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Position: Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist – Social Sustainability and Safeguards
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 350 projects totaling more than $38 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. Visit https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/western-and-central-africa
GHANA COUNTRY CONTEXT
Ghana sits on the Atlantic Ocean and borders Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Its population is of about 29.6 million (2018). In the past two decades, it has taken major strides towards democracy under a multi-party system, with its independent judiciary winning public trust. Ghana consistently ranks in the top three African countries for freedom of speech and press. Ghana’s rapid growth (7% in 2017-19) was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 lockdown, and a sharp decline in commodity exports with an overall GDP as low as 0.4%. The FY22-26 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) was approved by the World Bank Group Board on February 22, 2022. It is anchored in the government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ vision, its Coordinated Program of Social and Economic Development Program (CPSEDP), and the Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprise Support Program (CARES). Consistent with the World Bank Group COVID-19 Response Framework, the CPF seeks to support the Government in managing the COVID-19 crisis’s impact through preserving critical human capital and capabilities while taking the opportunity to build back better for a dynamic and diversified economy, creating job opportunities for a greener, more resilient, and inclusive society.
The proposed focus areas are:
(i) improving equitable access to services for improved human capital development;
(ii) enhancing conditions for diversified growth and quality jobs; and
(iii) promoting resilient development. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ghana/overview
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 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.
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 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. Responsibilities will include the following:
– Lead the interface with the Government of Ghana 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.
– Supervise and provide technical support to government agencies, including project implementing agencies, on the preparation and implementation of project-related social risk management activities and activities to enhance the social sustainability of projects.
– Provide 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 social risks on major projects as a technical expert.
– Interact with clients at the policy and operational level.
– Advise and participate in project teams to help develop operational designs and mechanisms to assess social opportunities, impacts, constraints, and risks related to Bank-supported operations.
– Develop and evaluate proposed technical solutions, and assist in the preparation of project design documentation, supporting reports, annexes, etc.
– Provide cross-support as required to the various teams in the portfolio and monitors adherence to the World Bank Environmental and Social Standards.
– Guide the preparation of Stakeholder Engagement Plans to ensure that the level of consultations is proportional to project risks and impacts and monitor implementation.
– Lead a dialogue on the implementation of the Environmental and Social Framework with policymakers and government officials, international development partners, civil society, and other stakeholders, and coordinate the Bank’s relations with clients on social development.
– Participate in and play a leading role in portfolio reviews on social sustainability and social risk management.
– Make recommendations on strategies and policy options for counterparts in local and central government agencies.
– Advise government counterpart agencies on policy options for social risk management, particularly resettlement, social risk mitigation planning, and institutional capacity development.
– Work 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.
– Evaluate studies and practice related to the development of project documentation; and
– Conduct 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.
– Participate in developing sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms and strategies.
– Deliver ESF training on specific social standards and tailored to individual projects to strengthen client capacity.
– Supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards.
– Participate 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.
– Identify potential partnerships as well as new opportunities for engagement around social development aimed at advancing social development in general and social risk management.
– Work as an active member of the Country Office and Country Team; engage in the Bank-wide professional community of staff in Social Sustainability and Inclusion.
– Supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to the Bank standards.
– Work independently under the general direction of the Regional Standards Coordinator and guide and mentor junior staff.
This is a challenging position suited to constructive, highly motivated team players with an eye for detail, understanding of 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 Ph.D. 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 and compliance instruments in 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.
- 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 the 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 the ability to write well in English is essential
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.