Lead Social Development Specialist – Social Development

  • Location:
  • Salary:
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  • Posted:
    2 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Social and Inclusive Development
  • Deadline:




Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 and promoting shared prosperity. 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. https://ww.worldbank.org.

East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) Region:

EAP is a large and diverse region, ranging from Small Island States of the Pacific to the Philippines and China! Despite substantial economic growth and poverty reduction, the EAP region faces huge development challenges. Growth has been uneven across and within countries, institutions still need strengthening, and most countries are heavily affected by climate change. The Bank plays a significant role on global public goods, including climate, biodiversity, water pollution, and health. The COVID pandemic, and more recently food and energy price increases are compounding the impact of the global economic slowdown. The World Bank Group is seen as a premier development institution in the Region, with a leadership role on analytical and advisory services as well as financing. East Asia and the Pacific Region: https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/ea

East Asia and Pacific Social Sustainability and Inclusion Unit (SEAS1): 

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Unit 1 (SEAS1) in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region is responsible for: (a) undertaking social analysis during project preparation and implementation to mainstream social development and inclusion issues throughout the Bank’s work in the region; (b) ensuring compliance with the Bank’s Environment and Social Framework standards and safeguards policies relevant to social risk management; (c) undertaking Advisory Services and Analytics in the form of thematic studies on social sustainability and inclusion issues; (d) leading the preparation and supervision of lending operations that promotes inclusion of vulnerable groups including ethnic minorities, women and youth, and (f) facilitating partnerships and dialogue with civil society through outreach and engagement. For more information regarding World Bank in East Asia and Pacific region, https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/eap

SEAS1 is seeking a Lead Social Development Specialist to provide a broad range of operational, analytical and implementation support to the social development program in EAP (covering SEAS1 and SEAS2)! The selected candidate will report to the SEAS1 Practice Manager and work very closely with the SEAS2 Practice Manager (both based in Singapore).

Roles & Responsibilities:

1.Social Risk Management

(a) Provide direct operational support to high-risk and complex operations, particularly those where the risk rating is associated challenging resettlement, labor and working conditions, sexual exploitation and abuse/harassment and Indigenous people issues.

(b) Coach social development specialists assigned as ADM responsible for the Safeguards and the ESF in task teams, during project preparation and supervision to ensure strong and adaptive social risk management of the EAP portfolio. 

(c) Work with assigned social development specialists and task teams to ensure that the approach to, and instruments for, managing social risks are of high quality. 

(d) Advise task teams on the application of proportionality and adaptive management detailed in the Environmental and Social Policy for Investment Project Financing (IPFs). 

(e) Build capacity of local and junior ESF staff to provide high-quality social risk management support to projects and clients, and to improve quality and proportionality of approaches to, and instruments for, social risk management. 

(f) Contribute to, and where appropriate, lead analytical work for upstream identification of systemic social risk management issues across the portfolio; contribute to the development of new guidance, management tools and recommendations to address these issues. 

(g) Develop and supervise a process for tracking and reviewing projects nearing closure to ensure outstanding social impacts and risks are identified, fully assessed, and resolved in a timely manner. 

(h) Develop, implement, and supervise the process for tracking incidents related to the social impacts of projects requiring Environmental and Social Incident Reporting Toolkit (ESIRT) reporting; or grievances related to the social impacts of projects that need to be registered with the grievance redress service, working with PM to ensure follow-up actions are commensurate with risk, and are fully implemented. 

(i) Serve as technical social risk lead, working with the counterpart EAP Environmental Specialist(s), to ensure SEAS1 and 2 collaboration and integration with Environment (ENB) team members on efficient and consistent environmental and social risk management approaches to the Region’s pipeline, portfolio and capacity building efforts. 

(j) This may include identification of opportunities and partnerships with respect to the formulation, regulation and monitoring of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) processes as a pathway towards and a tool for strengthening country social risk management systems. 

(k) In close coordination with the Lead Environmental Specialist and the regional Environmental and Social Standards Advisor (ESSA, more commonly referred to as Regional Standards Advisor, or RSA), serve as technical SEAS1 and SEAS2 lead for the development and roll-out of capacity building activities on environmental and social risk management policies, procedures, approaches and tools for internal staff and consultants, and for external clients.  

(l) Serve on the ESF accreditation panel for ESF staff and consultants, at the request of OPCS.

(m) As an accredited ESF trainer for the Region, deliver ESF training for clients, Bank staff and ESF specialists, at the request of OPCS.

(n) Lead thematic reviews of projects under implementation (e.g., projects with multiple subprojects or complex implementation arrangements, projects using Financial Intermediaries), assessing the social performance of projects under implementation, and developing training and communication materials based on results.

(o) Facilitate and organize intra/inter-practice teams, international experts, etc. to debate and exchange ideas on key issues.

2) Country and Sector Engagement :

(a) Work with the country-based teams of social specialists, responsible for social safeguards and standards, to ensure engagement on social risk in Systematic Country Diagnostics, Country Partnership Frameworks and other strategic discussions.

(b) Work with country-based teams of social specialists, as well as teams of specialists from other relevant practices, in providing advice to government counterparts on updating key elements of their regulatory framework relating to land acquisition and resettlement, public participation, Indigenous people and ethnic minorities, labor and workers’ rights, gender based violence, among others.  This may include leadership in country-level analytical activities on social risk management issues.

(c) At the request of Client governments and in close coordination with CMUs, sector PMs and task teams, support country systems development through the preparation and implementation of standalone TA operations or integration of sector E&S capacity building policies and measures in Bank-financed projects.

(d) Maintain and strengthen effective communication with government counterparts (as well as active development partners and private sector actors) and other local agencies and organizations on the World Bank activities on topics related to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and serve as key technical focal point in sharing knowledge, including providing local perspective and insights. 

3) Corporate:

(a) Participate in and contribute to OPCS- and/or GP-led meetings of country/regional technical ESF focal points. Disseminate lessons learned and best practices from EAP to other regions and vice versa. Liaise with OPCS, and E&S GP colleagues on global/corporate ESF issues. 

(b) Liaise with the relevant units and functions in OPCS (such as the Grievance Redress) and LEGEN on the resolution of complex complaints and potential non-compliance with the requirements of the environmental and social safeguards and standards. 

(c) Take on specific global tasks on demand and in agreement with PM.

Selection Criteria

(a) This is a challenging position suited to a constructive, highly motivated leader and team player with excellent knowledge on technical issues, extensive operational experience, an eye for detail, understanding the bigger picture context of World Bank operations, and creative, collaborative and practical problem-solving abilities. 

(b) Advanced degree in a relevant social science (anthropology, sociology, human geography, development studies, urban and regional planning etc.), with substantive professional experience (a minimum of 12 years in the case of a PhD or 15 years in the case of a Masters degree) working on social risk management issues.

(c) Extensive knowledge and experience in addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s social safeguards policies, ESF or similar policies in other international finance institutions in complex and challenging settings, and across practices. This includes experience with involuntary resettlement in different socio-economic contexts and tenure systems; extensive experience with analyzing social risks and impacts on different population groups; coordination of transparent consultative processes; and integration of relevant planning instruments such as Resettlement Action Plans and Indigenous Peoples Plans in overall project planning and implementation. 

(d) Proven experience with projects requiring large scale land acquisition and resettlement of households, as well as handling complaints directly sent to the Bank related to land acquisition and resettlement, is highly desirable. 

(e) Familiarity with social sustainability concepts and efforts to strengthen country social risk management systems is desirable.

(f) Familiarity with social dimensions of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) concepts is desirable.

(g) Experience in working with a wide range of client countries (upper and middle income, low income, fragile states, etc.) is desirable. 

(h) Demonstrated track record of integrity and behavioral skills to build trust and to create an enabling teamwork environment. 

(i) The successful candidate should be an articulate communicator; being able to translate their extensive knowledge into effective and clear advice and solutions. 

(j) Proven ability to motivate, mentor, empower and facilitate the work of other specialists in the field is essential.

(k) Initiative and self-motivation; flexibility and willingness to travel on a short notice in complex missions and work under challenging circumstances.

(l) Excellent oral and writing skills in English is required.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

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