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Social Protection Specialist

Job #: req19076
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Social Protection
Grade: GF
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: Local Recruitment
Location: Bangui,Central African Republic
Required Language(s): English and French
Preferred Language(s):
Closing Date: 10/12/2022 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC



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 

West Africa 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 Human Development (HD) Practice Group (PG) 

Human development is at the core of the World Bank’s strategy to improve people’s lives and support sustainable development. The Human Development research program spans education, health, social protection, and labor.

Social Protection & Jobs Global Practice

Social protection systems help individuals and families, especially the poor and vulnerable, cope with crises and shocks, find jobs, improve productivity, invest in the health and education of their children, and protect the aging population. Social protection programs are at the heart of boosting human capital for the world’s most vulnerable. They empower people to be healthy, pursue their education, and seek opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. For more information:

The Social Protection and Jobs (SPJ) Global Practice has a large and growing portfolio in West and Central Africa, which includes long-standing engagements supporting Governments to strengthen their safety net programs as well as promoting innovations around jobs and, increasingly human capital investments. In West and Central Africa, SPJ projects span engagements in safety nets, including for internally displaced people, refugees and host communities, service delivery for investments in human and productive capital, interventions in humanitarian and disaster-response, and youth skills and employment. 

Country Context and SPJ Engagement

The Central African Republic (CAR) is experiencing recurrent conflicts, political volatility, and extreme poverty. Nearly three million people, out of an estimated population of 5.2 million, need humanitarian assistance, and an estimated 691,000 people were internally displaced as of July 2021. Displacement imposes massive costs on host communities. Many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have taken refuge with relatives or households with which they share some social connection. As in other conflict-affected countries, the support and solidarity of host communities and families provides a critical safety net for displaced people and victims of violence. To make things worse, the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that is adversely affecting the population’s welfare. The situation can deteriorate rapidly, as transmission across borders and local expansion remain a high risk, and poverty and food insecurity are on the rise.

At present existing social protection programs are overwhelmingly financed and implemented by the country’s development partners and donors. This exposes financing flows to high unpredictability and volatility, where most of the social protection spending finances a variety of relatively small, uncoordinated, short-term interventions. Furthermore, these programs tend to focus on immediate humanitarian objectives, such as food support, while devoting less attention to long-term challenges, such as reintegration of IDPs or return of refugees. The preparation of a comprehensive strategy, in parallel to the design of a sustainable national social protection system, would be key to bridging the gap between short-term emergency support and longer-term, systemic approaches to resilience. 

Ongoing World Bank Group support to CAR in the Social Protection sector includes the Service Delivery and Support to Communities Affected by Displacement (PACAD) Project (P161591), financed by an IDA grant in the amount of US$28 million equivalent. The project aims to increase access to basic services, infrastructure, and safety nets for communities affected by forced displacement. The project received an Additional Financing (AF), in the amount equivalent to US$16 million, to cover the costs associated with expanding the cash transfers program and accompanying measures. Specifically, the grant is being used to (i) scale-up cash transfers to include communities affected by COVID-19 and flooding, as well as IDPs; and (ii) scale-up project coordination, monitoring, and evaluation.   


The Social Protection and Jobs Unit, Africa West and Central, World Bank Group is seeking to recruit a Social Protection Specialist to contribute to the design and implementation of the social protection and jobs program in Central African Republic.  As a core member of the CAR SPJ country team, the Social Protection Specialist is expected to make substantial contributions to program development and delivery in CAR. S/he will support task team leaders and team members to build on the ongoing engagement with the client, while helping ensure the timely delivery of the work program. The primary areas of contribution will be: (i) policy dialogue with the client; (ii) identification, preparation, and supervision of lending operations; and (iii) technical assistance and research; and (iv) engagement and coordination with a range of development partners.

The Social Protection Specialist will be a member of the West and Central Africa unit of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice and report to the Practice Manager for the unit. Based in the Bangui World Bank Country Office, s/he will also be an extended member of the SPJ teams covering all the other countries in Cameroon Country Management Unit which include Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. This will require working with the Task Team Leaders (TTLs), in collaboration with short-term consultants (STCs), as well as other World Bank colleagues as needed. The position will involve frequent interaction with government counterparts, other donor agencies, and counterparts within SPJ and Human Development (HD), as well as across other units of the World Bank. 

In particular, the Social Protection Specialist will be responsible for the following tasks: 

Tasks related to support for social safety nets, economic inclusion, and SP systems building
• Provide technical, advisory, and implementation support to key project implementing agency, namely, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MAHSRN), to help ensure successful implementation of the ongoing PACAD Additional Financing.
• Regularly follow up on agreed actions and conduct field monitoring and reporting of project activities as assigned.
• Support the preparation of a new operation in CAR focusing on improving resilience among the poor and vulnerable populations through strengthening safety nets and increasing the access of youth to skills, income-generation and entrepreneurship opportunities.
• Provide technical, advisory, and implementation support to project implementing agencies, on economic inclusion, including of youth.
• Advance dialogue with the Government of CAR on social protection delivery systems and institutional arrangements for sustainable and adaptive social protection service delivery.  
• Support engagement and coordination with other partners – donors, NGOs, civil society – operating in area of the social safety nets and in the economic inclusion/jobs/youth employment space.

Cross-Cutting Areas and Responsibilities

• Support capacity building activities for government agencies and other stakeholders.
• Help develop and support new business areas of engagement. 
• Monitor and oversee consultants hired to support various tasks.
• Review annual work plans, budgets, terms of references, procurement documents, and other project-related documents.
• Organize, support, and participate in World Bank missions.
• Contribute to Aide Memoires, Implementation Status Reports, Implementation Completion Reports and other related Bank documents. 
• Provide technical advice to the government on issues related to women’s empowerment, IDPs, returning refugees, and support to other vulnerable individuals.
• Prepare inputs for notes, briefs, papers, and reports, and fundraising proposals, related to social safety nets, SP systems, jobs, youth employment, and related areas of engagement. 
• Contribute to other analytical or operational activities, as agreed with the TTLs. 

Selection Criteria

• Graduate degree and a minimum of masters level qualification in economics, social policy or related sector
• Minimum of five years of directly relevant experience in social protection, economic inclusion and/or similar programs. 
• Demonstrated experience of working on operations within low capacity environments and FCV countries.
• Experience working with clients to build capacity and engage in dialogue on social protection and service delivery 
• Experience working with multiple development partners to harmonize support for Government-led programming 
• Experience in World Bank operations as demonstrated through TTL-ship and/or being core team member for lending operations is a plus.

Client Orientation 
• Strong engagement and policy dialogue skills with high-level counterparts and other stakeholders; client focused with an ability to provide prompt and high-quality responses 
• Ability to maintain client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound analysis and knowledge
• Ability to advise, influence and promote consensus among different stakeholders
• Experience in managing diverse and sometimes competing interests and perspectives to arrive at consensus 

• Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and judgement
• Evidence of sharing and conveying complex technical issues, in accessible format: written, spoken
• Native or near-native proficiency in spoken and written French 
• Native or near-native proficiency in spoken and written English

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.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.