Social Protection Specialist

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Country Context and SPJ Engagement

The Central African Republic (CAR) is experiencing recurrent conflicts, political volatility, and extreme poverty. Nearly three million people, out of an estimated population of 5.2 million, need humanitarian assistance, and an estimated 691,000 people were internally displaced as of July 2021. Displacement imposes massive costs on host communities. Many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have taken refuge with relatives or households with which they share some social connection. As in other conflict-affected countries, the support and solidarity of host communities and families provides a critical safety net for displaced people and victims of violence. To make things worse, the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that is adversely affecting the population’s welfare. The situation can deteriorate rapidly, as transmission across borders and local expansion remain a high risk, and poverty and food insecurity are on the rise.

At present existing social protection programs are overwhelmingly financed and implemented by the country’s development partners and donors. This exposes financing flows to high unpredictability and volatility, where most of the social protection spending finances a variety of relatively small, uncoordinated, short-term interventions. Furthermore, these programs tend to focus on immediate humanitarian objectives, such as food support, while devoting less attention to long-term challenges, such as reintegration of IDPs or return of refugees. The preparation of a comprehensive strategy, in parallel to the design of a sustainable national social protection system, would be key to bridging the gap between short-term emergency support and longer-term, systemic approaches to resilience. 

Ongoing World Bank Group support to CAR in the Social Protection sector includes the Service Delivery and Support to Communities Affected by Displacement (PACAD) Project (P161591), financed by an IDA grant in the amount of US$28 million equivalent. The project aims to increase access to basic services, infrastructure, and safety nets for communities affected by forced displacement. The project received an Additional Financing (AF), in the amount equivalent to US$16 million, to cover the costs associated with expanding the cash transfers program and accompanying measures. Specifically, the grant is being used to (i) scale-up cash transfers to include communities affected by COVID-19 and flooding, as well as IDPs; and (ii) scale-up project coordination, monitoring, and evaluation.   


The Social Protection and Jobs Unit, Africa West and Central, World Bank Group is seeking to recruit a Social Protection Specialist to contribute to the design and implementation of the social protection and jobs program in Central African Republic.  As a core member of the CAR SPJ country team, the Social Protection Specialist is expected to make substantial contributions to program development and delivery in CAR. S/he will support task team leaders and team members to build on the ongoing engagement with the client, while helping ensure the timely delivery of the work program. The primary areas of contribution will be: (i) policy dialogue with the client; (ii) identification, preparation, and supervision of lending operations; and (iii) technical assistance and research; and (iv) engagement and coordination with a range of development partners.

The Social Protection Specialist will be a member of the West and Central Africa unit of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice and report to the Practice Manager for the unit. Based in the Bangui World Bank Country Office, s/he will also be an extended member of the SPJ teams covering all the other countries in Cameroon Country Management Unit which include Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. This will require working with the Task Team Leaders (TTLs), in collaboration with short-term consultants (STCs), as well as other World Bank colleagues as needed. The position will involve frequent interaction with government counterparts, other donor agencies, and counterparts within SPJ and Human Development (HD), as well as across other units of the World Bank. 

In particular, the Social Protection Specialist will be responsible for the following tasks: 

  • Tasks related to support for social safety nets, economic inclusion, and SP systems building
  • Provide technical, advisory, and implementation support to key project implementing agency, namely, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MAHSRN), to help ensure successful implementation of the ongoing PACAD Additional Financing.
  • Regularly follow up on agreed actions and conduct field monitoring and reporting of project activities as assigned.
  • Support the preparation of a new operation in CAR focusing on improving resilience among the poor and vulnerable populations through strengthening safety nets and increasing the access of youth to skills, income-generation and entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Provide technical, advisory, and implementation support to project implementing agencies, on economic inclusion, including of youth.
  • Advance dialogue with the Government of CAR on social protection delivery systems and institutional arrangements for sustainable and adaptive social protection service delivery.  
  • Support engagement and coordination with other partners – donors, NGOs, civil society – operating in area of the social safety nets and in the economic inclusion/jobs/youth employment space.

Cross-Cutting Areas and Responsibilities

  • Support capacity building activities for government agencies and other stakeholders.
  • Help develop and support new business areas of engagement. 
  • Monitor and oversee consultants hired to support various tasks.
  • Review annual work plans, budgets, terms of references, procurement documents, and other project-related documents.
  • Organize, support, and participate in World Bank missions.
  • Contribute to Aide Memoires, Implementation Status Reports, Implementation Completion Reports and other related Bank documents. 
  • Provide technical advice to the government on issues related to women’s empowerment, IDPs, returning refugees, and support to other vulnerable individuals.
  • Prepare inputs for notes, briefs, papers, and reports, and fundraising proposals, related to social safety nets, SP systems, jobs, youth employment, and related areas of engagement. 
  • Contribute to other analytical or operational activities, as agreed with the TTLs. 

Selection Criteria


  • Graduate degree and a minimum of masters level qualification in economics, social policy or related sector
  • Minimum of five years of directly relevant experience in social protection, economic inclusion and/or similar programs. 
  • Demonstrated experience of working on operations within low capacity environments and FCV countries.
  • Experience working with clients to build capacity and engage in dialogue on social protection and service delivery 
  • Experience working with multiple development partners to harmonize support for Government-led programming 
  • Experience in World Bank operations as demonstrated through TTL-ship and/or being core team member for lending operations is a plus.