Location: Epulu, Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo
Reports to: Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR) Head of Programs
Direct Reports: None
Start Date: 1 August 2021
Position Type: Full-time, 2-year renewable contract
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.
The Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme aims at reconciling the challenges of wildlife conservation with those of food security in fifteen countries. SWM works to ensure that exploitation of wildlife by indigenous rural populations is only done sustainably and legally, whilst ensuring that there is enough protein for them to eat. This is done by increasing/ diversifying protein sources for the rural and urban populations. This initiative of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is funded by the European Union, with co-funding from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and French Development Agency (AFD).
WCS is one of the four implementing partners (the others are CIFOR, CIRAD and FAO), leading the projects in Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The programme is structured in six key Results:
● R1 : Institutional and legal framework
● R2: Sustainable management of wildlife, hunting and fishing
● R3: Supply of alternative protein
● R4: Consumption of wildmeat
● R5: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
● R6: Knowledge Management
This position will lead WCS’s efforts in OWR and DRC in general on developing a sustainable hunting model by managing the SWM portfolio in the DRC.
- Manage the implementation of the SWM Ituri Project. This post first and foremost must ensure the successful implementation of the SWM project in Ituri and appropriate relationships with SWM partners, but also ensure its integration with other funding sources which may provide co-financing to achieve the objectives to reduce hunting to sustainable levels. This management will include coordinating the team – with the support of the OWR Head of Programs and the OWR Community Development Lead to ensure the implementation of SWM activities on the ground.
- Ensure strong coordination with the OWR Community Development Lead who manage staff participating in the SWM workplan. Work with the OWR Community Development Lead to develop, coordinate, and maintain a comprehensive Ituri Program, which includes monitoring system for projects (with the OWR MEAL Officer), socio-economic research that leads to more targeted conservation planning, and maintaining up-to-date database information.
1. Development of six-month and annual work plans and budgets
- Preparation of the six-month and annual work plan and coordination of the budget in line with the Program framework, the project document and estimated total budget, in coordination with the appropriate WCS support staff, as well as outside to the Program Management Unit (PMU), and with support of Result teams as needed.
- Revision of the six-month and annual work plan addressing comments from the PMU, Site Review Committee (SRC) and Steering Committee.
- Preparations for the endorsement of six-month (prior to the annual meetings of the Program steering committee) and final annual work plans by the SRC.
2. Leadership and monitoring in the planning of site-based activities according to the agreed work plan and budget
- Overall supervision of activity implementation on-site in strong collaboration with the OWR Community Development Lead and training (camera-trapping, GIS, KoBoToolbox, data analysis, etc.) and collaboration between SWM partners. The SWM Coordinator will coordinate with appropriate WCS staff whose job it is to ensure financial planning and compliance with appropriate procedures, including the management of equipment and infrastructure.
- Expertise mobilization, including development of ToRs, working with program management to find experts within the consortium or outside. Where necessary, this will be done in collaboration with Result Coordinators (RCs), and with their support.
- Acts as the SWM Ituri focal point for all RCs and the PMU. The SWM Coordinator will work through the national SWM Program to engage with the donor and the national government.
- Monitoring of activity implementation and adoption of corrective actions as needed to ensure adherence to work plan and budget, transparency and accountability.
- Regular feeding of SWM Program impact and outcomes, monitoring & evaluation, and knowledge management systems with relevant information and data, in coordination with RCs (and with their support where needed).
- Supporting the supervision of logistical arrangements for activity implementation.
- Act as secretary of the Site Review Committee; be in charge of the regular organization and reporting of the Site Review Committee meetings (at least three per year) and other activities such as field visits.
3. Coordination of reporting for site level activities
- Coordination and submission of the six-month and annual technical and financial reports according to PMU and donor requirements.
- Revision of six-month and annual reports addressing the PMU, SRC and Steering Committee comments.
- Preparing for the endorsement of six-month (prior to submission to the Program steering committee) and annual reports by the SRC.
4. Communications and visibility activities
- Coordination of all communications and visibility activities at site level, in line with the Program communication and visibility plan, in consultation with the PMU communication coordinator and with the support of the OWR Communication Officer.
- Regular preparation and transmission of communication contents related to site activities to the PMU to feed Program-level communication and visibility activities.
- Participation in the revision and approval of all communications content relating to site activities.
- Regular direct communications on project progress with RCs, the PMU, and the members of the SRC.
5. Representation of the Ituri site in international, regional and national forums and meetings related to the SWM Program.
- As necessary, participate in international, regional and national forums and meetings to represent Ituri as part of the overall Program.
6. Participate in informal and formal networking opportunities with other site leaders.
- As necessary, initiate or participate in informal and formal meetings with site coordinators from other SWM sites to discuss issues of common interest and measures to resolve obstacles encountered at the site level.
- Annual evaluations of SWM Ituri staff members
- SWM deliverables
- Monthly reports
- Six month and annual work plans and budgets
- Six month and annual technical reports
- Technical reports related to specific site activities
- Site Review Committee meetings reports
- Communications materials related to site activities
WCS is looking for a candidate who:
- Has a master’s degree (or higher education level) or equivalent in terms of experience (five or more years) in community conservation, international development, natural resource management, community-level enterprise development or other relevant field experience;
- Has experience working in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams;
- Has significant field experience working with communities and community-level natural resource management, and a strong understanding of governance of community-level institutions is a plus;
- Has demonstrated experience managing projects or programs – including carrying out the workplanning, budgeting and reporting associated with project(s).
- Has a sound understanding of the social, economic and environmental issues surrounding bushmeat;
- Has excellent written and oral communication skills in French and English, Swahili is a plus;
- Understands and aligns with WCS work and values.
Created in 1992, the OWR, at just under 14,000km2, is the single largest protected tract of intact lowland tropical forest remaining in the Africa. OWR is situated in the larger Ituri landscape, comprising more than 40,000km2 of contiguous forests. The Ituri forests are home to the a rich diversity of peoples and the global significance of ecosystem services and biodiversity of the area and the OWR in particular is widely recognised. The OWR was inscribed on the list of Natural World Heritage Sites in 1996, and the OWR is also listed as a Key Biodiversity Area.
Under the auspices of a ten-year management agreement between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) that delegates the management of the reserve to WCS, the OWR management will contribute to the long-term goal of bringing peace and well-being to the people indigenous to the forests of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve while ensuring that the forests are intact, healthy and full of life, and the rivers are clean and flowing. This will be achieved by implementing solutions that will overcome the root causes to the threats to biodiversity, ecosystem services and ecological processes, and also to overcome the barriers to an effectively managed reserve.
The program does this in exceptionally challenging circumstances: the Okapi Wildlife Reserve is a large area of lowland, tropical rainforest in an area of the world renowned for its insecurity, and weak governance and institutions. The program will achieve its goal and outcomes through four pillars of activity: 1) Improved security and reduced criminality through developed capacity; 2) Improved management effectiveness through developed capacity and operationalisation of the management agreement; 3) Improved well-being of rights-holding people – through a multi-pronged approach including: well managed access to and use of natural resources, strengthened institutions and institutional capacity, efficient and effective partnerships, economic development that functions within an environmentally and socially sound framework; and 4) Sustainable financing of the management, operation and development of the reserve achieved through a suite of innovative and traditional financing mechanisms and tools.
The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City working to save wildlife and wildlands and to meet global challenges in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. The Africa Program is the largest of WCS’s field programs, with approximately 1,100 staff in 12 country programs focused across four major regions (Central Africa, Sudano-Sahel, East and Southern Africa, and Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean).
Our MISSION is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature. Our VISION is a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. Our GOAL is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity. Our VALUES are Respect, Accountability and Transparency, Innovation, Diversity and Inclusion, Collaboration, Integrity.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.
How to apply
Interested candidates who meet the above criteria should submit their application (CV and cover letter with the contacts of three references) to AfricaApplications@wcs.org. When submitting your CV and cover letter please send as separate attachments in your email and title as follows: “LastName_CV” and “LastName_coverletter”
Please indicate “DRC SWM Coordinator” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
Deadline for applications: 10 July 2021