Social Development Specialist – Social Development

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





Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group (WBG) 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 global development community is at an auspicious turning point in history. Thanks to the success of the past few decades and favorable economic growth, developing countries now have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation. This is the vision of the WBG: to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day to 3 percent by 2030 and promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40 percent in every country.

To achieve this vision, the WBG Board of Governors approved a strategy for the organization that utilizes the combined strength of the WBG institutions and their unique ability to partner with the public and private sectors to deliver customized development solutions backed by finance, world class knowledge and convening services. The strategy has three components: (1) maximizing development impact by engaging country clients in identifying and tackling the most difficult development challenges; (2) promoting scaled-up partnerships that are strategically aligned with the goals; and (3) crowding in public and private resources, expertise and ideas.

The architecture underpinning the strategy and instrumental to its success is the establishment of Global Practices and Cross-Cutting Solution Areas that, in concert with the WBG Regions, will design solutions that address clients’ most pressing developmental challenges, and ultimately, enable the WBG to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.


Social Development addresses issues related to: (a) social inclusion of the poor, the vulnerable, and the excluded; (b) promoting accountable institutions; (c) supporting socially cohesive communities and groups; (d) using community driven development as a tool for developing local infrastructure and delivering services; and (e) addressing issues related to social risk management, including those covered by the World Bank’s social safeguard policies on Indigenous Peoples and involuntary Resettlement, and by the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). The work on inclusion of vulnerable and excluded group covers, among others, issues related to LGBTI/SOGI, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, Afro-descendants, Indigenous Peoples, and displaced populations.


The World Bank Group serves 30 client countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region (LCR). Clients range from large rapidly growing sophisticated middle-income clients, to small Caribbean states. Despite immense resources, dynamic societies, and an average annual per capita income of about US$4,000, deep inequalities persist in most LCR countries, with nearly a quarter of people living in poverty. The World Bank Group’s support to LCR is focused on investing in human capital, strengthening the economic recovery, improving infrastructure, and protecting the poor.

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion (SSI) Unit in LCR is responsible for:  (i) undertaking social analysis during project preparation and implementation, to mainstream social development and inclusion issues throughout the Bank’s work in the region; (ii) ensuring compliance with the Bank’s ESF and social safeguards policies on Involuntary Resettlement and Indigenous People; (iii) undertaking Advisory Services and Analytics; (iv) leading the preparation and supervision of operations that promotes inclusion of vulnerable groups including women and youth; and (v) facilitating partnerships and dialogue with civil society through outreach and engagement.

The LCR SSI Unit is seeking to recruit a Social Development Specialist for the World Bank Office in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The Specialist will work under the supervision of the Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice Manager for LCR, and in close coordination with the Coordinator for Central America and the Dominican Republic.


– Act as a Social Development Specialist on projects implemented primarily in Central America; advising Task Teams and clients on the operational design and mechanisms to assess social opportunities and risks in Bank-funded operations; developing and evaluating proposed technical solutions; and assisting in the preparation and implementation of ESF project documentation.

– Provide guidance to clients on social development aspects to ensure the i) Bank’s social risk management standards are respected, and ii) social impact and sustainability of Bank-supported operations are enhanced.

– Contribute to policy dialogues with clients on social sustainability and inclusion (particularly on issues linked to indigenous and Afro-descendant populations in Central America).

– Carry out the implementation of the ESF and SSI agenda in Central America, in close collaboration with the country Coordinator, and advise Task Teams and other stakeholders on the interpretation and application of the ESF.

– Build client capacity on the implementation of the ESF, including on the monitoring and evaluation of social development activities and outcomes.

– Support the dialogue with the Country Management Unit for Central America to ensure the inclusion of social development matters in Systematic Country Diagnostics, Country Partnership Frameworks, and other strategic discussions.

– Engage with other Units and Departments; identifying opportunities for the LCR SSI team to maximize the positive social impacts of all Bank activities.

– Contribute to the preparation and review of policy notes, sector studies, and research and policy development activities on the full range of social development topics.

– Support other Social Development Specialists in handling complex technical, institutional and program implementation issues regarding social sustainability and inclusion.

– Participate in portfolio reviews of social risks and social development issues in Central America.

– Oversee the work of Social Development Short-Term Consultants and supervise the timeliness and quality of their deliverables.

– Serve as a mentor to more junior staff in the Unit.


Selection Criteria


* Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in social sciences (e.g., Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Law, Communications, etc.) or other relevant disciplines.

* At least five years of relevant experience.

* Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean – including on social assessments, stakeholder engagement/participatory processes, involuntary resettlement, and with vulnerable groups.

* Experience working with, and on issues related to, Afro-Descendant populations and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean.

* Good knowledge of the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and social safeguard policies (on e.g., Involuntary Resettlement, Indigenous Peoples, Citizen Engagement, Grievance Redress Mechanisms).

* Proven ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and operational, actionable, and practical recommendations.

* Experience in the preparation of project social risk and impact assessments, social risk management plans, capacity assessments, and institutional strengthening measures.

* Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Spanish.

* Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.


– Social Development Implications on Policy, Institutions, and Operations – Familiarity with the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations.

– Analytical Tools for Social Sustainability – Solid experience conducting social development analyses, producing meaningful results, and applying the tools during an operation.

– Participation and Consultation – Solid experience conducting social development consultative and participatory approaches and their use in operations.

– Social Safeguards – Familiarity with and ability to apply the social safeguard policies to a situation and identify issues and risks.

– Environmental and Social Standards – Familiarity with and ability to apply the new

– Environmental and Social Standards to diverse situations, quickly identifying key issues, risks, and opportunities.


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.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.