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Sr. Social Development Specialist

World Bank

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Banque et Assurances
Sr. Social Development Specialist

Job # : req11580
Organization : World Bank
Sector : Social Development
Grade : GG
Term Duration : 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type : International Recruitment
Location : Abidjan,Cote d'Ivoire
Required Language(s) : English, French
Preferred Language(s) :
Closing Date : 5/10/2021 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


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.  For more information, visit

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.

Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.

In West and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 350 projects totaling more than $38 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation- all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives. Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87% of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved.

Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID. 

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region :

The Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food, Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water.

Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice

Social Sustainability and Inclusion – formerly known as Social Development – reflects the World Bank’s focus on addressing long lasting barriers to development, strengthening the focus on people who have been excluded from economic and social opportunities, and increasing investment in inclusive growth. 


The Senior Social Development Specialist/CMU Social Development and Social Risk Coordinator for AWCF2 (Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo and Guinea) provides direct support to the CMU, Bank clients and Bank teams regarding social sustainability, social risk management and stakeholder engagement and works to ensure compliance with the Bank’s Environmental and Social

Framework (ESF) and maximize social impact of Bank financed projects. Main responsibilities include :

Actively participate in project teams and provide high quality technical support to Borrowers and clients regarding the identification, preparation and implementation of social risk management measures, ESF compliance and other efforts to enhance the social sustainability of projects;
Support the design and implementation of activities designed to manage the social risks especially for high and substantial risk projects in close collaboration with the assigned country based social development specialists and consultants;
Lead the social development interface with the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo and Guinea and the CMU in order to provide technical expertise to address and resolve implementation and compliance challenges as they relate to social risk and social development; and
Provide cross-support as required to the various teams across the CMU to share knowledge and experience, problem solve and support compliance with the World Bank Environmental and Social Standards.
Policy work :  
Proactively carry out dialogue regarding the implementation of the ESF with policy makers and government officials, international development partners, civil society, and other stakeholders and coordinate the Bank's relations with clients regarding social development;
Lead regular CMU portfolio reviews on social sustainability and social risk management in close collaboration with the country based social development specialists and consultants. Maintain portfolio lists and update specialist assignments as needed;
Actively participate in PSIA, SCDs, CPFs, DPOs and other corporate products as relevant;
Advise government counterpart agencies regarding policy options for improving social risk management, particularly resettlement, social risk mitigation planning, labor and institutional capacity development; and Work closely with environment colleagues to enhance the capacity of the client to implement the Bank’s ESF.

Analytical work :
Initiate and lead innovative studies, formal and informal analytical advisory activities and research work regarding key social development issues, notably related to local governance and service delivery, gender mainstreaming and SEA/H, land property and tenure rights and child and forced labor.

Capacity building :
Participate in developing sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms and strategies;
Work with country based social development colleagues and project teams to strengthen client capacity, deliver regular ESF training on specific social standards and tailored to individual projects and sectors.

Social Risk Quality Assurance and Coordination :

Lead most Category “A”/High/Substantial risk projects in CMU portfolio especially during preparation;
Identify ways to improve overall quality, consistency and due diligence (including TESP) across the portfolio;
Provide guidance for management of project related complaints and work directly with the GRS and OPCS for their resolution;
Help identify, hire and supervise consultants and work with country-based colleagues on assignments and quality assurance of deliverables;
Regular coordination/review meetings with RSCs, RSAs, Global Leads and CCSAs as needed;
Coordinate capacity building for PIUs, project teams, consultants and lead social risk management BBLs on key topics especially related to AWCF2 specific issues and lessons learned;
Coordination and joint quality review with ENV colleagues.

Other :
Identify potential partnerships as well as new opportunities for engagement around social development aimed at advancing social development in general and social risk management in particular at HQ, regional and country level;
Participate as an active member of the Country Office and Country Team; and Work independently under general direction of the Practice Manager, Regional Standards Coordinator and provide guidance and technical support for country based social development colleagues and mentor junior staff. 

Selection Criteria

Advanced degree in relevant social science (social anthropology, sociology, political science, law, human geography, etc.) with at least 8 years of relevant work experience in social risk management in West Africa and/or elsewhere in the subregion;
Extensive knowledge and experience in addressing the wide range of issues covered by the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) in complex and challenging settings and across operational sectors;
Demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy action and practical, operationally relevant recommendations;
Recognized expertise in involuntary resettlement and physical relocation, land acquisition and in the analysis, assessment and monitoring of resettlement plans and livelihood restoration;
Experience with community consultation and the preparation, implementation and monitoring of Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEPs);Ability to present complex social safeguards and social development issues in a simple way to people of different technical backgrounds;
Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with Government, private sector, project beneficiaries and civil society;
Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving skills and an ability to think innovatively and strategically to find solutions to complex development and compliance challenges;
Demonstrated ability to anticipate needs in the field and to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners to develop strategies to meet these needs;
Demonstrated ability to lead and work as part of a team to develop innovative solutions to complex social risk management problems;
Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client;
Demonstrated ability to create, apply and share knowledge from a range of sources to strengthen internal and or external client solutions;
Demonstrated ability to work in and actively contribute to teams and foster a positive team dynamic;
Experience working in a multicultural setting;
Experience deploying technology innovations for key social development themes would be an asset;
Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French.


Lead and Innovate – Develops innovative solutions.
Deliver Results for Clients – Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Applies knowledge across WBG to strengthen solutions for internal and/or external clients. Make Smart Decisions – Interprets a wide range of information and pushes to move forward.
Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

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