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Monday, September 21, 2015

Communications Officer The World Bank Bucharest, Romania

Communications Officer

The World Bank

Bucharest, Romania


The Europe and Central Asia region is made up of 30 diverse client countries, ranging from IDA-only and IDA-blend borrowers to IBRD credit-worthy borrowers with active lending programs and IBRD graduates. With a population of nearly 500 million people, poverty remains a challenge in both middle- and low-income countries. Since 2008, many countries in the region have experienced reversals in gains on poverty reduction made prior to the crisis, including in Romania and Hungary. 

Romania is an upper-middle income country with the 7th largest population in the EU. Despite robust annual growth of six percent per capita GDP since the EU accession process began in 2000, Romania continues to be challenged in its fight against social exclusion and poverty. At about 30 percent, it has the highest poverty rate in the EU-28, exceeding rates in neighboring non-EU countries. Hungary, a high-income economy, has the 13th largest population in the EU - just slightly larger than Sweden - and has enjoyed some of the highest growth rates in the EU. However, it too continues to be challenged by issues such as high child poverty and aging/low labor force participation. 

Following EU accession in 2007, Romania experienced a dramatic decrease in lending. Since 2010, however, the Romania program has rebounded and reclaimed its place as one of the region’s largest borrowers, but most notably, it has become the Bank’s leader in reimbursable advisory services (RAS). The Romania program has re-emerged transformed, with a broad policy reform agenda supported by a mix of programmatic development policy lending and selective but large investment project financing loans, complementing a knowledge-centered/RAS program in its pursuit of EU convergence. Hungary, which graduated from borrower status in 2007, closed its last project in 2008, but continues to engage selectively with the Bank, particularly through RAS. In 2014, the first RAS in pensions was signed, followed by another in social inclusion signed in 2015. 

The Romania Country Office (ECCRO), which manages both the Romania and Hungary programs, is home to a large and dynamic local and international team of all levels and functions, including internationally-recruited specialists coordinating the RAS programs, and the Romania Portfolio Team which continues to innovate the framework, systems, and processes to manage a RAS program that spans 13 global practices and 12 public institutions. Co-located with the IFC and in close proximity to the European Commission and European Investment Bank, it is the epicenter for partnership between the Bank and the European institutions in Romania. Partnership with the European Commission plays a particularly important role in the ECCRO and broader CMU context. Given the rapid expansion of the program and office in recent years and the deepened partnership with the European Commission within the region, ECCRO seeks to elevate its communications function in step with the expanded needs on the ground in Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, and Washington. The elevated Bucharest-based ECCRO communications function aims to improve understanding and support among key audiences (internal and external) for the innovations in and impact/results of RAS and other knowledge business lines in Romania, while supporting at the national level an agenda of inclusive economic and social development, particularly for the most excluded segments of the population (e.g., Roma). This agenda will be advanced by providing the key information and analysis to more effectively influence decision makers and opinion builders, clearly articulating the issues in clear and actionable terms, and by building coalitions to pursue those issues. 

ECCRO wishes to recruit a high-caliber, strategic communications expert as a Communications Officer to lead the elevated communications function in a fast-paced and dynamic office where priorities evolve quickly, and the external environment remains fluid. The Communications Officer should be able to work independently, seeking guidance from management, proactively collaborate with operational and other members of the country team, and build partnerships with the ECA and the country management unit communications teams in Washington, Brussels and other parts of the region. 

ECCRO’s key external audience includes media gatekeepers, government officials, academics, business leaders, civil society organizations, and internal audience includes decision makers within the World Bank. S/he will lead in the design and implementation of communications and outreach strategies directed at both internal and external audiences and in the implementation of customized approaches appropriate to Romania and to a more limited extent, Hungary.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:


ECCRO is seeking an experienced and dynamic communications professional who will work across all areas and instruments of the Romania and Hungary country programs to share knowledge, promote key dimensions of these programs, and “market” the results of the programs with internal and external audiences.

Specific Duties

The Communications Officer’s major responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Political and public opinion analysis and speechwriting;
  • Monitor and analyze current events and public and press opinion in Romania and Hungary, and provide regular updates to the Country Manager and country team;
  • Provide political analysis to the Country Manager;
  • With support and inputs from the Bank’s technical teams, coordinate and prepare speeches for and advises the Country Manager, including the preparation of briefings on trends, news developments, public opinion, or changing/unexpected circumstances that may impact the Bank and its work in Romania;
  • Strategy formulation in print/social media, implementation and monitoring;
  • Design, develop, and execute communication strategy utilizing print, online and social media for ECCRO that will promote the innovations and results in Romania’s program across the World Bank Group, capitalizing in particular on the RASs. Ensure the strategy is aligned with corporate priorities, demonstrates Bank impact, and anticipates reputational risk issues. Follows through with fully implementing detailed communications plans, while monitoring and evaluating its impact and effectiveness;
  • Distill key priorities among many competing strategic communications priorities from the large and complex program in Romania. Articulate an implementable communications strategy with clear short- and medium-term action plans that promote a positive image of Romania and the Bank’s programs/activities, while advocating on key strategic issues (e.g., Roma, social inclusion). Develop communications priorities for Hungary, appropriate to scale of the program. Selectively invests limited time and resources to create communications efforts of highest impact on key audiences, advising management of the need to revise as priorities and circumstances warrant;
  • Formulate a strategic framework for social media to better position the Romania program and its key advocacy campaigns within the country and with key partners; execute the strategy with a sustainable maintenance plan that strengthens the World Bank Group’s Romania program within social media.

Support to Operations

  • Actively seeks out strategic communications opportunities within the country program to promote Romania’s results both internally and externally;
  • Provide regular communications support to operations with the guidance and support of the ECA communications team in Washington and the ECCU5 communications officer in Brussels. This includes working with operational teams towards: (i) making communication based inputs into the upstream reviews; (ii) helping GP task teams, across all products, to identify and develop their own communications strategies consistent with the country communications strategy; and (iii) supporting key communications efforts of individual operations, including by writing high-caliber articles that can be disseminated both to external media outlets and internal WBG/regional platforms. Determine the types of information and communications strategies, tools and activities that are best suited to addressing issues under the Bank’s access to information policy and according to the specific reputational risks;
  • Prepare communications packages, and write/disseminate both routine and specific products (e.g., news releases, backgrounders, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, websites, speeches, briefing notes, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.) to promote the strategic and timely flow of information and key messages about the Bank Group in Romania, its policies and operations to key internal and external audiences;
  • Promote the Bank as a knowledge partner by using its own knowledge products (ESWs, AAAs, Flagships, etc.) to influence policy dialogue and country/regional reforms that reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

External relations

  • Initiate and sustain effective professional relationships with key internal and/or external constituencies (particularly, Civil Society, NGOs, academia, and private sector). Identify opportunities for and forge strategic partnerships both inside and outside the Bank to improve dialogue and outreach and to strengthen the Bank's overall effectiveness and image. Enhance ECCRO’s public outreach program through the partnership with civil society, universities, student associations, foundations, private sector, including joint seminars and other outreach events by working closely with other ECR colleagues;
  • Effectively use online and social media in the context of the communications strategy, and maintain the Romania and Hungary websites and social media, including Facebook and Twitter.


Coach junior members of the team as well as colleagues on the developing their communications skills.

Skills and Behaviors:

  • Strong client focus: Sound judgment and ability to evaluate client needs, suggest innovative approaches and follow up to implement;
  • Demonstrated willingness to receive feedback and adjust to a rapidly-changing environment with evolving priorities;
  • Ability to prioritize, work well under pressure and capably handle/juggle multiple tasks within tight deadlines;
  • Ability to think strategically and rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources into key messages tailored to target audiences;
  • Solid understanding of World Bank Group policies, current development topics, issues and institutions as well as good understanding of the EU context and how the EC operates;
  • Good understanding of World Bank Group operations, especially the strategy, policy review and project cycle, counterpart relations, and stakeholder dynamics;
  • Strong computer and web skills. A strong plus is the ability to prepare PowerPoint presentations with charts/tables and other more sophisticated data visualization tools (i.e., video, animation, heat maps, bubble charts, scatter plots, etc.).

Selection Criteria:

  • Master’s degree in communication or in Social Science with at least 5 years of relevant working experience;
  • Excellent command of verbal and written English and Romanian;
  • Communication Strategy and Execution for Development - Independently develops a coherent communications strategy and plans to support their implementation for complex projects and programs. Uses feedback to improve work in communications and operations. Contributes to the development of expertise in this competency in others;
  • Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools Awareness - Modifies communication strategies to leverage existing or new communication tools or media. Leverages WBG's Knowledge Management products to establish knowledge sharing partnerships internally. Contributes to others' development in this competency;
  • Access to Information Policy - Uses WBG's Access to Information Policy when consulting on the development, design, and delivery of communications products;
  • Demonstrates in-depth proficiency sufficient to develop others in this competency;
  • Content Development and Editing - Takes full responsibility for the development of communications content. Ensures the development of communications products to the WBG standard. Contributes to the development of expertise in this competency in others;
  • Relationship Management, Political Awareness and Diplomacy - Strategizes, plans, and implements the development and maintenance of relationships with critical internal and/or external constituencies. Systematically maintains and leverages high-level communication networks within key constituencies;
  • Client Understanding and Advising - Looks at issues from the client’s perspective and advocates for clients within own area so others focus on meeting client needs;
  • Broad Business Thinking - Maintains an in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of decisions, both for related areas within the VPU and the client’s business. Involves key players in identifying operating needs, issues, and immediate solutions;
  • 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;
  • Shareholder and Stakeholder Engagement - Analyzes and provides advice on Shareholder and Stakeholder engagement;
  • Ability to work effectively under stress; ability to prioritize and juggle multiple tasks within tight deadlines;
  • Excellent computer skills; ability to use standard Bank technology packages, e.g., Word, Lotus Notes, PowerPoint, Internet, Excel, HTML, etc.

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