Specialist, Environmental & Social Standards at Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)

The Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is an independent office reporting directly to the President of the World Bank Group. The CAO’s mandate is to assist the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to address complaints regarding environmental and social (E&S) issues from people affected by their business activities. In carrying out this mandate, CAO works in a manner that is fair, objective, and constructive with a view to enhancing the environmental and social outcomes of IFC and MIGA’s business activities.

The CAO has three roles, which together seek to provide redress for community grievances and provide public assurance that systemic weaknesses in IFC/MIGA project performance are identified and addressed:

- Dispute Resolution Role: Working with communities, IFC/MIGA private sector sponsors, and relevant local stakeholders to help resolve issues raised in complaints using a flexible, problem solving approach; 

- Compliance Role: Overseeing investigations of IFC’s and MIGA’s environmental and social performance, both on systemic issues and in relation to sensitive projects;

- Advisory Role: Providing independent advice to the President and senior management of IFC/MIGA regarding broader environmental and social issues and trends.

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.

Duties and Accountabilities:


The CAO seeks an experienced professional to work with the CAO’s Compliance function. The Specialist will undertake a range of duties, including but not limited to the following:

Design, organization, and conduct of E&S compliance appraisals, investigations and monitoring processes.

Supervision and coordination of staff and consultants working on compliance processes

Work constructively and collaboratively to maximize the impact of CAO compliance processes on IFC and MIGA’s environmental and social performance both at the systemic and the project level.

Work with IFC/MIGA staff, community groups, NGOs, and private sector sponsors in discharging the above duties while maintaining clarity on the independence and integrity of the CAO’s role.

Support broader CAO office functions including in relation to strategy, communications and outreach.

Selection Criteria:


Advanced degree in a relevant field including law, social sciences, environment or business.

5 to 8 years plus of progressively responsible work experience including:

o Design, implementation and authorship of analytical and/or investigative processes resulting in publication.

o Work on environmental and social sustainability in relation to the private sector with significant exposure to less developed country contexts and areas of sectoral focus for CAO (eg. extractive industries, infrastructure, agribusiness, and project finance).

Knowledge of IFC’s Sustainability Framework or similar systems or identifying and managing environmental and social risks and impacts of projects.

Demonstrated commitment to accountability and access to remedy for project affected people. 

Capacity to work effectively with a range of stakeholders including the private sector, government, NGOs and project affected communities.

Ability to deal with conflicting priorities under high pressure and with issues of ethics and integrity at forefront of work.

Ability to work effectively in teams and in highly sensitive and politically charged environments.

Excellent inter-personal, and problem-solving skills. 

Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral.

Fluency in English required, with other languages an asset.

Applicants who have earlier worked in any capacity for the World Bank Group will, in addition to the above, be individually assessed regarding potential conflict of interest. Applications from current staff of IFC/MIGA, or those who have been employed by IFC/MIGA in the past two years, will not be considered.

Successful applicants will be contractually barred from work for IFC or MIGA for a period of two years post-CAO employment.

Job title: Specialist (Environmental & Social Standard)

Location: Washington, DC


Closing date: 13 October 2015