Reports to: Head of Programs, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR)
Location: Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of Congo
Country Program: DRC
Start date: December 2021
Position Type: Full time (1 year renewable)
Application deadline: 30 November 2021
Internal liaisons: All OWR Departmental Units, OWR Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, CAFI Project Lead, Kinshasa Country Office, Regional Grant Management team
Expected travel: Regular travel between Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Epulu), Bunia, Goma and Kinshasa expected
The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City working to save wildlife and wild lands 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 three major regions (Central Africa, Sudano-Sahel, Eastern Africa, 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.
About Okapi Wildlife Reserve
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 seeking a motivated and highly-organized full-time Project Coordinator to lead implementation of a growing program portfolio focused on forest governance and sustainable agriculture in and around the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Ituri Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Programs are highly complementary and engage a number of private, technical and government stakeholders. They include i) a USAID-funded program to develop a business case for sustainable cocoa production in Ituri Province, ii) a technical support program to facilitate attribution, governance and operations of Local Community Forest Concessions (CFCLs) in the OWR buffer zone (multiple funding sources); iii) a pre-feasibility REDD program and climate investment plan for the OWR landscape (private donor funding), and iv) a WCS-led technical consortium of partners implementing forest governance, institutional capacity building and sustainable agriculture activities (including cocoa and food crops) as part of the Integrated REDD program in Ituri (funded through CAFI/UNDP).
Working under the direct supervision of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve Head of Programs, and the Country Management and Finance Office in Kinshasa, and liaising closely with the OWR Departmental teams, and the WCS Regional and Forest & Climate team in Kigali, the Project Coordinator has the specific responsibility for the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of WCS activities under programs i-iii) above, and for ensuring good coordination and complementarity with the WCS Consortium Lead for the Ituri CAFI program under iv). The Project Coordinator will be based in Bunia with regular travel to the OWR HQ in Epulu, and regular travel to Goma, and Kinshasa as needed for project administration and coordination activities.
Updating and finalisation of program documents including workplans, communication plans, staffing plans, other donor compliance documents and budgets
- Liaison with WCS team members and external partners to respond to donor questions and comments and finalise project document / workplan and budget
- Participate in on-site and virtual partner and donor meetings and organize and facilitate regular stakeholder planning meetings.
Coordination of implementation of site-based activities according to agreed workplan and budget
- Technical and financial planning of activities in collaboration with OWR and Kinshasa team members and external partners in line with annual work plans
- Overseeing staff recruitment as necessary to implement project workplans
- Organisation of regular meetings and calls between key WCS team members and partners to discuss project implementation planning and issues
- Supervision of activities implemented on-site including training and support to staff working on the project and field visits to supervise activities and resolve issues as they arise
- Technical and financial monitoring of implemented activities and adoption of corrective action as needed to ensure adherence to workplan and budget
- Support to logistical arrangements for smooth implementation of activities including mission planning for staff, and organization of visits of partners
- Coordination of annual technical, financial and impact reporting to meet donor requirements
- Close communication and collaboration with supervisors of staff engaged in project activities to ensure smooth and coordinated work planning
- Regular communication to Supervisor of any problems encountered so as to agree on solutions
- Ensuring compliance with all WCS administrative procedures in the accomplishment of the tasks
Coordination of technical reporting for site level activities.
- Coordination and submission of technical, financial and impact reporting to meet donor requirements
- Liaison with OWR and Kinshasa Finance and Admin team to prepare regular financial reviews track spending and contribute to financial reports
Leading communications activities relevant to the program
- Preparation in consultation with country programs of content for social media or other forms of communications and visibility
- Preparation, contribution and/or participation of communication and visibility activities at site/national/regional level
Liaison and coordination with local partners and stakeholders to enhance program implementation
- Represent WCS/OWR in donor, local partner and stakeholder meetings relevant to program activities
- Facilitate cross-partner and cross-program exchange to ensure good coordination and complementarity of overall program approach
- Contribute to development of new proposals and funding opportunities related to forest governance and sustainable agriculture and forest management around the OWR
Expériences / Formation
- Masters in Forest Governance, Sustainable Forest Management, Sustainable Agriculture or a related field.
- At least 5 years professional experience in the management of sustainable development or sustainable forest management projects in a developing country context.
- Demonstrated knowledge of international government donor project management; including USAID rules and reporting requirements
- Excellent technical and project management skills and experience in managing multi-cultural project teams
- Experience working and living in remote locations in developing and high-risk countries
- Ability to work in a team and in a multidisciplinary setting
- Experience in Central Africa will be an advantage
- Excellent communication skills in in English and French; knowledge of Swahili will be an advantage
Position Type: Full time (1 year renewable)
In order to apply for this position and if you meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, you should apply by emailing the below – as attachments – to: AfricaApplications@wcs.org :
- a detailed application/cover letter in English
- CV in English
- names and contact information of three references
Please include “Okapi Forest Governance Coordinator” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
Application Deadline: 30 November 2021
If you have any queries related to this position please contact: AfricaApplications@wcs.org
WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce: qualified women, people from all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.
EOE AA M/F/SO/Vets/Disabled
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.