Senior Social Protection Specialist / Economist

The World Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd April, 2019

Job Description

Established in 1944, the WBG 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.

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). The World Bank is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions and thirteen Global Practices to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.

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. 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 is expected to work closely with 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. S/he may herself/himself lead specific tasks and may also contribute to other GP tasks as per business requirements. While Indonesia would be the major focus of the work, the candidate may at points be asked to advise or contribute to other SPJ country work programs in the region, work program in Indonesia 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 when needed.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Lead and/or be member of SPJ task teams on analytical and advisory service (ASA) efforts in multiple areas of SPJ. 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, social insurance and social security, skills development and jobs, and broadly, human capital development. Within these areas, the candidate may also contribute to multi-sectoral ASA work which could at times be led from other GPs.
  • Contribute to preparation and implementation of lending projects in the areas of social assistance, and skills development. The candidate would also where appropriate contribute to multi-sectoral lending operations in areas where SPJ is a contributing practice (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.
  • Contribute to strong team collaboration within the Indonesia SPJ team and with World Bank Group colleagues from other GPs, to develop holistic WBG solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality, household level vulnerability, and inclusive growth.
  • Contribute to the regional and global knowledge base of the SPJ GP.

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:


  • Graduate degree and minimum of master’s level credential in public policy, economics, or related relevant disciplines
  • Minimum of eight years of directly relevant experience in areas related to SPJ and/or service delivery, with experience working on social protection, labor market, and/or skill development particularly desired. 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 engaging with Indonesian government counterparts on social policy issues
  • Experience with SPJ policy analysis and/or large scale SPJ program implementation

Technical Ability

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Indonesian SPJ landscape (including political economy and institutional context) is essential; knowledge of core agencies involved in policy and implementation of SP programs in Indonesia would be highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills (quantitative and qualitative) to conduct analytical and technical assistance activities designed to support the development and strengthening of SPJ programs.
  • Knowledge of World Bank financing instruments and operational procedures would be highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated skills in effective knowledge transfer and capacity building

Client Orientation

  • Strong engagement and policy dialogue skills with high-level government counterparts 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.
  • Evidence of sharing and conveying complex technical issues, in accessible format: written, spoken in both English and Bahasa Indonesia.
  • 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. Demonstrates ability to link the macro, the institutional, and the micro-level behaviors and can identify the relevant sectoral analysis and support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills - Possesses political judgment, diplomatic acumen, and negotiating skills. Able to anticipate needs and requests and develop/offer relevant analysis and tools to clients. Able to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners on selected policy issues.
  • SPJ/Service Delivery Knowledge and Experience - Analytical and operational expertise in SPJ and/or service delivery. Priority will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in social protection and/or labor market and skill development.
  • Bank procedures, work-flow and internal division of labor – understands and follows Bank Policies and Procedures, including those for KM products and Trust Fund management.
  • Client Orientation - Record of developing strong internal and external client relationships. Capacity to interact effectively with a range of stakeholders within and outside the Bank. Good interpersonal communication and diplomacy skills.
  • Drive for Results - Takes ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results and has the personal organization to do so.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view. Proven ability to work in teams and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English required.
  • Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work


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