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Programme Officer - BEST 2.0

Vacancy #:   3930
Unit:   Global Protected Areas Programme
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   European Regional Office, Brussels, Belgium
Reporting to:   Senior Grants Manager
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 March 2019
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (24 months)
Closing date:   27 January 2019
BEST – voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas – is an EU initiative supporting the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

Funded by DG DEVCO as part of the BEST Initiative, the BEST 2.0 Programme is piloting an innovative grant-making facility funding small-scale and medium-scale field actions on the ground in the 25 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). It is promoting the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation as a basis for sustainable development in the EU’s OCTs by enabling, empowering and strengthening local authorities and civil society organisations and facilitating their access to EU funds.

BEST 2.0 is implemented by a consortium led by IUCN (BEST 2.0 Secretariat) and including four regional partners (Regional Hubs). The Secretariat team in IUCN is split between the Brussels Office and IUCN HQ in Switzerland.

The Programme Officer will play a key role in the daily management of the BEST 2.0 Programme. S/he will oversee the grant making-facility and ensure that all stages of the grant making cycle are managed to a high standard and in compliance with the BEST 2.0 Operational Manual and in line with donor and IUCN requirements. S/he will ensure the smooth functioning of the BEST 2.0 Secretariat team and will support the Senior Grants Manager to manage the consortium partners and external contractors.

The position requires innovative thinking, strategic skills, good understanding of conservation projects on the ground, good communication as well as an excellent organizational skill to ensure that the programme is implemented and managed according to best practices.

The Programme Officer will work closely with the BEST 2.0 Secretariat team (2 staff) and the BEST 2.0 partners as well as with individuals within IUCN working on other grant mechanism such as BEST4LIFE, BIOPAMA Action Component, and will liaise with other grant-making initiative like CEPF. Regular interactions with staff at IUCN Headquarters, particularly in charge of legal affairs and finances will be required.
Under the overall supervision of the IUCN Senior Grants Manager, the Programme Officer will have the following duties and responsibilities:

1.Project Management / Implementation
1.1 Support the overall management of the BEST 2.0 Programme including:
o Ensuring that project activities are on-track and contribute to the achievement of the project’s objectives;
o Ensuring the quality and timely production of all deliverables and compliance with the donor requirements and IUCN’s contractual obligations;
o Supporting the recruitment and overseeing the work of the BEST 2.0 Regional Officers;
o Preparing technical reports and supporting financial reporting (in coordination with the Senior Finance Grants Manager) in line with the requirements of the European Commission and support the annual audit of programme;

1.2 Manage all stages of the grant making cycle ensuring compliance with the BEST 2.0 Operational Manual and respecting all donor and IUCN requirements including:
o Launching of new calls for proposals;
o Planning and delivering effective capacity-building for applicants (in collaboration with the Regional Officers);
o Checking all submissions comply with the relevant eligibility criteria and screening project proposals for potential negative environmental and social impacts;
o Assisting the Senior Finance Grants Manager in conducting due diligence checks of potential grantees and screening proposal budgets;
o Coordinating the assessment process conducted by external assessors;
o Organising and preparing the Board and Steering Committee meetings;
o Preparing grant contracts;
o Ensuring that all projects are monitored effectively and that regular support and advice are provided to grantees;
o Reviewing project technical and financial reports and other deliverables;
o Assisting Senior Finance Grants Manager in the grants audit process;
o Identifying, planning and undertaking necessary field visits to funded projects (in consultation with the IUCN Senior Grants Manager, Senior Finance Grants Manager and Regional Officers);

1.3 Where relevant, ensure the effective engagement of IUCN members, Commissions and regional offices in the project delivery.

2.1 Maintain and update the information on the BEST 2.0 Portal to ensure it provides clear, up-to-date and quality information on Calls for Proposals, awarded grants, and highlights successes and progress;
2.2 Coordinate with the external Portal developer to ensure the continued functioning of the Portal to meet the needs of the Programme;
2.3 Develop communication materials to promote and highlight the successes of the BEST 2.4Programme as well as the individual project funded (including but not limited to news articles, information brochures, annual reports, social media posts);
2.5 Assist in the planning, organization and delivery of events to promote the programme and IUCN’s work in the EU Overseas;
2.6 Ensure effective information flow between the Secretariat, Regional Officers, European Commission and other members of the Steering Committee.

3. Knowledge Capitalization
3.1 Document the impact of BEST 2.0 at the individual project and programme levels in monitoring key indicators;
3.2 Capture the lessons-learnt from the management of the BEST 2.0 grant making facility and the best practices and innovative approaches of the funded projects to inform future calls for proposals for the EU Overseas and contribute to the knowledge base for IUCN’s other grant-making work.

4.Project Development and Fundraising
4.1 Support the design, development and fundraise for new project proposals to continue, build-on and capitalize IUCN’s work in the EU Overseas.

5.Other Responsibilities
5.1 As required the Programme Officer shall:
o Represent IUCN at relevant political and technical meetings, seminars and other events and processes;
o Supervise and manage additional staff, consultants and interns;
o Assume responsibility for other activities that the Senior BEST Programme Coordinator and Grants Manager may assign from time to time and that do not negatively impact on the delivery of the above responsibilities.

The above job description contains the main duties and responsibilities for this position. However, in a small organisation such as IUCN, staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular job description. Where any task becomes a regular part of an employee's responsibilities, the job description will be changed in consultation with the employee and the Human Resources Management Group.
  • MSc degree (or higher) in environmental or economic sciences or relevant science field

• Minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of biodiversity conservation, preferably involving on-the-ground conservation activities

• At least 2 years of experience in in grant making or project monitoring initiatives (preferably with the European Commission)

• At least five years of experience of project management at multiple levels including planning, implementation, reporting, and monitoring

• Experience in managing or implementing EU funded projects (particularly with DG DEVCO) with a multiple geographical implementation scope

• Experience of working in the EU Overseas and in the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Polar, North and South Atlantic regions

• Excellent interpersonal, problem solving and negotiation skills

• French (Proficient in writing, reading and speaking), English (Proficient in writing, reading and speaking)

• Experience in financial management and managing partners and donor relationships

• At least 3 years work experience in capacity building of partners
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from EUR 59'950 to EUR 74'938.

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: http://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 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 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.