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Project officer, BIOPAMA

Vacancy #:   3984
Unit:   Protected Areas Programme PACO Regional
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   West and Central Africa Regional Office in Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Reporting to:   Project Coordinator BIOPAMA – Protected Areas Management
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   15 April 2019
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (9 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   25 March 2019
The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) program aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the ACP Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). Building on the first five years of activities financed by the 10th EDF, BIOPAMA’s second phase provides tools for data and information management, services for improving the knowledge and capacity for protected area planning and decision making, and funding opportunities for specific site-based actions. www.biopama.org

The overall aim of the project is to contribute to improving the long-term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and, natural resources in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific ACP regions in protected areas (PA) and surrounding communities. The project will continue to build institutional and technical capacity at the regional, national and site levels for improved PA and biodiversity management with access to and application of data and information related to biodiversity and PA management and governance being used to inform and strengthen policy decisions and management actions.
The actions support the role of the Regional Observatories (RO) for protected areas, managed by regional institutions, and housing Regional Reference Information Systems (RRIS) with tools and services that stakeholders can use to monitor and report on the status of biodiversity and PAs. In Central Africa, the observatory is hosted by COMIFAC (Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale); In West Africa it is institutionally hosted by WAEMU.

One of the main activities of the project is the implementation of an Action Component which comprises a mechanism of small to medium sized grants to support specific actions on the ground in priority conservation landscapes that are aimed at strengthening PA and natural resource management effectiveness and governance.

In this regard, IUCN wishes to recruit a technical assistant to primarily assist the BIOPAMA regional project coordinator in ensuring the effective implementation of the overall project and particularly the Action Component.

For the project implementation purposes, the duty station will be either in Dakar or Ouagadougou.

The Technical assistant will contribute to the day-to-day technical implementation BIOPAMA including the Action Component that are the responsibility of the IUCN West and Central Africa Regional Office, under the direct supervision of the project regional coordinator and in close working collaboration with the oversight provided by the IUCN Global BIOPAMA program.

Enhancing the visibility and effectiveness of the Call for proposals

• Promote the call for proposals in the region by publishing details of the call on websites and through other relevant means.

• Support proposals preparation. Provide technical advice and support to the applicants during the proposal preparation stage. Conduct capacity building events for applicants.

Ensuring efficient Proposal evaluation, selection and award

• Establishing the Regional Advisory Committee in their respective region

• Identifying suitable experts

• Contracting the Regional Advisory Committee experts

• Convening the Regional Advisory Committee experts following the close of each call for proposals to undertake

• Conduct technical assessment of Grant Concept Notes/Full Proposals to assess alignment with BP II objectives.

• Conduct technical evaluation of full proposals against agreed selection criteria

• Conduct ESMS and due-diligence on grantees

• Compiling a ranked list of the proposals submitted according to their score in the technical evaluation.

• Keeping project datasheets updated

• Monitoring payment requests and transactions

Ensuring effective implementation of projects by grantees

• Assisting in monitoring project progress, assessing project management and implementation effectiveness according to monitoring guidelines.

• Supporting beneficiaries by providing advice and guidance on implementation issues

• Ensuring that projects report on schedule by reminding them of upcoming deadline

• Undertaking a detailed review of all project technical and financial reports and associated deliverables/outputs.

• Checking that the grantees have uploaded any requested supporting documents to the Portal and that documents submitted correspond to those requested

• Identifying any significant project related issue or events, successes that can be shared (e.g. on the Portal news page or in the Newsletter).

• Liaise with grantees to ensure timely provision of expenditures information.

• Providing initial feedback to the proponents on how to enhance the quality of their proposals.

• Plan provision of capacity development to potential grantees.

• Preparing and submitting a regional technical assessment on the implementation of grants.

Support the project implementation

• Contribution to Administrative and finance support:

• Support procurement process, interact with service providers, and monitor deliverables

• Liaise with PACO Finance Officers regarding compliance with donors’ contractual and financial requirements;

• Support the provision of financial reporting to donors by providing the Coordinator with the relevant project/program information on a timely basis;

• Support the Coordinator to regularly review, analyze and monitor the project financial reports and communicate any over/under expenditure observations to the Technical Coordinator on a timely basis;

• Inform on a permanent basis the program coordinator and PACO management team of all development in the execution of the program

Monitoring and evaluation

• Ensure that all data pertaining to the program’s activities are collected and analyzed at sufficient standard

• Ensure that the project develops and effectively implements an M&E framework, in line IUCN guidelines and procedures as well as that required by the donor

• Ensure that all the information related to the implementation of projects is adequately filed, organized and updated for easy access;

• Manage the submission of technical and financial reports from grantees, and verify completion of products, deliverables, and short-term impacts by grantees in order to review the efficiency and efficacy of project implementation.

• Identify and use lessons to inform future practice;

• Document and share lessons and experiences, as appropriate

• Contribute to the BIOPAMA West and Central Africa learning and capitalization strategy

• Contribute to building functional synergies with other projects

• Assist the grantees in integrating data from their project in the regional observatories.


Working closely with the other PACO staff to support the development of project proposals with a particular focus on leveraging additional funds related to Protected Areas initiatives.


The technical assistant is expected to assist the project coordinator by:

• Develop a thorough understanding of the BIOPAMA including the Action Component mechanism in West and Central Africa.

• Provide guidance to the global team on regionally tailored approaches for an effective communication program to promote and explain the grant mechanism opportunity to stakeholders across the region.

• Work effectively with the BIOPAMA regional and global team to deliver regional BIOPAMA communication products and communicate results.

• Provide regular technical advice to the BIOPAMA regional coordinator and assist in work planning and the preparation of reports.

• Support the establishment and running of the BIOPAMA protected areas Observatories for West and Central Africa;

• Identify key regional and national networks and organizations and develop and maintain contact lists and liaison.

• Provide advice on due diligence assessments and screening of applicants in consultation with the global team.

• As necessary, provide direct technical support for capacity building, particularly of local-level civil society organizations and mentor applicants and grantees through aspects of grant management, from the initial proposal design and submission process, to assisting with project monitoring and evaluation.

• Convene meetings and workshops to enable information sharing, capacity building and exchange between grantees and other stakeholders

• Monitor performance through communication with grantees and through site visits where appropriate.

• Ensure close synergies between the grants program and the regional observatories’ roles in BIOPAMA particularly in regard to management effectiveness assessments and activities that will improve the quality of baseline PA information and ensure that relevant information derived from grant projects is accessible to the sub regional observatories.

• Contribute to project publicity, promotion, updates and knowledge products suitably branded and attributed.

• Support the Protected Areas Coordinator as required through engagement on regional network groups, task forces and committees; representing IUCN and BIOPAMA at relevant fora, meetings and workshops at all levels; contribution to IUCN PACO program planning forums, advisory committees and, project reviews.

• Contribute to information sharing, lessons learning and documentation of project and program experiences.

• Draft contracts and terms of reference as requested by the project’s coordinator or the unit’s coordination for consultancies and workshops

• Contribute to organizing event

• Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However, in an ever evolving organization 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 TORs. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • University Degree in environmental management, Natural Resource Management, Ecology, conservation, natural science related discipline or a relevant field;

• At least 5 years of experience in biodiversity conservation and/or protected areas management, ideally involving terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, at national and/or regional levels;

• Experience in communicating and collaborating with management agencies, academic institutions and local, national and regional stakeholders to achieve agreed collective outcomes;

• Proven experience in project administration;

• Demonstrated experience on small grants management;

• Demonstrated experience in capacity building and working as a facilitator or trainer in a multi-cultural setting;

• Sound French and English (verbal/written) with excellent communication and presentation skills;

• Proficient in using office applications (MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint) and other web-based management systems.

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.