Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist at World Bank


World Bank Recruitment 2021 is open for suitably qualified candidates. Apply for World Bank Group Job Recruitment 2021 which closes at the specified deadline. It was established in 1944 and is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Social Development Specialist / Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist, Nigeria

Job #: req11628
Location: Abuja,Nigeria
Grade: GG
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Social Development
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

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 urgent global challenges.

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

Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice

  • The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice 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 Practice engages with citizens, communities, and governments to deepen resilience, build inclusion, and empower vulnerable and marginalized groups to have influence and voice.
  • It prioritizes participatory, multi-sectoral approaches that build on norms and informal institutions to address social challenges and to build more inclusive, empowered communities.
  • The Practice also works across the Bank’s portfolio to implement the Environment and Social Framework (ESF) standards.
  • The ESF offers an overarching platform for fostering inclusive approaches to ensure vulnerable groups benefit from Bank investments and mitigate against related risks.
  • The Social Sustainability and Inclusion strategy aims to promote inclusive sustainable development anchored on three pillars:
    • Social Inclusion: (i) enhancing opportunities for equality and inclusion of all people irrespective of income level, geography, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation or other grounds of discrimination; (ii) advancing inclusive laws, regulations, policies and institutions;  and (iii) investing in access to markets and services for hard to reach and marginalized groups living in lagging regions.
    • Social Resilience: (i) strengthening social risk management for social sustainability; (ii) enhancing social cohesion and opportunities in fragile communities; (iii) strengthening social resilience to climate extremes and natural hazards; and (iv) supporting emergency response and an inclusive recovery from COVID-19.
    • Social Empowerment: (i) supporting community empowerment for more effective service delivery; (ii) fostering accountable governance including from the bottom up; and (iii) promoting community-driven women empowerment and livelihood support programs.

Three overarching priorities of the Global Practice are to strengthen:

  • The analytics that underpin our country dialogue, operations, social risk management across the Bank’s portfolio, and engagements on the global agenda exploiting traditional and new sources of data and analytical tools, including digital tools;
  • The synergies between operational interventions (ASAs and financing) and the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) to help deliver on the promise of the ESF to bring a development focus to social risk management of the Bank’s portfolio; and

The Community Driven Development operational instrument to more consistently focus on social dimensions of climate change, digital applications for community learning, empowerment and livelihoods, and norms and behavior change.

Nigeria Country Context

  • A key regional player in West Africa, Nigeria accounts for about half of West Africa’s population with approximately 202 million people and one of the largest populations of youth in the world. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse federation which consists of 36 autonomous states and the Federal Capital Territory.
  • With an abundance of natural resources, it is Africa’s biggest oil exporter, and has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent. While Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, its human capital development remains weak due to under-investment. The country ranked 169 of 175 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index..
  • The country continues to face massive developmental challenges, including the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, build strong and effective institutions, as well as address governance issues and strengthen public financial management systems. These pre-existing structural challenges have left the Nigerian economy especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences. Inequality, in terms of income and opportunities, remains high and has adversely affected poverty reduction.
  • The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, regional inequality, and social and political unrest. Without the COVID-19 shock (the counterfactual scenario), about 2 million Nigerians were expected to fall into poverty in 2020 as population growth outpaces economic growth. With COVID-19, the recession was expected to push an additional 5 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020, bringing the total newly poor to 7 million.


  • The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice has a growing work program in Nigeria, encompassing project loans and grants, advisory and analytical programs and active partnerships supporting a wide range of engagements focusing on fragility, conflict and violence (FCV); social cohesion and resilience;  women empowerment and gender equality, social inclusion, citizen engagement and social accountability;  and social risk management.
  • SAWS1, one of the two Social Sustainability and Inclusion units in West and Central Africa, is looking to recruit a Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist to lead our engagement on FCV and social cohesion in Nigeria.
  • The Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist will be based in Abuja, Nigeria and will report directly to SAWS1 Practice Manager.
  • The Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist will be expected to work closely with the CMU and task teams in the country.
  • The selected candidate will also be expected to work collaboratively and develop good relations with other Global Practice teams, Global Solution Groups and Global Theme teams specializing in Gender and Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV).

Duties and Accountabilities

  • The Senior Social Development/Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist will be responsible for managing the planning of large, complex, and strategically significant activities currently led/co-led by the Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice.
  • She/he will provide oversight, coordination, and strategic guidance for the implementation of activities according to agreed work plans and corresponding deliverables.
  • She/he will also coordinate the implementation of the activities in the broader context of World Bank’s contributions to the Government of Nigeria’s development agenda.

In particular, she/he will focus on the following specific areas:

  • As co-Task Team Leader, provide strategic leadership and technical support to all aspects of the implementation of the $376 million Multi-sector Crisis Recovery Project for North Eastern Nigeria (MCRP), with a primary focus on Component One (Peacebuilding and Strengthening Social Cohesion and Livelihoods) and other social development aspects. This will include day-to-day interaction with the four Project Coordination Units and regular travel to the North-East.
  • Serve as main focal point / coordinator within the World Bank Nigeria Team for FCV issues, including the North-East program. This will include leading the engagement toward delivery of the core objective of ‘reducing fragility in the North-East and other areas affected by conflict’ in the FY21-25 Country Partnership Framework (CPF), as well as leadership of a planned new advisory and analytical program on FCV issues.
  • He/she will promote coherence, communication and collaboration among World Bank activities. Externally, this will involve participation in donor coordination fora and the fostering of close partnerships and common approaches with UN agencies, bilaterals and other stakeholders, to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
  • Lead or co-lead donor-supported activities (Trust Funds) to provide technical assistance for strengthening Nigerian systems for recovery planning, coordination, and peacebuilding.
  • Actively engage in efforts  to promote evidence-based approaches and policy updates to foster social cohesion, conflict sensitivity, community empowerment, resilience, and violence prevention. This will include advising proposed projects in preparation to address desertification and strengthen livestock productivity. It will also include playing a central role in cross-portfolio efforts to enhance Bank support for implementation in high-risk environments, including on security risk management and third-party monitoring.
  • Support Nigerian participation in Regional Lake Chad coordination fora, the implementation of regional programs and the strengthening of regional structures. This will include supporting implementation of the regional activities of MCRP, which covers the Nigeria part of the regional program supported by Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project (PROLAC) in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, as well as potentially supporting the implementation of PROLAC ite and the preparation of additional financing for the same project. It will also cover engagement with regional bodies including the Lake Chad Governors’ Forum.
  • Expand the Social Sustainability and Inclusion support to the country, and develop sound programs and policy options, including in the areas of effective prevention and response to fragility, conflict and violence; support to displaced people, host communities and returnees; and implementation of IDA19/IDA20 policy priorities.
  • Develop and lead analytical work that informs the social development aspects of key policy and operational decisions in areas such as gender equality, social inclusion, poverty reduction, social resilience, and local service delivery. Work with internal and external partners to enhance the knowledge and understanding of FCV drivers and their economic and social impacts within Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad region.
  • Contribute to the elaboration of strategies, project concept and policy analysis relevant to the Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice; participate in cross-practice teams responsible for the preparation of policy notes, Systematic Country Diagnostics,  CPFs, risk and resilience analysis,  sector studies, and research and policy development activities on the full range of social development topics.
  • Actively contribute to the creation of global knowledge on FCV social sustainability and inclusion issues.
  • Contribute to the identification of business opportunities for the Social Sustainability and Inclusion team in consultation with clients and the country unit.
  • Guide and mentor junior staff; and supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank operational policies.
  • Contribute to the Unit’s briefs, blogs, strategy documents, and papers on critical social development issues for both internal and external audiences.

Selection Criteria

  • This position is suited to constructive, highly motivated team players with an eye for detail, understanding of the bigger picture context of operations, and creative problem-solving abilities.
  • The successful candidate should have strong operational and analytical skills, have practical experience handling complex/sensitive social development issues through participatory processes of stakeholder engagement, and be able to integrate social development considerations in an operational context.
  • Master’s Degree or PhD in Social Sciences (Gender Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Development, Public Health, Conflict and Violence Prevention etc.), and a minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in social/community development, inclusion, resilience, etc.
  • Demonstrated team leadership experience and operational skills and experience in the areas of community empowerment, social inclusion, forced displacement, citizen engagement, local service delivery, community driven development, fragility, conflict and violence in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Experience with managing operations in low capacity, fragile and conflict-affected environments, working on complex multi-sectoral development challenges and working in a federal system.
  • Knowledge and experience in addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s ESF and social safeguards policies in complex and challenging settings, and across practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and actionable, practical recommendations.
  • Experience in contributing to high-level strategic decisions and technical support to government counterparts, policy makers, beneficiaries, community-based organizations, and development partners on effective approaches to close gender gaps.
  • Proven capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, government counterparts, beneficiaries of Bank projects, and civil society organizations; ability to effectively negotiate and build consensus to achieve constructive outputs.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, communication, 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to work across practices, work in cross-thematic teams, foster teamwork, and mentor junior staff.


  • Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of government and non-government partners.
  • Social inclusion, empowerment, and resilience – Experience in successfully applying social sustainability and inclusion principles and good practice, covering issues of FCV, inclusion and non-discrimination of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, stakeholder engagement, etc.
  • Social Development implications on policies, institutions, and operations –Solid understanding of the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations.
  • Participation and Consultation – Extensive experience conducting social development consultative and participatory approaches, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the interventions.
  • Analytical Tools for Social Sustainability – Extensive experience conducting social development analyses, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the tools.
  • Integrative Skills – Understand relevant cross-practice areas and how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-practice work in lending and non-lending operations.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interact with clients at the policy level.
  • Lead and Innovate – Develop innovative solutions with others.
  • Deliver Results for Clients – Achieve results and identify mission-driven solutions for the client.
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiate collaboration across boundaries and broadly across the World Bank Group and bring differing ideas into the forefront.
  • Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Create, apply, and share knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and or external client solutions.
  • Make Smart Decisions – Recommend and take decisive action.


  • Required Language(s): English
  • Preferred Language(s): French.

Application Closing Date
30th April, 2021 at 11:59pm UTC.

How to Apply for World Bank Recruitment 2021
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


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