Sr. Social Development Specialist

World Bank

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of low and middle income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group. The World Bank's most recently stated goal is the reduction of poverty

Job Information

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    Duty Station Kathmandu
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    Type of Appointment
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    No. of Openings 1 opening
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    Salary Negotiable / Monthly
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    Job Level : Senior Level
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    Job Experience : 8+ Years
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    Job Category Development & Project
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    Job Qualification : Master
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    Posted Date : May 06, 2021

Job Description

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

The South Asia Region Context

The South Asia Region comprises eight countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) that range in size from India (with a population of over 1 billion) to Maldives (with 0.3 million people). The region has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years. It was the second-fastest growing region in the world in the aftermath of the global crisis. This strong growth has translated into declining poverty and impressive improvements in human development. The percentage of people living below the poverty line fell in South Asia from 56% to 16% between 1981 and 2013. Still, the region remains home to a third of the world’s poorest, with 216 million people living below $1.9/day.

The South Asia 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 GP:

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice (SSI GP) helps countries tackle deep rooted social problems stemming from fragility, climate change, exclusion, and the digital age with people-centered solutions that build on local values and institutions. The GP engages with citizens, communities, and governments to deepen resilience, build inclusion, and empower vulnerable and marginalized groups to have influence and voice.  The GP prioritizes participatory, multi-sectoral approaches that build on norms and informal institutions to address social challenges and to build more inclusive, empowered communities.  It also works across the Bank’s portfolio to implement the Environment and Social Framework (ESF) standards and strengthen inclusive development.

SSI in South Asia:

The South Asia region (SAR) has two SSI units (SSAS1 and SSAS2) which are 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 social safeguards policies on Involuntary Resettlement and Indigenous People and the implementation of the ESF; (iii) undertaking Advisory Services and Analytics in the form of thematic studies on social development issues and country social analysis; (iv) leading the preparation and supervision of lending operations that promotes inclusion of vulnerable groups including women, youth and Indigenous Peoples; (v) facilitating partnerships and dialogue with civil society through outreach and engagement; and (vi) ensuring corporate commitments are met in the areas of gender and citizen engagement.

The SSAS1 unit seeks a Senior Social Development Specialist to be based in Kathmandu, Nepal to serve as coordinator for social sustainability and inclusion for the country management unit (CMU) responsible for the Bank-supported program in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. The position will be based in Kathmandu, co-located with the Country Director, but travel is also expected to Sri Lanka and Maldives. The successful candidate will report to the SSI Practice Manager for SSAS1.

Role & Responsibilities:

The Senior Social Development Specialist/ Social Sustainability and Inclusion Coordinator for the SACSN CMU (covering Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Maldives) provides direct support to the CMU, Bank clients and Bank teams regarding social sustainability and inclusion, social risk management and citizen/ stakeholder engagement and works to ensure compliance with the Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and maximize the 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 Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives 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 support as required to the country teams to share knowledge and experience, solve problems and support compliance with the World Bank Environmental and Social Standards.

Policy dialogue:

• Proactively carry out policy dialogue regarding the implementation of the ESF and other aspects of the SSI strategic agenda 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 portfolio reviews on social sustainability and social risk management in close collaboration with the country-based social development specialists and consultants within the CMU. Maintain portfolio lists and update specialist assignments as needed;

• Actively participate in and contribute to PSIA, SCDs, CPFs, DPOs, CCDRs and other corporate products as relevant;

• Advise government counterpart agencies regarding policy options for improving social risk management, particularly land acquisition, resettlement and livelihood restoration; social risk mitigation planning; labor standards; institutional capacity development; and

• Work closely with environment colleagues to enhance the capacity of the client to implement the Bank’s ESF.

Analytical and advisory work, operational leadership and business development:

• Initiate and lead innovative studies, formal and informal analytical advisory activities and research work regarding key social development issues, notably related to participatory local governance and service delivery, including in decentralized/ federal governance structures; benefit-sharing in the context of hydropower and other large infrastructure investments; community-based natural resource management,  resilience, and locally-led climate action; gender mainstreaming and gender-based violence/ sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH); land tenure rights; Indigenous Peoples and cultural heritage; and child and forced labor.

• Initiate, lead and/or co-lead operational engagements in the above areas in collaboration with other global practices/ practice groups.

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 support to complex, High- and Substantial-risk projects during preparation and implementation;
• Identify ways to improve overall quality, consistency and due diligence across the portfolio;
• Provide guidance for management of project-related complaints and work directly with the GRS, OPCS and LEGEN for their resolution;
• Help identify, hire and supervise consultants and work with country-based colleagues on assignments and quality assurance of deliverables;
• Participate in regular coordination/review meetings with RSCs, RSAs, Global Leads and CCSAs as needed;
• Coordinate capacity building for PIUs and other country clients, project teams and consultants, and lead social risk management learning events;
• Coordination and joint quality review with ENB colleagues.


• 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 Nepal Country Office and the Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives country teams; and
• Work independently under general direction of the Practice Manager and Regional Standards Coordinator, and provide guidance and technical support for country-based social development colleagues and mentor junior staff.
• Other assignments as and when required by the Practice Manager.

Required Qualification & Experience

Advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in relevant social science (e.g., Sociology, Social Anthropology, Human Geography, Economics, and Political Science) or related fields.

• Minimum of 8 years of professional experience in social development topics, including social risk management, social inclusion, social accountability, community-driven development, fragility and conflict, gender, youth, etc.

• Experience in leading analytical and technical assistance activities in a team-based environment.

• Proven ability to carry-out independent policy-relevant research, translate theory into practical applications, and adapt professional knowledge and technical skills to analyze, diagnose and propose solutions to policy issues and challenges.

• Solid experience in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods and analysis.

• Proven knowledge of and experience with WB financing instruments and operational procedures including trust fund management.

• Demonstrated project/program management skills; aptitude to lead diverse teams in a decentralized environment.

• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and team skills, and ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced solutions to complex development problems, with a strong client focus.

• Excellent oral and written communications skills in English essential.

• Experience in the monitoring and evaluation of donor-financed and government projects a plus.

• Experience working on fragility, conflict, and violence issues desirable.

• Specific operational experience with social development programs including Community Driven Development, decentralization, gender, and social inclusion an advantage.

How to Apply

Deliver Results for Clients: Proactively addresses client’s stated and unstated needs.

• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries: Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly received diverse perspectives.

• Lead and Innovate: Develops innovative solutions.

• 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.

For information about WBG Core Competencies, please visit:

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