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Junior Professional Officer (JPO) in Social Protection


Grade: P2  

Vacancy no.: JPO/DAKAR/BE/2019/01
Publication date: 23 October 2019
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 22 November 2019


Job ID: 1983 
Department: RO-Africa 
Organization Unit: DWT/CO-Dakar 
Location: Dakar   
Contract type: Junior Professional Officer 

Contract duration: 12 months, renewable 


The post is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme sponsored by the Government of Belgium and is addressed exclusively to candidates who have Belgian citizenship.


In addition candidates should be no older than 32 years of age as of 31 December 2019.


Candidates need to submit their application as well as a cover letter online in order to be considered for this position.


The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities.


In Africa, despite notable progress in the extension of social protection coverage in certain countries, only 17.8 per cent of the population is covered by at least one cash social protection benefit; this percentage is below 10 per cent in many West African countries.


In West Africa, a minority of workers is covered by social insurance schemes; self-employed and workers in the informal and rural economy being left with no or limited social protection. Social assistance programmes to reach out the vulnerable population are also developing with often the support of donors and development partners. However, results in terms of coverage are still limited and sustainability challenged by the lack of institutionalization and funding.


Aware of the necessity to invest in social protection for guaranteeing a fair and inclusive growth, West African countries have placed social protection and universal health care coverage at the core of their national and regional development strategies with a clear objective of accelerating its extension. Although political commitment is reaffirmed, West African countries face capacity, institutional and financial constraints that challenge the effective implementation of the national and regional social protection and universal health care objectives. Such constraints are further aggravated by the fact that some of the Western African countries are classified as fragile States, due to their exposure to natural disasters, armed conflicts and social unrests among other issues.


Extending social protection is also one of the key priorities of the International Labour Organization (ILO) at a global level and in the Africa region. The ILO’s Recommendation concerning National Floors of Social Protection, 2012 (No. 202) reaffirms social security as a human right and a social and economic necessity and provides guidance to Member States in building social protection floors within progressively comprehensive social security systems. In 2015, the ILO launched its Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All ( to accelerate the extension of social protection.


The ILO’s Decent Work Technical Team for West Africa (DWT-Dakar) provides the countries of the sub-region with a wide range of expert support services related to labour issues, including strengthening of social protection strategies and systems. The countries covered by the DWT-Dakar are the fifteen Member States of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).


The position of Junior Programme Officer (JPO) is located in the ILO Decent Work Technical Team for West Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal (DWT-Dakar). The JPO will accompany and assist the Social Protection Specialist of the DWT-Dakar in conducting research, reviewing technical papers and policy briefs, organising missions, seminars meetings and advocacy events, following a time-bound work plan agreed between the JPO and supervisor. Performance of the JPO will be reviewed in accordance with ILO’s Performance Management Framework, as applicable to Junior Professional Officers.

Duties and Responsabilities

Under the overall supervision of the Director of the DWT-Dakar and the technical supervision of the Social Protection Specialist, the incumbent is expected to be actively involved in ILO’s activities to improve social protection strategies and systems in West Africa. The scope of the technical fields covers benefits such as pensions, disability, survivors, working injury insurance, maternity, sick leave, unemployment, child allowance and access to health care, through a combination of both social insurance and social assistance schemes and programmes. Part of the technical work is also advocating at national, regional and global levels for universal social protection and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, as part of the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection (

Under the direct supervision of the supervisor, the JPO will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Participate in the preparation of relevant terms of references, draft component of research, technical reports, concept notes, and policy briefs;
  • Identify and document ILO’s events and interventions, good practices, lessons learned and relevant experiences that may be shared with other countries at the regional or global level;
  • Assist the organization and participate in local, national and regional meetings and workshops, tripartite seminars, training, and other social dialogue and capacity building activities;
  • Identify possible source of development cooperation funding, support the drafting of concept notes and project documents, as well as other documents that may be requested for resource mobilization;
  • Assist the preparation and participate in meetings of development partners and the United Nations System;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor.


During the period of assignment, the JPO will contribute to the following key outputs:

  • Achievement of the SDG related to social protection, in particular targets 1.3 and 3.8 ,
  • Events related to the visibility of the ILO’s role in promoting social protection for all, including in the UN coordination framework ;
  • Coordination and animation of the social protection platform for Central and West Africa (development partners’ group) and the ILO on-line platform on social protection (;
  • National and sub-regional training and capacity building activities, including TRANSFORM training;
  • Compilation of the Social Security Inquiry and inputs to the World Social Protection Report;
  • Implementation of development cooperation projects and technical missions in the area of social protection in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Senegal;
  • Preparation of development cooperation proposals for strengthening social protection systems in the sub-region, including in fragile States.  
Qualifications and Experience

An advanced degree (Master's degree) in development economics or social sciences.

Work Experience

At least 2 years of relevant work experience in sustainable development and implementation of environmental related programmes, projects and activities is required. Prior experience at the international level is advantageous and a development-oriented employment history or previous experience in development is desirable (or something similar).


Ability to write technical reports, information notes and summaries, design communication supports (e.g., brochures, presentations) and produce website contents;

Proficiency in IT (WORD, POWERPOINT, EXCEL, etc.) and internet usage, including blogs, forums and wikis.


Applicants should have working knowledge (both oral and written) of at least one of the ILO's official languages (English, French or Spanish).

  • Capacity to work independently, plan activities and resolve challenges;
  • Ability to work in a team, share and listen to ideas;
  • Good communication skills both written and verbal;
  • Ability to work in multicultural and gender-sensitive environment.


Training Components and Learning Elements

The JPO will: 


  • Enhance his/her technical knowledge and analytical skills in the field of social protection as well as the design and implementation of social protection floors through research work and participation in national and regional meetings;
  • Strengthen his/her knowledge management and communication techniques and methods, by supporting the planning and organization of activities and events; identifying, documenting and disseminating key experiences; supporting the planning and conduct of training sessions; by supporting campaigns, advocacy and visibility of ILO;
  • Get to know the functioning of the ILO as well as the UN system;
  • Develop his/her creativity and ability to work within a cross-disciplinary team in a multicultural environment by working in a multicultural team, being in contact with ILO constituents and partners.


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit ILO Jobs. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Applicants will be contacted directly if selected for a written test and/or an interview.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including technical tests or interviews.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.