WCS recruits 01 Conservation science advisor and data analyst
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.
Rigorous surveys design and data management and analysis are essential so that conservation projects and implementation approaches are based on proven facts, that allow successful approaches to be replicated and adaptive management.
The Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme aims at reconciling the challenges of wildlife conservation with those of food security in 15 countries, promoting sustainable and legal exploitation of resilient animal populations by indigenous rural populations, while increasing/ diversifying the protein supply for the benefit of 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 implementing partners, in charge of the project implementation in Papua New-Guinea, Madagascar, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan has been developed and several surveys have been implemented at the SWM sites and are planned in the future to understand the consumption patterns and drivers, the characteristics of hunters and fishermen, evaluate the abundance of wildlife, and monitor the impact of the project.
WCS is seeking a consultant with proven skills in survey design and data analysis to perform the following tasks between September 2021 and July 2022:
- Design social and wildlife surveys for SWM Madagascar and analyze data.
- Design social and wildlife surveys as part of SWM Madagascar’s monitoring and evaluation plan or as one-time studies needed to inform conservation approaches or project management;
- Provide relevant training and guidance to data collection personnel;
- Assist in data collection planning if required;
- Analyze data and produce study reports. The datasets to analyze generated by regular project impact monitoring surveys include:
- Camera trap data from terrestrial and arboreal surveys
- Basic Necessities Survey
- Natural Resource Governance Tool
- Most Significant Change
- Chicken and fish farming and production monitoring
- Domestic meat and fish consumption monitoring
- Protected species consumption monitoring
- Gender survey
- Provide technical support to SWM Madagascar team members in data management and analysis as needed.
- Provide data management guidance and continued support to SWM Madagascar team members who oversee survey deployment;
- Provide data analysis training and guidance to SWM Madagascar team members as and when needed.
- Oversee SWM Madagascar’s monitoring and evaluation component (Result 5).
- Ensure appropriate survey methods and data collection tools are in place to deploy the project’s impact evaluation surveys as planned;
- Calculate impact indicators and report them in the project’s monitoring and evaluation system;
- Update project’s theory of change and results chains through periodic reviews with the project team.
SWM Papua New Guinea
- Analyze data and write survey reports from Basic Necessities Surveys:
- A series of analysis will be needed as data are being collected at two different sites at two time periods.
- Analyze data and write survey reports from Consumption surveys:
- A series of analysis will be needed as data are being collected at two different sites at two time periods
- Analyze data and write survey reports from Consumption surveys:
- As these are data from a second time period analysis will have to match those completed for the first time period
General data management improvement
- Provide feedback on tools used by the SWM teams related to data collection and management, in the field of social science or wildlife monitoring (KoBo Toolbox, OpenFN, Wildlife Insight, Mbaza…);
- Contribute to the Conservation Social Science Partnership (ConSoSci) partnership bi-weekly meetings. partnership bi-weekly meetings. ConSoSci is a global community of conservationists, social science practitioners, and researchers who seek to address critical gaps in social science capacity, implementation, and accessibility in conservation;
- Contribute to some of the ConSoSCi working groups depending on the needs, in particular the ConSoSci Technology User Task Force which provides inputs on the development of ConSoSci tools and technology;
- Support executing on opportunities to simplify, enhance and scale SWM data collection using ConSoSci tools with a focus on scaling the deploying of KoboToolBox; promote and integrate SWM best practices into ConSoSci.
The tasks described above are the prevision at this stage of the project. However, they can be replaced by similar tasks for any of the SWM sites (see https://www.swm-programme.info/where-we-work) as the project needs can evolve along the year.
MODUS OPERANDI AND KEY DELIVERABLES
All tasks will be undertaken in very close collaboration with relevant project team members and country program staff. Some of the working methods described below have already been successfully deployed throughout the course of 2020-2021 when the covid-19 pandemic forced WCS offices to close temporarily and staff to work remotely, and well-managed regular communication and strong collaboration proved to be highly effective.
- Survey design
For each survey that needs to be designed, scoping discussions will be held with the relevant project team members to assess the research goals and extent, data collection personnel available, options for data collection tools, and expected research outputs.
Surveys will then be designed through an iterative process where team members and other potential collaborators will first be presented with the following items to review:
- a research protocol;
- data collection tools (e.g. survey questionnaire [social surveys], data collection sheets [wildlife surveys]);
- proposed analysis method.
If project impact indicators need to be calculated, these will be specifically discussed at this stage to ensure that survey methods and data collection tools are designed appropriately.
Based on the feedback received, these will be reviewed accordingly until they are deemed as well suited for the research goals.
Once these items are final, support will be provided to the project team to complete a data management plan, when relevant.
- Data collection training and planning
Once data collection tools are finalized, discussions will be held with the relevant WCS team members who will oversee survey deployment, in order to define suitable training date and time, method (e.g. training of trainers vs direct data collector training), and material (e.g. Powerpoint presentation, research protocol summary, etc.).
If training material needs to be developed, it will be reviewed by the relevant WCS team members prior to the training. Training will then be delivered as previously defined.
Consultant will provide data collection planning support if needed.
- Data management training
Throughout the data collection process, data management training and continued support will be provided to relevant WCS team members overseeing survey deployment, to ensure the data collected are archived appropriately and made accessible for data cleaning and analysis in a timely manner.
For surveys that involve time series data collection (e.g. SWM livestock production and protein consumption monitoring surveys), regular meetings will be held with the relevant site team members to troubleshoot potential issues and discuss data collection progress and data cleaning needs to implement.
- Data analysis
As most of the surveys that have been designed as part of SWM and Makira’s cacao projects to date are based on digital data collection forms using KoboToolBox, the data is easily accessible, cleanable, and downloadable from the KoboToolBox online platform.
Data that are not collected on KoboToolBox or other online data management platforms may be accessed through other means, which can be defined on a case-by-case basis.
Before data analyses begin, the analysis method and expected level of detail will be confirmed through discussions with relevant project team members. Data analyses will then be performed as defined.
Project team members who are interested will be trained and mentored in data analysis as and when needed.
- Research outputs
Results from data analyses will be presented in survey reports and sent to relevant project team members to review. Virtual meetings may be held to give them an overview of the study results and discuss potential further analysis, if needed, before they are sent the formal report to review.
Once data analysis is complete, impact indicator values will be populated in relevant monitoring and evaluation systems and reporting tools.
Support may be provided to convert the main survey results into communication or learning materials when appropriate.
Reports and other outputs will be revised following WCS and other SWM partners’ comments, until the documents are accepted by all parties involved.
- Pause and reflect sessions
Consultant will conduct regular schedule Pause and reflect sessions with field data collection teams to discuss data collection planning, training and field deployment to learn what is working, and what may need to be changed or improved. Results of each pause and reflect session will be recorded in Google doc and share with project leaders.
Expériences / Formation
WCS is looking for a consultant who:
- Has a master’s degree (or higher education level) in community conservation, international development, natural resource management, social science or other relevant field experience;
- Has experience working in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams;
- Has five years or more of experience in social science and camera trap data management and analysis ; knowledge of Kobo toolbox is a plus;
- Has conservation field experience; experience in the countries where the projects are implemented (particularly in Madagascar) is a plus.
- Has excellent written and oral communication skills in French and English;
- Understands and aligns with WCS work and values.
- The estimated number of days for the work is 170 days.
- Duration of the assignment is 11 months (September 2021 – July 2022).
- Working locations: Home‐based.
CONTENT OF THE OFFER
Interested candidates should submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org before 23 July 2021.
- Resume detailing experience with similar tasks
- 3 references with contact details
- A financial proposal including a daily rate to be applied for the whole duration of the contract.
Please indicate “Conservation science advisor and data analyst” in the subject line of your email.
GENERAL CONDITIONS OF SUBMISSION
The following general conditions apply to all proposals submitted in response to any Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by WCS.
WCS’s solicitation of proposals in response to any RFP does not commit WCS to award a contract, and this RFP is not an offer to enter into a contract for the services to be provided as described herein.
- Proposal Materials and Costs:
WCS is not liable for any costs incurred in the preparation, submission or negotiation of a response to its RFP or incurred for any other purpose or reason in connection with the RFP. No materials submitted with this RFP will be returned.
All information and material contained in any WCS RFP or issued by WCS or any of its agents as part of any WCS RFP process is confidential and is the exclusive property of WCS.
As a condition of award, WCS may request any proposer to make revisions, additions, or deletions to its proposal.
After award of contract, WCS will have no obligation, financial or otherwise, to any subcontractor of the awardee. Nevertheless, any subcontract will be required to be subject to and consistent with the prime contract between WCS and the awardee, and WCS may require any subcontract to include specific terms and conditions.
- Reserved Rights:
WCS at any time in its sole discretion may, without notice and without liability to any candidate or any other party for their expenses incurred in the preparation of the responses hereto or otherwise, do any and all of the following:
- Amend or withdraw this RFP;
- Accept or reject any and all proposals received in response to this RFP;
- Award the contract to a proposer other than the candidate offering the lowest rate;
- Request additional materials and clarification or modification of any submitted proposal;
- Extend the time for submission of all proposals after notification to all prospective candidates;
- Terminate negotiations with a selected candidate and select another candidate;
- Take such action as WCS deems appropriate if negotiations fail to result in a signed agreement within a reasonable amount of time;
- Terminate or modify the solicitation and selection process at any time and re-issue the solicitation to whomever WCS deems appropriate.
The selected candidate will be required to execute a written agreement with WCS, generally consistent with the terms set forth herein, effective upon the date the written agreement is executed by both WCS and the selected candidate.