Apply for leadership roles for 2020/21

Nominate yourself here

See below for role descriptions.

Applications are only open to current members of InterDev and those students who will for sure be at LSE next academic year.

Positions are slightly flexible, however you are held accountable by the InterDev Constitution which describes specific remits for your role.

Why InterDev?

  • Lead one of LSE’s medium-sized societies that also has an SU Gold Star award. We had 200 members in 2018/19, and have currently more than 300 in 2020/21.
  • Learn more about development and job opportunities in the sector, network with professionals (i.e. our speakers) and future professionals (i.e. our members and committee!)

Why an executive position?

  • Prove yourself
  • Hone general skills like general organisation, time management
  • Hone skills specific to the role, e.g. leadership skills by leading a subcommittee (Head of Research, Head of Events, two Co-Directors of the London Development Symposium)
  • Network with other societies and their leaders
  • Make like-minded friends

The positions require constant effort from April 2020 until March 2021, including making time in your schedule for attending biweekly 1-hour meetings.

The Election is taking place online via the LSESU website here – and the dates for nominations and voting are below. 

Nominations:

  • Open: Monday 9th March 9am
  • Close: Thursday 19th March (midnight)

Voting:

  • Open: Monday 23rd March 12pm
  • Close: Tuesday 31st March (midnight)

President

The President’s role is to oversee the society’s activities as a whole. You’re responsible for developing ideas to guide InterDev and our activities into the coming year. In addition, you have responsibility for maintaining relations with the Students’ Union, from ensuring compliance to communicating with relevant officers on society activities. You take charge of managing your team and ensuring everyone is contributing and involved (which is definitely easier said than done). Plus, formal/informal outreach and maintaining partnerships comprises a very time-consuming part of your role. Some responsibilities super specific, and contingent on your team’s involvement: for example, writing an event proposal form to the SU, organising an event yourself, or making sure we win SU STARS. Versatility is key.

Ideally, the President should be very enthusiastic and willing to devote lots of time and energy to the society’s development (five to ten hours a week, incl. before Michaelmas Term 2019). Whether meeting other student-run initiatives or introducing an event, your role is unavoidably outward-facing, so it’s important to be a clear communicator and confident public speaker. An interest in international development (academic or otherwise) is crucial.

Has room booking rights (and duty!). Effort: 10-15 hours a week.


Vice President

Key responsibilities include supporting the president in the running of the society; this can include filling in for the President when necessary and working with the President in key decision-making and outreach (within the LSESU, i.e. to other student societies, and outside campus, i.e. with organisations or potential partners).

Also, you play a role in event organisation and management; for instance through liaising with outside speakers and the co-ordination of event logistics.

Effort: 5-10 hours a week.


Secretary

The Secretary’s role on the Executive Committee is to act as a liaison between society leadership and society members. This crucially includes sending out the newsletter. In addition, you should be responsible for administrative tasks, including booking venues, sending out society emails and taking detailed meeting notes on all internal committee meetings, society meetings and events. Plus, you are encouraged to get involved and lend administrative back-up to event project reams.

The Secretary should attend all society meetings and events, and aim to devote a couple hours a week to completing administrative tasks. As an official liaison between leadership and members, your role is socially demanding and it’s critical to be an effective, clear communicator with admirable time and information management.

Effort: 5-10 hours a week.


Head of PR & Marketing

This position is responsible for managing the reputation of the society; this encompasses marketing events, messaging with individuals, and posting on our social media outlets. Essentially, the duty is to use media and communications to build and maintain a positive relationship with our society members as well as with the LSE student body and the general public.

The ideal person for the job is creative, works well in a team, and has great communication skills.

Effort: 5-10 hours a week.


Treasurer

Being Treasurer for LSESU InterDev is an immensely rewarding experience and will allow you to learn about the inner financials of the student society.

As treasurer you are responsible for the society’s finances and funding. Job Description:

1. Ensure the society is financially healthy and has funds to execute events

2. Approve expenses and reimbursement claims on 365Expenses app

3. Apply for LSE/SU funding (via activates fund, annual fund or similar etc.)

4. Secure sponsorship from an external organisation

Has room booking rights (and duty!)

Effort: 5-10 hours a week.


Head of Events

As a Head of Events, you come up with and organise events that would cater to the interests of our members. You liaise with external organisations and individuals, as well as work on logistics along with other society members. You also manage a team of events sub-committee who assist with the above.

Effort: 10-15 hours a week.


Head of Research

You organise InterDev’s journal, recruit a subcommittee of editors, designers and researchers, make sure we get accredited with LSE’s prestigious Houghton Street Press.

Effort: 10-15 hours a week.


Co-Head of Conferences (two positions)

You organise the London Development Symposium, which is InterDev’s Flagship event. It will run in February/March 2021. You liaise with external organisations and individuals, as well as work on logistics along with other society members. You also manage a team of events sub-committee who assist with the above. You work with external universities (we have an established contact with King’s College International Development Society and SOAS World Development Society). You recruit a subcommittee in April-June 2020 and start to recruit speakers in June.

Effort: 10-15 hours a week.

Rethinking the Development agenda: an interview with Alia Amirali.

Alia Amirali is a left-wing political worker from Pakistan, an academic and a current PhD candidate in the LSE Gender Studies department. She sits down with Frances from InterDev to talk women’s political organising, neoliberal capitalism and the development sector.

FL: How did you become a political worker?

AA: I grew up in Islamabad, Pakistan and I was politicised before I became a political worker as such, in large part because my parents were politically conscious. As I became older, there were movements happening around me; there were slum dwellers’ movements to resist forced evictions from their homes; there were movements by peasant-farmers in the centre of Punjab – the most populated province of the country and Pakistan’s political heartland.

The Okara peasant’s movement in 2002 that I am referring to was a completely unprecedented event for someone of my generation– tens of thousands of farmers were getting up and opposing the biggest political force in the country- the military. These farmers were being evicted from their lands and trying to be brought onto a contract system which was not acceptable to them. That movement was my big, you could say, political ‘awakening’.

After that I actively started to organise when I became a student in a university in Islamabad. Since then, I’ve been organising students, slum dwellers, and various sections of the working classes and labour groups. I was initially associated with a political group that was called the Peoples’ Rights Movement which then decided to merge with other Left parties. This spurred a series of mergers that took place subsequently, culminating in the creation of a new political party in Pakistan which is called the Awami Workers Party, of which I am a member and have also served as an office-bearer.

FL: Can you talk more about the role of women within your political work?

AA: Many of the ‘people’ I have worked with have always been women, whether you look within the student community, the peasants, or the slum dwellers. But they’ve always been invisible in terms of not having a political voice. Pakistan is an extremely patriarchal society, so it’s not surprising that the women within each of these social groups have never had the kind of visibility that men in their communities have had. But it’s not like men in these instances are simply ‘powerful’ or ‘perpetrators’; there are also powerless men in the world, which I think we tend to forget when we hear the word ‘men’! But this should not obscure the fact that relative to women within these communities, men certainly have forms of privilege that women do not.

Being a political worker seriously complicates, in a good way, these hard categories or images that we have when we’re on the outside and we think – oh, these groups are privileged, those groups are victims. It changes that a lot. And it’s very clear that women in these communities have been very active in all of these movements, for example in the movements against the forced evictions of slums in urban cities across Pakistan. They’ve not been the leaders; they haven’t had the visibility so nobody really knows that in these movements if women had not come out, whatever victories have been won would never have been possible. That’s also true of the Okara peasant’s movement. Women across a number of villages actually formed a force called the Thapa force. The thapa is a wooden log that Punjabi villagers use to wash clothes. These women basically used their thapa as a weapon to beat back the military which was coming into their homes to pick up the men and to spread fear amongst the community. It was these ‘oppressed’ rural women who were at the forefront of physical confrontations with the military during the Okara movement– so much for the docile, passive, victim image of the ‘poor, oppressed Third World woman’!

FL: And what do you think perpetuates this image of the ‘passive’ or ‘docile’ woman?

AA: I think some of that has to do with the need for a ‘saviour.’ Every saviour needs a victim to help, right? All such institutions which include the state, the military and the development sector (on the global, national and local levels) need ‘victims’ which are straightforwardly projected as passive beings who need to be helped and liberated by the ‘saviour(s)’.

The invasion of Afghanistan by the US was underpinned very strongly by this image of Afghan women supposedly ‘asking’ to be liberated from these terrible, oppressive, patriarchal Muslim men and the US being the enlightened, civilised saviour of Afghan women. We’ve seen these tropes in many forms for many years and I think the reason they continue to persist despite the fact that they certainly don’t depict ground realities is precisely because if those images go away, then the entire justification for intervention then also falls apart.

And that doesn’t mean that all of these people: women, students and the working class in much of the third world, are not oppressed. They are victims of the system and they have to deal with the consequences of global capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy every day in a way that you and I don’t. But their oppressions are used and manipulated and then presented in a particular way by the development sector, by the media, states and militaries to pin the problem elsewhere; away from where it really lies.

Distorting the problem itself by painting a picture of helpless, passive Third World women whose primary ‘problem’ is their own patriarchal men (with religion often thrown into the mix) basically positions white, rich countries (and men in particular) as the saviours of these people. It hides the complicity of the rich and the powerful, of capitalism, corporations and of the development sector – which refuses to acknowledge that at the root of all of these problems is actually global capitalism and imperialism.

FL: In light of this, how should the development sector be working to achieve the aim of empowering women?

AA: First of all, the development sector looks at problems in a very sectoral and compartmentalised way; for instance, ‘women’ is a category, ‘poverty’ is a category, ‘education’ is a category. This way of categorising different sorts of victims or problems is a problem, because all of these problems are connected.

Many of the programs that I’ve come across in Pakistan and which are probably similar all over the global South have to do with ‘skills training’, micro-credit schemes and things like that. If you look at the logic that is underpinning these schemes and initiatives, you just have to read their descriptions to know that they’re legitimised by being proven to be good for economic growth. There needs to be a recognition that when we talk about ‘development,’ we are talking about the development of a particular economic system which has a name: it is called capitalism.

And anyone who is educated enough to be employed in the development sector knows that capitalism is a system which functions around the needs, interests, and logic of capital, not of people. By trying to solve people’s problems through expanding and further entrenching a system that is inherently anti-people; it’s just an oxymoron. So, first of all, the development sector would have to seriously change its relationship to global capital and rethink which system it’s trying to develop.

Second, we live in the real world where a lot of the money for the development sector comes precisely from capitalist states, capitalist individuals and organisations. So, if what I just said earlier is considered to be absolutely utopian then okay, something that might be more ‘realistic’ could be to demand that the development sector at least try and counter the effects of neoliberal capitalism in particular, which is forcing massive cutbacks on ‘development spending’ and public funds across the globe.

We live in a period now where nation states are pulling back from providing all kinds of social services which citizens need in order to be healthy, or at least functional human beings. The state has, over the last few decades in particular, through what we call neoliberalism, very rapidly stepped away from the provision of these services, thanks to economic policies peddled by institutions like the IMF and World Bank and enforced through international ‘agreements’. If the development sector really wants to help people, it cannot avoid taking a stand against some of the very institutions that comprise the ‘development sector’ itself, like the World Bank and the IMF. The UN, for instance, if it is to become a meaningful and respectable institution in my eyes, cannot continue to be a toothless bystander which goes in and puts band-aids on bullet wounds of people that are being shot right under its nose (both in a literal and figurative sense) and refuses to acknowledge and challenge the realities of capitalist-patriarchy, imperialism, racism, and the systemic production of the very ‘problems’ it seeks to solve.

FL: On an individual level, what advice would you give to LSE students thinking of working in the development sector?

AA: The first thing I would say is that because you are a student at LSE, this means that you are privileged now and you are going to be in a position of privilege later as well. You will have decision-making power, you will have resources at your disposal, you will be influential. And if you go into the development sector, do not assume like everyone around you, that you know what the problem is. So, whatever your project may be, whatever association you may be working with, you must first step back and learn about the context in which you are working rather than assume that you already know what kind of interventions need to be made.

I’m not casting doubt on anyone’s intentions here but more often than not, people with good intentions end up doing really bad things that they didn’t even know were bad and will never really know the consequences of because they don’t have to live with those consequences, unlike the recipients of their ‘benevolent’ interventions.

So, do what you can, understand your limitations in whatever institutions you will be employed in, but remember that a job is always going to be a job. It will not be your politics. Make sure you keep time and space and energy to be able to invest in political work because ultimately that is what’s going to change the world – not your job and not the development sector.

Follow Alia on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AliaAmiraliOfficial/

Interviewed by Frances Li, LSE International Development Society

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty!

In light of today, we bring to your attention the recent winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics: Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer. The Nobel was awarded for their “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”. It’s increasingly important that the Nobel committee and other economists identify the significance of development economics and provide its researchers with a platform to encourage conversation.

Click on the link below to find out more about their innovative work:

https://www.wionews.com/opinions/economics-nobel-prize-2019-why-abhijit-banerjee-esther-duflo-and-michael-kremer-won-256045

Recruitment for 2019/20

Apply here

General prerequisite: Applications are only open to current members of InterDev.

Leadership positions

The 2019/20 Executive Committee of InterDev is thrilled to announce that our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for Week 1 of Michaelmas Term 2019. At the AGM, we will elect the following two positions. If you want to apply, please just show up and/or fill out the form linked above in order to hear when and where the AGM will take place exactly.

Head of PR & Marketing: Direct the society’s online image, including Instagram, Facebook and website; Manage the PR/Marketing sub-committee; Takes responsibility for copy-editing public content (e.g. blog). Lead the society’s PR & Marketing subcommittee. Desirable: Experience with graphic software, photography skills, good camera

NOW FILLED: Head of Conferences: Direct the society’s flagship conference, the London Development Symposium. This is a week-long conference to be held in LT 2020. Duties will include managing the Conferences sub-committee and liaising with LSE and intercollegiate partners. The sub-committee is jointly responsible for inviting and managing speakers, event management, catering, security, ticketing etc.

General time commitment for leadership positions: six hours per week.

Subcommittee positions

Subcommittee members will be selected by the current Executive Committee. Applications close on Sunday, 6 October 2019 at 23:59. Successful candidates will be invited to an interview in the following week and be notified by the end of that week.

Events manager: The events sub-committee will meet regularly with the Head of Events to organise events. This is including but not limited to ticketing, budgeting, security as well as finding, securing and managing guest speakers. The sub-committee will have the opportunity to chair specific events and to organise their own events.

Sponsor relations manager: The Sponsor relations sub-committee will meet regularly with the Treasurer. Key responsibilities will include finding sponsors via emailing and calling, as well as through personal relationships. Sub-committee members will gain an overview over the whole society and gain marketing skills, as they market the society to potential sponsors.

PR & Marketing manager: The PR & Marketing sub-committee will meet regularly with the Head of Marketing. Key responsibilities will include updating social media (Facebook, Instagram) with publicity for upcoming events, overseeing the InterDev blog and updating the website. Sub-committee members may also help to produce photos and videos for social media pages, help out with producing flyers and photographing events. Desirable: Clear communication skills and experience with graphic software

Conferences: The Conferences sub-committee will organise the society’s flagship event, the London Development Symposium. This is a week-long conference to be held in LT 2020. Duties will include inviting and managing speakers, event management, catering, security, ticketing etc. Desirable: Experience in event management

General time commitment for subcommittee positions: three hours per week.

Society Leadership: Looking Ahead

Calling all InterDev members!

The 2018/2019 Executive Committee of InterDev is thrilled to announce that our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for Lent Term, Week 10.

Ahead of the upcoming AGM, the current Executive Committee is hosting an informal drop-in session for all those interested in society leadership positions on Wednesday, 27th February from 12:00-15:00 in Room 2.03, New Academic Building. Come along with any questions or concerns.

In the meantime, see below for role descriptions, with blurbs written by the current Executive Committee.

General prerequisites: Applications are only open to current undergraduates and members of InterDev. We advise interested postgraduate applicants to consider executive involvement in our partner society, DESTIN.


President

The President’s role is to oversee the society’s activities as a whole. You’re responsible for developing ideas to guide InterDev and our activities into the coming year. In addition, you have responsibility for maintaining relations with the Students’ Union, from ensuring compliance to communicating with relevant officers on society activities. You take charge of managing your team and ensuring everyone is contributing and involved (which is definitely easier said than done). Plus, formal/informal outreach and maintaining partnerships comprises a very time-consuming part of your role. Some responsibilities super specific, and contingent on your team’s involvement: for example, sending the weekly newsletter, an event proposal form, or sponsorship application. Versatility is key.

Ideally, the President should be very enthusiastic and willing to devote lots of time and energy to the society’s development (approx. five hours a week, inc. before Michaelmas Term 2019). Whether meeting other student-run initiatives or introducing an event, your role is unavoidably outward-facing, so it’s important to be a clear communicator and confident public speaker. An interest in international development (academic or otherwise) is crucial.


Vice President

Key responsibilities include supporting the president in the running of the society; this can include filling in for the President when necessary and working with the President in key decision-making and outreach (within the LSESU, i.e. to other student societies, and outside campus, i.e. with organisations or potential partners).

Also, you play a role in event organisation and management; for instance through liaising with outside speakers and the co-ordination of event logistics.


Secretary

The Secretary’s role on the Executive Committee is to act as a liaison between society leadership and society members. In addition, you should be responsible for administrative tasks, including booking venues, sending out society emails and taking detailed meeting notes on all internal committee meetings, society meetings and events. Plus, you are encouraged to get involved and lend administrative back-up to event project reams.

The Secretary should attend all society meetings and events, and aim to devote a couple hours a week to completing administrative tasks. As an official liaison between leadership and members, your role is socially demanding and it’s critical to be an effective, clear communicator with admirable time and information management.


Head of PR & Marketing

This position is responsible for managing the reputation of the society; this encompasses marketing events, messaging with individuals, and posting on our social media outlets. Essentially, the duty is to use media and communications to build and maintain a positive relationship with our society members as well as with the LSE student body and the general public.

The ideal person for the job is creative, works well in a team, and has great communication skills.


Treasurer

Being Treasurer for LSESU InterDev is an immensely rewarding experience and will allow you to learn about the inner financials of the student society.

As treasurer you are responsible for the society’s finances and funding. Job Description:

1. Ensure the society is financially healthy and has funds to execute events

2. Approve expenses and reimbursement claims on 365Expenses app

3. Apply for LSE/SU funding (via activates fund, annual fund or similar etc.)

4. Secure sponsorship from an external organisation


Head of Events

As a Head of Events, you come up with and organise events that would cater to the interests of our members. You liaise with external organisations and individuals, as well as work on logistics along with other society members. You also manage a team of events sub-committee who assist with the above.

Smita Sanghrajka, Partner in the KPMG IDAS Africa practice

Smita Sanghrajka, Partner in the KPMG IDAS Africa practice

How would you describe your experience at KPMG?

I have been with KPMG in East Africa for several years and had the privilege of being part of one of the first teams that began doing international development work in the region at KPMG. I joined KPMG in a junior position and eventually became Partner. Through my experience at KPMG, I have been able to grow and learn continuously and I am now in a position to grow and develop others which is very fulfilling.  When I first joined KPMG, it was a small office in Nairobi with a small team.  We now have four offices in the region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda) with over 1,000 staff.  It has been exciting to see and experience these changes and growth as well as be able to work in different sectors and service areas.  It is important to take initiative, be proactive and be open to different challenges which I have found has enriched my experience and opened up opportunities.

What inspires you to work in international development?

My inspiration for working in development has probably changed over time.  Development initiatives usually take time and are interconnected.  They may address basic needs such as health and education but also help in developing economies, creating jobs and reducing inequalities.  Not only am I inspired to see how development programmes make a difference to the lives of the poor and vulnerable, but there are development issues facing us globally such as climate change.  Being involved in initiatives to address these is very inspiring knowing that it will have an impact on a wider scale.  For example, I have been involved as a fund manager in a flood resilience programme which ran a competition for innovative solutions to withstand the shocks and stresses of flooding in South and South East Asia.  One of the initiatives selected was building floating houses in Bangladesh to enhance the resilience of households and communities before, after and during floods!  Being exposed to such innovative solutions that may have a transformational impact is very inspirational.

How did you make the transition from accountancy and finance into International Development?

After graduating from LSE, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked in finance for a year in the steel industry before moving to Kenya. I began working in management consultancy at KPMGin Kenya. The skills I developed in private sector became very relevant to the work we began to do in Development at KPMG in East Africa where we started to experience a greater demand for private sector practices in the Development sector, especially to build organisational and institutional capacity. As programmes became large, a need for fund managers or management agents grew, particularly to manage the fiduciary risk of the funds in development programmes.  Managing fiduciary risk means ensuring the funds are accounted for properly and used for the purposes intended to ultimately make an impact in the programme’s focus area such as climate change, health, agribusiness, financial inclusion etc.

Can you talk about a project you’re currently undertaking, or a project you’ve done in the past? What was it, how did it come about, what did you achieve etc.

I have worked in programmes in a range of sectors which include health, resilience, agribusiness, governance and financial inclusion. One of the large programmes that I am currently involved in is MasterCard Foundation’s Funds for Rural Prosperity (FRP). FRP is a US$50 million challenge fund being implemented over seven years to extend financial services to people living in rural sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on small holder farmers. KPMG is the fund manager of this programme. FRP’s aim is to improve 1 million lives with better financial access.  This will help contribute to alleviating poverty.  FRP came about as people making a living in agriculture make up two thirds of Africa’s workforce and mainly live in poor rural areas with limited access to finance.  The challenge fund runs competitions to select innovative solutions that expand and deepen financial inclusion for the poor in rural areas in Africa.  The fund is just over halfway and results from the participating projects are showing that the 1 million target may already have been reached which is a key achievement.  The fund is also making an impact in creating jobs, improving financial literacy and reaching customers that would not normally have access to finance.

What was your biggest/most memorable achievement in your current role?

There have been so many. One of the most memorable was being instrumental in KPMG being selected to manage the Capacity Building Trust Fund in South Sudan. At the time, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had just been signed in 2005 to end the civil war and this Fund was set up to help form the Government of South Sudan and support recovery.  Being involved in such an important nation building initiative in a post conflict context was a very memorable experience.

How do you think you, as well as your team at KPMG, have made a difference to the field of International development?

KPMG IDAS in East Africa has made a difference in development through its fund management work which it began over twenty years ago.  For example, over the years it has been involved in programmes that: support agricultural transformation; facilitate adaptation to climate change and innovation in renewable energy access; build countries’ resilience to climate change, shocks and stresses; and strengthen national capacities to deliver health services.  These are just some of the areas where KPMG has been involved in making a difference.  The following link provides useful information and detail on the work done and the difference it has made in the range of sectors we work in: IDAS information.

Smita Sanghrajka is a Partner in KPMG’s International Development Advisory Services (IDAS) in East Africa with over twenty years’ international development experience.  As Engagement Partner, Smita has been leading various fund management programmes with Regional, Africa and Global reach in a range of sectors such as Resilience, Financial Inclusion and Agribusiness.  Not only has she spearheaded various service delivery performance initiatives in IDAS, she has provided quality assurance in large programmes such as Global Resilience Partnership and Funds for Rural Prosperity.  In addition, she has oversight of Compete, Check and Manage services in IDAS.

Smita has worked with various local and international non-governmental agencies as well as private foundations, public sector players and donor agencies such as DFID, MasterCard Foundation, SIDA, USAID, Z Zurich Foundation.  She has experience in grant and fund management, programme design and management, financial management and sustainability, performance improvement, organisational development and capacity building.

As a testament to her tenacity and determination, Smita has conquered the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and Africa’s highest point– Mount Kilimanjaro. She brings this same energy to the workplace with a solution-oriented approach. Although her development career began with the firm, she diversified her path as an independent consultant working with a range of entities in various countries such as Guyana and Bangladesh, before returning to KPMG.

Over twenty years’ of development experience contributing to transformation and change, particularly in East Africa, has only driven her passion for seeing impact at community level further.  She has been involved in various education and health initiatives.  Currently, Smita is a Board member of Dignitas Project.  Dignitas Project operates in informal settlements around Nairobi to empower teachers, students and communities to transform schools in Kenya.

She is a graduate of the London School of Economics and a UK qualified chartered accountant.

Interviewed by Xin Jing Yu, LSESU International Development Society

Insights from Ms. Estela Amadeo, World Bank’s Senior HR Business Partner

Insights from Ms. Estela Amadeo, World Bank’s Senior HR Business Partner

Tell me about your experience at the World Bank! How did you end up working for it?

I started working at the Human Resources Department of the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) right after I finalized my HR Master’s at George Washington University. During the three years I worked at the IADB I completed my MBA degree at the University of Maryland. HR is a very wide field that requires sound knowledge of how the different pieces of the business puzzle fit together and what is their impact on the overall strategic organizational level. Both degrees plus the very valuable IADB experience provided me with a wide array of skills and tools to take my HR career forward. My next job was a short temporary contract with the World Bank doing recruitment for their Information Technology Department. Shortly thereafter I joined the HR Department. One thing lead to another, and luckily I’m still working here, 15 years later.

How is it like to be an HR at the World Bank? What do your duties entail?

Working in HR Client Services at the World Bank is exhilarating, as the scope of work is so wide and our potential for impact so crucial. We support all aspects of the life cycle of staff’s careers across 150+ countries where they are employed. This has a direct impact on the Bank’s ability to succeed at carrying out its mission of eradicating poverty, so it’s a pretty exciting and meaningful job.

Could you tell us more about World Bank’s selection process? What qualities do you look at?

We carry out selection processes in interview panels which are comprised by the hiring manager and a set of relevant colleagues to the position we are looking to fill. I participate in recruitments for management positions only as there is not enough time to participate in all recruitments.

I cannot single one most important thing to be hired, it is a set of qualities/experience, and their complexity increases depending on the seniority of the job. We typically look at what we call the “T” model, i.e., someone who has in-depth knowledge of a specific area and at the same time has broad expertise that will allow the person a wide scope of action beyond the specific area of expertise.

Aside from the professional aspect, behaviors are also very important. We ensure that those we hire have strong people skills, can work in teams, deal with conflict in a constructive manner, etc. Also, we have a very diverse work environment, as our staff are from all over the world.

What was your most memorable experience at the World Bank?

My most memorable experience was when I headed the HR Team that supports Latin America. It was a huge and rewarding challenge. Other experiences I particularly value are the visits to our offices in the countries. I’ve been to Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Dominican Rep.ublic, Jamaica, Georgia and soon India.

The World Bank has been substantially reforming itself for last decade or so; as an HR partner, have you noticed any such changes in your work?

Yes, lots of changes, as HR has been reorganizing itself in order to best support the staff and the business in its different configurations throughout the years. The constant changes require that one has to keep learning, adapting and growing. No two days are the same, there are always new challenges.

 

Ms. Estela Amadeo is a Senior HR Business Partner at the World Bank. She provides advisory services to the Bank’s client teams, interacts with World Bank’s clients, and contributes to business and talent strategy, policy formulation and implementation of people management related agenda. Find out more about her here.

Voices of Development: A Conversation with Dr. Oriana Bandiera

Voices of Development: A Conversation with Dr Oriana Bandiera

Q: When did you realise you wanted to study development economics?

I come from a very poor part of a rich country, and so for me, the question of development was always the only question that there was. Growing up in Sicily in the 1980s and comparing it to Milan, which is in the same country, the difference was enormous. I always wanted to know why that was the case.

 

Q: Was there an epiphanic episode when it all ‘started’?

I found that studying in Italy in the 1990s was all about macroeconomics. UntilNick Stern of the Stern Report on Climate Change – he is a colleague here – came to teach a 1-week course. At that time he was working on Palanpur. Palanpur is a village in India, where he and his co-authors have been collecting information about every household for, now, 60 years! When he told us at Bocconi – it was maybe at the third round of these surveys – that “we have been going here for 30 years” – I was so amazed that somebody’s day job was to go to a village and study the economy of the people of that village. And I thought, that is what I want to do when I grow up. And… that’s how the story goes!

 

Q: Tell me about your research! What is your latest project?

So just in front of me, I have this paper, which we got back from a journal for revising, and the title of this paper is “Losing pro-sociality in quest for talent: sorting, selection, and productivity in public service delivery.” Read more

LSESU International Development Society

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