Local recruitment: Program Analyst (Water Global Practice - Danube Water Program)

The World Bank
Vienna, Austria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Established in 1944, the World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data. Innovation and partnership bond the five institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries.

 The World Bank Group (WBG)’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity reflect a new global landscape: one in which developing countries have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation.

 Global Practices & Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas

The World Bank’s GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of: (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promoting shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.

Six of the World Bank’s GPs are grouped under the Sustainable Development Practice Group (SDPG), including Agriculture; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water. The SDGP is led by a Vice President for Sustainable Development; in most of the Bank’s CMUs, the coordination of the work of the GPs is facilitated by a SD Program Leader based within the CMU team.

 The Water Global Practice

Water resources are under unprecedented and increasing pressures, driven by greater climate variability, population and economic growth, land use changes, and declining quantities and qualities of both ground and surface waters.  With cross cutting impacts on agriculture, education, energy, health, gender equity, and livelihood, water is an essential resource for all life on the planet and is at the center of economic and social development.  Climate change expresses itself through water and sound water management lies at the heart of the resilience agenda. Successful water management requires accurate knowledge of the resource available and an assessment of competing demands for its usage. Making best use of available supplies requires complex and sensitive economic, environmental and socio-political trade-offs. Planning for a more uncertain and more constrained water environment in the future only makes the situation more complex.

The world will not be able to meet the great development challenges of the 21st century - human development, livable cities, climate change, food security, energy security, and universal access to services – unless we ensure a water-secure world for all. To achieve this goal the Global Practice works on both water resource management and service delivery issues but in a context where we focus on water in the context of the broader economy.   

The WBG is in a unique position to help governments take such an integrated and strategic approach to solve water supply, sanitation, water resource, hydropower, and irrigation problems through partnership, finance and knowledge.  The Water GP places Water Resource Management (hydrology, economics, storage, groundwater use, rivers and deltas), Service Delivery (to households, businesses and farmers), and an understanding of water in the context of the broader economy at the center of its efforts to help countries address the challenge of managing water.  The Water GP seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed in all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture (ensuring sustainable water availability for irrigation; managing the trade-offs around the agricultural use of water), disaster risk management (floods and droughts), energy (hydropower; energy cooling systems), management of rivers and deltas, and water supply & sanitation (rural and urban; utility performance; wastewater management; targeting the poor).  In each sub sector an integrated approach is adopted which considers investment and operations in the context of governance, institutions and policies.

The Water Global Practice is organized with: (a) region-facing Practice Managers (PMs) covering Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia; (b) a Practice Manager for Portfolio management, strategy and operations, and (c) five cross-cutting Global Solutions Groups (GSGs): (i) water and sanitation services (WSS), (ii) water resource management (WRM); (iii) water economics; (iv) water in agriculture; and (v) hydropower and dams.

The WTR GP also has strong external partnerships and houses the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP) and the 2030 Water Resources Group as integrated with our operational programs and leadership structure.  In addition, the WTR GP also builds on several regional programs.

 The Water GP engagement in Europe

GWA03 is the unit covering the Europe and Central Asia engagement of the water GP. The unit brings together about 35 staff (half of whom in Washington DC), covering an existing project portfolio of 40+projects and overall commitments of 3.3billion USD, and a pipeline of 7 new operations over the next two years. The unit also manages two important regional programs, the Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program and the Danube Water Program.

 Over the last years, the demand from clients in Central and Eastern Europe has been shifting from traditional infrastructure lending, to a broader set of services around the concept of water security and water management, including technical assistance and reimbursable advisory services, in addition to sector-wide programs. To respond to those changing demands, the unit has also been staffing up to bring the necessary skillset and human capacity.

 The Danube Water Program

In the wake of European Union accession and harmonization, the countries in the Danube region are undergoing a process of rapid modernization that has had a major impact on the status and organization of the water sector. Large investments in water assets and infrastructure upgrading are taking place, often with significant external financial support. However, these investments have not been matched consistently with a regulatory, organizational, managerial, and technical modernization of the sector’s institutions and governance. In the water and wastewater services sector, many utilities in the region suffer from chronic problems of overstaffing, poor financial performance, insufficient service quality, and tariff structures that fail to recover costs.

To address these challenges, new skills and knowledge are required to ensure high-quality, cost-efficient delivery of water and wastewater services, mobilize additional sources of funding for investments, and provide incentives for better performance. National governments and regulators need to define and implement policies on topics such as reforming utility management, targeting subsidies to low-income groups, restructuring tariffs, and improving regulation, while local governments and utilities need to develop their managerial capacity to improve the coverage, quality, efficiency, and sustainability of the water and wastewater services they provide.

To facilitate these processes, the World Bank and the International Association of Water Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD) have come together to launch the Danube Water Program (DWP), with initial financing by the Government of Austria. To this date, the Danube Water Program, managed by a joint team based in Vienna, Austria, and covering a dozen countries south-east of Austria, has facilitated exchanges among hundreds of participants in 15 countries, providing capacity building to more than 100 utility companies, launched a regional knowledge platform called DANUBIS.org, and published landmark reports on the State of the Sector of water services in the region.

Based on those successes, the Danube Water Program, which is one of the World Bank’s leading technical assistance instruments, has recently been extended into Phase III until December 2021. The Program, which was traditionally concentrated on technical and policy advice for water and wastewater services, covers now also a broader water security theme by including a significant new dimension around water resources and water risks management alongside the existing water services delivery scope. The World Bank’s Water Global Practice is seeking a Program Analyst to support the implementation of Phase III of the Program.

 The Water Global Practice now seeks to recruit a high potential Program Analyst with proven policy and analytical experience in the water and wastewater sector to help implement the Program as part of the Bank Team. The position will be a local hire based in Vienna, Austria with missions in the region and possibility for trips to Headquarters (Washington DC). The analyst will work under the overall supervision of the Practice Manager responsible for the Danube Water Program with closer reporting to the DWP Program Leader and Senior Water Resources Management Specialist based in Vienna. According to how the Program Analyst’s work program develops in the first year, opportunities to work with operational teams based in other countries may arise.


  •  As a member of the Vienna-based core team, assist in delivering the overall work program for the DWP Phase III, in particular with regards to the Bank-led Component 1 (policy and analytical activities).
  • In close consultation with the Bank team, IAWD and clients, help ensure that delivery of the Program is in line with country and client priorities.
  • Contribute to the preparation of advisory services and analytics (ASA) work in water and sanitation services and water security topics of the Danube region countries, including data collection and processing, contribution to major reports, and independent application of analytical and diagnostic tools.
  • Contribute to the program’s administration by liaising with WB and IAWD teams to produce internal and external Program status reports, regularly updating Program planning documents and results framework and monitoring of the Program’s budget.
  • Assist in designing, organizing, conducting and documenting relevant institutional and policy capacity development activities and events under the Program, including study tours, exchanges, conferences, workshops, trainings and other similar knowledge events.
  • Support the implementation of utility and regulatory benchmarking activities in partner institutions of the Program.
  • Support the team in contracting, managing, organizing and reviewing the work of international and local consultants hired under the Program, including the preparation of Terms of Reference and Work Programs, the planning of their technical visits, and the review and consolidation of technical outputs.
  • Support the team in the identification and securing of additional financing to complement DWP financing for specific activities.
  • Contribute to the Program’s knowledge generation, dissemination and documentation through the preparation of knowledge/learning briefs, blogs, brochures, notes, papers and presentations in Bank and regional events.
  • Participate, virtually or in person, in professional development and knowledge sharing activities in the Water sector, including the World Bank Water Week and other internal and external events, and take a role in contributing specific knowledge both within the assigned countries and across the Bank.

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s or Advanced Degree(s) in a field relevant to water, public service delivery, engineering, water resource or infrastructure economics, or public policy with at least two years of relevant work experience, preferably in the water policy or international water field;
  • Strong organizational, research, and oral presentation skills; strong editorial and report writing skills and track record of conducting and publishing independent research or operational work; Ability to research, analyze and synthesize information, retrieve information from large complex databases, using elaborate queries, and clearly and concisely prepare results;
  • Ability to work effectively with minimal supervision with internal/external partners, and multi-cultural environment;
  • Integrative skills: Demonstrates strong integrative thinking and ability to support project teams in developing an integrated point of view around a development challenge;
  • Good understanding of economic, social and political context and its impact on the development process in the Danube region. Willingness to travel extensively in the Danube Region countries; field experience in ECA countries is a plus;
  • Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) skills needed. Knowledge of statistical software desired;
  • Excellent communication skills in English; local languages from the Danube region desirable;
  • Experience in the administration of international programs and prior experience with Bank processes and procedures in operational and ASA work is a strong plus;
  • Enthusiasm for, and commitment to development work.


  • Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions.
  • Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
  • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge - Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients.
  • Make Smart Decisions - Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.