Senior Social Development Specialist (Safeguards & Sustainability Standards)

Jakarta, Indonesia 🇮🇩

Background / General description:


Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2014, the WBG committed $65.6 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $22.2 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 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 social safeguards; (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 (including CAT-DDO), 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 operational policies (the WB’s safeguard policies and the IFC’s Performance Standards) to deliver sustainable development results that ensure that any adverse impacts of WBG interventions are limited and mitigated.


Over the past decade, Indonesia has seen strong growth and job creation, supporting poverty reduction, but the end of the commodity boom has exposed structural weaknesses. Following the recovery from the Asian financial crisis, annual growth averaged 5.6 percent over 2001-12, but over the last few years growth has slowed and in 2015 poverty reduction was stagnate. About 30 million Indonesians live below the national poverty line, and an additional 65 million live just above the line and are vulnerable.  Inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, increased from 30 points in 2000 to 41 points by 2014, by far the fastest widening in East Asia.

Against this backdrop a number of new initiatives are emerging, in addition to the public infrastructure and energy projects that the World Bank has traditionally been involved for the past decades. In the areas of social development, building on 15 years of experience through the flagship PNPM (National Program for Community Empowerment), the World Bank has committed to support the implementation of the Village Law which supersedes PNPM and significantly increases the level of fiscal transfer to villages.  With greater recognition of the importance of sustainable natural resource management to eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, another initiative by the World Bank under the Sustainable Landscape Management serves as a platform to bring together analysis and dialogue with key land-and natural resource-related sectors, and key partners, including in civil society and the private sector.  With the growing portfolios across sectors, there has been increased focus on safeguard policies and implementation particularly to strengthen social inclusion for the vulnerable and project affected people. An increased focus on development needs of Indonesia’s indigenous peoples as well as other forest-dwelling and climate-vulnerable populations is expected to be critical in future engagement strategies.

The SURR GP is recruiting a Senior Social Development Specialist based in Jakarta to provide support in meeting the Bank’s expanding and complex social safeguards agenda and promote the social sustainability of its investments in Indonesia. The selected candidate will report directly to the Indonesia Social Development Program Manager, and will be expected to work closely with the country unit and Task Teams as well as across the East Asia and Pacific Region as relevant. 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.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current 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 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The Senior Social Development Specialist – Safeguard Policies will have the following responsibilities:
• Work under the coordination of the regional focal point for safeguards on the social safeguards portfolio, providing oversight and quality assurance. This will include direct operational support to high risk and complex operations, and advising management and staff on responses, safeguards related complaints including Inspection Panel cases.
• Serve as a social development focal point for the Indonesia country office and engage actively and regularly with country units and teams, and identify business opportunities for the social development team in consultation with clients and country units.
• Serve as a technical specialist, advising the social development team and staff on strategy and a range of interventions and provide support for on-going and future work in the areas of among others community empowerment, citizen engagement, social inclusion and landscapes.
• 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, ensuring Indonesia-specific analysis and advice.
• 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 documentation.
• Undertake policy dialogue with clients on social sustainability and safeguards issues and advise counterparts on technical options for social development, particularly resettlement, indigenous peoples, mitigation plans and institutional development strategies.
• Handle complex technical, institutional and program implementation issues regarding social development and lead the related dialogue with counterparts.
• Participate and play a leading role in portfolio reviews on selected social development topics, particularly in relation to indigenous and climate-vulnerable populations.
• Lead or participate in analytical studies, support other analytical work on different social development topics, and stay abreast of developments in social development globally and on cross-cutting issues.
• Manage projects mapped to the regional Social Development team.
• Support the Bank-wide professional community of staff engaged in social development by participating in thematic groups, exchanging best practices, and drafting technical notes.
• Help develop sustainable local and national consultation mechanisms and strategies, including providing technical guidance to support the implementation of revised safeguard policies with capacity building for national teams, consultants and stakeholders in government and NGOs.
• Supervise the work of consultants and technical specialists to ensure consistency and conformity to Bank standards.

Selection Criteria:

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. 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.
• Expertise and experience working with indigenous people, climate-vulnerable and remote communities.
• Knowledge and experience in addressing issues covered by the World Bank’s social safeguards policies or similar policies in other international finance institutions in complex and challenging settings, and across practices. This includes experience with involuntary resettlement in different socio-economic contexts and tenure systems; extensive experience with analyzing social risks and impacts on different population groups; coordination of transparent consultative processes; and integration of relevant planning instruments such as Resettlement Action Plans and Indigenous Peoples Plans in overall project planning and implementation. Experience with grievance redress mechanisms. Policy level experience on social safeguard policies, including high level dialogue, corporate reviews and complex projects.
• Knowledge and experience in areas of social inclusion such as gender; conflict, fragility, LGBTQI, violence; and disability; knowledge and experience in the particular needs and interests of indigenous people issues specifically.
• Strong operational (task management) and analytical skills and demonstrated ability to translate analytical work into policy advice and actionable, practical recommendations.
• Ability to present complex social development and safeguards issues to task teams and Bank audiences, and to engage effectively with government counterparts, the private sector, project beneficiaries and civil society.
• Excellent interpersonal, 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.
• Acting with integrity at all times to build trust and to create an enabling work environment, whether as team leader or team member.
• Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation; willingness to travel and work under challenging circumstances.
• Ability to work across practices, work in cross-thematic teams, foster team work, mentor and provide capacity building support to junior staff and consultants.
• Excellent oral and writing skills. Ability to write well in English is essential.
• Master’s degree or PhD in social sciences (anthropology, sociology, political economy, social development, etc.), and a minimum of eight years of professional experience in sustainability, social safeguards and/or social development (voice and participation, gender, community-driven development, citizen engagement).


• Social Safeguards – experience in successfully applying all social safeguard policies to both high and low risk projects, with minimal supervision.
• 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, including related to indigenous peoples, deriving results that resonate with the client..
• Needs analysis and building capacity for safeguards – ability to coach others in the application of the safeguards tools, including ability to explain and contextualize safeguard policies and instruments for Indonesian clients and partners.
• 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.
• Policy Dialogue Skills – anticipate needs and requests in the field and conduct independent policy discussions with representatives of government and non-government partners.
• Lead and Innovate – develop innovative solutions with others, identifying Indonesia-relevant opportunities to add value to Bank and Client work and to optimize development outcomes from projects in Indonesia.
• 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.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.