Senior Social Development Specialist

World Bank Group

Manila, Philippines

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 tackle their greatest development challenges. The WBG 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 WBG consists of five specialized institutions: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and – as of July 1, 2014 – has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients. For more information, visit
The SSI (formerly Social Development) 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. It 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 environmental and social framework (ESF) strengthen inclusive development. Cross-GP collaboration is critical for the ESF and for the direct operational work of the staff.
The SSI Unit 2 (SEAS2) in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region 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 social safeguards policies and the implementation of the ESF; (iii) undertaking Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) in the form of thematic studies on social development issues, country social analysis, and Reimbursable Advisory Services; (iv) leading the preparation and supervision of lending operations that promotes inclusion of vulnerable groups including women and youth often through a community-driven development approach (CDD); and (v) facilitating partnerships and dialogue with civil society through outreach and engagement.
The SEAS2 Unit is seeking a Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Safeguards Focal Point to lead social analysis and social risk management in the Bank’s operations in the Philippines Country Management Unit (CMU), which also covers Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand. The Senior Social Development Specialist would serve as the CMU Coordinator for social risk management and also provide technical support in the areas of gender, citizen engagement and social accountability, indigenous peoples, social resilience, and empowerment in World Bank supported operations.
The Senior Social Development Specialist will be based in Manila, Philippines and work closely with the Regional Safeguards Advisor (RSA) in Washington DC, the Lead Social Development Specialist for social risk management based in Singapore and is also expected to work closely with the CMU and task teams in the countries. They will report directly to the SEAS-2 Practice Manager and will help supervise and coordinate the social safeguards team for the Philippines CMU.
Duties & Responsibilities:
The selected candidate will have the following key responsibilities, as agreed with the Practice Manager, and based on annual Results Agreements:
  • Serve as CMU ESF Coordinator for BMPT countries coordinating with CMUs and regional teams in providing technical guidance and support to task teams on framing and incorporating social inclusion and resilience in projects.  
  • Lead and play a key role in discussions regarding portfolio on selected social development and inclusion topics.   
  • Lead and contribute in cross-practice teams responsible for preparation of Systematic Country Diagnosis (SCDs), Country Partnership Frameworks (CPFs), Development Policy Operations (DPOs), policy notes, sector studies, and research and policy development activities on the full range of social development and social sustainability topics.    
  • Provide direct operational social risk management support to operations, review ESF/social safeguards documentation, and support clients, consultants and technical specialists during preparation and implementation to ensure that social issues have been adequately addressed in compliance with WB ESF/Safeguards and policies.  
  • Provide technical and operational support to clients in operationalizing the Bank’s social standards and safeguard policies, focusing on land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, stakeholder engagement and consultation, grievance redress mechanisms, Indigenous peoples, cultural heritage and other social development and inclusion aspects.  
  • Work closely with regional focal point on Citizen Engagement to ensure, at a minimum, the portfolio remains compliant with corporate requirements.  
  • Lead and maintain engagement/dialogue on issues of social sustainability and inclusion with civil society organizations and institutions (Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), academia, the private sector, media etc.  
  • Lead or contribute to SSI-led analytical and operational engagements including engagements with internal and external clients on SSI business opportunities in areas such as ESG, Indigenous Peoples, Benefit Sharing, etc.  
  • Lead and manage in partnership with the Environment Global Practice (ENB) the ESF Capacity Building Plan (CDP) in collaboration with other colleagues.  
  • Supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards and requirements.  
  • Support, mentor, and coach a team of Social Safeguards Specialists, Extended-Term/Short-Term Consultants (ETCs/STCs) in handling complex technical, institutional, and program implementation issues regarding social risk management and social development in BMPT countries; and 
  • Ensure timely reporting on SSI activities, including ESF for the CMU, proactive monitoring, management, and preparation of relevant management briefs.
Selection Criteria:
  • This is a challenging position suited to a highly motivated professional with an eye for detail, strategic and dynamic context of operations, and creative problem-solving abilities. The successful candidate should have extensive demonstrated experience in complex project settings, addressing social risk management throughout the project life cycle – from design, through implementation, to closure. In addition, the specialist is expected to have operational and analytical experience, leading or co-leading work in other areas of the SSI business lines such as citizen engagement and social accountability, gender and social inclusion, community and local development, and social dimensions of climate change. 
  • At least a master’s degree in social sciences (i.e., Development Studies, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Gender and Development, International Development, Business Sustainability Management, and 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 urban development, large scale agriculture, water, energy and extractives, transport and roads and other development sectors. 
  • Knowledge and demonstrated competence in operationalizing the global sustainability frameworks of International Finance Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank’s ESF, 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 of projects on different populations, land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, resettlement planning and livelihood restoration, stakeholder engagement, stakeholder engagement and consultation, complaint and grievance redress mechanisms, community health and safety, social investment interventions, etc. Ability to innovate and strategically address these issues, balancing development imperatives against sustainability challenges, and remaining client focused. 
  • Leadership in managing teams, mentorship, interpersonal communication, problem solving, and change management. 
  • Excellent collaboration skills – in particular with the ENB team
  • Ability to develop innovative approaches to mitigate social risks or overcome difficult challenges across a range of investment projects. Demonstrated ability to work across practices, work in cross-thematic teams, foster teamwork, and junior mentor staff.  
  • Knowledge and experience of work with the Government of Philippines will be an advantage.
  • Proven capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, government counterparts, beneficiaries of Bank projects, and civil society organizations.  
  • 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 in essential, and the ability to make effective presentations to diverse audiences. Acting with integrity to build trust and to create an enabling environment as a team member or lead.
  • For internal candidates, prior work experience as a CMU ESF Coordinator for SSI and leading analytical and operations work is a plus.