Senior Social Development Specialist – Social Sustainability and Safeguards, Spécialiste principal du développement social – Durabilité sociale et sauvegardes, Yaoundé, World Bank

Senior Social Development Specialist – Social Sustainability and Safeguards, Spécialiste principal du développement social – Durabilité sociale et sauvegardes, Yaoundé, World Bank

Role Responsibilities/ Responsabilités du rôle

Job #:    req16655

Organization:    World Bank

Sector: Social Development

Grade:  GG

Term Duration:                3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type:         International Recruitment

Location:            Yaounde,Cameroon

Required Language(s): English and French

Preferred Language(s):

Closing Date:     4/6/2022 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. 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, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. 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. Visit

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries 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 extremely 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


Cameroon is a lower-middle-income country located along the Atlantic Ocean. It shares its borders with Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria. Two of its border regions with Nigeria (northwest and southwest) are Anglophone, while the rest of the country is Francophone. Cameroon is endowed with rich natural resources, including oil and gas, minerals, high-value species of timber, and agricultural products, such as coffee, cotton, cocoa, maize, and cassava. Having enjoyed several decades of stability, Cameroon has in recent years been grappling with attacks by Boko Haram in the Far North and a secessionist insurgency in the Anglophone regions. Since September 2017, this situation has displaced more than 500,000 persons internally and claimed the lives of close to 400 civilians and over 200 law enforcement officers. Following the resurgence of the crisis in the Central African Republic since January 2021, more than 6,000 Central African’s refugees have fled to Cameroon’s eastern region, which is already hosting over 60% of Central African refugees.  In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant deterioration in economic activity. Household and business income losses linked to social distancing measures and the uncertainty surrounding the course of the pandemic led to a sharp decline in consumption. Public and private investments were also adversely affected. Public services, such as schools and non-COVID-related health services, were severely disrupted.  Ranked 149 out of 180 countries in the 2020 Transparency International corruption perceptions index, Cameroon suffers from weak governance, hindering its development and ability to attract investors.


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 ( 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 Cameroon, encompassing environment and social risk management, project loans and grants, advisory and analytical programs, and active partnerships supporting a wide range of engagements across sectors, including multi-sectoral community-driven development program, social inclusion, citizen engagement, and social accountability; social resilience, FCV prevention and response; women empowerment and gender equality, 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 Yaoundé, Cameroon, and will lead the Bank’s expanding Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and social safeguards agenda in the Cameroon Country Management Unit and promote the social sustainability of its investments. She/he will report directly to SAWS1 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:

Operational work:

* Lead the interface with the Government of Cameroon 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 monitors implementation.

Policy work:

* Lead 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 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.

Analytical work:

* 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.

Capacity building:

* 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 general direction of the Regional Standards Coordinator and guides and mentor junior staff.

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.

– 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.

– Experience working on social sustainability and risk management issues in multiple regions/countries, including in West Africa and other regions.

– 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, 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 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 and French 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 the 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 different ideas to 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.

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.

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