Senior Social Protection Economist/Specialist – Social Protection

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  • Posted:
    1 week ago
  • Category:
    Economic Development, Social and Inclusive Development
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The Social Protection & Jobs Global Practice delivers operational approaches and evidence-based solutions to help individuals and families manage risk, cope with chronic/transitional poverty, and access better livelihoods and jobs.  These include:

• Strategy, analysis, financing and design of programs delivering social safety nets/social assistance in the form of cash transfers, public works programs, and fee waivers.

• Advisory and analytical services on design and delivery of contributory transfers (including old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, disability and survivor benefits), and their fiscal sustainability (including budget support for transitions).

• Analysis, design and delivery of labor market and youth employment programs (with a focus on supply side interventions and intermediation policies), as well as policy advice on labor market regulations and interventions.

• Strategy, analysis, financing and design of integrated social protection delivery systems (e.g., payments, identification, registries, systems assessments) as underpinnings of effective social programs that can help cope with climatic shocks or underpin fiscal reforms.

The Social Protection and Jobs (SPJ) Global Practice has a large and growing portfolio in West and Central Africa (AFW), which includes long-standing engagements supporting Governments to strengthen social safety net programs as well as promoting innovations around climate-adaptive social protection (ASP), youth employment and jobs as well as human capital investments. The SPJ West and Central Africa unit (HAWS2) covers the 3 CMUs of West Africa, comprising of 13 countries (Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Guinea). The unit also manages the regional Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program (SASPP), which provides enhanced support for Sahelian households to become more resilient to shock, including those related to climate change and forced displacement, and the regional West Africa Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI) program.

SPJ manages a project portfolio that includes safety net projects in each of these 13 countries. In addition, the portfolio and pipeline include youth employment projects in 5 of these countries as well as projects on unique identification in 6. SPJ also collaborates on projects and DPOs with other GPs in most of these countries.

To increase its support to clients and its impact, the unit is also expanding its analytical work in support of its expanding financing.  Analytics focus on household vulnerability analysis and targeting, fiscal analysis and PERs, jobs diagnostics and analytics on labor markets and migration, analytics related to shock-responsive safety nets and their financing, and analysis of vulnerabilities associated with marginalization, forced displacement, and fragility. SPJ also contributes key analysis to Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDR).

The unit is looking for a Senior Social Protection Economist/Specialist with a strong technical profile who can lead policy dialogue, analytical work, and operational programs in the country group comprising Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. The successful candidate would be able to lead analytics and policy dialogue in the areas of adaptive social safety nets, productive/economic inclusion, social protection delivery systems, youth employment, jobs and skills. They would bring a strong analytical profile and solid operational experience to lead or co-lead projects in the above areas as well as potentially other innovative multi-GP programs such as on human capital development. The successful candidate would be able to lead country dialogue and contribute to DPOs and strategic country products such as SCDs and CPFs.  As such, they would have a track record in developing strategic engagements and strong collaboration skills to work across GPs and with CMUs as well as the skills needed to lead teams. FCV experience will be a plus.

The successful candidate will be based in the Abidjan Country Office as a member of the AFW Social Protection and Jobs unit, reporting to the Practice Manager for the unit. The position will involve frequent interaction with government counterparts, other donor agencies, and counterparts within SPJ and across units of the World Bank.


The Senior Social Protection Economist/Specialist will lead select operations and analytical tasks. Specifically, the successful candidate would be expected to lead the social protection and jobs engagement in Cote D’Ivoire (with a flagship new SP PforR, a regional ID operation and innovative ASA), and lead or contribute to operational and analytical engagements in other countries in the country group (Benin, Guinea and Togo). They would be expected to play a leading role in supporting the implementation of the SP system PforR and to lead and contribute to analytical and policy work on adaptive social protection and jobs.

Major responsibilities include:

• Lead or be co-lead on select investment operations in the areas of safety nets and youth employment.  Lead SPJ components of Development Policy Operations.

• Lead or co-lead team analytical tasks and policy dialogue in the areas of adaptive social protection, including economic inclusion, shock-responsive safety nets, and financing of social protection, as well as jobs and youth employment.  As required, lead tasks related to human capital development, women’s empowerment, labor mobility, and social protection for the informal sector.

• As team lead or team member in select country teams, lead high-level policy dialogue on social protection, youth and jobs, and emerging cross-cutting areas with responsible agencies and line Ministries, Ministries of • Finance, and key sector ministries as needed.

• Ensure strong coordination and teamwork within the SPJ program and in particular liaising across Global Practices to support joint programming and analytical activities to strengthen program delivery and to promote common outcomes and to address multi-sectoral challenges such as human capital development, adaptive social protection including expanded coverage to urban informal sector, digitalized social protection, jobs, employment and labor mobility/migration.

• Coordinate, collaborate, and find synergies working with other partners in-country, such as humanitarian agencies and the private sector, to address complex, multi-dimensional problems.

• Ensure high quality implementation support to the Government implementation team and oversight of risk management issues working with relevant safeguards experts. Oversee overall program supervision activities for the ongoing SPJ operations, including financial management, procurement and trust fund management.

• Develop and support new business areas of engagement.

• Promote strong team leadership within the overall SP&J team(s), participating in team leadership discussions and planning on a regular basis and providing mentoring to junior and new staff members.

• Serve as a core member of select Country Teams, providing inputs into strategic country work and advice to the CMU as needed.

• Contribute to the global knowledge base of the Social Protection & Jobs GP and other country programs, as agreed with the Practice Manager.


Selection Criteria



• Graduate degree and minimum of master’s level qualification in economics, social policy or related sector
• Minimum of eight years of directly relevant experience in social protection and/or safety nets. Experience and substantive skills in social protection policy
• Strong analytical profile with proven track record of leading innovative research such as social protection system diagnostics, PERs or impact evaluations
• Experience in World Bank operations as demonstrated through TTL-ship and/or being core team member for lending operations. TF accreditation.
• Experience with multi-sectoral social protection programming
• Demonstrated international experience, including within low capacity and fragile environments. Experience working on social protection in the context of forced displacement preferred.
• Experience working with clients to build capacity and engage in dialogue on social protection and service delivery
• Experience working with multiple development partners to harmonize support for Government-led programming

Technical Ability

• Experience in leading analytical and technical assistance activities designed to support the development and strengthening of social protection programs
• Proven ability to carry-out independent policy-relevant research, translate theory into practical applications, and adapt professional knowledge and technical skills to analyse, diagnose and propose solutions to policy issues and challenges
• Knowledge of social safeguards policies of the World Bank within the context of a SP&L program
• Knowledge of WB financing instruments and operational procedures. 

Client Orientation

• Strong engagement and policy dialogue skills with high-level counterparts and other stakeholders; client focused with an ability to provide prompt and high quality responses
• Ability to maintain client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
• Ability to advise, influence and promote consensus among different stakeholders
• Experience in managing diverse and sometimes competing interests and perspectives to arrive at consensus 

Team Leadership, Collaboration, and Inclusion

• Demonstrated ability to lead teams. Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work in a team and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision
• Proven track record of multi-tasking, managing competing demands and effectively time-manage tasks
• Proven ability to identify and develop new and creative partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organisations
• Ability to work in a collaborative way, delivering cross-support and building relationships around a common goal


• Evidence of strong interpersonal skills, judgement.
• Evidence of sharing and conveying complex technical issues, in accessible format: written, spoken.
• Proficiency in English and French

In addition to the above, the successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies:

General Knowledge and Analytical Skills: 

Stays current on trends and literature pertaining one’s area of expertise. Possesses cross-country knowledge and demonstrates ability to address issues at a broader level, as well as in depth. Demonstrates ability to link the macro, the institutional, and the micro-level behaviors and can identify the relevant sectoral analysis. Able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools. Proven ability to conceptualize, design, and implement major tasks, including through leading and participating in task teams of lending and non-lending operations.

Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena: 

Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level, and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.

Policy Dialogue Skills: 

Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Is able to anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Is able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.

Social Protection Knowledge and Experience: 

Has experience leading social protection work and dealing with institutional design and implementation issues, including on building social protection systems. Is able to conceptualize issues and help clients develop flexible and creative approaches to social protection strategy. Can contribute to regional and sectoral strategies, products and tasks, and understands the principles of evaluation and the interpretation of their results. Knowledge and expertise in agriculture, natural resource management and climate change is an asset.

Integrative Skills: 

Is able to link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work, and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.

Lead and Innovate: 

Encourages and works with others to identify, incubate and implement relevant solutions. Identifies opportunities in changing circumstances and energizes others to continuously improve, using intentional strategies to boost morale, team spirit, and productivity in context of WBG’s values and mission. Helps others to understand problems, client needs and the underlying context.

Deliver Results for Clients: 

Develops and implements solutions that show understanding of how clients and/or own work achieves results that are financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. Shares new insights based on in-depth understanding of the client and recommends solutions for current and future needs of clients. Holds self and team accountable for risk management and outcomes.

Collaborate within Teams and Across Boundaries:

Collaborates across organizational boundaries, internally and externally with a sense of mutuality and respect. Consistently engages others in open dialogue, brings out any conflicting viewpoints and incorporates viewpoints into solutions, giving credit where credit is due. Leverages expertise of all team members to ensure successful outcomes. Makes choices and sets priorities with a WBG corporate perspective in mind.

Create, Apply and Share Knowledge:

Ensures systematic sharing of good practice and learning from lessons from across WBG, clients, and partners. Is known across WBG in their subject area and is sought out by WBG colleagues to advise, peer review, or contribute to knowledge products of others. Seeks mentoring opportunities with more experienced staff to deepen or strengthen their professional knowledge and mentors junior staff. Builds networks across the WBG and as part of external professional groups/networks.

Make Smart Decisions:

Applies critical thinking and seeks inputs and experience from others to recommend a course of action consistent with the WBG’s strategy. Evaluates risk and anticipates the short and long term implications of decisions. Commits to a decision and takes action once a decision has been reached.

Competencies (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.

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