Social Development Specialist

The main objective of the assignment is to strengthen NIB’s capacity to manage irrigation development programmes and provide operation and maintenance services in schemes in a participatory and effective manner.

The aim is to integrate communities in the project’s activities to enable sustainable livelihood improvements of communities depending on irrigated agriculture.

The Social Development Specialist will guide the implementation of all the social aspects relating to the aims and objectives of KNRMP and the operations of NIB.

This will include implementing the safeguards frameworks, undertaking an analysis and study of livelihood profiles of the project target communities and Irrigation Water Users’ Associations (IWUAs), and assisting in the development of local development plans for the targeted areas.

In addition, the specialist will also support the strengthening of NIB’s institutional capacity to handle social development aspects.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The specific duties and responsibilities of the Social Development Specialist shall include the following:

  • Under the overall supervision of the Irrigation Sub-Component Coordinator provide technical advice to NIB, and as leader or member of multidisciplinary teams, be responsible for the sociological aspects of irrigated agricultural and rural development operations of NIB.

  • Provide leadership in the preparation, implementation and review of social safeguard instruments/plans and ensure the robustness of the consultation process required for the preparation and implementation of these plans.

  • Participate in review and clearance of project documents for compliance with safeguards policies.

  • Participate in and eventually lead multidisciplinary teams of the Board in the identification, preparation and implementation of investment projects in the fields of irrigated agriculture and rural development focussing on sociological aspects.

  • Analyse population dynamics, poverty, livelihoods, income sources, levels and distribution, land tenure, access to infrastructure and services, rural institutions, gender roles and other relevant socio-economic factors to define project target groups.

  • Formulate investment projects aimed at overcoming specific constraints to development faced by target beneficiaries.

  • Ensure the participation of project beneficiaries in project actions and management and that they benefit from the actions.

  • Design, undertake, supervise and analyse socio-economic surveys and studies of rural livelihood systems within the context of the design, implementation and evaluation of investment programmes and projects and advise on related methodologies.

  • Interact with stakeholders, including government agencies/departments, development partners and beneficiaries, to facilitate exchange of critical information for the purpose of validating findings and recommendations regarding investment proposals.

  • Assist in organizing and planning stakeholder participation in irrigation development and management activities and organising feedback.

  • Prepare clear and concise reports in line with the requirements of any applicable law, the Board, government and financing agencies for specific operations, projects and programmes.

  • Assist the Project Coordinators in the selection and briefing of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Resettlement Action Planning Consultants, drafting of Terms of References for consultancies with social dimensions and in supervising and reviewing the work of consultants.

  • Act as a divisional focal point and liaise with other divisions of the Board on issues relating to rural livelihoods, community-driven development, community based natural resources management, poverty, gender, indigenous peoples, grassroots institution building and peoples participation in the context of irrigation development and management.

  • Participate in the assessment of the institutional capacity of NIB in terms of social development aspects and prepare an action plan for the acquisition of institutional competence.

  • Perform other related duties as required.


    Candidates should have the following:

  • University degree in sociology, anthropology, economics, rural development, or a closely related field followed by post graduate studies in rural sociology or development/social anthropology.

  • Five years of relevant experience in rural sociology applied to design, implementation or evaluation of agricultural and rural development projects, and experience with institutional development (including creation and functioning of common interest groups), community driven development, rural livelihoods, gender analysis, socio-economic surveys and socio-economic targeting.

  • Relevant work experience in developing countries, especially in East Africa.

  • Detailed and up-to-date knowledge of Kenya’s natural resource management institutions, civil society and NGO environment, legal framework and regulation.

  • Ability to think strategically and conduct dialogue on social development policies and priorities, while maintaining a strong sense of realism with regards to in-country conditions and competing demands for resources

  • Strong computer skills: word processing and spreadsheet software experience;

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and working knowledge of Kiswahili.

  • Ability to speak more than one local language will be an added advantage.

    Deadline: 23rd September

    For more information and application, visit: Social Development Specialist Website

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