Senior Social Protection Economist/Specialist

World Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th August, 2020

Job Description


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. For more information, visit

The Social Protection and Jobs (SPJ) Global Practice (GP) delivers analytical and operational approaches and evidence-based solutions to help individuals and families manage risk, cope with chronic/transitional poverty, and access better livelihoods and jobs. These include:

  • Strategy, analysis, financing and design of programs delivering social safety nets/social assistance in the form of cash transfers, public works programs, and fee waivers.
  • Advisory and analytical services on design and delivery of contributory transfers (including old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, disability and survivor benefits), and their fiscal sustainability (including budget support for transitions).
  • Analysis, design and delivery of labor market and youth employment programs (with a focus on supply side interventions, as well as policy advice on labor market regulations and interventions.
  • Strategy, analysis, financing and design of integrated social protection delivery systems (e.g., payments, identification, registries, systems assessments) as underpinnings of effective social programs that can help cope with climatic shocks or underpin fiscal reforms.

World Bank’s Indonesia program is one of its largest in the world with activities that include an active program of engagement with central economic ministries, community driven development, education and infrastructure. Lending is currently around US$2 billion a year distributed over a broad mix of program, sector and investment loans. In addition, there are a large number of Trust Funds to support work in a range of sectors including education, investment, poverty and social protection.

The SPJ program in Indonesia one of the World Bank’s most significant social protection country-level engagements. Supported both by World Bank budget and a multi-year trust fund, the program aims to: (i) provide analytics and build analytical capacity to inform social protection policies, programs and strategies; (ii) support the government in the design, implementation and evaluation of key social protection programs; (iii) where there is client demand to provide financial support to the government and embed policy and technical advice into the design of lending operations; and (iv) improve the quality and accessibility of data required for SPJ analysis and policymaking.

In the area of social protection (SP), the World Bank advises on SP solutions, ranging from social assistance/safety nets to social insurance/social security, as well as skills development and jobs. In social assistance the focus is on developing, reforming, and strengthening key programs such as cash transfers, subsidies, activation and other safety net programs as well as strengthening of key associated elements of social assistance delivery systems such as targeting, identification and enrollment, payments, grievance redress, and family development programs. One major operation “Indonesia Social Assistance Reform Program” is currently under implementation and supports the conditional cash transfer program coverage expansion, strengthen its delivery system, and improve its coordination with other complementary social programs. In addition, it also supports the strengthening economic inclusion of the social assistance beneficiaries and Indonesia’s social registry. Another important operation “Investing in Nutrition and Early Years” under implementation also includes support to the government’s non-cash food assistance program to improve nutrition status of the bottom 25% population and reduce stunting among the first 1,000 days children. The SPJ team is also engaged on how to strengthen the role of social transfers in disaster response. In social insurance the focus is on informing social security policies programs and strategies and supporting the design and implementation of key social security programs. In skills development and jobs, the priorities are to support the government in improving pertinence and quality of its training and labor market information systems. There is a strong focus in our SP engagement on empirically based analytics and policy advice, as well as program monitoring and evaluation and a focus on strengthening program governance, oversight and supervision to ensure sustainability.

Duties and Accountabilities

The successful candidate will be a member of the East Asia and Pacific cluster of the SPJ GP and report to the Practice Manager of SPJ GP for East Asia and Pacific Region. S/he works as a core member of the SPJ team in the World Bank’s Jakarta Office to support the SPJ engagement in Indonesia and Timor Leste. S/he is expected to lead specific tasks and to work closely with other SPJ GP Task Team Leaders. S/he shall contribute to the successful day-to-day delivery of the overall SPJ programming efforts, analytical/technical work, technical assistance, lending, and close coordination and capacity building with government counterparts. While Indonesia and Timor Leste would be the major focus of the work, the candidate may be asked to advise or contribute to other SPJ country work programs in the region, work program in Indonesia and Timor Leste permitting.

The position will involve frequent interaction with government counterparts, universities, research think-tanks, and other donor agencies in Indonesia. Within the World Bank, she/her shall work with other GPs and contribute to multi-sectoral tasks as per business requirements.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Lead and/or serve as a team member in analytical and advisory service (ASA) tasks in one or multiple SPJ engagement areas in Indonesia. This would involve generation of evidence-based policy analysis and provision of technical assistance to the government on the delivery and reform of various SPJ programs with a focus on improving program delivery and introducing innovations to improve SPJ efficiency and effectiveness. The key focus areas include social assistance/social safety nets and broadly, human capital development. Other areas where the candidate may be called to contribute are social security, skills development and jobs, and identity management. Within these areas, the candidate may also contribute to multi-sectoral ASA work which could at times be led from other GPs.
  • Lead in preparation and implementation of lending projects in the area of social assistance and where appropriate contribute to other SPJ operations (e.g. skills) as well as multi-sectoral lending operations in areas where SPJ is a contributing GP (e.g., nutrition).
  • Liaise with government counterparts and other external agencies to support joint programming and analytical activities to strengthen the SP system and improve SPJ program delivery in Indonesia.
  • Curate knowledge and global best practices to the needs of government counterparts and specific Indonesia context. Generate knowledge and good practices from Indonesia engagement to contribute to the regional and global knowledge base of the SPJ GP.
  • Contribute to strong team collaboration within the Indonesia SPJ team and with WBG colleagues from other GPs, to develop holistic WBG solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality, household level vulnerability, and inclusive growth.

Selection Criteria

This position requires an individual with maturity, good judgment and the ability to work well with teams within the Bank and with senior government officials. The successful candidate will meet the following qualifications:


  • Minimum of master’s degree in public policy, economics, or related relevant disciplines, with at least eight years of work experience or corresponding combination of study and work experience. PhD in the areas of development economics, labor, or related field is desired.
  • Relevant work experience in areas related social protection, labor market, skill development, and/or service delivery. It is not expected that the candidate would have extensive experience in all these areas, but should have exposure on some and core skills that will allow for professional growth in areas of less prior exposure.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading analytical and technical assistance activities designed to support the development and strengthening of SP system, labor market, and human capital.
  • Experience with engaging with government counterparts on SPJ policy issues and/or SPJ program implementation.

Technical Skills

  • Excellent analytical skills (quantitative and qualitative) and proven ability to conduct 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.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of typical SPJ landscape (including political economy and institutional context) in middle- and low- income countries. Practical knowledge of SPJ policymaking and program implementation would be highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of World Bank financing instruments and operational procedures would be required.
  • Strong, practical experience in supporting or managing research activities that explore topics related to labor, labor mobility, skills and social assistance in both low- and middle-income countries. Demonstrated skills in effective knowledge transfer and capacity building

Client Orientation

  • Strong engagement and policy dialogue skills with policymakers, bureaucrats, opinion leaders, and other stakeholders; client focused with an ability to provide prompt and high-quality responses.
  • Capacity to take a central role in business development for the SPJ program in Indonesia, developing and leveraging relationships with clients to explore and expand client demand for services from the Bank (lending, policy advisory, analytical).
  • Strong ability to maintain client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge
  • Ability to advise, influence and promote consensus among stakeholders with diverse and sometimes competing interests and perspectives

Communication, Team Work, and Leadership

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work in a team and as well as to lead a team in intercultural environment, with minimal supervision.
  • Excellent communication skills of sharing and conveying complex technical issues, in accessible format in English, both written and oral. Demonstrated ability to take leadership and communicate ideas effectively under pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver on analysis of topics directly related to SPJ and generate a range of engagement products (presentations, policy briefs, memos, etc).
  • Ability to work in a collaborative way, delivering cross-support and building relationships around a common goal.
  • Proven ability to identify and develop new and creative partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations.
  • Curiosity and willingness to learn.

The candidate is required to have the following core competencies:

  • General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills: Stays current on trends and literature pertaining one's area of expertise. Possesses cross-country knowledge in economic specialty and demonstrates ability to address issues at a broader level, as well as in depth. Demonstrates ability to link the macro, the institutional, and the micro-level behaviors and can identify the relevant sectoral analysis. Able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools. Proven ability to conceptualize, design, and implement major tasks, including through leading and participating in task teams of lending and non-lending operations.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena: Has ability to translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies. Interacts with clients at the policy level and organizes and manages policy development initiatives in collaboration with other development agencies and donors. Ensures consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills: Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Applies cross-country development knowledge to discussions with clients and development partners. Can anticipate needs and requests in the field and develop/offer relevant tools to clients. Can conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues. Able to lead task teams, participate in formal negotiations, and assist government in establishing priorities.
  • SPJ Knowledge and Experience: Has experience leading social protection work and dealing with institutional design and implementation issues. Can conceptualize issues related to social protection and labor (including rationales for intervention, policy options, design and implementation features, and political economy considerations) and help clients develop flexible and creative approaches to social protection and labor strategy. Has strong expertise in one or both of the following: Social Assistance/Safety Nets (working to improve the appropriateness, adequacy, equity, effectiveness, incentives compatibility, and sustainability); and Social Protection Delivery Systems (such as targeting, household registry, payment validation, MIS, control of fraud and error, contribution collection, and administration of social funds). Expertise in one of the following areas are desirable: Social Insurance (working to improve the fiscal sustainability and adequacy of pension and other social insurance systems); and Labor (working to improve labor market programs, youth programs, labor market regulations and institutions, core labor market standards, skills and productivity). Can contribute to regional and sectoral strategies, products and tasks, and understands the principles of evaluation and the interpretation of their results. Has broad cross-sectoral knowledge relevant to SPJ in one or more of these areas - Health, Education, Social Development, and Finance and Private Sector), and ability to work effectively across sectors and networks.
  • Integrative Skills: can link all relevant cross-sectoral areas to own work and understands how they are interrelated. Draws on diverse, cross-sectoral teams to enhance the rigor of advice on cross-cutting and sectoral issues. For operations roles, demonstrates ability to undertake cross-sectoral work, in lending and non-lending operations.

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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