Social Development Specialist

The World Bank, Cairo, Egypt

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
16th October, 2018

Job Description

Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. 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). 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.


The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promote shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.


The SURR GP covers a wide gamut:

  • developing green, inclusive and resilient cities;
  • addressing the social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups through accountable institutions, and ensuring efficient infrastructure and service delivery system in compliance with social safeguards;
  • enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and
  • assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban drainage, coastal management, energy efficiency and retrofitting of infrastructure), disaster preparedness (including hydromet services, early warning systems, and civil defense), risk financing (including CAT-DDO), and resilient reconstruction (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment). A key responsibility of the GP is to provide professional expertise and operational support to other GPs to implement the WBG social policies (including the WB’s social safeguards policies) to deliver sustainable development results that ensure that any adverse impacts of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated.


The Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA) at the World Bank serves 21 client countries with a total population of about 335 million. Clients range from upper middle-income countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which are more interested in the Bank’s Reimbursable Technical Assistance, analytical and advisory services; to IBRD middle income countries such as Egypt, Iraq and Morocco, and two IDA countries, Yemen and Djibouti where more traditional Bank services are required. Hence the range of needs for advice, support and cross-fertilization of experiences is wide and challenging. The MNA Social, Urban and Disaster Risk Management Unit (MNA SUR) consists of 30 team members including in four country offices (Cairo, Sanaa, Riyadh and Jerusalem). The portfolio comprises a diverse set of projects under supervision and has an active lending pipeline which is poised for further growth.

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the MNA Region is undergoing radical transformations with impacts throughout the Region. Given the ongoing fragility and conflict in the region, the World Bank Group has prepared a new regional strategy for the Middle East and North Africa. Instead of taking conflict and violence as given and working around it, this new strategy, entitled - "Economic and Social Inclusion for Peace and Stability in the Middle East and North Africa: A New Strategy for the World Bank Group" - puts the goal of promoting peace and social stability in the MENA region at its center. The strategy is built around four pillars (“the 4 R’s”) that respond to both the underlying causes of conflict and violence as well as the urgent consequences though development interventions that foster inclusion and shared prosperity. The four pillars of the strategy are as follows:

  • Renewing the social contract – to generate a new development model that is built on greater citizen trust; more effective protection of the poor and vulnerable; inclusive and accountable service delivery; and a stronger private sector that can create jobs and opportunities for MENA’s youth;
  • Regional cooperation – particularly around regional public goods and sectors such as education, water, and energy so as to foster greater trust and collaboration across MENA countries;
  • Resilience - to refugee and migration shocks by promoting the welfare of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host communities by focusing on building trust and building their assets; and
  • Reconstruction and recovery – through a dynamic approach that brings in external partners, leverages large scale financing, and move beyond humanitarian response to longer-term development wherever and whenever conflict subsides.

In implementing this strategy, the WBG will rely heavily on both deepening and expanding partnerships with national, regional, and global actors.

On the basis of the above, the MNA GSURR Team works across a complex institutional environment, in partnership with many different units within the Bank given the cross-cutting nature of social issues, and task managing Economic Sector Works (ESWs), technical assistance programs and projects that focus on youth, social accountability, local governance, as well as directly supporting specific Bank Operations on social development and social safeguard aspects. The span of work of GSURR extends to all active clients in the region, and across a variety of financial and technical assistance support. This includes IBRD/ IDA financial and technical assistance to client countries, as well as the provision of Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) from the Bank to the GCC countries.

The thematic work of the MNA unit of the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Practice cover an active portfolio of over $1.5 billion, a growing pipeline lending, and a large RAS and TF program. The portfolio is growing to respond to the demands articulated by the MNA strategy and covers a range of urban and social development programs, support to social safeguards and a growing risk management and resilient recovery agenda, given the vulnerability of most of MNA countries to a wide range of risks, including disasters, climate change, and most prominently, conflict. The DRM team is responding with an array of tools, including a first program for results focusing on DRM risk in Morocco, technical assistance to resilient planning in several countries, and a growing program of in-conflict assessment of damages and preparing for resilient recovery of the affected populations.

The World Bank has in operation a set of social and environmental safeguard policies over the past two decades to address social and environmental issues arising from its supported development projects. These policies embody core values of the institution and form the cornerstone of the World Bank’s efforts to protect people, environment and support sustainable development. In August 2016, the World Bank board approve a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) that preserves the values and protections of the safeguards policies, enhances the coverage of social issues and improves governance, efficiency and accountability in addressing social and environmental issues. The ESF is expected to be effective on October 1, 2018. A key responsibility of the GP is to provide profession expertise and operational support to other GPs to implement the WBG operational policies (the WB OPs, ESF and IFC’s performance standards) to deliver sustainable development results and ensure that any adverse impacts of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated and the affected population are able to improve or at least restore their livelihoods.

Role & Responsibilities:

The Social Development Specialist will be based in Cairo, Egypt and will support the portfolio’s work on social safeguards and the new Environmental and Social Standards as they are rolled-out in 2018. The specialist will also provide technical support on broad social development themes including gender, social accountability and youth centered-activities. The Social Development Specialist will report to the SURR MNA Practice Manager and will work closely with the Regional Safeguards Coordinator and country focal point. The Social Development Specialist will have the following main tasks and responsibilities:

Social Safeguards Risk Management

  • Support the preparation and implementation of Bank-financed projects by providing technical advice to Borrowers on social safeguards and sustainability.
  • Participate in roll-out of the ESF and its future application in Egypt and other countries in the region.
  • Provide technical advice to Borrowers on social safeguards to assigned projects. This advice may include providing guidance in the preparation of Terms of Reference (TORs) for Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) and Resettlement Action plan together with providing guidance on the preparation of social assessments (SIAs) and corresponding social management plans (SMPs), including Resettlement Policy Frameworks (RPFs) Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs), labor influx management plans, etc. Technical advice will be also being provided to Borrowers on processes such as consultations and stakeholder engagement.
  • Providing orientation and training to counterpart agencies working on Bank-financed investments.
  • Provide intensive on-site field level support to consultants and/or Borrowers involved in preparation and the implementation of social safeguards instruments.
  • Assist in policy dialogue on social risk management with counterpart agencies;
  • Provide technical support to Bank teams during the processing of Bank-financed projects under preparation and ensure proper internal documentation during project implementation. S
  • Support the Unit in the design and implementation of capacity building activities for Bank staff and clients on social development issues, including to strengthen country systems and practices;

Broader Social Development Work

  • Support work on the mainstream social development agenda, including providing analytic inputs to operational activities, with an emphasis on social inclusion and cohesion, youth and migration.
  • Support work to develop new areas of focus and business around social development issues that emerge in the context of growth and transition (gender, youth, employment, migration, etc.).
  • Contribute to the development of learning products/activities such as Technical Assistance, internal BBLs, guidance notes, peer learning events.
  • Provide peer review comments, as and when necessary.
  • Travel regularly to field sites as needed. Sites may be in remote areas with very limited facilities.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced Degree (master’s Degree or equivalent) in Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science or related social sciences and at least 5 years of relevant experience. Non-social science degrees such as in engineering, planning or economics may be acceptable if the candidate can demonstrate extensive experience of work under the criteria set forth in the TOR.
  • Sound knowledge and familiarity with social safeguards policy requirements, in particular Operational Policy 4.12 on Involuntary Resettlement. Familiarity with the World Bank’s new Environment and Social Framework, including a working knowledge of IFC or other donor’s environmental and social policies is a plus.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in social risk management in projects.
  • Familiarity working with social impact and/or resettlement instruments.
  • Strong community engagement skills. Experience working with local communities, local institutions, non-state actors, is desirable.
  • Ability to travel for long durations to remote sites within the region is necessary.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams and multicultural environments.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in English and Arabic.


  • Social Development Implications on Policy, Institutions, and Operations - Familiarity with the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations.
  • Analytical Tools for Social Sustainability - Solid experience conducting social development analyses, producing meaningful results, and applying the tools in the course of an operation.
  • Participation and Consultation - Solid experience conducting social development consultative and participatory approaches and applying the approaches in the course of an operation.
  • Social Safeguards - Familiar with and can apply (under supervision) the social safeguard policies to a situation and identify issues and risks.
  • Integrative Skills - Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills - Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.
  • Lead and Innovate - Develops innovative solutions.
  • Deliver Results for Clients - Proactively addresses clients’ stated and unstated needs.
  • Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries - Collaborates across boundaries, gives own perspective and willingly receives diverse perspectives.
  • 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.


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