Chief of Party to USAID, EPP

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Organization: Wildlife Conservation Society
Closing date: 31 Jan 2024

Building effective management and sustainable financing of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and Kahuzi-Biega National Park through Public-Private Partnerships”

Job Description

Location: Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Reports to: WCS DRC Deputy Country Director for Programs

Start Date: As soon as possible

Position Type: Full-time, two-year fixed contract. Candidate will be subject to USAID approval.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) seeks a dynamic, adaptable, and experienced candidate to serve as a Chief of Party (COP) to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead the implementation of the “Building effective management and sustainable financing of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and Kahuzi-Biega National Park through Public-Private Partnerships” Environmental Partnerships Program (EPP).

The EPP is a central part of the work of WCS in the management of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR) and Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The program targets four principal outcomes for these protected areas: 1) An improved conservation and security situation by mitigating threats through enhanced law enforcement and high-level stakeholder engagement; 2) Strengthened protected area management capacity through operationalization of the Public-Private Partnership agreements; 3) Support for conservation by increased through improved wellbeing and shared governance of natural resource zones; and 4) Sustainable financing and economic development accelerated through conservation-led income generating activities.

From the WCS offices in Goma, the COP will coordinate the implementation of EPP activities in both protected area sites. The COP will be required to work closely with OWR’s and KBNP’s senior management team including the Park/Reserve Directors, Site Managers, and Program Managers, as well as the WCS DRC country program team and the WCS Central Africa regional team. The COP will be based full time in Goma, DRC, with frequent field visits to OWR, KBNP, and potentially other locations in DRC.

Candidates will need to demonstrate that they have the necessary experience and skills to work within a dynamic and complex program, in a challenging working environment. They will need to demonstrate that they are able to grasp the complexities of situations as they arise and adapt accordingly, and that they are able to work within a culturally diverse work environment.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Management

  • Provide overall leadership, management, and oversight of the EPP award.
  • Coordinate with the protected area management teams to implement EPP activities, working to achieve EPP objectives to a high standard and on schedule.
  • Deliver high-quality, results-oriented technical assistance and programming to the protected area management teams through hands-on guidance and support, grounded in the EPP’s strategic objectives and approved annual workplans.
  • In coordination with the protected area management teams, determine annual priorities and develop work plans, ensuring that activities respond to changing conditions.
  • Oversee the EPP budget and work in close coordination with the finance and grants teams to meet expected results, ensuring cost-effective use of donor resources.
  • Ensure compliance of program activities with USAID and WCS policies.
  • Provide technical support, capacity building, and mentoring to protected area staff during the course of program implementation, especially in the areas of results-based management, work planning and budgeting, report writing, learning and adaptation, and communications.
  • Provide oversight to consultants (and their outputs and outcomes) who are contracted to carry out work within the context of WCS’s work in the protected area sites.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting

  • Work closely with the site-based teams to monitor and evaluate the performance of EPP activities.

  • Co-facilitate regular Pause & Reflect sessions to capture learning, introduce improvements and adaptations, and achieve meaningful results.

  • Lead the preparation of EPP performance reports, working to ensure that all relevant reporting requirements are fulfilled, and documents are submitted to USAID on time and with sufficient review.

  • Ensure appropriate knowledge management processes are in place to identify and archive relevant program documentation, donor communications, and evidence of program implementation.

  • In collaboration with the protected area management teams, identify and write ‘Success Stories’ about program activities, as well as providing support to WCS communications teams to identify and produce communications content for distribution to stakeholders and the media.

    Stakeholder Relations

  • Serve as the primary liaison between USAID and WCS on all management and technical matters pertaining to the EPP.

  • Represent WCS at conferences, working groups, and other external stakeholder meetings as necessary.

  • Keep internal WCS stakeholders regularly up to date on program activities, deliverables, and events.

Qualification Requirements :

  • A Master’s degree or other relevant experience in wildlife conservation and program management. Candidates will be expected to have at least ten years’ experience in a relevant professional position.
  • Experience managing international donor-funded projects, with multiple project partners and diverse project elements preferred.
  • Excellent knowledge of U.S. Government rules and regulations, and a good understanding of the USAID program cycle and reporting requirements. Experience of managing USAID-funded projects required.
  • Proven ability to achieve project targets and objectives, delivering quality work on tight deadlines. High-level competency in writing and editing of professional technical reports and other written products.
  • Experience working, coordinating, and collaborating with diverse sets of stakeholders, such as local NGOs, government officials, and donor representatives.
  • Experience working in inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams and managing several major activities simultaneously.
  • Openness and sensitivity to the socio-cultural environment of eastern DRC.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, working capabilities in French, knowledge of Swahili an advantage.
  • Ability to live and work in challenging conditions.

How to apply

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the link by January 31,2024.

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.#LI-SM1

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