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JPO - Social protection policy and governance


Grade: P2

Vacancy no.: JPO/KIGALI/BEL/2023/01
Publication date: 26 January 2023

Application deadline (midnight Geneva time):  24 February 2023


Job ID:   9747
Department:  RO-Africa
Organization Unit: CO-Dar es Salaam
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Contract type: Junior Professional Officer 

Contract duration: 12 months, renewable 


Note: 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 2023. 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.




The position is located in the ILO Country Office for the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda (CO-Dar es Salaam) which represents the ILO in Rwanda.


Despite significant progress in extending social protection in many parts of the world, the human right to social security is still not a reality for most of the population. In Africa, only 17.4% of the population is covered by at least one social protection cash benefit, leaving more than 80% - the vast majority of workers in the informal economy and their families - without any protection at all. The East Africa sub-region has the lowest coverage rate of only 11%. 


To respond and contribute to improving this situation, the Regional Office for Africa launched The Africa Regional Social Protection Strategy, 2021-2025: Towards 40 % – a social protection coverage acceleration framework to achieve the SDGs to support ILO Constituents in Africa accelerate social protection coverage to at least 40% coverage by 2025. This Strategy is in line with the 2019 Abidjan Declaration- Advancing Social Justice: Shaping the future of work in Africa and its implementation plan adopted by ILO Constituents at the 14th Africa Regional Meeting, the Conclusions and Resolution concerning the second recurrent discussion on social protection(security) as well as the resolution concerning a Global call to action for a human- centred recovery from COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.



Furthermore, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has set up a multi-donor programme to support the implementation of the second phase of the ILO Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All. This programme, launched at the end of 2021, currently supports the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi - the Great Lakes Region - as well as an Asia component. The programme aims to strengthen universal social protection. The three country components in the Great Lakes Region (DRC, Burundi, and Rwanda) are complemented by a regional and global component, which will aim to extend the impact of the project beyond the three initial countries, by promoting global and regional partnerships and transfer of knowledge and experience.


Social protection in Rwanda comprises contributory and non-contributory schemes. Social security is administered by the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). Established in 2010, RSSB is comprised of six schemes:
1. Pension Scheme
2. Occupational Hazards Scheme
3. Maternity Leave Benefit Scheme
4. Medical Scheme
5. Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHI) and
6. EjoHeza (a long-term saving scheme covering salaried workers and non-salaried population).



Despite the ambitious programmes, RSSB covers less than 10% of the working population. Although over 80% of the Rwandan population has access to health insurance, estimates suggest only about 60% of the poorest quintile have access despite the presence of premium subsidies for households in the first Ubudehe Category. Coverage of safety net programmes are generally low despite Government’s effort to device innovative approaches. The Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme has coverage rates of less than 1% of the population, while the Ubudehe benefits only 8% of the population. The first National Strategy for Transformation (2018-2024) reaffirms the central role of social protection in eradicating and enhancing the standard of living of Rwandans. Rwanda’s third National Social Protection Policy (2018 - 2024) reconfirms the country’s commitment to advance towards the establishment of a social protection system that delivers “universal protection for all citizens”. The Policy proposes a comprehensive vision for social protection that encapsulates social security, short-term social assistance, social care services and targeted livelihood and employment support.


The NSSP Social Protection Sector Strategic Plan (SP-SSP) 2018/19 – 2023/24 highlights the following priority areas:
•    Increase access to social security and income support programmes, particularly among vulnerable older people, people with disabilities, households with low labour capacity and other poor families.
•    Enhance social protection sector’s contribution to reducing malnutrition.
•    Strengthen support for households and communities affected by disasters and shocks.
•    Strengthen the provision of social care services for the protection and inclusion of the most vulnerable.
•    Strengthen linkages between social protection and complementary programmes that support sustainable graduation from extreme poverty.
•    Promote values of self-reliance, respect for rights and community-based support for the vulnerable.
•    Strengthen institutional capacity for evidence-based policy development and social protection service delivery. 



The ILO Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All will support Rwanda (the Great Lakes Region project: Extension of Social Protection to workers in the informal economy in the Great Lakes region):
1. Within the framework of the National Social Protection Strategy, identifying and developing social security products and services, including unemployment protection responding to the priorities and needs of workers in the formal and informal economy.
2. In alignment with the RSSB Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025, strengthening administration of social security schemes.
3. Strengthening the capacities of national actors to effectively implement social protection schemes and advocate for their sustainable financing.

At the subregional level (the Great Lakes Region), the programme provides for the development and sharing of knowledge on social protection financing and capacity building to build systems for the collection and compilation of national statistics on social protection. The 24-month project will be implemented jointly and in close coordination between the ILO Country Office in Kinshasa (for the DRC component and the subregional component), the ILO Country Office in Dar es Salaam (for the Rwanda and Burundi components), and by the ILO Social Protection Department (SOCPRO) in Geneva and with support from the ILO Decent Work Teams in Pretoria and Yaoundé.



Direct Supervision by: 
The Project Manager of the Great Lakes Region project (Extension of Social Protection to workers in the informal economy in the Great Lakes region) and under the overall guidance of the Country Office Director. 


Content and methodology of supervision: 

Within the framework of a work plan for the programme, the supervisor will be responsible for assigning tasks, providing the necessary guidance, support, and training, and reviewing and providing feedback on the work to be accomplished. Performance management will be in accordance with ILO’s Performance Management Framework, as applicable to Junior Professional Officers.

Learning Components and Learning Elements


The JPO will have the opportunity: 
-    to enhance his/her technical knowledge in the field of the extension of social protection as well as in the design and implementation of social protection floors at country, regional and global levels;
-    to gain knowledge of international legal social security instruments and their practical implementation, namely the ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202) and the ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No.102); 
-    To enhance his/her knowledge about knowledge management techniques and methods, such as identifying key experiences concerning social protection and recording, capitalizing on and disseminating of this information, communicating, connecting actors and conducting training sessions;
-    To improve his/her professional skills at various levels, including on applied training methodology, reflecting on strategy and policy, using pedagogical and methodological tools, conducting and coordinating research, establishing contacts and networking;
-    To improve his/her professional skills in development cooperation project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as partnerships with donors and partners;
-    To become familiar with the ILO’s mandate and institutional functioning; 
-    To get acquainted with the UN system; its regional bodies, coordination and inter-agency mechanisms and frameworks and in its inter-action with government counterparts and other development partners; 
-    To work in a cross-disciplinary team, thereby developing his/her creativity and ability to function within a group in a multicultural setting.

Duties and Responsibilities


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

•    Ensure effective coordination, communication, and implementation of activities with the key implementation partners particularly the ILO constituents.
•    Support the Project Manager to ensure effective implementation of the project components in Rwanda and Burundi through the development/ update of the project work plan, timely provision of inputs, timely and efficient delivery of outputs, and planning, control of the project activities, in close collaboration with the relevant line ministries, RSSB and social partners as well as key stakeholders in the social protection sector and especially Enabel. 
•    Support the project manager to effectively monitor and collect information needed for reporting in a systematic way in line with the project indicator framework at sufficiently disaggregated level and regularly update the ILO social protection Results Monitoring Tool and provide timely inputs to the global annual report of the Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All as well as visibility and communication materials of the project. 
•    Provide technical support to relevant line ministries and RSSB in Rwanda, and backstop the project in Burundi in several areas of social protection (pensions, maternity, unemployment, social health protection, financing/fiscal space social protection, social security administration and service delivery, digitalisation, social protection statistics).
•    Develop technical briefs for several target groups (informal economy, formal sector, rural, etc.), and keep close relations with line ministries and RSSB to achieve the outputs and results of the project. 
•    Provide technical advice on the extension of social protection to the informal economy under the guidance of the Project Manager.
•    Support the organization of training workshops and meetings for line ministries, RSSB, tripartite partners, NGOs, other agencies, target groups and staff as appropriate to reinforce the understanding of universal social protection in line with ILO standards and the good practices guides and thematic approaches developed by the ILO through its Flagship programme, improve capacities for advocacy raising and for implementation of social protection.
•    Support the project manager to liaise with other UN agencies counterparts and IFIs (the World Bank as appropriate) to establish ILO as a key actor in the social protection sector including through active involvement in coordination mechanisms in the sector, promote ILO's values, increase the project's visibility, and facilitate the scaling-up of the project's interventions.
•    Support local resource mobilization activities with multi-lateral and bilateral donor community for the development of future activities linked to social protection in coordination with the CO-Dar es Salaam. Support ILO Flagship Programme and the project manager in preparing concept notes and project proposals as part of global and regional project proposals.
•    Any other duties requested by the responsible line manager.



An advanced university degree / Master’s degree in the relevant field  or equivalent in Economics, Actuarial Studies, Law, Political Sciences, Sociology, Development Studies, Social Science, or a related field.

ILO Competencies and skills required

1. Good communication skills, both written and verbal.
2. Capacity to work on own initiative as well as cooperate as a team member.
3. The ability to work in a multicultural environment, and gender-sensitive behaviour and attitudes are also required.


Skills required for the assignment: 


•    Strong analytical and research skills in social security/protection, poverty reduction development economics, or related issues;
•    Ability to adapt its communication skills to a variety of target audiences with varying degrees of knowledge on social protection concepts, terminology and approaches;
•    Ability to work independently and plan complex activities;
•    Good listening and dialogue skills; 
•    Ability to work in a team, share ideas and resolve challenges, as well as take initiative;
•    Ability to establish and facilitate partnerships;
•    Ability to effectively contribute to and participate in technical workshops, trainings, regional conferences and events;
•    Capacity to write technical reports, information notes and design communication support (e.g., brochures, presentations) and produce website and social media contents;
•    Proficiency in Word and internet usage, including social media and blogs. Good skills in the use of other Microsoft Office tools. 




At least two years of experience in working on social security/protection issues at the national / international level.



Work experience in a developing country in Africa, social security institution, consulting firm in the field of social protection, or in an international organisation.



Excellent command of English and working level of French.



Good knowledge of Kinyarwanda and/or Kirundi would be an asset.



ILO Programme and budget for 2022-23 - Outcome 8: Comprehensive and sustainable social protection for all. Available at:

Africa Regional Social Protection Strategy, 2021-2025: Towards 40 % – a social protection coverage acceleration framework to achieve the SDGs. Available at  

Abidjan Declaration - Advancing Social Justice: Shaping the future of work in Africa. Available at: 

ILO’s Strategic Plan for 2022–25. Available at 

Building the Future of Social Protection for a Human-Centred World of Work, 2021

Resolution concerning the second recurrent discussion on social protection (social security), 2021

ILO Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All. Available at:

ILO Recommendation concerning national floors of social protection (Social Protection Floors Recommendation), 2012 (No. 202). Available at: 

ILO World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social Protection at the Crossroads – in Pursuit of a Better Future

Regional Companion Report for Africa. Available at:

Conditions of employment

For general information on conditions of employment, please visit:


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 should submit their application electronically directly to the Organization. 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 Teams, 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.


Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted thereafter by the ILO. 


These additional documents will be requested by the organization at a later date:  A copy of the (advanced) university degree.


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.