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Organizational Ombudsman

World Bank Group
Nairobi, Kenya

Salary rangeConfidential | Contract type: Permanent

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Job Summary

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit The World Bank Group's Organizational Ombudsman FunctionThe Ombuds Services Office is governed by WBG Staff Rule 9.02 and operates in accord with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association. The Office has a broad mandate to look into staff-related issues, to consider conflicts of any nature related to employment by the WBG, and to assist in their informal resolution. The WBG’s administrative regulations provide for the Ombudsman to be independent of any group or official of the WBG. Except for medical records, documents covered by attorney-client privilege or records of on-going investigations, the Ombudsman has access to records concerning staff. The Ombudsman may consult with anyone relevant to a matter, and give whatever advice and opinion is deemed to be appropriate. The Ombudsman have direct access to the President of the WBG as needed for the performance of their duties.
The WBG’s Ombuds Services Office performs three principal functions: (i) it provides assistance in the informal resolution of conflicts and other issues brought to the attention of the Office; (ii) it monitors trends and emerging issues, and provides guidance and advice on ways to improve the workplace environment in the WBG; and (iii) it manages the Respectful Workplace Advisors (RWA) Program.
The WBG has several other units and services which provide advice and assistance in resolving conflict, grievances and ethical issues (including Human Resources, Mediation Services, Peer Review Services, the Administrative Tribunal, Ethics and Business Conduct, Legal, Personal and Work Stress Counseling, and the Staff Association). The Ombuds Services Office collaborates with these units, as appropriate, while maintaining the confidentiality of specific matters.
Background / General description
The WBG currently has three Ombudsman, two of whom are based in Washington DC, and a third is based in the field. The two Ombudsman based in Washington DC are filled by one internally selected staff member and one an external candidate with extensive and proven professional expertise in the area of conflict resolution, including as an organizational ombudsman. The two field-based Ombudsman The WBG is recruiting two individuals with extensive and proven professional expertise in conflict resolution processes to fill two new field-based Organizational Ombudsman positions. The positions are local positions that may, for non-nationals, include global mobility benefits. One position will be based in Africa (Kenya or Dakar), and one in Asia (to be determined, preferably Chennai). The two field-based Ombudsman may be hired either internally or externally. Successful candidates will be expected to travel on a regular basis to other WBG field offices to provide direct services. The Ombudsman appointment is for a five-year term appointment which may be renewed for an additional five-year term. After serving as Ombudsman, an individual shall be ineligible for any other appointment in the WBG for a period of two years (except for short-term consultant appointments limited to the Offices of the Ombuds Services or Mediation Services).
Selection Criteria
• Advanced degree (conflict resolution, law, organization behavior, psychology, counseling, or other social sciences preferred) and a minimum of 12 years of relevant experience required.
• Expertise in conflict resolution and as a neutral third-party facilitator of conflict resolution processes
• Experience handling workplace problems and conflicts involving a wide range of subjects including, performance, discrimination, racism, sexual harassment, misconduct, compensation and benefits, terminations and organizational change• Experience tracking and analyzing case issue patterns and trends
• Previous experience establishing a new conflict resolution program or office is preferred
• Experience designing and delivering training in conflict resolution, negotiation, communication and related subjects
• At least five years in a multinational organization and/or a multi-cultural environment
• Proven ability to promote and contribute to a collaborative team environment, build trust among colleagues, work effectively across disciplines and organizational boundaries including with stakeholder groups and senior officials
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills with stakeholders and partners; proven ability to work with confidential matters, work sensitively in multicultural environments, and possess an established reputation for integrity, sound judgment, fairness and discretion
• Excellent presentation and written communication skills in English; fluency in French mandatory for the Africa-based Ombudsman; fluency in other working languages of the WBG is highly desirable
• Managerial experience is highly desired
Personal Qualities:
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and inspire trust, and recognized integrity and judgmentRespect and compassion for individuals
  • Respect for the mission and objectives of the WBG
  • Commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, and sensitivity to cross-cultural factors in communications and interpersonal relations
  • Strong active listening skills and ability to deal with multiple open-ended issues and undetermined periods of closure
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in teams
  • Should be risk aware and should have the willingness and ability to challenge even the highest levels of the Organization in an effort to foster fair and consistent employment practices


The Ombudsman perform their duties as a team.
In efforts to help resolve conflicts, depending on the circumstances, an Organizational Ombudsman may help a visitor (individual calling upon Ombuds Services for assistance) analyze the situation brought to his or her attention, advise the visitor of the policy or procedural context of the situation, advise the visitor of options and different avenues open to him or her, and make suggestions about how to exercise options or pursue avenues.  If requested by a visitor, an Ombudsman may contact other parties to informally facilitate a resolution.
In carrying out their responsibilities, the Ombudsman hold periodic meetings with the President of the WBG and other senior managers, issue periodic reports, and may be consulted on policies where their views and experience may be helpful.
The Ombudsman are jointly responsible for:
• Formulating, implementing, managing, and monitoring the programs, plans, goals, and budget of the Ombuds Services office
• Maintaining an independent data collection, analysis, and reporting process that protects confidentiality, and making regular reports based on anonymous aggregate data
• Developing and executing a communication plan to promote awareness and understanding of Ombuds Services and the RWA Program, standards of practice, role and responsibilities
• Monitoring of the Office’s practices and the manner of service delivery, in order to remain confidential, independent, impartial, and informal
• Managing and promoting the Respectful Workplace Advisor (RWA) program
• Supervising, developing and supporting Ombuds Services staff
• Maintaining constructive working relationships with relevant resources within WBG including other offices of the Internal Justice Services (IJS)
• Staying current in Ombuds practices through participation in the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), UNARIO and other relevant learning programs and conferences.

Job Requirements

Required education: Post-graduate education
Required relevant work experience: 10 years
Required languages: English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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