focused on health security and preparedness (REDISSE IV) and a COVID-19 response project are under implementation. To inform the country dialogue, a dynamic program of analytic work and technical assistance focusing on health financing and governance, has also been established.

To strengthen the World Bank’s health team in Congo, the World Bank is recruiting a Senior Health Specialist / Economist based in Brazzaville. While the focus of this position is on serving the HNP needs of RoC, the selected candidate will also be expected to support the HNP program in other countries in the CMU and beyond.

The candidates’ work program will focus on supporting the Bank’s health engagement in Congo. In addition, within the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice, the successful candidates might contribute to selected regional/global health engagement and solutions areas based on his/her expertise and interest.

The World Bank office RoC –

DUTIES AND ACCOUNTABILITIES: The World Bank is hiring a Senior Health Specialist / Economist in the country office in the Republic of Congo. The Senior Health Specialist / Economist will work as part of the broader HNP team to provide support and leadership on the World Bank’s technical and operational engagement. He/she will be expected to work across multiple areas, including health financing, health system’s strengthening and primary health care, health security preparedness, COVID-19, as well as multisectoral agendas such as women and girls’ empowerment.

Specific responsibilities will depend on the technical profile of the candidate, but will include:

  •  Lead, co-lead or contribute to policy dialogue, technical assistance and other support to government and other stakeholders in Congo (and possibly other countries in the region) across the areas of the Bank’s HNP engagement.
  •  Lead, co-lead or contribute to implementation support of the Bank’s HNP operational portfolio, as well as the preparation of selected national and/or regional operations. This will include leading, co-leading or contributing to technical discussions and monitoring of the Bank portfolio on a day-to-day basis in close collaboration with the relevant government agencies and development partners. It will also include participation in missions of the health team nationwide.
  •  Contribute to cross-GP agendas and activities, including both analytical (such as studies, assessments, peer reviewed papers) and operational.
  •  Provide sector-specific or cross-sectoral inputs for various operational products (e.g. sector/country briefings, background reports, and portfolio performance reviews).
  •  Respond to ad hoc information requests from internal and external clients.

The work will be technical and substantive in nature, requiring frequent interactions with senior external and internal stakeholders as well as prioritized and strategic dialogue and agenda setting to shape the nature of the Bank’s engagement in Congo.

The Senior Health Specialist / Economist will report to the Practice Manager (Health Nutrition and Population) for HAWH3. For day-to-day operational work, the Senior Health Specialist / Economist may serve as Task Team Leader on assigned tasks and work closely with other Task Team Leaders, the Human Development Program Leader, and staff from other Global Practices. The Senior Health Specialist / Economist will be subject to all World Bank regulations and guidelines applicable to staff in the Country Office which is their duty station.

Selection Criteria

  •  Advanced degree in medicine, public health, epidemiology, health economics or equivalent with at least 8 years of relevant experience.
  •  Extensive experience working on technical and policy areas that are at the core of the World Bank’s engagement, including health systems strengthening, health economics and financing, health security and preparedness, and across multisectoral themes. Work experience outside Congo would be an advantage.
  •  A track record of working effectively with government officials, high-level stakeholders, and international partners such as WHO, UNICEF, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, USAID, CDC, West African Health Organization, bilateral donors, etc. Experience working with stakeholders at both local and global level is an advantage.
  •  Excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills and demonstrated ability to exercise technical and operational judgement in complex contexts and client relationships.
  •  Proven ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues / team members, including from other sectors, and to contribute productively to the team’s work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view.
  •  Experience working on WBG funded projects and familiarity with WBG operations, policies, and procedures is an advantage.
  •  Strong verbal and written communication skills in both English and French are essential.

In addition to the above, the selected candidate is expected to demonstrate the following WBG core competencies: Integrative Skills — Understands core issues and knows where to get additional expertise when needed.

Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena — Understands policy making process and role of the health sector in that process. Can find relevant information and examine similar policy questions in multiple regions and to distill operationally relevant recommendations and lessons from this analysis for clients.

Policy Dialogue Skills — Identifies and assesses policy issues and communicates findings/points of view verbally and through economic reports and papers. Plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders as part of Bank teams. Client Orientation — Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.

Drive for Results — Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.

Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion — Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.

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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