World Bank Jobs. Senior Financial Specialist


Senior Financial Specialist Jobs at World Bank, Kenya

The Senior Specialist will be based in Nairobi, Kenya. The assignment will require travel and liaison with World Bank TTLs and partner agencies.

As noted, the Senior Financial Specialist position requires specialist financial skills to:

  • increase water and sanitation providers’ access to commercial/debt finance;
  • work with commercial financial institutions, pension funds, insurance companies and other debt financiers to leverage resources into the Water and Sanitation Sector (WSS);
  • work with governments to develop the enabling environment to facilitate the flow of capital;
    assist, and in some instances lead, the development of global knowledge and capacity building products to support the flow of private capital to the sector; and,
  • strengthen the commercial viability and credit worthiness of water and sanitation service providers to encourage increased investment.
  • The Senior Financial Specialist is expected to provide global knowledge and transaction assistance while also providing selective country based implementation support. The individual will be an integral part of the Financing Universal Access Thematic Team, WSP and the WSS GSG.

Senior Financial Specialist Job Duties and Accountabilities in Kenya

The candidate will manage a multi-dimensional portfolio. The Kenya specific activities include the following program:

Kenya Water Service Providers Access to Commercial Finance

  • Provide expert advisory and technical assistance to build capacity of water utilities to access commercial financing and become more credit worthy. Scale up on financing mechanisms for small water and sanitation providers in Kenya. Offer technical assistance to build capacity of water utilities to become more creditworthy and access commercial financing and OBA subsidies.
  • Based on on-going efforts to support utilities to access commercial debt finance, the Senior Financial Specialist will provide advisory services to utilities and country clients on how such potential borrowers can access debt finance.
  • Work to instill sector-wide change by working with banks, consultants, county governments, the ministry and regulator. This work will build on existing work and focus on providing direct assistance to utilities to use available tool kits and include the preparation of analytic credit assessments using financial models, dialogue with lenders, guarantors and regulators on requirements for such lending and the provision of financial structuring advice to ensure that proposed transactions can be made bankable. This role will collaborate with and assist in the facilitation of the OBA subsidy via the Water Services Trust
  • Fund supporting creditworthy utilities to access borrowing. Where relevant and in consultation with the WSS GSG group supporting PPPs, the candidate may also support selective PPP arrangements which could increase the bankability of utilities.

Foster Best Practices and New Strategies into the Kenya Water Sector

  • Provide technical assistance to incorporate the newly created utility Creditworthiness Index into the regulatory annual report and instill a system of self-reporting/self-auditing by utilities.
  • Assist the regulator and utilities to use the newly created creditworthiness index as a market assessment tool for the regulator and county government and, more importantly, a financial management tool for the utility.
  • Provide technical assistance to create combined utility, county government and ministry sector financing plans for the water sector to identify commercially viable projects that can be financed via a blend of public and commercial funds (to leverage public funds) and which projects need grant or concessional financing. Analyze the viability and potential role of management contracts and other structures for urban water sector and the role of commercial financing for such projects.

In addition, the following global activities will make up the balance of the candidate’s work program:

Scale up Private Financing for Water and Sanitation Globally

  • In coordination with the Financing Universal Access Thematic Focal Point, the candidate will collaborate closely with country task teams and clients to develop institutional and policy solutions to attract private financing into the sector.
  • Specifically, the Senior Financial Specialist will work with Bank TTLs and country clients to design blended financing structures, output based aid funds, guarantee schemes and other innovative financing mechanisms to enable private commercial lenders to participate in infrastructure finance for the sector.
  • He/she will be a member of selective country based efforts to work on specific transactions to foster private investment. This will entail working with water service providers, regulators, technical ministries, Ministries of Finance and potential private investors.
  • While much of the technical work will be done by Short Term Consultants, the candidate will help guide, direct and manage these inputs.

Global Knowledge Management

  • Contribute to a better regional and global understanding of critical financing issues in the water and sanitation sector and particularly efforts to better serve the poor. Tasks include leading or participating in analytical and advisory activities (AAA); publication and dissemination of high quality analytical reports and other finance communications products. This will also entail organizing and contributing to regional and global learning events to share experiences and establishing linkages with AAA work to ensure that the learning and best practices are available to the entire Water GP and other key partners.

Partnership Management

  • Maintain open communications and strong relationships with all financial and implementation partners in the World Bank Group (including IFC, GPOBA, PPIAF, ESMID, and other outside partners. Assist with donor collaboration and outreach to ensure that global best practices supporting private financing in the sector are articulated and distributed widely. Be responsive to our financing partners’ demands whilst maintaining overall strategic focus.

Selection Criteria for Senior Financial Specialist Jobs in Kenya

  • Advanced degree(s) in a field relevant to the work profile – economics, finance, business administration, or other relevant field;
  • At least eight years of relevant experience on project and sector financing in developing countries with outstanding conceptual, analytical and technical skills;
  • A solid understanding of financial analysis, financial accounting, creditworthiness and financial modeling in both corporate and project finance contexts;
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting governments in strengthening the infrastructure sector regulatory and policy environment regarding participation of private sector in service provision to the poor and/or business enabling environment;
  • Some experience in support to small business/microfinance and capacity support to finance lenders and a demonstrated track record of proactive development of opportunities; including working with an array of partners to access commercial finance;
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with bilateral and multilateral agencies on private sector participation initiatives;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with local partners including national and sub-national government, utilities and other service providers, regulators and an array of potential financiers;
  • Intellectual leadership and an ability to integrate finance knowledge with broader development sector strategies and policies and publications/knowledge products;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to work in an inter-disciplinary, team-oriented environment as well as outstanding initiative and the capacity to work independently. Ability to deal sensitively with others in a multi-cultural background;
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the ability to express complex concepts and strategies in simple and actionable terms.
  • Fluency in English is required; a working knowledge of French or Portuguese is desirable.


Integrative Skills –

  • Is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work, and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues.
  • For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.

Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena –

  • Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level, and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors.
  • Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.

Policy Dialogue Skills –

  • Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills.
  • Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients.
  • Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues.
  • Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.

Environmental Policy, Strategy and Institutions –

  • Has a solid understanding of the environmental policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations needed to support development and for the success of the project.
  • Knows the client’s strategy and structure, and can assess impact on the project. Can credibly and effectively engage with a range of environmental institutions to support project outcomes.
  • Explains to clients and other stakeholders the risks to the project when environmental laws and regulations are deficient or not enforced. Supports client efforts to address such weaknesses.

Natural Resources Management –

  • Has broad experience in natural resources management, including depth in at least one area.
  • Has extensive experience with applying this knowledge to projects, analytical work, and other deliverables.
  • Develops novel approaches to mitigate risk or overcome difficult challenges. Has experience applying this knowledge to policy-related decisions and advice.

Lead and Innovate –

  • Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions.
  • Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission.
  • Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context.

Deliver Results for Clients –

  • Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable.
  • Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients.
  • Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.

Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries –

  • Collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect.
  • Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due.
  • Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind.

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge –

  • Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners.
  • Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others.
  • Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff. Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks.

Make Smart Decisions –

  • Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long term implications of decisions.
  • Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.


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