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Senior Social Development Specialist

Job #: req1006
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Social Development
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment
Location: Kampala, Uganda
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): Any local language
Closing Date: 11/23/2018 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC



Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2017, the WBG committed $59 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $19 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. 

The WBG consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into six client-facing Regional Vice-Presidencies, several corporate functions, and as of July 1, 2014 has introduced fourteen Global Practices (GPs) as well as five Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs) to bring best-in-class knowledge and solutions to regional and country clients.




The 14 GPs are: Agriculture; Education; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Finance and Markets; Governance; Health, Nutrition and Population; Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management; Poverty; Social Protection and Labor; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Trade and Competitiveness; Transport and ICT; and Water. The 5 CCSAs are: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict and Violence; Gender; Jobs; and Public-Private Partnerships. The new operating model is part of a broader internal reform aimed at delivering the best of the World Bank Group to our clients, so that together we can achieve the twin goals of (1) ending extreme poverty by 2030, and (2) promote shared prosperity for the bottom 40% of the population in every developing country.


The Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (GSURR) works to help clients build inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities, villages and communities, with strong linkages to the WBG's twin goals:


Ending extreme poverty: 75% of the world's poor live in rural areas. At the same time, 1 billion people live in slums today and poverty is urbanizing. 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence. In the past decade, the number of people affected by natural disasters tripled to 2 billion.

Boosting shared prosperity: Past rural development efforts have not been enough to address the rural poor's vulnerability and marginalization. Although 80% of GDP is generated in urban areas, social exclusion and inequality are rapidly growing in cities. Since 1980, low-income countries have accounted for only 9% of the disaster events but 48% of fatalities. Increasing the resilience of cities, villages, and communities is critical because the burden of disasters, conflict, crime, and violence falls disproportionately on the poor and the bottom 40% of the population. 

Sustainability: 1 billion people are expected to move to cities by 2030. The growth path of cities, human settlements, and rural areas has local and global implications for sustainability and climate change. Ensuring that the marginalized and vulnerable segments of society have a say in defining their development path is indispensable.


To pursue these goals, GSURR collaborates with other GPs, CCSAs, and global partnerships through platforms of engagement in:  

  • Social inclusion and sustainability;

  • Mainstreaming resilience in all dimensions of development;

  • Territorial and rural development; and

  • Urban planning, services and institutions.



The SURR GP covers a wide gamut: (i) developing green, inclusive and resilient cities; (ii) addressing the social inclusion of the poor, vulnerable and excluded groups through accountable institutions, and ensuring compliance with the new Environmental and Social Framework; (iii) enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and (iv) assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban drainage, coastal management, and retrofitting of infrastructure), disaster preparedness (including hydromet services, early warning systems, and civil defense), risk financing, and resilient reconstruction (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment). A key responsibility of the GP is to provide professional expertise and operational support to other GPs to implement the WBG social policies (the WB's Environmental and Social Framework and the IFC's Performance Standards) to deliver sustainable development results that ensure that any adverse impacts

of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated.


The Government of Uganda’s second National Development Plan (NDPII) covers the period 2015/16 to 2019/20 and aims at attaining middle income status by 2020. The NDPII has four primary development objectives: (i) increasing sustainable production, productivity and value addition in key growth opportunities; (ii) increasing the stock and quality of strategic infrastructure to accelerate the country’s competitiveness; (iii) enhancing human capital development; and (iv) strengthening mechanisms for quality, effective and efficient service delivery.


In line with the development objectives, the Government has pursued an expansionary fiscal policy in recent years. The aim is to maintain macroeconomic stability, while competitively position Uganda to fully benefit from the East African Common Market by addressing the key binding constraints to growth and factors that can reduce the costs of doing business.


The World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Uganda covers the period FY16-FY21. The CPF is closely aligned with the NDPII and focuses on three strategic areas and six thematic objectives. These respond to the dynamic between rural and urban development, where poverty reduction in the short run predominantly will come from rural areas through the agriculture sector where most of the poor and vulnerable find their livelihoods. The focus in the medium to longer term will gradually shift towards urbanization and creation of jobs for the rapidly growing labor force. Underpinning this rural-urban dynamic, the CPF aims to fortify the foundation for inclusive development by strengthening governance, accountability and service delivery. For Uganda to achieve inclusive and sustainable development outcomes, it is critical that country institutions and systems be strengthened to better manage the social risks inherent in purposive public action, including through investments in infrastructure and human capital.


The current Bank-supported portfolio in Uganda stands at nearly $3 billion covering 20 national and six regional operations.


Economic growth is expected to reach 5.5 percent in FY18, up from an average of 4.4 percent during 2012-2017, but still below historic averages of 7-8 percent in the decade before. Meanwhile. combined with an annual population growth rate of 3 percent, the annual per capita income growth rate is only 1-2 percent, which means that Uganda is not on track to reach its goal of middle-income status by 2020. Macroeconomic management has ensured stability with single digit inflation, but domestic revenue mobilization remains very low. Under-execution of the development budget hampers overall budget implementation and inadequate management of public investments lead to frequent delays and cost overruns. Estimates from Uganda National Household Survey 2016/17 suggest that the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line rose from 20 percent in FY13 to about 21 percent in FY17 (if applying the international poverty line, the population living in poverty increased from 35 percent to 38 percent during the same period). Uganda has received up to 1 million refugees from South Sudan and DRC since July 2016, and is currently the biggest host in Africa.


Roles & Responsibilities:

The Sr. Social Development Specialist provides 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, (s)he will focus on:

Operational work:

  • Supervises and provides technical support to government 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;

  • Supervise activities designed to manage the 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;

  • Leads the interface with the Government of Uganda including project implementing agencies in resolving implementation issues including where the project has inadvertently impacted the local community adversely; and

  • 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 monitor implementation.

Policy work:  

  • Carries out 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.

Analytical work:

  • 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 local governance and service delivery, gender mainstreaming, and land property and tenure rights.

Capacity building:

  • Participates in developing sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms and strategies;

  • To strengthen client capacity, deliver ESF training on specific social standards and tailored to individual projects; and

  • Supervises the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards.


  • 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; and

  • Works independently under general direction of the Lead Social Development Specialist (Regional Social Safeguards/ Standards Coordinator, based in Washington, DC) and Lead Social Development Specialist based in Nairobi, and guides and mentors junior staff. 

Reports to Practice Manager, GSU07, based in Washington, DC.

Selection Criteria

  • Advanced degree in relevant social science (anthropology,
    sociology, political economy, social development etc.)

  • Extensive knowledge and experience in addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s new Environmental and Social Framework in complex and challenging settings, and across sectors;

  • Demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and actionable, practical recommendations;

  • 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;

  • Ability to present complex social safeguards and social development issues in a simple way to people of different technical backgrounds;

  • Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with Government, private sector, project beneficiaries and civil society;

  • Strong analytical skills;

  • 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;

  • At least 8 years of experience working in social risk management in Uganda and/or elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa; and

  • Readiness for frequent travel within Uganda and the region.

  • Demonstrated ability to work in and actively contribute to teams and foster a positive team dynamic

  • Experience working in a multicultural setting;

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Core Competencies 

  • Demonstrated experience managing the social risks of infrastructure projects in Uganda.

  • 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

  • Solid understanding of social analysis and the implications of social development on policy, institutions, and operations.

  • 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 conducting social development analyses, deriving results that resonate with the client; ability to coach others in the application of the tools.

  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Demonstrated ability to translate 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.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and 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.

  • Recommends and takes decisive action.

If the selected candidate is a current World 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 years 0 months term appointment.

The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.  Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.