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Research Assistant, BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes

Terms of Reference (STT)
BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes – Research Assistant (GD)

The Fund Management Unit at the Climate Change Group at the World Bank is looking for a research assistant to support the overall implementation of a forests and landscapes program. The candidate will be hired on a temporary basis, a maximum of 1200 hours (equivalent of 150 days) from September 30 2019 - June 30, 2020.

About the World Bank Group

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

The World Bank and Climate Change

The World Bank supports countries to meet their climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement, actively working with countries to help them deliver on their Nationally Determined Contributions by translating their pledges into specific policies, and providing knowledge sharing, technical assistance, and financing. The Bank is moving quickly toward meeting its targets under its Climate Change Action Plan, such as its commitment to increase climate financing to 28 percent of the Bank Group’s portfolio by 2020. In fiscal 2018, the World Bank Group committed $20.5 billion to over 450 climate-related projects, which accounts for 32.1 percent of the total lending volume. Since the launch of the Climate Change Action Plan, this increased financing for climate action has driven strong results and contributed to 18 gigawatts of new renewable energy generation or integration in developing countries, supported 22 climate-smart agriculture investment plans for 20 countries, and enabled 38 million people in 18 countries to have access to reliable weather data and early warning systems so that they are prepared for and safe from natural disasters, among other investments.

More information about the World Bank Group here.


The Fund Management Unit within the Climate Change Group (SCCFM) at the World Bank is a “one stop shop” for the Bank’s Forest and Land Use Funds; Results-based Climate Funds TCAF, CPF, Ci-Dev; Global Environment Facility (GEF), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Montreal Protocol (MP) WB operations. The Unit manages the implementation of these programs, the donor relations, mobilizes other sources of finance and implements synergies across funds.

About the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral fund, supported by donor governments and managed by the World Bank. It promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector, from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), and from sustainable agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, policies and practices.
The ISFL was established in 2013 with the support of Germany, the Kingdom of Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To date, it has $360 million in fund capital.

ISFL has a geographically diverse portfolio of large-scale programs that can have significant impact and transform rural areas by protecting forests, restoring degraded lands, enhancing agricultural productivity, and by improving livelihoods and local environments. The ISFL supports programs in Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Indonesia. The fund provides technical assistance to support the design of programs that impact multiple sectors of the economy and results-based payments to incentivize and sustain program activities. 

Each ISFL program focuses on an entire jurisdiction (state, province, or region) within a country, thereby enabling it to engage with multiple sectors affecting land use and have an impact on a relatively large area. The ISFL utilizes a landscape approach in each jurisdiction, which requires stakeholders to consider the trade-offs and synergies between different sectors that may compete in a jurisdiction for land use—such as forests, agriculture, energy, mining, and infrastructure. In doing so, solutions that serve multiple objectives and influence a variety of sectors can be identified. The goal of the landscape approach is to implement a development strategy that pursues environmental, social, and economic impacts at scale.

In order to reduce GHG emissions from land use across an entire jurisdiction while simultaneously creating livelihood opportunities, the ISFL will partner with other public-sector initiatives and private sector actors. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are essential to mobilize capital and align objectives to create sustainable and scalable models for long-term improved land use.

By taking on the immense challenges of convening public and private actors and creating an enabling environment for sustainable development, countries can expect to generate results, including a reduction in GHG emissions. To incentivize countries to do so, the ISFL will provide significant results-based financing (RBF) over a 10–15 year period by purchasing Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). This RBF is intended to create a positive feedback loop for successful interventions for sustainable land use in each ISFL program country. If effective, each jurisdiction can continue to generate results, sell VERs, and reinvest in successful interventions. Eventually, this model for sustainable development could be scaled up beyond each jurisdiction.

The ISFL reflects the demand for progression from relatively small-scale pilot projects to a program aimed at promoting sustainable land use at scale. To work at scale effectively, the ISFL builds on the experiences and lessons learned through the BioCarbon Fund’s initial work piloting land use projects, REDD+ initiatives, and other sustainable forest and land use programs.

More specifically, the ISFL relies on the national REDD+ readiness work of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the United Nations REDD Programme (UN-REDD), which have created essential institutional infrastructure for large-scale land use programs, including:

·        Accountable and transparent program management arrangements
·        Clear operating mandates
·        Multisector coordination mechanisms and cross-sector collaboration
·        Technical supervision capacity
·        Funds management capacity
·        Mechanisms for feedback and grievance redress.

This streamlined approach allows the ISFL to concentrate its efforts and activities at the jurisdictional level, adding value to existing platforms rather than duplicating existing processes.

More information on ISFL here.

Description of the position

Duties and responsibilities

SCCFM seeks a dynamic research assistant to support the Fund Manager of ISFL in the implementation and general management and of the Fund. Specific responsibilities include:

·        Support coordination of specific tasks of ISFL, working with team members to guide output and delivery. Specifically, this would include updating the team calendar and Gantt chart, taking meeting minutes, and coordinating meetings and conference calls.
·        Work closely with the Fund Manager, providing technical inputs, briefings, presentations, logistics, and communications.
·        Coordinate and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and clients and support across the WB and external stakeholders in the execution of ISFL’s operations and relations. This includes supporting the Monitoring and Evaluation team in communicating results, such as through annual reporting.
·        Perform analyses of a wide range of technical and policy issues, involving reviewing and interpreting data, identifying issues, recommend actions and solutions, and deliver inputs.
·        Help with the maintenance of ISFL resources, such as the website, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Framework, and master slide deck.
·        Provide ad hoc support to the overall work program of ISFL, including coordinating with other parts of the World Bank and supporting project teams in the implementation of ISFL programs.

Selection Criteria

·        Bachelor’s degree in energy, agriculture, environment, climate change or related topic with no experience required or equivalent combination of education and experience.
·        Strong computer skills and good knowledge of relevant software applications.
·        High level of energy, initiative and judgment in solving problems and demonstrated ability to work independently and effectively in a team environment, and across organizational boundaries.
·        Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and ability to apply these in independently carrying out complex research and operational tasks, identifying issues, presenting findings and recommendations, and contributing to deliverables.
·        Excellent writing and communications skills.

Duration and Location of the Assignment

The candidate will work 1200 hours (equivalent of 150 days) from September 30, 2019 – June 30, 2020, contingent upon successful completion of a 240 hour (equivalent of 30 days) probationary period.

Location of the assignment: 1818 H St NW. Washington DC, USA.

STT information

Short Term Temporary at the World Bank HQ detail information here. 

If you have any questions about this position please contact the ISFL fund management team at