Senior Social Development Specialist, Islamabad, Pakistan At The World Bank

Closing date: Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Senior Social Development Specialist

Job #: req22215

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Social Development

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 4 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment

Location: Islamabad,Pakistan

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 4/27/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


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 South Asia Region Context

The South Asia Region comprises eight countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) that range in size from India (with a population of over 1 billion) to Maldives (with 0.3 million people). The region has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years. It was the second-fastest growing region in the world in the aftermath of the global crisis. This strong growth has translated into declining poverty and impressive improvements. The percentage of people living below the poverty line fell in South Asia from 56% to 16% between 1981 and 2013. Still, the region remains home to a third of the world’s poorest, with 216 million people living below $1.9/day.

The South Asia Region:

Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (GP) supports the WBG’s twin goals by focusing on sustainable and inclusive growth. It consists of five Global Practices and one Global Theme. The Global Practices (GPs) that belong to the SD PG are: Agriculture and Food; Environment, Natural Resources and the Blue Economy; Urban, Resilience and Land; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; and Water. The Climate Change Group forms SD PG’s single Global Theme. In addition, SD is the Bank-wide steward for the Environment and Social Framework (ESF).

SD’s leadership team includes Regional Directors (RDs) responsible for delivery of SD’s regional and country programs, and Global Directors (GDs) who have a primary role in setting GP strategy, global engagements, promoting the flow of global knowledge, talent management and strategic staffing. The SD PG has four objectives: (i) deliver basic needs; (ii) ensure sustainability; (iii) build social inclusion/cohesion; and, (iv) lead on long term issues.

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion (SSI) team in the South Asia Region (SAR) is responsible for: a) undertaking social analysis during project preparation and implementation, so as to mainstream attention to social sustainability and inclusion issues throughout the Bank’s work in SAR; b) addressing issues related to social risk management, including those covered by the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) in the new Environmental and Social Framework; c) undertaking Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) in the form of thematic studies on social sustainability and inclusion issues and country social analysis; d) leading the preparation and supervision of activities where the team has a comparative advantage, particularly in relation to promoting community and local development (CLD) programs, gender and women’s economic empowerment, citizen engagement, forced displacement, social inclusion of marginalized populations, and strengthening land acquisition systems; and (e) facilitating partnerships on cross-cutting areas, such as post-conflict reconstruction and citizen engagement. To this end, SAR SSI team members work closely with staff across all country units and global practices (GPs) in SAR.

The unit is recruiting a Senior Social Development Specialist to provide support in meeting the Bank’s expanding and complex agenda on gender and social inclusion in Pakistan. The selected candidate will work with respective colleagues in the SAR SSI team, the Pakistan Country Management Unit (CMU), and in other GPs, and will serve as the Task Team Leader (TTL) or co-TTL for the Pakistan Gender and Social Inclusion Platform. The candidate will be responsible for supporting operations across the pipeline and portfolio in addressing gender issues and in taking steps necessary for gender tagging, and in leading or supporting analytical and operational work and policy dialogue as appropriate. The candidate will work closely with the SAR Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) on Pakistan specific analytics, and will serve as liaison on SAR GIL Impact Evaluations with the Pakistan CMU and relevant task teams. The candidate will also contribute to efforts to mitigate potential risks of GBV and expand opportunities for GBV prevention and response in Bank-supported operations. The selected individual will report directly to the SSAS1 Social Development Practice Manager (PM) and will be expected to work closely with the Pakistan CMU and country team, and with the SAR SSI team across the Region. The position will be based in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Senior Social Development Specialist will have the following responsibilities:

  •  Overall: o Work under the supervision of the Practice Manager, and in coordination with the unit’s Lead Specialists and the CMU SSI Country Coordinator to provide guidance to clients, direct operational support during preparation and implementation, and oversight and quality assurance of Short Term Consultants (STCs) supporting the country portfolio. o Participate in the broader social development work of the team.
  •  Provide technical guidance and support on corporate commitments on Gender. Lead a team of STCs responsible for working with task teams on gender tagging. Providing overall oversight/quality assurance to the gender tagging process in Pakistan. Liaise with the SAR Regional Gender Focal Point to provide update on progress and contribute to lessons-learned.
  •  Serve as the Gender focal point for the Pakistan CMU and engage actively and regularly with CMU leadership and task teams on how to address gender issues and how to integrate evidence-based activities to prevent and respond to GBV within projects and portfolios.

Engage in policy dialogue with clients on gender and social inclusion, ranging from upstream inputs into country Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCD), and Country Partnership Frameworks, advising counterparts in identifying key opportunities for engagement to advance the social inclusion and sustainability agenda. o Participate in cross-practice teams responsible for the preparation of policy notes, SCD, and CPF, sector studies, and research and policy development activities on gender and social inclusion. Responsible for overseeing core diagnostics on gender for Pakistan (Country Gender Assessments and/or specific papers on gender as part of the SCD).

  •  Lead analytical and policy/advisory work under the Pakistan Gender and Inclusion Platform, and lead and/or support operations and ASA, across the pipeline and portfolio, on aspects related to gender. o Lead/co-lead analytical work on gender, women’s empowerment, and social inclusion, in coordination with other GPs, and work closely with SARGIL on Pakistan specific analytics and impact evaluations for knowledge generation and lessons learned for operational entry points. o Contribute to regional and global knowledge on gender through the SSI global team and SAR regional gender teams – sharing good practices and cutting-edge knowledge from Pakistan. o Lead dissemination events for gender platform’s analytical products, lessons/learnings from key operations/ASAs for impact. o Lead client dialogue in implementing legislation on women informal workers in different provinces, and support task teams in operationalizing and monitoring relevant interventions through various bank financed projects and ASAs.
  •  Lead the screening of investments operations to identify key projects at high risk for sexual exploitation and abuse and other forms of GBV and develop and implement recommendations and interventions to address these risks; provide guidance to Task Team Leaders in the design of projects with GBV prevention, response, or mitigation elements. o Advise and participate in project teams to help develop operational design on gender and GBV as relevant; develop and evaluate proposed technical solutions and assist in the preparation of project documentation.
  •  Provide technical advice to operational teams in the design and implementation of gender components/interventions in IPFs and DPCs: o Work closely with other practice groups in designing and co-leading projects on women’s economic empowerment including on women’s safe mobility etc. o Advise task teams in facilitating implementation, M&E, and reporting of gender and social inclusion related targets/results in high impact operations. Support other Senior and Lead Specialists in handling complex technical, institutional and program implementation issues regarding gender.
  •  Strengthen client capacity on issues related to gender/GBV, including clients’ monitoring and evaluation of relevant activities and outcomes in bank financed operations.
  •  Develop and build client relations within the Bank and with clients and contribute to generating new operational and analytical engagement with the Bank on gender and social inclusion.
  •  Support the establishment of advisory group/s of local experts to provide guidance on select WB operations/policies for optimum outcomes on gender and social inclusion.

Selection Criteria

  •  Advanced university degree (Master’s or PhD) in a related social science (e.g., Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science) with at least 8 years’ professional experience in gender, social sustainability and inclusion; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Demonstrated operational and analytical skills and experience in the areas of gender/GBV, social inclusion; demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and actionable, practical recommendations.
  •  Solid knowledge of gender literature, critical gender issues in Pakistan. Strong local networks including with civil society, academia and development partners working on Gender and Social inclusion issues in Pakistan
  •  Experience in collecting and analyzing data related to gender/GBV and internationally recognized methods for comparing data on gender across countries.
  •  In-depth knowledge of at least one of the other social development competencies – social inclusion;, addressing fragility, conflict and violence, community driven development (incl. community mobilization and empowerment), gender dimension of climate change – is desirable.
  •  Proven capacity to translate analytical work into policy advice and operational, actionable, recommendations.
  •  Track record of working effectively with client and development partners.
  •  Working knowledge of World Bank operational policies and procedures including social safeguard policies on involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples.
  •  Proven capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders, international organizations, development agencies, government counterparts, beneficiaries of Bank projects, and civil society organizations.
  •  Enthusiasm for, and commitment to, gender, poverty alleviation, social inclusion and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable. Highly self-motivated and talented in motivating others on social development themes. Deep understanding of the relationship between social development, social policy, and the promotion of social inclusion of the poor and the vulnerable (including indigenous peoples and those affected by involuntary resettlement) and strengthening of democratic governance.
  •  Strong oral and written presentation skills, creativity and problem-solving skills. Outstanding interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams and multicultural environments.
  •  Strong written and oral communication skills in English essential.
  •  Willingness to travel regularly, including in areas affected by fragility.


  •  Social Development implications on policies, institutions, and operations –Solid understanding of the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations.
  •  Participation and Consultation – Extensive experience conducting social development consultative and participatory approaches, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the interventions.
  •  Analytical Tools for Social Sustainability – Extensive experience conducting social development analyses, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the tools.
  •  Integrative Skills – Understand relevant cross-practice areas and how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-practice work in lending and non-lending operations.
  •  Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Translate technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interact with clients at the policy level.
  •  Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of government and non-government partners.
  •  Lead and Innovate – Develop innovative solutions with others.
  •  Deliver Results for Clients – Achieve results and identify mission-driven solutions for the client.
  •  Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries – Initiate collaboration across boundaries and broadly across the World Bank Group and bring differing ideas into the forefront.
  •  Create, Apply and Share Knowledge – Create, apply and share knowledge from across and outside WBG to strengthen internal and or external client solutions.
  •  Make Smart Decisions – Recommend and take decisive action

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.


June 2024