Senior Social Development Specialist, Lome, Togo At The World Bank

Closing date: Sunday, 11 June 2023

Senior Social Development Specialist

Job #: req22923

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Sustainable Development

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 4 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Lome,Togo

Required Language(s): English and French

Preferred Language(s): Closing Date: 6/12/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


The World Bank Group

Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? 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 and promoting shared prosperity. 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

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.

Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.

In West and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 387 projects totaling more than $44.1 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation- all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives. Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87% of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved.

Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID.

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region:

The Sustainable Development Practice Group helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food; Climate Change; Environmental and Social Framework (ESF); Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; Urban, Resilience and Land Development; and Water.

Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice (SSI)

The SSI Global Practice (GP) helps countries tackle deep rooted social problems stemming from fragility, climate change, exclusion, and the digital age with people centered solutions that build on local values and institutions. The GP engages with citizens, communities, and governments to deepen resilience, build inclusion, and empower vulnerable and marginalized groups to have influence and voice. The SSI GP prioritizes participatory, multi-sectoral approaches that build on norms and informal institutions to address social challenges and to build more inclusive, empowered communities. It also works across the Bank’s portfolio to implement the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and strengthen inclusive development. .

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice has adopted a new strategy that aims to promote inclusive sustainable development anchored on three pillars:

  •  Social Inclusion: Enhancing opportunities for equality and inclusion of all people irrespective of income level, geography, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation or other grounds of discrimination; Advancing inclusive laws, regulations, policies and institutions; and investing in access to markets and services for hard to reach and marginalized groups living in lagging regions.
  •  Social Resilience: Strengthening social risk management for social sustainability and inclusion; Enhancing social cohesion and opportunities in fragile communities; Strengthening social resilience to climate extremes and natural hazards; and Supporting emergency response and an inclusive recovery from COVID-19.
  •  Social Empowerment: supporting community empowerment for more effective service delivery; Fostering accountable governance including from the bottom up; and Promoting community-driven women empowerment and livelihood support programs.


SAWS4, one of the two Social Sustainability and Inclusion units in West and Central Africa, is looking to recruit a Senior Social Development Specialist who will be based in Lomé, Togo, and will support the Bank’s expanding Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and social risk management and inclusion agenda for the Togo portfolio and neighboring countries and promote the social sustainability of its investments. She/he will report directly to SAWS4 Practice Manager and will be expected to work closely with the Togo country unit and task teams.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3-year term appointment.

Duties and accountability

The Senior Social Development Specialist will have the following responsibilities:

  •  Work with the Country Management Unit (CMU), the Social Risk Management Coordinator, the Regional Standards Coordinator, Regional Safeguards Advisor, task teams and other colleagues to provide high quality technical support for social development and social risk management for the project portfolio in Togo and neighboring countries.
  •  Undertake policy dialogue with clients regarding social sustainability and social risk management and provide technical support for social sustainable and inclusive development, particularly relating to involuntary resettlement and livelihoods, labor issues (forced labor, SEA/H and child labor), social inclusion, risk mitigation and institutional capacity building and other efforts to improve social outcomes for Bank financed projects.
  •  Participate in cross-practice teams for the preparation of policy notes, Systematic Country Diagnostics, Country Partnership Frameworks, and sector studies, and research and policy development activities on the full range of social development topics.
  •  Manage and provide technical support for complex technical, institutional and program implementation issues regarding social sustainable and inclusive development and lead the related dialogue with counterparts in collaboration with the CMU Social Risk/Safeguards Coordinator, the Regional Standards Coordinator and task teams.
  •  Provide cross support for social risk management to other countries in the CMU (Ivory Coast, Guinea) especially as it relates to regional projects that include Togo and/or Benin.
  •  Participate in comprehensive portfolio reviews and lead efforts to address poor performance, non- compliance and improving social impact.
  •  Lead and/or participate in analytical studies on different social sustainable and inclusive development topics globally and on cross-cutting issues relevant to Togo and Benin.
  •  Lead technical support for sustainable local and national consultation and citizen engagement mechanisms and strategies in Togo and Benin.
  •  Advise and participate in project teams to help develop innovative operational designs and mechanisms to assess social opportunities, impacts, constraints and risks, develop and evaluate proposed technical solutions and assist in the preparation of project documentation.
  •  Engage in the Bank-wide professional community of staff in social sustainability and inclusion and social standards/safeguards by participating in thematic groups, exchanging best practices, and drafting technical notes.
  •  Develop and build relations within the Bank and with clients and other development partners and contribute to generating new business for the Bank.
  •  Contribute to team building within the CMU social development team through collaboration, knowledge sharing, learning activities and team meetings.

Selection Criteria

This is a position suited for a constructive, highly motivated team player with an eye for detail, an understanding of the bigger picture context of operations, and creative problem-solving abilities. The successful candidate should have strong social risk management skill, analytical skills, practical experience with participatory processes of stakeholder engagement, and be able to integrate social sustainable and inclusive development considerations in an operational context. Experience working in fragile and conflict affected settings is highly desirable. The candidate will have:

  •  Master’s degree or Ph.D. in social sciences (anthropology, sociology, political economy, social development, etc.) or related fields.
  •  A minimum of 8 years of professional experience addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and social safeguards policies or similar policies in other international financial institutions. This includes experience with: social assessments and analyzing social risks and impacts for different population groups; involuntary resettlement in different socio-economic contexts and tenure systems; livelihood restoration plans and socio-economic development; vulnerable groups’ issues; coordination of transparent consultative and stakeholder engagement processes; grievance redress mechanisms; integration of relevant planning instruments such as Resettlement Action Plans in overall project planning and implementation; labor and working conditions; community health and safety; and cultural heritage.
  •  Experience in specific areas of social sustainability and inclusion such as gender, disability, local government, conflict, fragility and violence and citizen engagement?
  •  Experience in social sustainability and risk management policy development, including dialogue with governments, and collaboration in these areas with other international development agencies. Demonstrated experience in interacting with governments to bring about changes to the policy.
  •  Experience working on social sustainability and risk management issues in multiple regions/countries.
  •  Experience with consultative and participatory approaches to project design and implementation as well as grievance redress mechanisms to ensure accountability and problem-solving in a timely fashion.
  •  Proven experience leading complex cross-cutting analytical work related to social sustainability and inclusion.
  •  Ability to present complex social development and ESF/safeguards issues to task teams and Bank audiences, and to engage effectively with government counterparts, the private sector, project beneficiaries and civil society.
  •  Excellent interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, and team skills, and ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced solutions to complex development problems, with a strong client focus.
  •  Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client; acts with integrity at all times to build trust and to create an enabling work environment, whether as a team leader or a team member; recommends and takes decisive action.
  •  Demonstrated ability to create, apply and share knowledge from a range of sources to strengthen internal and or external client solutions.
  •  Ability to work across Bank global practices, work in cross-thematic teams, foster teamwork, and mentor junior staff (if needed).
  •  Very high level of energy, initiative, and self-motivation; willingness to travel
  •  Excellent oral and writing skills in English and French is essential.

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