Senior Social Protection Specialist

International Labour Organization




The position is located in the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR (DWT/CO-Bangkok). DWT/CO-Bangkok provides support to the work of ILO Country Offices in assisting governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations in East and South-East Asia and the Pacific in their efforts to promote Decent Work and Social Justice. This support includes technical and policy advice, information and analyses covering a wide range of specific subjects within the core areas of the ILO’s mandate.

The Senior Social Protection Specialist will be responsible for providing policy advice and technical assistance specifically to ILO’s constituents, in a portfolio of selected countries covered by DWT/CO-Bangkok, on social protection to influence national policies aiming at ensuring that more people have access to better managed, more adequate and gender equitable social security benefits. The specialist will be in charge of coordinating the ILO’s regional work in the area of social protection and will be part of the Global Technical Team on social protection and contribute to the implementation of the Programme and Budget outcome on social protection. S/he will actively promote and support the development and implementation of integrated policies to achieve universal social protection, including in the framework of the ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All (ILO Flagship Programme) and the UN Secretary-General’s Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions (Global Accelerator) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). S/he will collaborate with other technical specialists from the DWT/CO-Bangkok in the promotion of integrated approaches to formalization. 
The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of and report to the Director of DWT-Bangkok. S/he will receive technical guidance and advice from the Social Protection Department (SOCPRO) at ILO headquarters. S/he will work in close cooperation with other technical specialists in the DWT-Bangkok Team and with Country Offices across the areas of geographical responsibility of DWT-Bangkok. The specialist will also work closely with DWT-Delhi specialist(s) on social protection for the development and implementation of a regional strategy on social protection. 

Specific Duties:

  • Assume primary responsibility for policy formulation and provide technical and policy advisory services to ILO constituents, national social security institutions, planning commissions, regional institutions and other stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on rights-based gender responsive public social protection schemes and programmes, including contributory social insurance and non-contributory benefits. This includes: promoting social protection systems that are rights-based, gender-responsive and inclusive and that provide protection throughout the life cycle; investments in social protection; and the building of sustainably and equitably financed social protection systems. This encompasses the design and implementation of social protection policies and strategies that are consistent with ILO’s work at country level, guided by the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) and other relevant ILO standards.
  • Lead, plan, provide expert advice and contribute to the development and implementation of national tailor-made and sub-regional policies, programmes, strategies and initiatives on social protection including on the extension of social protection systems and social protection floors. This entails collaboration with other social protection specialists , SOCPRO, ILO country offices and other relevant DWT/CO specialists, taking into consideration rights-based approaches as well as the priorities of the tripartite constituents in national dialogue. The country level policies take into account the national socio-economic context, advice with regard to the governance and administration of social protection schemes and programmes and advice in the area of the financial governance of social security systems. 
  • Promote ILO’s social protection related standards among key stakeholders, including relevant governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, and other target groups, and promote the integration of social protection policies and issues into national development frameworks, employment policies, Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCP), United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCFs), National Development Plans and related initiatives. Support countries intending to ratify ILO social security conventions.
  • Assume the role of focal point, in coordination with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), for social protection related work at the regional level, including participation in the UN Issue Based Coalition on Inclusive Economic Growth, and collaboration with the Asian Development Bank.  Assume the role of regional Outcome Coordinator for social protection related to the ILO’s Programme and Budget policy outcomes. 
  • Initiate, lead and coordinate for the region the development and implementation of joint partnerships and programmes with other UN agencies, development partners, research institutions, development banks and international NGOs, including members of the Social Protection Inter-Agency Coordination Board (SPIAC-B), particularly in relation to the promotion and implementation of national social protection floors.
  • Provide expert advice and advocate and promote ILO’s social security standards among key stakeholders, including concerned Governments, employers and workers’ organisations; and other target groups. Support countries wishing to ratify ILO social security conventions.
  • Initiate, design, supervise and conduct relevant analytical and policy-oriented research on sub-regional and national social security programmes and policies that will serve as the basis for the formulation of relevant national social security strategies.  Contribute to the development of the ILO’s knowledge base on social protection in the region. Develop a roster of social security experts/consultants.
  • optional section (only if needed)
  • Identify pivotal policy issues in the region and contribute to the Social Protection Department’s policy developments and the formulation of national social security priorities within the conceptual framework of Decent Work Country Programmes.  Contribute to the development of the Social Protection Department’s policy and country briefs, the World Social Protection Report, and its regional companion report for Asia, as well as other flagship publications. Identify, review and document relevant information pertaining to initiatives extending social security, achievements and impact of the various social security systems within the sub-regions (East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific).
  • Provide technical support and high level advice to directors of country offices and DWT specialists on the integration of social security priorities into their respective work programmes; to respond to the defined needs of constituents as expressed in the DWCPs;  on the development of the ILO’s knowledge base on social protection in the region, and advocacy and promotion of national social protection floors within progressively comprehensive social protection systems.
  • Design country-level, bilateral or multilateral development cooperation projects. Liaise with donors and potential partners with a view to securing development resources and expanding the Office’s capacity to undertake various activities in the field of social security in the region. Guide and monitor the work of chief technical advisers and senior project staff in line with established ILO guidelines, and mobilise additional resources as needed.  
  • Support the monitoring of social protection related SDGs by building capacities of national and sub-regional stakeholders on SDG monitoring and facilitating the collection of social protection data for the ILO’s Social Security Inquiry and ILO’s World Social Protection Database. Provide inputs to Office reports on sub-regional and national trends and issues in social protection.   
  • Support countries in the design and implementation of activities under the United Nations Secretary-General Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions and collaborate with other technical specialists to the design and implementation of integrated policies and strategies to promote formalization.
  • Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties:

  • Lead, organize, plan, supervise and control the work of a technical unit (including managerial functions).
  • Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes, This involves analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics, information or policy guidelines in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognized technical specialization.
  • Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes.
  • Assume full responsibility for policy formulation and providing policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of technical cooperation activities.
  • Develop project design, review proposals, formulate, revise and submit project proposals and negotiate funding.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities.
  • Lead technical advisory missions.
  • Conduct seminars, workshops and technical meetings.
  • Prepare recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO recommendations on related technical fields.
  • Write manuals and training guides on related topics.
  • Disseminate information on action programmes through publications and press releases as well as ensuring representation at donors’ meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.
  • Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators.
  • Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, conference reports, Director General’s report to International Labour Conference).

Required qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in economics, social sciences, actuarial studies or other relevant field. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in one of the afore-mentioned fields or other relevant field with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the required experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • At least ten years of experience, including at the international level, in social protection. Demonstrated experience in high-level policy development, research, and  providing high-level advisory and capacity-building services. Experience in designing, supporting the implementation and assessing social protection programmes.  Experience in the design and management of international development programmes or projects is an advantage, as is relevant experience in at in the sub-regions covered by the DWT/CO-Bangkok. Experience in working with ILO constituents would be an asset.


  • Excellent command of English is required. A working knowledge of another working language (French, Spanish) of the Organization would be an advantage.





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