Social Protection Economist/Specialist

World Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th July, 2020

Job Description


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. 

The Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice delivers analytical and 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, 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.

World Bank’s Indonesia program is one of its largest in the world with activities that include an active program of engagement with central economic ministries, community driven development, education and infrastructure. Lending is currently around US$2 billion a year distributed over a broad mix of program, sector and investment loans. In addition, there are a large number of Trust Funds to support work in a range of sectors including education, investment, poverty and social protection.

The Social Protection and Jobs program in Indonesia one of the World Bank’s most significant social protection country-level engagements. Supported both by World Bank budget and a multi-year trust fund, the program aims to: (i) provide analytics and build analytical capacity to inform social protection policies, programs and strategies; (ii) support the government in the design, implementation and evaluation of key social protection programs; and (iii) improve the quality and accessibility of data required for SP analysis and policymaking. In the area of social protection, the World Bank advises on social protection solutions, ranging from social assistance and safety nets to social insurance and social security. In social assistance the focus is on developing, reforming, and strengthening key programs such as cash transfers, subsidies, activation and other safety net programs as well as strengthening of key associated social assistance systems such as targeting, identification and enrollment, payments, grievance redress, and family development programs. In social insurance the focus is on informing social security policies programs and strategies and supporting the design and implementation of key social security programs. There is a strong focus in our social protection engagement on empirically based analytics and policy advice, as well as program monitoring and evaluation and a focus on strengthening program governance, oversight and supervision to ensure sustainability.

Duties and Accountabilities

The SP Economist/Specialist will work as a part of the Social Protection and Jobs team at the World Bank Office Jakarta. The primary objective of the Economist/Specialist is to provide support to GoI on social assistance/protection programs, and as needed other SPJ sector areas such as skills. The support is delivered through a combination of analytical/technical work, technical assistance, lending, and close coordination and capacity building with government counterparts. The person will also contribute where relevant to SPJ tasks in other countries and/or regional synthetic analytical work on SP programs and expenditures analysis.

The incumbent will report to the Manager of Social Protection and Labor Global Practice (East Asia and Pacific) and work closely with Social Protection and Jobs GP TTLs. The SPJ team in Jakarta consists of two international staff, and three national staff including this position, with involvement of other technical staff in Washington DC and a team of short term consultants who support the program. Depending on the task, the person may themselves manage tasks. The position will involve frequent interaction with government counterparts, universities, research think-tanks, other donor agencies, and counterparts within and across the World Bank, both in Indonesia as well as other countries.

  • Provide technical assistance to the government on the reform of various social protection programs, with a focus on improving program delivery and introduction innovations to improve social protection delivery and effectiveness. Also contribute to analytical work on jobs and skills, and other elements of the SPJ program as they evolve (e.g., disaster response, national ID systems).
  • Contribute to analytical and advisory activities (AAA) in the area of social protection and jobs. This would involve general policy analysis but also detailed technical work with survey and administrative data to inform analysis and policy advice.
  • Contribute to design, preparation and implementation support of lending projects to support the government’s reform efforts in the areas of social assistance and labor/skills.
  • Work with World Bank Group colleagues, across GPs, to develop holistic WBG solutions to the challenge of addressing household level vulnerability.
  • Play a key role in the interpretation of analytical findings and formulation of key messages from research findings, supporting the articulation of policy recommendations based on analytical inputs;
  • Play an active role in the planning and implementation of dissemination strategies to promote policy uptake of evidence-based recommendations.
  • Liaise with global experts and access knowledge-sharing portals to collect and collate international experiences on poverty reduction and social protection systems, and adapt learning to the needs of government counterparts in Indonesia;
  • Provide support to high quality policy advice as required in response to on-demand analytical requests from the Government of Indonesia, development partners, and from within the Bank. This is often on a just-in-time-basis;
  • Provide support and assistance for the institutionalization and integration of monitoring and evaluation efforts in the poverty and social protection sectors;
  • Liaise across the World Bank’s Global Practices and external agencies to support coordination on joint analytical activities and efforts to strengthen program delivery.
  • Contribute to the regional and global knowledge base of the Social Protection and Jobs GP.

Selection Criteria

This position requires an individual with maturity, good judgment and the ability to work well with teams within the Bank and with senior government officials. The successful applicant for the Social Protection Specialist/Economist position will meet the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in public policy, economics, or related discipline (development economics, political science, sociology) with at least 5 years of experience in areas related to social protection and/or labor markets.
  • Demonstrated experience in contributing to analytical and technical assistance activities designed to support the development and strengthening of social protection programs.
  • Analytical skills (quantitative and qualitative) and proven ability to conduct 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. Proficiency in programming in STATA strongly preferred, and readiness to learn other software packages. Experience in compilation, synthesis and analysis of administrative data on the social protection sector also strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Indonesian social protection landscape essential
  • Demonstrated skills in effective knowledge transfer and capacity building
  • Strong engagement skills with counterparts; client focused with an ability to provide prompt and high-quality responses. Knowledge of core agencies involved in policy and implementation of SP programs in Indonesia would be highly desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with proven ability to work in a team and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision.
  • Demonstrated high quality of written and verbal communication skills in English and in Bahasa.
  • Ability to convey analysis in easily communicable and compelling fashion, and on often short turnaround times. Demonstrated ability to capture knowledge and communicate main messages in knowledge briefs and policy notes, as well as power point presentations for high level audiences.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative way, delivering cross-support and building relationships around a common goal.
  • Knowledge of the political economy and institutional context in Indonesia is essential.

The candidate is required to have the following core competencies:

  • Social Protection and Jobs Sectoral Knowledge and Experience - Analytical and operational expertise in Social Protection and Jobs. Priority will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in Social Safety Nets.
  • Data Collection, Processing and Analysis – Demonstrates basic ability to contribute to the analysis, possess knowledge of the sector strategy, programs and portfolio issues. Capable of i) gathering and compiling data from various non-digitized and digitized sources (e.g. the Bank’s own intranet including TF management systems, SAP, BW as well as other internet sources), ii) organizing and analyzing them using computerized spreadsheets (e.g. MS-Excel), and iii) preparing succinct narratives based on the analysis. Knowledge of household surveys and administrative data, and ability to perform quantitative analysis using common statistical packages such as Stata is a plus.
  • Client Orientation - Record of developing strong internal and external client relationships. Capacity to interact
  • effectively with a range of stakeholders within and outside the Bank. Good interpersonal communication and diplomacy skills.
  • Drive for Results - Takes ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization to do so.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view. Proven ability to work in teams and intercultural environment, with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English required.
  • Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work.

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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