The scope of work for the Social Safeguards Specialist will be to ensure that the Bank supported projects within Infrastructure and Logistics Division are in line with the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and the Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) of the World Bank and the Environmental and Social Policies, Legislation and Regulations of the participating COMESA member countries. The specialist will be expected to provide support to other Bank financed activities outside the Infrastructure and Logistics Division as well as non-Bank financed projects within the COMESA Secretariat as need arises.
The Social Safeguards Specialist will be based at the Infrastructure and Logistics Division, but will also provide Adhoc support to the Industry and Agriculture Division which is also in charge of Climate Change and Environment at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia and will perform the following main functions in order to ensure overall delivery of the project:
The scope of work for the Social Safeguards Specialist will include the following:
ASCENT PIU and Member States Support Tasks
Liaise with the ASCENT PIU and World Bank team to ensure that prepared safeguards instruments (ESIAs) are submitted to, and approved by, the Bank prior to the start of project activities, and collaborate closely with the Gender Expert on the project, and the team from the Gender and Social Affairs Division;
Identify relevant capacity development needs and responses to those needs for appropriate personnel on implementing and monitoring relevant measures, as required;
Work closely with partnering energy agencies as necessary, including, but not limited to, Ministries of Energy, Rural Electrification Agencies, Energy Regulators and Utilities of Member Countries;
Undertake other duties as directed by the Project Manager/Coordinator, Director Gender and Social Affairs, and Director Infrastructure and Logistics.
Documentation Preparation Tasks
- Prepare and implement social risks and impacts management plans including Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) prevention and response plans, and an inclusion strategy for Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan Africa Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities (IP/SSAHUTLC), women, youth, minority clans, people with disabilities to ensure that these groups are included in all activities implemented by COMESA and are able to access project benefits, benefit sharing.
- Develop standard guidelines for conducting and documenting consultations and establish approaches for engaging with stakeholders using different platforms.
Review and Disclosure of Social Safeguards Documents
- Review all social assessment reports, instruments and design measures prepared for all infrastructure sub-projects, matching grants, and partnership arrangements, including Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) and Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs), and ensure that all such instruments are consistent with the World Bank safeguards policies and guidelines. The Social Safeguards Specialist will work in collaboration with the Gender Expert and Environmental expert where necessary;
- Review (and update) the SEP to ensure it encompasses a mechanism for consultations with all relevant stakeholders including community members, women groups, youth groups, child groups, traditional authorities, and civil society in relation to the COMESA activities under the project;
- Contribute to the review, update (if necessary) and implementation of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) and the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan (ESCP) that have been prepared by COMESA for the ASCENT project.
- Ensure all social safeguards documents are disclosed on the COMESA Website and shared with stakeholders as necessary for information and/or disclosure.
- Ensure that measures to promote social inclusion, equity of benefits, community participation, feedback mechanisms, women and youth participation, grievance redress as outlined in the Project Appraisal Document (PAD) and other policy frameworks including the COMESA Gender Policy and Social Charter are developed and implemented;
- As necessary, and in collaboration with the Environmental Safeguards Specialist, develop and manage the implementation of Environmental and Social (E&S) safeguards training for all relevant ASCENT implementation team members and implementation partners (including communities) in line with the World Bank’s ESF/ESSs to ensure that they have the capacity to implement the project as per the requirements of the Environmental Social Framework (ESF).
- Contribute to the screening processes of all infrastructure sub-projects, matching grants, and partnership arrangements to identify the social risks and impacts of the COMESA financed activities and recommend mitigation measures for such risks including identification of the need for social assessments.
- Provide technical advice on the elements of the project related to social safeguards, equitable access and participation, and lead the implementation of community engagement processes in line with the SEP;
- Undertake field visits as required to the ASCENT project sites and other areas where the project will be implemented to supervise the implementation of project activities, ensure alignment with project objectives, and identify development risks and opportunities, and document good practices on social safeguards;
Grievance Management Tasks
- Develop and operationalize the grievance redress mechanism and assume overall responsibility for the mechanism including monitoring its performance, identifying trends in the nature of grievances and institutional responses to grievances.
- Provide advice, and where necessary, identify and propose capacity building intervention to relevant staff and partners on the ground on prevention, receiving and/or responding to grievances, for example, staff of the energy sector, including utilities, and other implementing agencies;
- Report on any issue identified in implementing the project, including the provisions of the ESF, and provide recommendations to the ASCENT Project Management and Project Steering Committee on how they could be addressed;
Support Gender Mainstreaming Tasks
- In collaboration with the Gender Expert, assess and evaluate gender-based violence (GBV) risks associated with the project and sub projects, and lead in the design and implementation of measures for addressing such risks including sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse through the project life;
- Provide expert advice to task teams on gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, harassment and abuse, social impact assessments, and on stakeholder engagement, consultation plans; vulnerable groups, human security, crime and violence.
- Provide advisory and analytical support and guidance in relation to identifying and promoting opportunities for enhancing women’s economic empowerment.