Principal Economist - Tenders Global

Principal Economist

World Bank Group




The Department is seeking to recruit a Lead Economist to make major contributions to the development and implementation of an impact evaluation program covering selected IFC investment and advisory projects. The department’s impact evaluation program will seek to evaluate investment and policy reform programs at scale, develop innovative data systems and data analytics tools for real-time decisions, use causal inference analysis to identify mechanisms to improve results, and help build IFC’s internal and client capacity to strengthen the decisions of private sector development programs.

The Senior Economist will work closely with other Senior Economists, Economists, and Research Analysts in the Department under the general supervision of the manager for Development Impact & Evaluation. We are looking for a motivated and dynamic professional, with exceptional analytical skills and policy-relevant experience, expertise in private sector development and applied research, a track record of publications, and team spirit. The position is based at IFC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The roles and responsibilities of the position are focused on generating high-quality and operationally relevant data and research to inform IFC investments and transform their development impact. Specific duties and responsibilities include the following.

  • Lead the development, implementation, and coordination of an evaluation strategy for CDI that encompasses different types of evaluations to meet IFC knowledge and operational needs.
  • Conduct ex-post empirical evaluations on specific IFC investments and platforms to inform future investment design, including by working with IFC clients to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCT) on development outcomes and/or implement synthetic control methods to identify highest impact interventions. 
  • Provide technical support and expertise to impact evaluations in collaboration with CDI sector economists and industry colleagues. 
  • Publish academic papers and reports on findings of these evaluations to facilitate external thought leadership.
  • Establish a feedback loop between outreach and dissemination and research to foster innovation and ensure continuous improvement in the relevance and impact of IFC research. 
  • Establish partnerships with leading academia, research institutes and think-tanks on knowledge-sharing, collaboration on specific projects, co-hosting conferences, etc. to help establish IFC as a thought-leader in assessing the development impact of private sector operations. 
  • Work with IFC client data to identify sources of outperformance and actions that IFC can take to improve development and financial outcomes.
  • Work closely with economists, data scientists, and researchers in the VPU to ensure quality, consistency, and conformity to the highest levels of rigor. 
  • Contribute to a culture of technical excellence within the Department by creating an environment of learning, innovation, and knowledge sharing. 
  • Deliver the agreed upon work program through cost effective use of resources and ensure timely delivery of high-quality outputs.

Selection Criteria:

  • PhD in Economics and 12+ years of relevant experience as an economics research practitioner, or a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience if the candidate holds only a master’s degree.
  • Commitment to the WBG and IFC’s mission and values. 
  • Outstanding and active peer-reviewed academic publication record in areas related to private sector development, including evaluating the development impact of private sector operations, and policy reforms for promoting private investments in areas such as financial services, manufacturing, agriculture, services, infrastructure and/or disruptive technologies.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative skills, including econometric approaches, economic modeling, survey design and implementation, as well as design, implementation, and evaluation (such as RCTs) of policies and programs to promote private sector development.
  • Demonstrated track record of publishing high-impact economic reports and articles for external audiences in topics related to private sector development and IFC’s thematic areas of focus.
  • Ability to analyze complex policy problems and develop new and innovative approaches.
  • Effective and persuasive oral and written communication skills. 
  • Ability to cultivate an active network of relationships inside and outside the organization and to represent IFC publicly as needed.
  • Ability to lead and mentor junior staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate in a collaborative manner in a matrixed, highly complex and global organization. 
  • Computer skills: Strong STATA skills (other packages such as R, Python, are a plus), and advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Excel, Word)





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