Digital Social Protection Specialist, Regional Bureau for West Africa (RBD)

🚩 Vacancy Notice No.: 160048

📢 Job title: Specialist in digital social protection, (RBD)

📌Type of Contract: Advice – Level 2

➡️ Unit / Division: Program Support Unit

📍 Duty station: Dakar, Senegal

➡️ Duration: 11 months


About WFP:

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting global hunger. WFP’s mission is to help the world achieve Zero Hunger in our lifetime. Every day, WFP works around the world to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry and that the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women and children, can access the nutritious food they need. need.

To learn more about WFP, visit our website and follow us on social media to follow our latest news: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Social protection is an increasingly popular strategy with governments to reduce extreme poverty, hunger and inequality and promote access to basic needs for the most vulnerable. Virtually every country in the world has at least one social protection scheme in place and 3.5 billion people are already covered by some type of social protection benefit.

As the global leader in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition, the World Food Program (WFP) is increasingly called upon by governments to support national social protection systems. In 2020, WFP partnered with the governments of 78 countries to strengthen their national social protection systems, making social protection support an integral part of its work in most of the countries where it operates. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable have been put at risk around the world, undermining decades of progress towards the SDGs. In response to this, many governments are adapting and/or introducing new social protection schemes.

Government demand for WFP’s technical expertise in social protection often has digital components. Organizationally, WFP manages many ongoing and growing high-level engagements with governments to help strengthen their social protection digitalization programs. This position will focus on supporting the Regional Office for West Africa (RBD).

The WFP RBD seeks dedicated technical guidance to support Country Offices (COs) to keep strategic and programmatic priorities at the forefront of their engagement with governments on the digital social protection agenda. This role requires someone who is confident in foreseeing opportunities, risks and potential pathways to support governments in their digitization efforts, while having an acute ability to translate complex concepts to non-technical audiences to better inform the decision making. This includes disclosing key implications of digital social protection programs to program staff, senior management, advisory counterparts and government partners.

What will you do in this position?

This role will need to anchor social protection digital advice in a programmatic perspective, liaising on an ongoing basis with other relevant departments and program teams such as Legal, Technology (TEC) and Cash Transfer (CBT) to ensure Consistency of approach and advice when assisting with government-led digitalisation. The ideal candidate will be familiar with social protection programming and its relevant stakeholders, while being comfortable leading multi-stakeholder digital transformation efforts.

The Regional Office is seeking a Digital Social Protection Specialist (CST 2) to design and support its ongoing and growing portfolio of digital social protection engagements. The incumbent will operate under the direct supervision of the Regional Social Protection Advisor and will be responsible for:

Technical support to country offices

  • Act as RBD’s digital social protection focal point, ensuring clear and strong links between field operations, regional office and HQ across all relevant departments (i.e. SP, CBT , Legal, TEC)
  • Provide front-line advisory support to country offices in the field, at program level and at senior management levels regarding digital social protection assistance to governments
  • Lead strategic risk analyzes on comprehensive digital engagements, technical assistance requests and other aspects related to governments in the region
  • Coordinate feasibility studies, needs assessments and other scoping exercises in partnership with relevant departments
  • Assist COs with complex data governance/sharing issues (including supporting Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and enforcing global data sharing protocols)
  • Roadmap of government engagements, facilitating cross-functional collaboration and collection of contributions with other units (e.g. TEC)

Strategic guidance and advice

  • Apply WFP’s evolving global practices and standards to regional priorities, using guidance to articulate and communicate WFP’s role in the social protection digital space and formulate partnerships with key actors
  • Provide strong technical leadership on a wide range of strategically important and complex digital social protection issues and government requests, often in support of high-level stakeholders. Including but not limited to government data protection policies, identity management architecture, interoperability standards
  • Assist COs in defining and prioritizing programmatically relevant entry points regarding digital assistance to governments, in close collaboration with CBT and TEC colleagues
  • Contextualize relevant corporate policies and strategies for digital social protection in local contexts and provide advice to country offices on their implementation.
  • Support stakeholder and systems mapping, including contributions to ongoing studies or initiatives related to digital capacity assessments, management information system (MIS) mappings, etc.
  • Support capacity building across the region, identifying opportunities to exchange knowledge, learnings and good practices between country offices and other regional offices


Education: Advanced university degree or university degree with experience and training/courses in one or more of the following disciplines: public policy, public administration, international development, social sciences, international relations, sociology or other fields related to social protection or systems engineering .

Live: 8 or more years of professional experience related to national development programs, policies, strategies or plans and institutional structures, with emphasis on government-led digitization programs. Preferably related to social protection and/or revolving around food security and/or nutrition and/or emergency response:

  • Worked with government agencies and gained experience managing digital change from policy and implementation cycles
  • Has work experience in policy and program cycle management, particularly in cross-departmental or cross-departmental initiatives. (e.g. social affairs, ICT)
  • Has direct experience of working in various types of programs related to social protection (e.g. cash transfer programs, school feeding, public works/food aid for assets, insurance programs)
  • Managed discussions with experts in other WFP areas of expertise, e.g. VAM, nutrition, supply chain, technology, etc.
  • Has experience managing and advising on significant elements of a complex program
  • Has experience leading a substantive team
  • Took leadership in implementing humanitarian or development projects with digital results

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Understanding of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and respective targets – in particular SDG1, SDG2 and SDG17 – and how WFP’s work can contribute to achieving them
  • Knowledge of the World Food Program Strategy for Social Protection Support – 2021
  • Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the field of social protection and public policy and the implications on digital strategies and architectures
  • Knowledge of current thinking and developments in the country, capacity building and effective knowledge transfer models, concepts and principles
  • Knowledge of key national and regional contexts and issues related to government-led digitalization
  • Problem solving and decision making skills
  • Ability to supervise, guide and empower staff
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders, conveying an informed and professional attitude towards internal and external partners and stakeholders
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize quantitative and qualitative information to understand the context of current and future social protection needs and identify practical digitally enabled solutions
  • Learning and teaching agility, and an appetite for exploring and experimenting with new ideas and approaches in collaboration with other departments and stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality written materials and ability to present in English and the working language
  • Ability to work independently, punctually and organized
  • Ability to work in a team, participate in open dialogues and value the diverse opinions of others, regardless of gender, culture, background, experience or country of assignment


  • Mastery of French and English languages

How to register

Follow the link below to apply:

Joel C. Hicks