Senior Social Development Specialist / Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist at World Bank Group

The World Bank Group – Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Social Development Specialist / Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist

Job #: req8322
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Social Development
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 4 years – 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

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 www.worldbank.org.

The Sustainable Development Practice Group helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food; Climate Change; Environmental and Social Framework (ESF); Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy; Social Sustainability and Inclusion; Urban, Resilience and Land Development; and Water.

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-centred 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.

Nigeria Country Context

  • A key regional player in West Africa, Nigeria accounts for about half of West Africa’s population with approximately 202 million people and one of the largest populations of youth in the world. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse federation which consists of 36 autonomous states and the Federal Capital Territory. With an abundance of natural resources, it is Africa’s biggest oil exporter, and has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent. While Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, its human capital development remains weak due to under-investment and the country ranked 152 of 157 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Human Capital Index. Furthermore, the country continues to face massive developmental challenges, which include the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, and build strong and effective institutions, as well as governance issues and public financial management systems. Inequality in terms of income and opportunities has been growing rapidly and has adversely affected poverty reduction. The North-South divide has widened in recent years due to the Boko Haram insurgency and a lack of economic development in the northern part of the country. Large pockets of Nigeria’s population still live in poverty, without adequate access to basic services, and could benefit from more inclusive development policies. The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, of regional inequality, and of social and political unrest in the country. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/nigeria/overview

Background: Support for women’s social and economic empowerment in Nigeria:

  • In response to a request from the Government of Nigeria, the World Bank supported the design of the Nigeria For Women Project with an objective to support women’s improved livelihood opportunities in targeted communities of Nigeria.
  • The “Nigeria For Women” Project (NFWP) aims to demonstrate the impact of a multi-dimensional and a medium to long-term approach to overcome the main institutional and market failures limiting women’s economic outcomes in Nigeria.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering with the World Bank to support the implementation of the Nigeria for Women Project, particularly to establish a solid model of “Women Affinity Groups” that can be used for effective service delivery in Nigeria. This partnership is being materialized through activities planned under the Trust Fund “Support for Women’s Social and Economic Empowerment through the NFWP”.
  • The goal of the proposed partnership is to “support women’s social and economic empowerment in selected states and LGAs of Nigeria” through leveraging three distinct but interrelated and interdependent investments under the World Bank-funded NFWP through interventions to: (i) Design, strengthen and Institutionalize the WAG model in Nigeria, (ii) Evaluate the core WAG model as part of the NFWP approach in Nigeria, and (iii) Layer the WAGs model for Development Outcomes.
  • Designing, strengthening and institutionalizing the WAG model in Nigeria: Activities under this area will be used to both established a solid and functional core model for WAGs in Nigeria as well as providing the necessary support to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to sustain this program.
  • Testing and Evaluating the WAG model as part of the NFWP approach in Nigeria: Following phases and scale-up of the NFWP and the WAGs model depend on the availability of solid evidence that can prove the impacts of the WAGs model on women socio-economic outcomes. Activities under this area will be used to generate this evidence through rigorous impact evaluations on the overall WAGs model and its impacts on women’s livelihoods and economic empowerment and in turn on gender equality.  
  • Layering the WAG model for Development Outcomes: Activities under this grant will be used to strengthen WAGs as platforms for service delivery that result in better human development outcomes and platforms for improved livelihoods in Nigeria.


  • The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Practice has a growing work program in Nigeria, 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 to lead our women empowerment and gender equality program in Nigeria.  
  • The Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist will be based in Abuja, Nigeria and will report directly to SAWS1 Practice Manager and will be expected to work closely with the CMU and task teams in the country.
  • The selected candidate will also be expected to work collaboratively and develop good relations with other Global Practice teams, Global Solution Groups and Global Theme teams specializing in Gender and Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV).
  • 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 4-year term appointment.   

Duties and Accountabilities

  • The Senior Social Development Specialist/Senior Social Sustainability and Inclusion Specialist (Program Manager) will be responsible for managing the planning of large, complex, and strategically significant activities and achievement of the desired outcomes under the project “Support for Women’s Social and Economic Empowerment through the NFWP” implemented with the support of the World Bank and BMGF. 
  • She/he will provide oversight, coordination and strategic guidance for the implementation of activities according to agreed work plans and corresponding deliverables.
  • The Senior Specialist (Program Manager) will also be in charge of managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and partners with respect to the NFWP. In addition, the S/he (Program Manager) will also coordinate the implementation of the project in the broader context of World Bank’s contributions to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s agenda of Support to Women and Girls; and serve as the thought leader for the Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice in Nigeria on this subject.  
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