SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS SPECIALIST
Full Time
March 18, 2024
Blantyre, Malawi
March 22, 2024

Company: Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM)

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Overview

NAME OF PROJECT: MALAWI ELECTRICITY ACCESS PROJECT 

 

1.0 Background

The Government of Malawi with support from the World Bank is implementing Malawi Electricity Access Project (MEAP) through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM). MEAP is a four year project which became effective in 2020 and is expected to end in 2024.

The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to increase access to electricity services in Malawi.

The main component is Grid densification/extension. This component will finance cost-effective, priority investments in grid electrification by providing electricity supply to beneficiaries/ consumers living close to an existing distribution infrastructure leveraging on a geospatial analysis (already undertaken under a separate assignment) to maximize the number of connections under the financing.

In addition, the project will support the use of energy-efficient appliances including the distribution of free energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs to enhance affordability and reduce household electricity consumption.

Component 3: Technical assistance and capacity building
This will mainly finance activities to support ESCOM to effectively implement Component 1 including support for detailed project design, planning, and supervisory oversight. More specifically the sub-component will finance (i) capacity building and implementation support for the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) in ESCOM related to core functions, including (Financial Management) FM, procurement, safeguards, and monitoring and evaluation; (ii) preparation of a Program Operations Manual informed by a least-cost geospatial roll-out plan; (ili) training at ESCOM’s Training facility of ESCOM front line construction supervision management personnel,
and private sector contractors for implementing a scaled up on-grid connections program; (iv) mainstreaming more broadly, selective high impact DSM measures; (v) GIS platform for network reticulation planning, design; (vi) System-wide MV feeder-specific upgrading Master Plan through 2030; including affordable new connections fee policy; and (vii) preparation and implementation of a gender capacity building plan and program, and designing a recruitment, mentoring and leadership development program targeting potential, new and existing female employees at ESCOM.

ESCOM is now inviting applications from suitably qualified individual to fill the following positions:

Social Safeguards Specialist (1 Position)
The SSS is part of a larger Project Management Team, which comprises the Project Manager and other specialists. The SSS will be responsible for ensuring that deliverables under Component are done consistently with social safeguards, which in turn would facilitate the compliance of the MEAP and ensure timely implementation of the project. Specifically, the SSS shall be responsible for the day-to-day facilitation and coordination of all activities related to social safeguards under the MEAP, including ensuring compliance with social safeguard guidelines established the project’s approved and disclosed safeguard instruments including,
where applicable, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), and Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF). The SSS is expected to work in close coordination with the other safeguards specialists namely the Environmental Safeguard Specialist and the Social and Gender Inclusion Manager.

The SSS will be a competitively recruited individual consultant who will be working within the Social and Gender Inclusion Department and will be reporting to the Project Manager. The Specialist will, at a minimum, on a monthly basis present a brief progress report to the Project Manager, highlighting a synthesis of progress against planned actions, key challenges, and proposed management decisions. The SSS will assist in this process by supporting the delivery of timely reports.

Objectives of the Assignment
The main aim of this assignment is to ensure that all social risks and impacts are managed in accordance with the social safeguards policies of the World Bank, and national social safeguards policies and frameworks as well as Good International Industry Practice on energy conservation. The assignment will thus support implementation of the MEAP Project safeguards activities in accordance with World Bank’s Safeguards Requirements and other requirements stipulated in the Project Documents; as well as the efficient management and compliance monitoring of all safeguards and related instruments for the project. Thus the SSS will mainly be required to organise and coordinate the implementation of social safeguard aspects under the project, including any resettlement or livelihood restoration caused by the project.

Duties and Responsibilities
Working with other team members, the SSS will lead the social component in the overall project execution process. He/ she will be responsible for overall monitoring of the implementation of all safeguards measures as described in the Environmental and Social Framework (ESMF) and Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF), including compensation for resettlement, loss of access to land, and livelihood restoration activities.

Specific Tasks:
Specific tasks of the assignment shall include but not limited to:

  1. Review the project related documentation to better understand the gender and social implications of the proposed project activities and ensure that they have been adequately addressed in the project.
  2. Facilitate integration of relevant cross-cutting social issues including gender and HIV/AIDS. Be the lead on community sensitization meetings to ensure that communities are continuously aware of the social safeguards issues including HIV/AIDS, Child labour, GRM, GBV etc.
  3. Coordinate stakeholder engagement to ensure that relevant stakeholders are continuously updated on project progress and other issues of interest to the stakeholders.
  4. In collaboration with team members of the PlU and relevant national authorities, organize and conduct training workshops, in accordance with the capacity building plan on social safeguards and any relevant social management issues.
  5. Periodically, carry out the necessary coordination activities for social activities and perform related field work as required and submitting clear and concise written reports based on field inspections or regular monitoring.
  6. Support in the preparation of Annual Work Plans and Budgets, Procurement Plans, mid-term reviews, final evaluations, and social audits.
  7. Provide adequate attention to the disadvantaged and marginalised groups so that they benefit from the project and minimise their risks.
  8. Review the project related documentation to better understand the implications of proposed project activities and determine whether a Resettlement and Compensation Action Plan will need to be prepared.
  9. Undertake an assessment of project affected persons (PAPs) (defined as those who may be relocated, or whose incomes or livelihoods may be displaced or disrupted, by the project) including determining the socio-economic status of potential PAPs and provide guidance on eligibility, valuation, compensation and other resettlement assistance, as needed, or when a Resettlement and Compensation Action Plan (RCAP) may need to be prepared;
  10. In a case where a RCAP may need to be prepared, facilitate and provide oversight for RCAP formulation and its implementation, including ensuring that resettlement compensation for replacement of lost assets and land access, as well as livelihood restoration activities, are successfully carried out.
  11. Conduct consultations with key stakeholders about the project, and acceptable resettlement and other alternatives, as appropriate;
  12. Develop for arrangements the implementation and a monitoring and evaluation framework when a Resettlement and Compensation Action Plan (RCAP) may need to be prepared.
  13. Prepare the implementation schedule of the RCAPs, linking resettlement implementation to the implementation of civil/construction works. In this regard, ensure that all project sites are Social Safeguards Compliant well ahead of construction activities.
  14. Estimate the extent and magnitude of social impacts and population likely to be impacted.
  15. Establish the eligibility criteria which will include: (a) establish a method for setting a cut-off date for eligibility, and (b) identifying different categories of people who may be affected by investment projects. (c) determine types of losses and compensation for each category of loss including enhancement measures. (d) define criteria to be used to identify eligibility for compensation for each category of affected persons
  16. Liaising with relevant authorities in valuing and compensating the impacted assets.
  17. Conduct consultations with key stakeholders throughout the project cycle social impacts. xviii. Manage Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRM) for address concerns, grievances and complaints that may arise relating to the project.
  18. Formulate grievance logs and resolutions templates with third-party appeal provision to ensure no conflict of interest and disturbance with program activities.
  19. Interface with relevant national authorities to ensure implementation of social safeguards, including ensuring that ESIAs, ESMPS, RCAPs, Process Frameworks, and Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRMs) are developed and conform to the Government and World Bank requirements.
  20. Implement and monitor Social Safeguards, Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) and Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) that might be implemented on the ground to ensure compliance.
  21. Ensure social and gender inclusion mainstreaming in the project (such as need for sex disaggregated data, gender analysis, vulnerability analysis etc.)
  22. Provide adequate attention to the disadvantaged and marginalised groups so that they benefit from the project and minimise their risks.
  23. Collaborate with the contractors in developing and monitoring social and gender inclusion plans related to but not limited to : Women’s employment and economic development; workers’ rights; sexual harassment and gender based violence, HIV/AIDS and such other communicable diseases, trafficking in persons, child labour, managing community relations and community development. Facilitate budgetary formulation. Provide Capacity building and monitor implementation.
  24. Provide oversight for RCAP Completion Audit(s) to be carried out by independent consultant 6-12 months after resettlement activities are completed.

Performance Criteria

The following performance criteria will be used to assess the performance of the Social Safeguards Specialist at regular intervals and based upon these assessments the contract with ESCOM may be continued or terminated:

  • Sound and timely determination of Resettlement and Compensation Action Plan (RCAP) requirements for the project.
  • Accurate development of the draft RCAP where required
  • Comprehensiveness and Quality of PAPs compensation eligibility criteria and report
  • Effectiveness of stakeholder consultations
  • Timely development of a functioning implementation, monitoring and evaluation RCAP Framework
  • Minimized community conflicts and disturbances to project activities
  • Effective and comprehensive Grievance Redress Mechanisms
  • Adequate social and gender inclusion and mainstreaming activities in the project
  • Quality and timeliness of submission of relevant documentation and periodic
  • Appropriate and quality documentation and filing and database creation of all PAP records and issues under the project

Deliverables

  • Summary periodic reports highlighting critical outstanding issues requiring Management attention
  • Monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to be submitted to the Management as a follow-up on the implementation and monitoring of the sub-projects’ social safeguards activities vis-à-vis the respective ESMPs, ESGS, EMPs, RAPS, Process Framework, and GRM(s), as well as any other issue that is encountered with regard to social safeguards
  • Minutes or reports of meetings held throughout the project with various stakeholders including PAPs and Community Leaders.
  • Complete database of PAPs details, Compensations paid, Grievances registered and how they were resolved.

Qualifications and Experience

  1. A minimum of a first BSc. Degree in Social Science, Social Development, or any other relevant field. A relevant postgraduate qualification will be an added advantage.
  2. Demonstrable experience in social safeguards management, community liaison and development capacity, social development and gender implementation initiatives with at least 5 years postgraduate progressive experience in implementing infrastructure development projects.
  3. Experience in Energy Infrastructure projects will be an added advantage.
  4. He/she should have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in addressing social safeguards issues, ideally in donor funded projects.
  5. Proven work experience in stakeholder engagement with development partners, project beneficiaries and Government agencies
  6. Should have demonstrated expertise in social and gender inclusion activities including design or implementation of Resettlement and compensation Action Plan in line with World Bank standards.

Required Competences

  • Understanding of assignment objectives, effective planning of activities and ability to adjust to changing circumstances.
  • Should have demonstrated leadership skills in working effectively with contractors and communities in implementing effective consultation programs with project affected communities and other related stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team and capacity to foster teamwork and establish harmonious working relationships in a multicultural environment
  • Full and fluent command of English, including the ability to set out a coherent argument in English in writing, presentations and group interactions.
  • Good understanding of related laws, local language and the local culture
  • Good working knowledge of Windows-based computing programs, and electronic communication.
  • Good report writing skills;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Applications including Excel, PowerPoint and Word.
  • Strong attention to detail and thoroughness in work product.
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Ability to work in a team and independently with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to work with tight deadlines and deliver exceptional results.

Facilities to be provided by the Client

The following shall be provided by the Client: –

• Office space, Furniture and office equipment,

Communication and internet facilities.

For all field related assignments, the Project shall provide PPE, transport and other expenses (per diems etc.) related to the field work.

Submission

Interested applicants for the above position are required to submit applications including a cover letter and detailed Curriculum Vitae to the address below by 22nd March 2024.

Director of Human Resources & Administration
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi
ESCOM House
P O Box 2047
Blantyre

Location
All the Specialists will be based in Blantyre, but will be required to travel regularly and extensively to the project areas across the country and work closely with Project Implementation Unit members and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that progress follows project plans and that appropriate support is provided for project activities.

ESCOM is an equal opportunity employer