Senior Economist/Social Development Specialist, Washington, United States

Organization: The World Bank

Country: United States

City: Washington, United States

Office: World Bank in Washington, United States

Closing date: Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Senior Economist/Social Development Specialist

Job #: req12346

Organization: World Bank

Sector: Social Development

Grade: GG

Term Duration: 3 years 0 months

Recruitment Type: International Recruitment

Location: Washington, DC,United States

Required Language(s): English

Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish

Closing Date: 7/7/2021 (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

Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice (GGP) Context The Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice (SSI GP) 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 GP engages with citizens, communities, and governments to deepen resilience, build inclusion, and empower vulnerable and marginalized groups to have influence and voice. The GP prioritizes participatory, multi-sectoral approaches that build on norms and informal institutions to address social challenges and to build more inclusive, empowered communities. It also works across the Bank’s portfolio to implement the Environment and Social Framework (ESF) standards and strengthen inclusive development. In particular, the GP focuses on three opportunity sets:

Social inclusion: Expanding opportunities for people who have been excluded from participating fully in markets, services, and society, because of their ethnicity, gender, disability, income, or religious or sexual orientation.

Resilience: Deepening opportunities for people to thrive by building cohesive and resilient communities able to withstand divisions caused by inequality, violence, climate change, and other risks to their livelihoods.

Empowerment: Creating opportunities for people to lead their communities, engage more fully in government, and shape their own futures.

The overarching priority in the area of Data and Analytics in the Global Practiceorganized in the Data, Analytics and Digital Global Solution Group (DAD GSG) is to strengthen and expand the analytics that underpin our country dialogue, policy engagements, operations, social risk management across the Bank’s portfolio, and engagements on the global agenda exploiting traditional and new sources of data and analytical tools, including digital tools.

Key areas in the DAD GSG include:

SSI core country diagnostics: consolidating and expanding a comprehensive, comparable, and systematic country diagnostic tool (SSI core country diagnostic) across the Global Practice regions and countries with which inform policy dialogue, portfolio development and additional analytical products.

Climate change analytics: Developing new and leveraging existing data and analytics to support the engagement of the GP on the social dimensions of climate change, including the analysis of distributional and inclusive impacts of climate change, citizen engagement and social accountability around climate change issues, community level adaptation finance and capacity building, and national climate and social justice dialogues.

Innovative analytical work drawing on new sources of data for social sustainability diagnostics. Identify new sources and tools for using big data, artificial intelligence (AI), spatial/satellite, social media, community generated data (mobile app) etc. to better understand trends in vulnerability and wellbeing at the community level and social perceptions related to social sustainability. This work includes exploring how to use data collected at the community level to assess impact of public programs and the role of community characteristics in influencing outcomes.

Support development of new analytical tools and regional engagements on social sustainability, covering the impact of norms on agency and inclusion, drivers of women’s economic empowerment, impact of citizen engagement and social accountability on development outcomes, policy barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) persons, , etc. This work would involve building partnerships with other GPs, including the Poverty GP’s behavioral sciences team as well as Health, Education, Climate change, Urban, Gender teams, among others.

Community of Practice. Supporting the recently created community of practice, the Data, Analytics and Digital Global Solution Group (DAD GSG), for staff interested in deepening their analytical skills and understanding and use of technology around social sustainability issues. It currently counts 300 members, organizes a regular seminar series and seeks to expand activities into maintaining and deepening technical expertise through targeted clinics; the coordination of (analytical efforts on) social issues in the context of Development Policy Lending; the management of useful resources for the data and analytical work of the Practice; and a mentoring system to nurture and encourage the growth of a technical stream of experts.

Flagship. The SSI GP seeks to produce about every other year a flagship and/or global/regional report showcasing state of the art evidence, methods, and policy impacts on areas of social sustainability. Past flagship themes have included, among others, Indigenous Persons and Afro-descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean or the economic and social conditions of SOGI populations globally.

Duties and Accountabilities: The duties and accountabilities for the senior economist/senior social development specialist will focus on providing analytical and operational leadership in the following areas:

Develop, contribute, participate and/or lead high-profile, applied analytical work at the global, regional and country level, working closely with the lead economist, social development specialists, other GPs, and CMU partners, focusing on key GP priorities.

Work with country-based teams to help develop, refine, and consolidate their analytical program to respond to these issues and inform policy dialogue and operations from contexts as heterogeneous as middle income to fragile countries.

Provide inputs to the discussion of the strategic direction to the GP’s analytical work program long-term business strategy, integrating a strong focus on digital technologies. Help identify key challenges (reflecting current and future client needs) and develop appropriate analytical tools and data sources that can shape better operational interventions.

Support the work of the global unit in the expansion of a community of practice for social development staff interested in deepening their analytical skills and understanding and use of technology.

Stay abreast of cutting-edge knowledge and innovations around the social development agenda, especially technical developments outside the Bank. Identify critical knowledge gaps and recommend new ASA products to address these. Create and share technical knowledge in priority areas; including through tools made available on the Social intranet site

Facilitate more evidence-based client discussions to support regional PMs. Support the Practice Managers in reviewing and enhancing the quality of high-profile ASA and where relevant country products with a strong social focus (e.g., Country Partnership Frameworks [CPFs] and Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs). Encourage Task Team Leaders to embrace the most relevant global knowledge in operations and ASA. Act as peer reviewer and assist in the selection of reviewers upon request from PMs

Work closely with other Global Practices (within the Sustainable Development Practice and as well as Infrastructure, Human Development and Economic and Financial Inclusion Practices) to strengthen the policy dialogue and analytics related to social sustainability, and collaborate on cross GP analytical agendas.

Support the Lead Economist and the Global Practice with corporate demands, quality control of deliverables, and acting assignments as needed.

The senior economist/senior social development specialist is also responsible for the developing and representing the SSI Global Practice "brand" around strong analytics and for effective communication with various audiences, including key stakeholders, clients, beneficiaries, the general public, as well as internal and external partners.

Selection Criteria

Commitment: A strong personal commitment to the World Bank’s mission and to the role of Social Sustainability and Inclusion to execute that mission. We are looking for someone with a high level of energy, initiative, and flexibility able to quickly adjust to a dynamic work program and a commitment to help our clients achieve tangible progress.

Tags artificial intelligence big data citizen engagement climate change data science development policy econometrics economist extreme poverty financial inclusion human development inclusive development inequality latin america oral communication participatory quality control risk management social accountability social conditions social development social inclusion social justice social problems social risk social sciences sustainable development wellbeing

Experience: A minimum of 8 years of experience is required. A Ph.D. in Economics, Public Policy, Statistics, Data Science, or other related social science with a strong quantitative background is highly recommended. A Master’s degree in economics or social sciences with very strong analytical experience will also be considered.

Skills and Experience: In-depth knowledge and skills in several of these areas are expected: quantitative and qualitative methods; climate change and environmental data and analytics; machine learning; ex-ante and ex-post analysis of the distributional impacts of policy reforms. Has hands-on experience in econometrics and statistical modeling with large micro quantitative and qualitative datasets and with new data and digital tools (geospatial, social media tracking, Artificial Intelligence, etc.).Able to translate technical analyses into recommendations for programs, policies and strategies for social inclusion, resilience, and empowerment.

Experience leading or participating in complex high quality products in one or more of the following areas: social inclusion; social accountability and citizen engagement, inequality, conflict and fragility, crime and violence, community-driven development, social assessments, social dimensions of climate change, children in conflict, gender economic empowerment.

A record of high-quality publications preferably in peer reviewed journals and analytical outputs. Possesses a track record of intellectual leadership and ability to integrate economic-specific knowledge and specific micro/sector fields of expertise; provides quality assurance and assesses technical soundness of work/reports.

Demonstrated in-depth experience working across practice and disciplinary boundaries, and with multiple stakeholders - both public and private - in building collaborative alliances for results

Knowledge and experience in development arena - Participates in the design and execution of major policy and/or research initiatives; helps to promote innovations in development policies, project design, organization, and management to improve operational and sector work. Participates in country, regional, or global knowledge initiatives to promote learning, capacity building, knowledge creation and sharing in the core areas.

Policy dialogue skills - Has a track record of conducting effective policy dialogue with country counterparts; communicates and defends difficult issues and positions to senior bank management and government officials.

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 and participate in 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, particularly with academic institutions, think tanks, CSOs and tech companies.

Ability to work in a collaborative way, delivering cross-support and building relationships around a common goal.

Evidence of strong interpersonal skills, judgement.

Strong written and oral communication skills with proven experience in dealing with the media, external constituencies, and expert groups

WBG Core Competencies for all staff: Client orientation; Drive for results; Teamwork of collaboration and inclusion; Knowledge, learning and communication; and Business judgment and analytical decision-making

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

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