Senior Digital Development Specialist

World Bank Group




Digital Development Global Practice

Digital technologies are transforming firms, governments and people’s lives; and with the digital economy growing at a rate significantly higher than that of the global economy, it offers emerging economies a unique opportunity to leapfrog traditional paths for development through digital solutions. Collaborating across technical, geographic, and institutional boundaries, the Digital Development Global Practice (DD) team helps design and deliver digitally enhanced solutions aimed at harnessing the full potential of digital transformation. This requires decisive policy action to mobilize private investment, promote competition in digital markets and support the rollout of infrastructure in commercially unviable areas. It also entails working with client countries to develop digital platforms, strengthen digital safeguards to manage data protection and privacy as well as cyber security risks, and leverage the potential of digital technologies to enhance environmental sustainability.

DD works across a range of topics, including broadband connectivity, access, and use; digital public infrastructure (DPI); data governance and protection; cybersecurity; AI and big data; data hosting and cloud computing; and digital and climate. In addition to these business lines, the GP also supports accelerating digital use across sectors, such as digital government services, social protection, energy, healthcare, and agriculture. 

The DD Global Practice is led by a Director supported by several Practice and Program Managers with specific regional and thematic responsibilities. The IDD03 unit is responsible for two cross-GP Initiatives—ID4D and G2Px—and business lines related to broader DPI, data protection and governance, AI and big data, and ICT industry and jobs.

The World Bank Group’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Cross-GP Initiative was launched in 2015 to leverage global knowledge and expertise across sectors to help countries realize the transformational potential of identification (ID) and civil registration (CR) systems to achieve the SDGs. ID4D is solving the challenge that an estimated 850 million people globally are still unable to prove who they are, and many more have forms of ID that cannot be reliably verified or authenticated, or fail to adequately protect people’s right and data. Without a secure and trusted way to prove ones’ identity, people struggle to open a bank account, enroll in school, access health and social services, or obtain a mobile phone. The poorest and most vulnerable often face the highest risk of being excluded. In the digital age, the lack of inclusive and trusted ID systems creates challenges for fully leveraging the opportunities being created through digital government and the digital economy, such as e-commerce, digital financial services and cross-border transactions.

The Opportunity

Digital public infrastructure (DPI) – and activities under the ID4D and G2Px initiatives outlined above — are facing growing demand and are undergoing rapid transformation, which is creating new needs to understand emerging good practices, trends, and innovations and to translate this into actionable information for task teams and client countries. Digital public infrastructure (DPI) encompasses foundational and re-usable digital platforms and building blocks, including digital ID, digital payments, and data sharing. It represents a paradigm shift in digitalization, emphasizing investment in secure, inclusive, and interoperable foundations to reduce the need for sectors to re-invent the wheel for their systems and applications.

As a result, the team is looking for a Senior Digital Development Specialist to be based in Washington, DC to help countries effectively build and operate identification and DPI systems, contribute to or lead new research, analytics, and thought leadership strategies. The position will report to the Program Manager for IDD03.

Duties and Accountabilities

  • The Digital Development Specialist will contribute to DPI’s three pillars of work, including (1) Knowledge: developing analytical products, tools, and research; (2) Action: supporting countries and regions to implement good practices; and (3) Convening: building partnerships, norms, and public goods.

Key elements will include, but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Leading technical inputs to client engagements: Provide technical guidance on DPI and ID4D/G2Px activities to clients and project teams across global practices, to shape the design, project preparation, and supervision of World bank projects aligned with principles and good practices. Contribute to the policy dialogue, convening, and consensus-building across stakeholders (often working across a range of Ministries, agencies, private sector, and civil society).
  • Shaping and disseminating global knowledge and thought leadership: Lead policy-relevant knowledge products and resources such as policy notes, toolkits, guides, and presentations, and more to synthesize and disseminate good practices on DPI, increase global evidence and knowledge, and ensure that ID4D, G2Px, and the DD Global Practice remain at the forefront of new technologies, strategies, and issues in the identification field. Effectively communicate knowledge and thought leadership various audiences, including key internal and external stakeholders, clients, beneficiaries, general public, internal and external partners; effectively collaborate and represent the ID4D and G2x  Initiatives and Digital Development Global Practice more broadly in global fora.
  • Contributing to Trust Fund program management by providing strategic and operational inputs to the ID4D and G2Px Initiatives and ideate on new areas of work. Translate the strategic leadership and guidance provided by ID4D, G2Px and DD Leadership into actionable activities and closely monitor progress in the implementation of the work program.
  • Building and fostering partnerships:  Foster and build partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including with developing country governments, development partners (e.g., bilateral donors, foundations, UN agencies), private sector companies and foundations, civil society organization (CSOs) academic institutions and think tanks.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree and a minimum of 8 years of experience in a relevant technical discipline (public policy, engineering, economics, or other-related field).  
  • Demonstrated experience and successes working in development policy and research related to digital public infrastructure (DPI), identification (ID), civil registration (CR), data sharing, trust services (e.g., e-signatures, PKI), digital payments, data hosting, and their intersection with one or more development outcomes in health, financial inclusion, social protection, education, and/or gender.
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders, including government officials, policymakers, and regulators, consultants, and academics, in particular in developing country contexts. 
  • Experience managing trust funds and partnership programs with international organizations such as the World Bank.
  • Strong client engagement skills and the ability to understand and adapt to client needs, taking responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs; working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or project success. 
  • Able to quickly synthesize, analyze, and effectively present viewpoints from a wide range of sources and stakeholder verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent presentation skills, using charts, graphs and other data presentation techniques appropriately to communicate data, technical information, or complex concepts to non-specialists.
  • High levels of energy, passion, and initiative to deliver outcomes and the know-how to get things done. 
  • Explores ways to get more impactful results; sets challenging stretch goals for oneself. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, proven team orientation, proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively within and across institutional boundaries.  
  • Ability to work independently, seeking guidance on complex issues from senior staff.
  • Ability to think strategically, connect the dots easily across a range of topics to develop a broader coherent approach.
  • Ability to deal sensitively in multi-cultural environments, experience in working in developing countries.
  • Excellent written and oral communication in English. 
  • Fluency in another language besides English (e.g., French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic) is strongly preferred.





Key elements will include, but are not limited to the following areas:

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