Senior Social Protection Specialist

CARE International





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SPJ description 

The Social Protection & Jobs (SPJ) Global Practice delivers operational approaches and evidence-based solutions to help individuals and families manage risk, cope with chronic/transitional poverty, and access better livelihoods and jobs.  These include:

• Strategy, analysis, financing and design of programs delivering social safety nets/social assistance in the form of cash transfers, public works programs, and fee waivers. 
• Advisory and analytical services on design and delivery of contributory transfers (including old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, disability and survivor benefits), and their fiscal sustainability (including budget support for transitions).
• Analysis, design and delivery of labor market and youth employment programs (with a focus on supply side interventions and intermediation policies), as well as policy advice on labor market regulations and interventions.
• Strategy, analysis, financing and design of integrated social protection delivery systems (e.g., payments, identification, registries, systems assessments) as underpinnings of effective social programs that can help cope with climatic shocks or underpin fiscal reforms.
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.  

Ongoing SPJ support and engagement strategy in Niger 

The Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice has a particularly strong portfolio in the Sahel Country Management Unit (CMU), which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger. The projects in these countries 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.

In Niger, the World Bank has a long tradition of supporting the development of the social protection system through a wide range of interventions.  Along with a leading role in the policy dialogue on social protection, the Bank provides support to the Government through development policy programs, investment projects and technical advisory.

In particular, the Niger Adaptive Safety Net 2 (ASP2) project supports the development of an adaptive social protection system that will increase access of poor and vulnerable people to social programs. It also supports the Government’s flagship safety net program, a cash transfer program with complementary measures on human capital formation and productive inclusion, cash for work program, as well as emergency programs responding to climate shocks and to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Youth Employment and Productive Inclusion Project supports productive inclusion activities for youth in poor urban and rural areas in Niger.

Niger is part also benefiting from participation in the West Africa Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI) Project which aims to increase the number of persons in Niger who have government-recognized proof of unique identity that facilitates their access to services. 
The Niger program is also part of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program (SASPP), supported by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The SASPP covers Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. It provides enhanced support for these countries and their households to become more resilient to shocks, including those related to climate change and forced displacement.  Activities include analysis and financing to support the development of shock-responsive safety nets that can address such shocks.

Duties and Accountabilities

The successful candidate would co-lead the social protection engagement in Niger and support other country teams in the area of adaptive safety nets. The successful candidate would also be a senior technical member of the regional Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program team. S/he will be responsible for the successful day-to-day delivery of the overall SPJ programming efforts, as well as providing technical contributions to the other programs. S/he will provide leadership and mentoring to more junior staff.

The responsibilities call for a combination of operational support, technical assistance and analytical skills. As a key member of the SPJ team, the Senior Social Protection Specialist in Niger will have primary responsibility for the supervision of SPJ investment operations in Niger, as well as the provision of ongoing technical assistance on key elements of the World Bank engagement. In addition, the Senior Social Protection Specialist will contribute to the policy dialogue on social protection and jobs with the Government, the implementation of ASA tasks in support of the Government’s social protection and jobs agenda, and the daily coordination with Government, development partners and other stakeholders.

Major responsibilities include: 
• Co-lead the overall engagement for SPJ in Niger
• Lead or make substantial contributions to the supervision of operations, by ensuring high quality implementation support to the Government implementation team and oversight of risk management issues working with relevant social and environmental standard experts as well as financial management and procurement specialists and providing (or organizing and supervising) specialized support to resolve implementation challenges as needed 
• Lead or make substantial contributions to the policy dialogue on social protection and jobs with key government institutions 
• Lead or make substantial contributions to the development of the Niger program  including in new business areas of engagement, and to the preparation of new operations and engagement (DPLs, IPFs, PforRs, ASAs, etc.)
• Lead or make substantial contributions to the preparation and conduct of advisory services and analytics
• Lead or make substantial contributions to the engagement with development partners and other external stakeholders, both local and international
• Coordinate, collaborate, and find synergies working with other partners in-country, such as UN agencies, humanitarian actors and the private sector, to address complex, multi-dimensional problems 
• Serve as a core member of Niger’s Country Team providing inputs into strategic country work and advice to the CMU as needed, including Country Partnership Frameworks (CPFs), Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs), Performance and Learning Reviews (PLRs), Development Policy Operations (DPOs), Country Economic Memorandums (CEMs), and Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs)     
• Coordinate and partner as necessary with other global practices in taking forward the SPJ agenda 
• Promote strong team leadership within the overall SPJ team, participating in team leadership discussions and planning on a regular basis and providing mentoring to junior and new staff members.
• Support the development of adaptive social protection within the CMU and sub-region. 
• Contribute to the regional and global knowledge of the SPJ global practice, including by peer reviewing, supporting task teams, and representing the World Bank at conferences and events
• Any other task related to the successful implementation of Social Protection and Jobs operations and policy dialogue.
This position requires frequent travels for field missions in challenging operational environments. Some limited international travel is also required, including mission travel to other countries in the region and to Washington.

The recruitment is local hiring, and the duty station is Niamey, Niger. The successful candidate 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 Dakar, Senegal.


Selection Criteria



• Graduate degree and minimum of masters level qualification in economics, social policy or related sector
• Minimum of eight years of directly relevant experience in social protection or other human development interventions and programs that promote the income-generating capacity of poor households and their resilience.
• Experience and substantive skills in social protection policy and high-level policy dialogue
• Experience in implementing operations as demonstrated through team leadership or being core team member for operations.
• Strong operational skills in implementing social protection programs, including large-scale government-led safety net programs
• Excellent operational skills
• Demonstrated international experience, including within low-capacity environments
• Experience working with multiple development partners to harmonize support for government-led programming

Technical Competencies
• Experience in leading analytical and technical assistance activities designed to support the development and strengthening of social protection and labor market programs
• Proven ability to carry-out independent policy-relevant research, translate theory into practical applications, and adapt professional knowledge and technical skills to analyze, diagnose and propose solutions to policy issues and challenges
• Knowledge of World Bank financing instruments and operational procedures an asset
• Technical knowledge and skills in key areas of social protection programming including social safety nets, economic inclusion, women’s empowerment, etc.
• Technical knowledge in social protection delivery systems including digital payment systems, MIS, GRM, and social registries 

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 diagnosis 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
Team Leadership, Collaboration, and Inclusion
• Demonstrated ability to lead teams. Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work in a team and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision
• Proven track record of multi-tasking, managing competing demands and effectively time-manage tasks
• Proven ability to identify and develop new and creative partnerships with a wide variety of agencies and organizations
• Ability to work in a collaborative way, delivering cross-support and building relationships around a common goal

• 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
• High-level 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.

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