Senior Social Development Specialist

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World Bank Group




Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group 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 

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Unit 1 (SEAS1) is one of two units in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region (the other being SEAS2) 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 promote 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, 

SEAS1 is seeking a Senior Social Development Specialist to be based in Suva, Fiji. The Country Management Unit (CMU) for the Pacific portfolio is based in Sydney (including the Country Director and Operations Manager) and a Country Manager is based in Fiji, who is responsible for Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and Kiribati. 

The selected candidate will report directly to the SEAS1 Social Development Practice Manager based in Singapore; day to day coordination and support in the region will be provided by the Pacific CMU social risk management focal point based in Sydney.

The Senior Social Development Specialist will work across the Pacific Islands region to:

  • provide technical support on social risk management issues across the portfolio, working with environmental counterparts to ensure projects meet ESF standards; 
  • support the EAP social risk management quality assurance processes, including project document review and contributing to ESF streamlining initiatives; and
  • support regional partnerships, dialogues and capacity-building initiatives to strengthen country and sector level social and environmental risk management systems.


The main role and responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • Ensure the effective integration of social due diligence as defined by the ESF and Safeguard Policies into the design, appraisal, and implementation of Bank financed projects, with a focus on countries in the Pacific Country Management Unit.
  • Building a strong relationship with the Fiji country office, and in-country E&S stakeholders.  
  • Provide senior level technical support to social risk team members, particularly on substantial and high risk, and/or complex operations. This could include provision of technical and/or sector specific advice or guidance relating to specific lending instruments. 
  • Guide the borrower/project implementation agency in process of preparing the necessary project instruments and review them for quality; provide well-written summaries of key safeguards instruments for inclusion in project documentation; and assist with the Environmental and Social Risk Classifications (ESRCs) and the preparation of the Environmental and Social Commitment Plans (ESCPs). 
  • Provide expert guidance and support for the screening of Bank projects for environmental risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities and identify risk management opportunities including labor influx, occupational health and safety, land access and resettlement, social dimensions of climate change, sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse and stakeholder engagement.
  • In accordance with the Bank’s ESF, determine and manage E&S risk, use the ESSs related guidance and good practice notes, as well as internationally accepted good industry practice for informed decision making.
  • During both preparation and implementation, seek opportunities to improve the social outcomes of the project including its design. Work closely with the project task team and environmental counterparts and provide back up support as required. 
  • Lead and contribute to capacity building activities at project, sector, country and/or regional levels, working in close collaboration with environment specialists. This could include developing capacity building tools and training or contributing to sectoral and/or regional capacity building initiatives.   
  • Work with the Regional ESF/social focal point, to identify and address emerging E&S issues and provide guidance to borrowers and internal stakeholders.
  • Lead and/or provide input into ongoing and emerging analytics being undertaken in the Pacific region.  This could include country system assessment for Pacific Island countries; studies and policy on addressing the social dimensions of climate change; country level analytics in relation to social issues such as land access and resettlement, cultural practices or grievance systems.  
  • Participate in review meetings and represent SEAS1 in relevant Bank-wide initiatives; represent the Bank in development partner or regional organization meetings on social issues as requested; and contribute to knowledge generation and dissemination within the region and beyond.
  • Regularly update and complete all project related reporting requirements in Bank system and provide project related synopsis to management as and when required.
  • Contributing to the briefs, blogs, strategy documents, and papers on critical social development issues for both internal and external audiences.
  • Mentor junior staff.

Selection Criteria:

  • At least a Master’s degree in relevant Social Sciences (i.e., Development Studies, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Social Science, Gender and Development, International Development, Business Sustainability Management, or related subjects).  
  • A minimum of 8 years of direct professional experience in managing social and environmental risks in high risk and complex infrastructure projects in energy and extractives sector, transport and roads, urban development, large scale agriculture. 
  • Knowledge and demonstrated competence in operationalizing the global sustainability frameworks of International Finance Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework, IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards, the Asian Development Bank’s Safeguards Policies and Standards and standards of other Development Partners. This includes experience in leading and/or managing the following thematic issues in projects settings: social impact assessment, large scale land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, resettlement planning and livelihood restoration, stakeholder engagement and consultation, complaint and grievance redress mechanisms, community health and safety, social investment interventions, etc. 
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate and strategically address social issues, balancing development imperatives against sustainability challenges, and remaining client-focused.
  • Familiarity with social sustainability concepts and efforts to strengthen country social and environmental  risk management systems is required.
  • Familiarity with Environmental and Social Governance concepts is desirable.
  • Familiarity with the social dimensions of carbon finance is desirable.
  • Knowledge of the development challenges facing small island states and experience working across the Pacific region is desirable. 
  • Familiarity with working in states and areas affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence is desirable.
  • Demonstrated track record of integrity and behavioral skills to build trust and to create an enabling teamwork environment. 
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to multi-task, prioritize and be versatile enough to deal with frequent and unexpected changes and work within tight project schedules. 
  • Ability to operate in a multi-cultural environment, manage multiple tasks, identify and respond to evolving project contexts, and remain flexible and self-motivated in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment. 
  • Excellent oral and writing skills in English are essential, and the ability to make effective presentations to diverse audiences.
  • Initiative and self-motivation; flexibility and willingness to travel frequently, including to remote locations.





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