Senior Urban Development Specialist

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World Bank Group




Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 World Bank Group serves more than 20 client countries in the Latin-American and the Caribbean (LCR) region. Clients range from middle-income countries (MICs) such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, with demand for cutting-edge knowledge services and technical assistance in addition to lending, to IDA countries like Haiti, Honduras, and small island countries in the Caribbean, with an emphasis on poverty reduction and programs that support equitable and enhanced access to social and economic opportunities.
  • The WBG serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LCR). Clients range from large, rapidly growing sophisticated middle-income clients to IDA countries to small Caribbean states to one fragile state. Despite immense resources, dynamic societies, and an average annual per capita income of about $4,000, deep inequalities persist in most LCR countries, with nearly a quarter of the Region’s people living in poverty. The last Bank’s strategy for LCR focused on three pillars: (a) supporting the foundations for inclusive growth; (b) investing in human capital and protecting the poor; and (c) building resilience. In the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic, this strategy will need to be adjusted to better support the countries to deal with a health crisis without precedents and an economic crisis. Yet, the basic elements of the strategy: accelerating growth, investing in human capital, and building resilience appear fully relevant.
  • The Urban, Resilience, and Land (SLCUR) team serves client countries in the Latin-American and the Caribbean (LCR) region in the areas of urban development, disaster risk management, land, and regional development. Clients range from middle-income countries (MICs) such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, with demand for cutting-edge knowledge services and technical assistance in addition to lending, to IDA countries like Haiti, Honduras, and small island countries in the Caribbean, with an emphasis on poverty reduction and programs that support equitable and enhanced access to social and economic opportunities.
  • The Latin America and Caribbean Region contains 17 of the top 50 countries identified in the World Bank-sponsored Hotspot study with highest GDP exposure to natural hazards. With an increasing concentration of assets in urban or semi-urban areas, human and physical losses from floods, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural events are on the rise and important development gains are being erased overnight.  Population growth and the ever-increasing concentration of infrastructure in urban or semi-urban areas have been clear drivers of the growth in human and physical losses from adverse natural events.  This trend is now being exacerbated by increasing climate variability, bringing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation to the forefront of the Region’s development agenda.
  • In the area of Urban Development, the SLCUR team provides technical, analytical, and financial support to regional clients in a broad range of technical areas including urban poverty reduction, service delivery, municipal finance, urban regeneration and infrastructure urban resilience, and the urban growth, jobs, and competitiveness agendas. The team is active across the spectrum of Bank instruments including the provision of reimbursable advisory services, financing city-level interventions, financial intermediary engagements, and deep policy and analytical work to support the urban development challenges of the region. SLCUR provides support to client countries with IBRD and IDA financing, as well as through significant partnerships with a range of grant financing windows. The use of climate financing is likely to be an important future area of opportunity for the team.
  • In LC7 (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay), SLCUR has a strong and growing program focusing on housing, urban upgrading, urban regeneration, municipal services, and territorial development. Some of the critical areas where the Bank has been most active have included in supporting integrated urban upgrading approaches for underserved and degraded neighborhoods; in supporting national and subnational housing policies and institutions; and in supporting nascent efforts to develop programs of regional and territorial development linking urban development with broader economic growth opportunities. SLCUR has an existing program of 3 operations in Argentina and 1 operation under preparation in Paraguay.
  • In the context outlined above, and in order to ensure quality support to our clients, the team is hiring a Senior Urban Development based in Buenos Aires. The Senior Urban Specialist will play a critical role in interaction with clients as well as with CMU leadership.

Overview and reporting arrangements:

  • The Senior Urban Development Specialist will lead, and support task teams working in LC7 (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and contribute to our urban and DRM program in the region more broadly. The position will report to the Practice Manager for SLCUR. 

Roles and Responsibilities:

The responsibilities involve focus on operational and analytical aspects of our program of delivery in LC7, including leading preparation and implementation support related to project preparation and supervision, as well as technical assistance and analytical work, in the sub-region. Some of the key responsibilities include:

  • Participate in/co-lead task teams to develop and carry out Urban, Land and DRM activities in LC7 countries, particularly in Argentina.
  • Contribute to policy dialogue and just-in-time advisory work in the areas of municipal management and finance, urban development, urban economic development, and more broadly to be able to engage on issues of land administration, DRM and cities and climate change.
  • Work closely with of national and sub-national clients to respond to urban development challenges through analytical work and lending operations.
  • Develop new business opportunities in the urban development area including the areas of housing, cities and climate change, municipal finance, urban economic development, and urban service delivery by identifying key priority areas for engagement.
  • Participate in professional development and knowledge sharing activities in the urban sector and contribute specific knowledge both within the assigned countries and in the Bank.
  • Lead and/or contribute to the sector dialogues in the country and provide just-in-time advisory work in business development and policy reform.
  • Contribute to dialogue and provide technical inputs for the preparation of country strategy documents.
  • Work with consultants and technical specialists in support of policy reviews and recommendations and supervises consultants’ reports and outputs.
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing, dissemination and awareness raising activities with key clients.
  • Contribute to the urban and DRM team in LAC, facilitating team building, learning and knowledge sharing, and collaboration.
  • Provide coaching mentoring on-the-job to junior team members.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree (PhD or Master’s) in urban planning, engineering, architecture, infrastructure, economics, or related field with eight years’ experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Past experience in lending operations/investment projects in urban development issues including post-disaster reconstruction, disaster vulnerability reduction, emergency management, or risk financing.
  • Past experience in policy dialogue in complex urban development issues and in the area(s) of focus would be an asset.
  • Excellent organizational and task management skills, with appropriate attention to details and ability to prioritize work among multiple competing demands, and under tight deadlines.
  • Written and spoken fluency in Spanish and English is required.





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