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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.
Job Title: Senior Social Development Specialist
SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY AND INCLUSION GLOBAL PRACTICE
The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice 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 Practice engages with citizens, communities and governments to deepen resilience, build inclusion, and empower vulnerable and marginalized groups to have influence and voice. It prioritizes participatory, multi-sectoral approaches that build on norms and informal institutions to address social challenges and to build more inclusive, empowered communities. The Practice also works across the Bank’s portfolio to implement the Environment and Social Framework (ESF) standards.
https://www.worldbank.org/en/projects-operations/environmental-and-social-framework/brief/environmental-and-social-standards). The ESF offers an overarching platform for fostering inclusive approaches to ensure vulnerable groups benefit from Bank investments and mitigate against related risks.
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; 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.
GHANA COUNTRY CONTEXT
Ghana sits on the Atlantic Ocean and borders Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Ghana hard, had an adverse impact on Ghana’s growth, and further increased inequality between regions, with the North hard hit. Increasing spatial inequality puts additional stress on the social fabric, weaken social sustainability, and create cyclical poverty traps. Social inclusion with a specific focus on disability has been prominent in the World Bank Ghana Country Partnership Framework consultations. Ghana would benefit from pursuing a holistic approach to promote social inclusion, reduce inequalities, and ensure that growth is resilient and sustainable. Operational policy dialogue and capacity building programs could open a path toward a more sustainable and inclusive Ghana through: (i) a community driven development programs in lagging regions to ensure delivery of services, diversification of economic opportunities, and strengthening citizens’ trust; (ii) a platform on gender, social inclusion, and citizen engagement for an improved policy dialogue on these key issues; and, (iii) a capacity building program for an improved country system for social risk management. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ghana/overview
The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice has a growing work program in Ghana, encompassing project loans and grants, advisory and analytical programs and active partnerships supporting a wide range of engagements across sectors, including women empowerment and gender equality, social inclusion, citizen engagement and social accountability; social resilience and social risk management.
SAWS1, one of the two Social Sustainability and Inclusion units in West and Central Africa, is looking to recruit a Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist who will be based in Accra, Ghana. The selected candidate will lead the Bank’s expanding Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and social safeguards agenda in the Ghana Country Management Unit (including Liberia and Sierra Leone) and promote the social sustainability of its investments. She/he will report directly to a regional Practice Manager and will be expected to work closely with the country units and task teams across the region. The selected candidate will also be expected to work collaboratively and develop good relations with the corporate safeguards team, and the Bank-wide Social Sustainability and Safeguards Global Solutions Group (GSG), coordinated by the Global Lead.
Duties and Accountabilities
The Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist will provide direct support to clients and Bank teams on social sustainability, social risk management and stakeholder engagement to ensure compliance with the Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), which consists of ten Environmental and Social Standards. In particular, responsibilities include the following:
* Leads the interface with the Government of Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in preparation of activities to enhance the social sustainability of WB-supported operations and in resolving project implementation issues, particularly where the project has inadvertently impacted the local community adversely;
* Supervises and provides technical support to government agencies, including project implementing agencies, on preparation and implementation of 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 rural development, infrastructure, private sector, transport, urban, and other projects, as needed;
* Supervises activities designed to manage social risks on major projects as a technical expert;
* Interacts with clients at the policy and operational level;
* Advises and participates in project teams to help develop operational designs and mechanisms to assess social opportunities, impacts, constraints and risks related to Bank supported operations;
* Develops and evaluates proposed technical solutions, and assists in preparation of project design documentation, supporting reports, annexes, etc.;
* Provides cross-support as required to the various teams in the portfolio and monitors adherence to the World Bank Environmental and Social Standards.
* Guides the preparation of Stakeholder Engagement Plans to ensure that the level of consultations is proportional to project risks and impacts and monitors implementation.
* Leads a dialogue on the implementation of the Environmental and Social Framework with policy makers and government officials, international development partners, civil society, and other stakeholders, and coordinates the Bank’s relations with clients on social development;
* Participates in and plays a leading role in portfolio reviews on social sustainability and social risk management;
* Makes recommendations on strategies and policy options for counterparts in local and central government agencies;
* Advises government counterpart agencies on policy options for social risk management, particularly resettlement, social risk mitigation planning, and institutional capacity development; and
* 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.
* Evaluates studies and practice related to the development of project documentation; and
* Conducts and contributes to formal and informal analytical advisory activities and research work on key social development issues, notably related to child labor and child protection, local governance and service delivery, gender mainstreaming, and land property and tenure rights.
* Participates in developing sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms and strategies;
* Delivers ESF training on specific social standards and tailored to individual projects to strengthen client capacity; and
* Supervises the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
* Participates in cross-practice teams responsible for the preparation of policy notes, Systematic Country Diagnostics, Country Partnership Frameworks, sector studies, and research and policy development activities on the full range of social development topics;
* 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; engages in the Bank-wide professional community of staff in Social Sustainability and Inclusion;
* Supervises the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to the Bank standards;
* Works independently under general direction of the Regional Standards Coordinator and guides and mentors junior staff.
This is a challenging position suited to constructive, highly motivated team players with an eye for detail, understanding the bigger picture context of operations, and creative problem-solving abilities. The successful candidate should have strong analytical skills, have practical experience with participatory processes of stakeholder engagement, and be able to integrate social development considerations in an operational context. This requires strong technical competency on social issues and safeguards, with demonstrated ability to contribute to project management. Experience working in complex and challenging settings is highly desirable.
* Master’s degree or PhD in social sciences (anthropology, sociology, political economy, social development, etc.), and a minimum of eight (8) years of directly relevant professional experience in social sustainability, social standards/safeguards and/or social development (voice and participation, gender, community-driven development, citizen engagement).
* Knowledge and experience in addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and social safeguards policies or similar policies in other international finance institutions in complex and challenging settings, and across practices. This includes experience with social assessments and analyzing social risks and impacts on different population groups; involuntary resettlement in different socio-economic contexts and tenure systems; Indigenous Peoples’ issues; coordination of transparent consultative and stakeholder engagement processes; grievance redress mechanisms, integration of relevant planning instruments such as Resettlement Action Plans and Indigenous Peoples Plans in overall project planning and implementation; labor and working conditions (in particular child labor); community health and safety; and cultural heritage.
* Experience in social sustainability and risk management policy development, including dialogue with governments, and collaboration in these areas with other international development agencies.
* Solid understanding of social analysis and the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations; experience conducting social development analyses, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the tools.
* Experience with consultative and participatory approaches to project design and implementation while deriving results that resonate with the client.
* Experience developing and monitoring grievance redress mechanisms to ensure accountability and problem-solving in a timely fashion.
* Experience in areas of social inclusion such as gender; conflict, fragility, and violence; and disability.
* Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the area of child labor and/or child protection.
* Strong operational (task management) and analytical skills and demonstrated ability to translate analytical technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies.
* Demonstrated experience in interacting with governments to bring about changes to policy.
* Demonstrated ability to anticipate needs in the field and to conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners to develop strategies to meet these needs.
* 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.
* Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation; willingness to travel and work under challenging circumstances.
* Excellent oral and writing skills. Fluency and ability to write well in English is essential.
* Social sustainability and safeguards: Demonstrated experience managing the social risks of complex projects in Africa and other developing regions.
* Strong 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, with minimal supervision
* Policy Dialogue Skills – Anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of government and non-government partners.
* Social inclusion and empowerment – Experience in successfully applying social sustainability and inclusion principles and good practice, covering issues of gender/GBV, inclusion and non-discrimination of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, stakeholder engagement, etc.
* 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.
* 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.
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