Social Development Specialist


World Bank Group Context

Innovation and partnership bond the five institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG): the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help our client countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life. To ensure that countries can access the best global expertise and help generate cutting-edge knowledge, the World Bank Group is constantly seeking to improve the way it works. Key priorities include delivering measurable results, promoting openness and transparency in development, and improving access to development information and data.

Social Development Context

The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice (SSI) addresses issues related to:

social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable, and the excluded;
promoting accountable institutions;
supporting socially cohesive communities and groups, with a focus on conflict, crime and violence prevention, as well as supporting post-conflict development;
using community driven development as a tool for developing local infrastructure and delivering services; and
addressing issues related to social risk management, including those covered by the World Bank’s Operational Policies and Environmental and Social Framework. The SSI supports countries in addressing complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy, Environment and natural Resources, Transport, Urban and Rural Resilience, and Water.
Unit Context

The East Africa Unit of SSI (SAES2) provides social development support to Borrower countries in East Africa – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SAES2 manages a portfolio of SSI operations and analytics across East Africa, supports other global practices in meeting the Bank’s social risk management requirements on their operations and is responsible for quality assuring all social risk management instruments for the region.

Operational work:As a core member of project teams, the specialist will help design and implement projects to manage social risks and identify and opportunities to enhance the social outcomes of Bank financed operations in East Africa. Within the project team, Social Development Specialists are responsible for preparing the Environmental and Social Review Summaries as a key part of the Bank’s due diligence on a project. Moreover, specialists support clients in preparing and implementing their plans to manage the social risks and impacts of a Bank financed project in accordance with Bank policy requirements. These include legal documents such as the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan, as well as other social planning instruments such as stakeholder engagement plans, labor management procedures, indigenous peoples plans, resettlement action plans, environmental and social impact assessments, and environmental and social management plans as determined by the needs and impacts of a project. The role includes:
Provides technical support to government agencies in preparing and implementing project related social risk management activities and activities to enhance the social sustainability of projects;
Provides timely and professionally competent technical review of social assessment products prepared for other Bank Global Practices, such as Education, Health, Rural Development, Urban Development, infrastructure, private sector development, and others as needed;
Provides cross-support to other regions and business units as required.
Policy work:As needed, contributes to dialogue on the implementation of the Environmental and Social Framework with government officials, development partners, civil society, and other stakeholders, and coordinate the Bank’s relations with clients on social development;
Participates in portfolio reviews on social sustainability and social risk management as required;
Makes recommendations on strategies and policy options for counterparts in local and central government agencies;
Analytical work:Conducts and contributes to formal and informal analytical advisory activities and research work on key social development issues, notably related to gender mainstreaming and women empowerment, citizen engagement, social tensions, and land property and tenure rights.
Capacity building:Works closely with environmental colleagues to enhance the capacity of the client to implement the Bank’s new environmental and social framework for managing project risks and enhancing the sustainability of World Bank financed projects.
Supervises the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
Lending interventions:
Supports SSI operational interventions, as need arises, strengthening client systems on social sustainability and inclusion.
Other:Identifies potential partnerships as well as new opportunities for engagement around social development aimed at advancing social development in general and social risk management in particular;
Works as an active member of the Country Office and Country Team;


Reports to Practice Manager, SAES2, based in Nairobi.
Works under the guidance of the senior social development staff based in Nairobi, and under the general direction of the Lead Social Development Specialist (Regional Social Safeguards/ Standards Coordinator, based in Nairobi) and Practice Manager
Selection Criteria



At least 5 years’ of experience working in social risk management in Kenya and/or elsewhere in Africa;
Advanced degree in relevant social science (anthropology, sociology, political economy, social development etc.)
Experience managing social issues identified in the World Bank’s new Environmental and Social Framework – Particularly: Environmental and Social assessment (ESS1), Labor and Working Conditions (ESS2), Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement (ESS5), Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities (ESS7) and Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure (ESS10) – on both high and low risk projects.
Demonstrated experience in resettlement and relocation, land acquisition and in the analysis, assessment and monitoring of resettlement plans and indigenous peoples plans;
Experience with community consultation and the preparation, implementation and monitoring of Stakeholder Engagement Plans;
Experience developing and monitoring grievance redress mechanisms to ensure accountability and ensure problems are addressed in a timely fashion;
Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with Government, private sector, project beneficiaries and civil society;
Experience working in a multicultural setting;
Readiness for frequent travel within Kenya and the region
Excellent oral and written communication skills.


Core Competencies

Ability to present complex social risk management and social development issues in a simple way to people of different technical backgrounds;
Demonstrated ability to work in and actively contribute to teams and foster a positive team dynamic;
Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving skills, and ability to think innovatively and strategically to find solutions to complex development problems;
Very high level of energy and initiative;
Experience conducting social development analyses, deriving results that resonate with the client;
Demonstrated ability anticipating needs in the field and conducting independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners to develop strategies to meet these needs.
Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team to develop innovative solutions to complex social risk management problems.
Achieves results and identifies mission-driven solutions for the client;
Demonstrated ability to create, apply and share knowledge from a range of sources to strengthen internal and or external client solutions.



Language         Speak Proficiency         Read Proficiency       Write proficiency

English             Essential                       Essential                      Essential
Kswahili            Essential                       Essential                      Essential

The selected candidate will be offered a three-year term appointment

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.

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About World Bank Group

The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and most famous development bank in the world and is an observer at the United Nations Development Group. The bank is based in Washington, D.C. and provided around $61 billion in loans and assistance to "developing" and transition countries in the 2014 fiscal year. The bank's stated mission is to achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity.