Senior Agriculture Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Kathmandu
  • Applications have closed

World Bank


Senior Agriculture Specialist

Job #: req24036
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Agriculture
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 9/7/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


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. Visit

South Asia Region (SAR)

The World Bank serves eight client countries in the South Asia Region, home to nearly 1.8 billion people. Clients range from large rapidly growing sophisticated middle-income countries to IDA countries to fragile and small island and landlocked states. In FY23, the region delivered about $10 billion in financing for client countries and a wide range of ASAs and engagements with countries. The focus for the post-pandemic recovery lies on economic recovery and prudent fiscal and debt management; private sector expansion and job creation; climate resilience and improving human capital. The region will continue to support progress on structural reforms and invest in inclusion, gender equality, productive jobs, climate resilience and digital economy.

For more information on the South Asia Region (SAR):

Agriculture and Food Global Practice (AGF GP)

AGF GP supports a global vision of promoting agri-food systems able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious, and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets. AGF GP has an active portfolio of about 240 projects and 200 knowledge activities. Areas of focus cover climate resilient agriculture and sustainable practices; food & nutrition security; agribusiness, value-chain development, and private sector investments in agri-food; and jobs and rural livelihoods.

The Agriculture and Food Global Practice (GFADR) of the World Bank consists of around 260 staff globally, of which about a third are in country offices. South Asia Region (SAR) has two Agriculture Food Global Practice units – SSAA1 and SSAA2. The units operate as part of the South Asia Region (SAR) Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG), which helps help countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food,

Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water. The Agriculture and Food Unit – SSAA2, serves India and Pakistan. The Unit is led by a Practice Manager based in New Delhi, with over half of the staff based in Country Offices. The Agriculture and Food Unit – SSAA1, covers Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and is headed by a Practice Manager based in Washington DC. It includes staff based mainly in the Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Thimphu, and Washington DC Offices. SSAA1 plays the lead role in developing and implementing the World Bank agriculture and rural strategy in these countries, including supervising the pipeline and active portfolio.

Duties & Accountabilities

The WBG is recruiting a Senior Agriculture Specialist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Senior Agriculture Specialist will report to the SSAA1 Practice Manager and assist in the delivery of the Unit’s work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the governments and private sector, and partnerships in Nepal. The Senior Agriculture Specialist will primarily focus on the Nepal portfolio, but could also support the activities of other countries, SD units or other Practice Groups, as well as supporting the broader strategic dialogue and engagements, in areas including agri-food system reforms, competitiveness, climate change, food and nutrition security, integrated risk resilience, jobs, inclusion of vulnerable populations, gender mainstreaming and rural transformation opportunities.

In doing so, the Senior Agriculture Specialist will work closely with the SSAA1 Practice Manager, unit teams working on Nepal, including the relevant Program Leader. S/he will play an important leading or supporting role in the implementation support of complex operations, preparation of new operations and carrying out specific pieces of high priority Advisory Services and Analytics (ASAs). S/he is expected to lead the policy and reform dialogue in Nepal, contribute to broader SD and CMU engagements and dialogue, contribute to core analytic pieces for the country engagement as needed and proactively engage and seek opportunities for business engagement and support the Unit’s achievements of operational milestones and results targets.

The Senior Agriculture Specialist’s responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to the following:

  •  Play a key role in defining and leading or co-leading agri-food sector policy dialogue in Nepal, building and expanding on current activities, carry-out cutting-edge analytics, and provide strategic advice to clients, peers, and unit management relating to agri-food systems relevant themes – these could include policy and reform levers to inform macro-level agendas such as food commodity trade and global supply chains; agriculture, forestry, water and climate nexus; inclusion vulnerable populations in sustainable, equitable sectoral opportunities; and modernization of agri-food systems;
  • Lead as Task Team Leader (TTL) or co-lead or serve as team member of complex operations, both in agriculture and multi-sectoral operations, assuring quality in all stages of the projects and other financial instruments such as IPFs, DPFs, PforRs, and Trust Funds (TFs), and contribute to expanding current portfolio;
  • Support (or lead) analytical and advisory service activities (ASAs) on overall business development, inform reforms and fill knowledge gaps;
  • Participate in the country strategic dialogue and represent the agriculture sector and provide contributions as needed;
  • Support the effective and practical dissemination of knowledge products as well as potential knowledge exchanges.
  • Engagement in the broader SD and country dialogue is expected;
  • Actively engage with Nepal counterparts on the agriculture engagements and identify opportunities for future priority engagement;
  • Provide inputs on country and sectoral briefs, policy notes, strategy documents and cross-cutting think pieces;
  •  Support the Unit’s work program outside of Nepal as needed and as will be agreed as part of the work program;
  • Contribute to the regional and global knowledge agenda;
  •  As necessary, represent the World Bank and SSAA1 at events with sectoral focus;
  •  Mentor, guide, and support junior staff in the Unit; and
  • Serve as one of the country focal points for the Unit.

Selection Criteria

The Senior Agriculture Specialist will have broad knowledge in the Nepal agriculture sector and policies and across SD, and will be well-versed in the WBG’s operational and reform dialogue on agriculture and the broader SD sector. In addition to meeting the WBG-wide requirements for a grade GG-level position, it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

  • Master’s degree and at least 8 years of relevant professional experience related to agriculture/livestock development, value chain development, agriculture policy and investments, agribusiness, finance, climate studies, and other disciplines related to food systems. Preferable also PhD in agronomy/animal science, business administration, finance, economics, development economics, agricultural economics, or similar field strongly preferred.
  • Relevant, proven operational experience in agricultural and rural development aspects that demonstrate expertise and client-facing skills;
  • Robust, proven operational experience in agriculture and multi-sectoral lending operations and analytical work;
  •  Strong analytical skills in the range of issues of relevance to agriculture and food systems;
  •  Familiarity with the institutional context of Nepal and SAR regional agricultural development and World Bank operations will be an advantage;
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and team skills with ability to find balanced, pragmatic, and implementable solutions also in a multi-diciplinary context;
  • High level of energy, ability to work under pressure and challenging conditions;
  •  Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, including the ability to present complex issues to World Bank management and senior government representatives, as well as to non-specialist audiences; and
  • Willingness and ability to travel.


Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena. Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.

Policy Dialogue Skills. Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.

Integrative Skills. Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.

Analytical skills. Deep understanding of concepts used in analyzing the different agricultural sector issues, with significant experience.

Agriculture Policy, Strategy, and Institutions. Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.

Project Design for Impact and Sustainability. Contributes to the design of projects and programs based on an understanding of the country and sector context.

Sector Dialogue. Able to conduct a dialogue with the client including on complex issues, based on a solid understanding of the sector.

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.

Knowledge, Learning, and Communication. Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge, and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.

Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making. Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact, and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

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.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

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