International Labour Organization (ILO)

Specialist (Social Protection and Economic Development)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Job Description

Grade: P4 Vacancy no.: RAPS/1/2021/AM/01 Publication date: 08 March 2021 Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 08 April 2021 Job ID: 5728 Department: RO-Latin America and the Caribbean Organization Unit: DWT/CO-San Jose Location: San Jose Contract type: Fixed Term The following are eligible to apply:
  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.
Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.

Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.

The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to

The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).

Applicants from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here: In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.

Notwithstanding the general considerations set out in the ILO Staff Regulations, this vacancy announcement is the only authoritative document pertaining to the qualifications required for this position. The minimum required qualifications were determined in view of the specific duties and responsibilities of this position.

The specific language requirements for this position are detailed hereunder. However, candidates applying for the professional category vacancies who have not already successfully completed their probationary period within the ILO and whose mother tongue is not one of the working languages of the Office (English, French and Spanish), shall be required to possess a fully satisfactory working knowledge of at least one of the ILO working languages. If appointed they may be required to acquire a knowledge of a second working language of the Office during their initial years of service.


The position is located in the Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central America (DWT/CO San José) in San José.  The DWT/CO San José covers Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and provides technical services to the ILO Country Office for Mexico and Cuba (CO-Mexico).  The DWT/CO San José has the mandate to develop and implement, in partnership with governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, a programme of international development cooperation to assist countries in promoting decent work for all and providing capacity-building in the formulation of policies and programmes to promote the full implementation of international labour standards, improve working conditions and enhance employment opportunities.

The Specialist will work and offer his technical advice to ILO constituents in the countries of the sub-region. The work will focus on a comprehensive approach, in keeping with the priorities of the Decent Work Agenda, the strategic objectives of the ILO and the ILO priorities for the region. All the technical work will be performed in accordance with the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and the ILO strategy on the extension of social protection, and ILO’s international labour standards in order to link social protection issues with employment and growth. The Specialist will administer programmes and activities for the efficient and effective achievement of social protection objectives, including social security and national social protection floors, which are seen as key elements of economic development under the Decent Work Agenda.

The Specialist will report to the Director of DWT/CO-San José and work in close coordination with the Director of CO-Mexico. She/he will receive technical guidance and advice from the Director of the Social Protection Department (SOCPRO) at headquarters.  The Specialist will work in close collaboration with the other technical specialists in the DWT/CO San José and other ILO offices in the region.

Specific Duties

1. Provide Analysis" id="link" class="link">Technical Analysis services, policy development advice and training to specific ministries, tripartite constituents, national social security institutions, decentralized authorities, legislative bodies and other relevant national institutions and actors, in collaboration with United Nations system agencies and members of the Social Protection Inter-Agency Coordination Board (SPIAC-B), in the design and implementation of social protection and social Security Policies, programmes and mechanisms formulated to establish comprehensive and adequate social protection systems including social protection floors, guided by the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), and other relevant ILO standards. This includes the design and implementation of social protection policies, including national social protection floors, covering all branches of social security: medical care and sickness benefits, old age, survival and disability pensions, unemployment protection, child allowances and family benefits, maternity, employment injury insurance, and long-term care. This also includes the development of specific strategies and approaches for specific groups, such as workers in the informal economy, in new forms of employment, migrant workers, refugees and host communities, persons with disabilities, among others.

2. Provide technical inputs with regard to the formulation of national social protection policies and strategies in the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCFs), national development policies and sustainable development plans, and with regard to the design, implementation and monitoring of contributory and non-contributory social protection schemes and programmes, in conformity with the relevant ILO standards. Participate in UN Country assessments.

3. Provide technical assistance for the development, at the national, state and local levels, of comprehensive social and economic development strategies, focusing on aspects of social protection in the macroeconomic and labour market contexts.

4. Provide expert advice and advocate and promote ILO social security standards among key stakeholders, including concerned Governments, employers’ and workers' organizations, and other target groups. Support countries wishing to ratify ILO social security Conventions. Enhance collaboration with national and international financial institutions in order to strengthen the awareness and application of ILO social protection standards and principles across and beyond these agencies.

5. Develop expertise, including the gathering, analysis, evaluation, documenting and disseminating of relevant legislation, statistics and data on matters related to social protection and economic development, and the identification of good practices, taking into consideration ethnic, racial and gender dimensions.

6. Design, supervise and conduct relevant analytical and policy-oriented research on sub-regional and national social protection programmes and policies that will serve as the basis for the formulation of relevant national social protection strategies and mobilization of domestic resources to close the financing gaps for social protection.

7. In line with  priorities set out in the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, support the design and implementation of social protection systems that are adapted to current challenges and needs (e.g. migration, long term care), adaptive to external shocks (e.g. epidemics, natural disasters, economic crises) and can facilitate just transitions of individuals, economies and societies (such as transition to the formal economy; green transition).

optional section (only if needed) 8. Provide technical support to constituents to enhance their capacities to gather and analyze national social protection data and statistics.

9. Provide sub-regional support to the ILO’s Flagship programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All. This includes support in the design and mobilizing of resources for country projects under the responsibility of the DWT, and in close coordination with SOCPRO, and the implementation and monitoring of interventions at country level, including through the systematic use and update of the ILO’s social protection results measurement tool. This also includes linking development cooperation to the financing agenda, through providing advice on domestic resource mobilization for social protection, and the use of additional international resources based on ILO principles.

10. Develop strategies for the engagement of donors through development cooperation including in the framework of the ILO’s Flagship programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All. Support the coordination and implementation of development cooperation projects in the sub-region and, in consultation with technical units at headquarters and administrative personnel, manage the development cooperation portfolio of his/her areas of competence in the sub-region. Liaise with donors and potential partners with a view to securing development cooperation resources and expanding the Office's capacity to undertake various activities in the field of social protection in the region. Collaborate with ILO’s technical support facility in SOCPRO, which provides dedicated and highly specialized social protection experts. This involves providing technical assistance to the Chief Technical Advisers of the projects, international experts, consultants and national teams.

11. Develop and facilitate constructive strategic networks and partnerships with the social partners and other actors at the national, state and local levels, as well as with other United Nations bodies and international cooperation, development agencies, international financial institutions, development banks, regional and sub-regional organizations, Civil Society Organizations, and other actors, in order to promote ILO policies, international labour principles and standards and economic development policies.

12. Maintain close technical coordination with the SOCPRO Department. Contribute to SOCPRO's policy developments including the World Social Protection Report and to the implementation of the Programme and Budget outcome on social protection.

13. 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

  1. Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes, This involves: re-analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics and information or policy guidelines, in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognised technical specialisation.
  2. Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes.
  3. Provide policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of development cooperation activities.
  4. Formulate and submit project proposals and seek funding.
  5. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities.
  6. Undertake technical advisory missions independently or in collaboration with other specialists.
  7. Conduct seminars, workshops and technical meetings and Training Courses.
  8. Prepare draft recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO Recommendations or Conventions on related technical fields.
  9. Write manuals and/or training guides on related topics.
  10. Disseminate information on programmes through publications and, press releases, as well as ensuring representation at donors’ meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.
  11. Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators.
  12. Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, regional meetings and conference reports).
  13. Participate in tripartite reviews on development cooperation activities and international meetings and conferences.

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree in economics, public finance, social sciences, actuarial sciences or in a related field.


Eight years' experience at the national level or five years at the international level in the analysis of social protection and economic development policies, preferably with experience of the conceptual and quantitative analysis of economic and social protection programmes and policies. Experience in policy development, gender-based analysis and social protection financing concepts would be an advantage.


Excellent command of Spanish and a working knowledge of English; a knowledge of French would be an advantage.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires: Technical

Demonstrated skills and ability to perform complex analyses on a wide range of factors, policies and priorities for the assessment and implementation of programmes and activities; ability to advise national governments, employers' and workers' organizations, and donor agencies on policy reform and development cooperation processes ; ability to provide seasoned advice on best practices to address broader issues outside the field of specialization; ability to formulate new concepts and methodologies; ability to develop training materials, alternative courses of action, project proposals, policy and procedural themes and present them at high-level meetings; ability to design and synthesize strategies for programme development; ability to produce reports (e.g. reports for seminars and meetings, technical publications and training manuals); ability to evaluate and monitor development cooperation activities and projects; familiarity with the ILO's gender-mainstreaming strategy; excellent trouble-shooting and problem-solving skills; ability to plan and organize work and to provide guidance and training to staff; A knowledge of Latin America would be an advantage.


Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.

Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.
For more information on conditions of employment, please visit: Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at Recruitment process

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

Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.

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 assessment centres, 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.

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