Principal Social Sector Economist

Job Vacancy | Wednesday, October 6, 2021


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.

1Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Human and Social Development Division (SEHS) within the Southeast Asia Department (SERD). SERD is responsible for maintaining client relations and delivering ADB assistance to countries in the Southeast Asian region. SEHS leads policy dialogue, portfolio development, oversight of strategy execution, knowledge management, project quality assurance, sector analytic work and loan and technical assistance processing and administration in the human and social development sectors (education and skills development, health, social protection, and other social development related sectors and themes).

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Social Sector Economist will help support Southeast Asian countries in developing and implementing post-Covid19 recovery strategies and programs that lead to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development. In this context, the incumbent will identify, develop, and administer lending programs and projects, technical assistance (TA), and non-lending products and services in human and social development sectors and themes. He/she will undertake policy dialogue, promote best practices and innovations, undertake sector and thematic studies, and participate in cross-sectoral programs in Southeast Asia. The incumbent will report to the Director, SEHS and will supervise one or more National and Administrative Staff.


• Participates in the development and implementation of ADB strategy in the human and social development sectors to support Southeast Asian countries post-Covid19 recovery strategies and programs; leads or participates in relevant economic, thematic, and sector work and assessment; participates in policy dialogue and strategy level discussions with key government stakeholders on social policies to ensure that ADB strategy remains responsive to client’s needs.
• Leads missions to identify, develop, and administer lending programs and projects, technical assistance (TA), and non-lending products and services in social protection and related human and social development sectors including: social assistance; social insurance; labor market programs; and workforce development. Coordinates with teams working on education, skills development, and health to ensure a coherent approach to human and social development in post-Covid19 recovery strategies.
• Leads and participates in regional and country level knowledge generation, management and dissemination in broad themes related to human and social development.
• Identifies best practices and innovations in the use of digital technologies, financing modalities, resource mobilization and social spending, and other relevant areas; leads feasibility assessment and technical discussions on their applicability, scalability and cost effectiveness, and develops applicable models for ADB programs and projects.
• Ensures that lending programs and projects he/she is leading integrate gender mainstreaming, engage private sector where possible, and contribute to climate financing, adaptation and resilience as appropriate.
• Participates in regional/country programming missions and contributes to the development of regional/country partnership strategies and regional/ country operations business plans; leads sector specific discussions on human and social development and advises other SERD business units as necessary.
• Leads and participates in development coordination meetings in assigned countries, manages coordination with development partners, and explores co-financing opportunities.
• Applies a One-ADB team approach to lead or participate in SERD cross-sectoral programs and projects involving human and social development sectors and themes; participates in the activities of Social Development Thematic Group and the Education Sector Group; collaborates with the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD), Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC), and Information Technology Department (ITD) in conducting relevant economic, thematic and sector work.
• Provides managerial responsibilities to reporting staff and demonstrates strong leadership and willingness to mentor junior staff, serving as catalyst for the team to achieve goals.
• Leads or participates in division wide activities and performs other duties that may be assigned within his/her own area of expertise.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

• Master's degree, or equivalent, preferably in economics or in public sector management, human and social development sectors, or other related fields. Alternatively, university degree in related fields and at least 5 years specialized experience relevant to the position can be considered.
• At least 12 years of relevant professional experience, including as project leader in the preparation and implementation of human and social development policies, programs and projects.
• Significant expertise within a specific area of social protection (social assistance; social insurance; labor market programs; and workforce development) and a breadth of experience across multiple areas in human and social development are required.
• International experience working in development in several countries, with substantial experience in the human and social development sectors in Asia and the Pacific (preferably in Southeast Asia) is required.
• Demonstrated experience in engaging with governments on social policies and investment programs, particularly in relation to COVID19 response and/or Post COVID19 recovery strategy is a significant advantage.
• Proven ability to work and coordinate in multi-disciplinary teams and across different units in an organization, including projects or initiatives involving public and private sector dimensions, is required.
• Familiarity with business operations and procedures of ADB or comparable Multilateral Development Banks is a significant advantage.
• Ability to mentor team members, provide them guidance and advice on technical and operations related matters is required.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is required.
• Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff level 6.

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB’s standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual’s qualifications and experience.

ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.