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Project Officer – Sustainable Land Management (GEF7-SLM)

Vacancy #:   6414
Unit:   ESARO - South Africa People and Landscapes
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   South Africa Country Office, Pretoria, South Africa
Reporting to:   Country Representative, South Africa
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 September 2023
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (33 months)
Closing date:   12 May 2023


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Country Office: South Africa is seeking to appoint an experienced Project Officer to serve the project. He/she will be a nationally recruited professional managed by IUCN, dually reporting to the IUCN South Africa Country Office and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). He/she shall be responsible for the overall project management of the project and will work under the supervision of IUCN and in as well as in close collaboration with DFFE and DALRRD

The Project Management Unit (PMU) will be headed up by a Project Officer (PM). The PM will take charge of all outcomes under Project Document. The PM will also have managerial responsibilities vis-à-vis the approval of payments within IUCN’s system.

In view of her/his responsibilities to deliver these outcomes, the PM should be an expert in sustainable land management (SLM), the financing thereof and all related institutional aspects, in addition to having the required experience in management of this type of project. The post of PM will be a full-time post over the project lifespan. This is a critical position, and it is important that person filling this position has a continuous global view of the overall project

The PM shall be in overall charge and have overall responsibility for the PMU. The execution of the PM’s duties in the PMU will be supported by Project Coordinators. She/he will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the PMU, under the supervision of IUCN, DFFE and DALRRD. The PM is ultimately responsible for organizing and overseeing delivery on all aspects and activities of the Project.

Participates in the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects, etc; monitors and analyzes programme/project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and tracks follow-up actions.
Performs consulting assignments, in collaboration with the client, by planning facilitating workshops, through other interactive sessions and assisting in developing the action plan the client will use to manage the change.
Researches, analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources.
Assists in policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies.
Undertakes survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
Prepares various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
Provides substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
Undertakes outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
Participates in or lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
Coordinates activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress technical reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).


The Project Officer will have the following specific duties;
Manage all components of the PMU, its staff and project budget.
Prepare an Annual Work Plan of the project on the basis of the Project Document, under the general support of the Project Steering Committee and guidance by IUCN and DFFE.
Coordinate and monitor the activities described in timely and efficient manner in accordance with the work plan.
Flag any risks emerging during the project implementation that will hamper timely progress of the project implementation or successful delivery of intended outputs and outcomes.
Direct and be ultimately responsible for project monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes.
Oversee the development of information management tools to ensure evaluation, monitoring and replication activities.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) functions
Oversight of The Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF).
Ensure project compliance with all IUCN and GEF policies, regulations and procedures.
Ensure consistency between the various project elements and related activities provided.
Coordinate and oversee preparation of the substantive and operational reports from the project.
Foster and establish close linkages with relevant projects in South Africa, regionally and internationally, and with other related GEF programs where applicable.
Represent the project at meetings and other project-related forums in South Africa, and within the region and globally, as required; and
Submit quarterly reports of relevant project progress and problems to IUCN, DFFE, DALRRD and the Project Steering Committee.
Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

The position requires significant coordination skills, broad general and technical knowledge, experience in the region and skills to ensure coherence and consistency in spite of urgent deadlines.

At least a Master’s degree in Agricultural Production, Environmental Management, Ecological sciences, Resource Economics, Biodiversity Management, Value Chain Development, or Environmental Law.

Work Experience;
At least 6 years of Project Management experience, showing a progressive increase in scope and responsibilities.
Demonstrated coordination and project leadership skills, and ability to multi-task.
Community facilitation and skill in implementing expanded public works programme for stimulation of job creation
Demonstrated experience on institutional and policy matters and technical knowledge on aspects relating to Sustainable Land Management (SLM), climate change and community livelihoods projects;
Technical knowledge on aspects relating to SLM (Soil, vegetation, climate and water resources).
Ability to work and engage with government officials, private sectors, research institutes, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local communities, etc.;
Implementation of SLM legislations schemes, incentive, compliances and programmes
Availability for extensive domestic travel.
Ability to work under high pressure.

Language Proficiency;
Excellent command of English and good communication skills.

Core Competencies;
Transparency: Able to build trust and contribute to informed and responsible decision making by carrying out the work of IUCN in a transparent manner; provides clear guidance to ensure that objectives and desired measurable results are understood by members of the team.
Inclusiveness: Understands and accepts cultural diversity, and provide a tolerant, positive and supportive working environment that fosters respect for diversity, demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
Professionalism: Promote the organization’s interests, objectives and values in a diligent and professional manner.
Accountability: Takes responsibility of individual and collective actions, promotes the IUCN One Programme approach.

Functional competencies;
Management/Monitoring and Evaluation: Knowledge and M&E Concepts, Principles and Policies and the ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations.
Relationship Management/Partnerships: Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships .
Writing: Excellent report writing skill.
Knowledge Management: Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.
Results-based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results.
Priority Setting: Ability to scan and synthesize divers sets of information to arrive at strategic priorities and positioning recommendations.
Analysis: Demonstrated excellent research and analytical skills that can be applied to gather data and generate knowledge relevant to decision-making functions
Planning and Organising,Communication,Teamwork
E-literacy: Computer literacy in relation to office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, power point) use of internet and online communication tools
Willingness and ability to travel frequently;

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and some 15,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.