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Team Leader, SADC Transfrontier Conservation Areas Facilities

Vacancy #:   5232
Unit:   ESARO - South Africa Conservation Areas and Species
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   South Africa Country Office, Pretoria, South Africa
Reporting to:   Regional Technical Coordinator, Conservation Areas & Species
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   SP
Expected start date:   01 February 2020
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (36 months)
Closing date:   20 January 2020 (extended)

The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) operates in twenty-four countries in the Horn of Africa, eastern Africa, southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. IUCN ESARO engages directly in biodiversity conservation in the region through its innovative thematic programme, Conservation Areas and Species (CAS). The CAS programme draws on evidence-based and best practice approaches to enhance the conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystems in Eastern and Southern Africa. CAS operates through a “One Programme” approach working closely with IUCN members and Commissions to engage in a diverse set of biodiversity conservation actions ranging from the implementation of field projects to influencing policy and institutional frameworks at local, national, regional and global levels. The CAS programme is focused on enhancing management effectiveness, governance and equity of protected and conserved areas, strengthening multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement to improve biodiversity conservation at landscape and seascape level, and supporting effective local community engagement in biodiversity conservation. The thematic programme also contributes to building the capacity of IUCN Members and partners, as well as the ESARO Secretariat to tackle new and emerging biodiversity conservation challenges in the region and to implement relevant international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) , Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The programme also links closely to relevant work and regional priorities of Regional Economic Communities, the African Union and the United Nations Environment Assembly.

IUCN ESARO has been appointed as the Project Executing Agency (PEA) for two Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) grant-making facilities. IUCN ESARO is looking to recruit a highly qualified Team Leader to help establish and manage these facilities. A summary of the facilities is as follows:

1.SADC TFCA Financing Facility

The development and establishment of a regional and sustainable Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) financing mechanism is a major component of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) TFCA programme (2013). The initial funding by the German Government (BMZ through KfW) shall be EUR 12 million (plus an additional commitment for EUR 11 million to be made available in the near future) for an initial financing cycle of up to 6 years. The intention is to leverage additional funds from various partners, including further commitment from Germany, in order to reach an operational funding volume of approximately EUR 100 million in the medium to long term.

The SADC TFCA Financing Facility (FF) is intended to foster closer collaboration between stakeholders supporting TFCAs and provide the basis for longer-term and more sustainable funding opportunities to develop all TFCAs. The SADC TFCA FF will be fully aligned with the objectives of the SADC Programme for TFCAs (2013) aiming at contributions to various objectives and goals in other relevant SADC strategies and protocols.
Through the TFCA Financing Facility, investments in tangible measures strengthening ecological, economic, cultural and institutional connectivity within SADC TFCAs will be leveraged in a flexible, demand-and performance driven way. The measures shall integrate three dimensions:
1)improved habitat connectivity, especially for elephants and large carnivores as flagship species (“species” dimension),
2)improved management effectiveness and governance of TFCAs and protected areas PAs (“habitat” dimension) and
3)improved livelihoods for communities affected by human-wildlife co-habitation (“people” dimension)
The SADC TFCA FF will contribute towards: (i) faster implementation of projects, (ii) better dissemination and multiplication of innovative approaches, (iii) a pipeline of bankable projects, ready for funding and able to absorb additional funds, (iv) faster response and reaction to upcoming challenges, crises or opportunities, (v) better coordination and harmonisation of national, bilateral and multilateral programmes. Further, the financing mechanism shall contribute to the institutional development of TFCAs, including the preparation and constitution of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), treaties and other legal documents as required.

2.Training Facilities and Programmes for Wildlife Managers and Rangers in the SADC region

Following negotiations between Germany and SADC in 2011, € 10 million was committed in financial cooperation funds to promote the development of training infrastructure and programmes for protected area managers and rangers in SADC TFCAs. € 4 million of this funding was allocated to the development of infrastructure of the Southern African Wildlife College. € 6 million has been allocated for strengthening capacities of personnel in SADC TFCAs to help implement existing SADC programmes for TFCA management. The TFCA Capacity Development Facility will be a grant-making mechanism intended to provide skills-based training for Wildlife Managers and Rangers in SADC TFCAs, and will be informed by a detailed training needs assessment.

The Team Leader will be responsible for the effective implementation of the functions of the Project Executing Agency (PEA) for the SADC TFCA Financing and Capacity Building Facilities.

In order to meet its obligations as the PEA, IUCN will establish a dedicated Project Management Unit (PMU) to effectively manage the two SADC TFCA Facilities, led by the Team Leader.

Governance structures of the two SADC TFCA Facilities will be established in accordance with the project documents. The main structure will be the Project Steering Committee (PSC) to which the Executing Agency will report. It will comprise of SADC Secretariat, Member States representatives, and current donors to the FF. The PSC will: (i) provide oversight, strategic guidance and policy direction for the TFCA FF, including partnerships with other donors, private sector and NGOs; (ii) approve Operational Manuals; (iii) approve the criteria for selecting an Expert Group Roster to assist project proponents in project development and peer review; (iv) approve grant proposals and grant allocations; (vi) review the overall progress, including monitoring and evaluation frameworks and reports; (v) oversee and supervise the management of the PEA.


Working closely with the SADC Secretariat and relevant IUCN ESARO technical and administrative staff, the Team Leader will lead the start-up phase and will initially be the sole full-time staff member of the Project Executing Agency for the Financing Facilities. The Team Leader will lead the launch of the program and operations. He/she will assess the organization’s staffing needs and the establishment of a small Project Management Unit.

The Team Leader will be in charge of the daily management of the Facilities. Specifically, he/she will be responsible for the following:

Operationalisation and mobilisation of the SADC TFCA Facilities;

Lead the implementation of inception phase activities to ensure that the SADC TFCA Facilities are established and functional within the shortest possible time. Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
oSupport the process of recruitment and selection of the other PMU staff;
oOrient and supervise other PMU staff as required;
oLead project inception workshops and conduct any other relevant inception phase consultations;
oLead on the development of an environmental and social management system commensurate with the nature of the Facilities and associated risks, and ensure it meets the requirements of KfW;
oLead the development of Operational Manuals for the Facilities, building on existing similar programmes, such as for the KfW Tiger Fund, the BIOPAMA Action Component and the Save Our Species programme, etc., for approval by the Project Steering Committee (PSC);
oDevelop and submit to the PSC and KfW detailed Operational Plans as per contractual obligations;
oCoordinate and support the review and revision of the Training Needs Assessment for SADC TFCAs;
oLead the identification and establishment of rosters of independent technical experts to review proposals;
oSupport the development of a communication strategy for the SADC TFCA Facilities;

Oversight, Coordination and Management;

Oversee and lead the PMU on all the key functions related to the implementation of the grant-making activities e.g.:
launch of calls for proposals
The review of proposals and due diligence
Awarding of grants
Ensure compliance with KfW procurement guidelines
Attend regular PSC meetings as the PEA representative
Synthesize and consolidate the reports prepared by the projects and present to PSC for clearance before official submission to SADC Secretariat and KfW.
Ensure regular updating of the Operational Plans and budgets
Ensure effective communications and visibility of the SADC TFCA Facilities

Monitoring and evaluation;

Ensure robust M&E systems are in place which conform to general guidelines and requirements approved by the PSC
Ensure the PEA complies at all times with the Environmental, Social and Health & Safety provisions as outlined in the contract documents
Ensure effective and high quality technical and financial reporting in line with the contract obligations
Effectively support the mid-term and final review processes, and any other audits and evaluations as may be required.

Leveraging and fundraising;

Support the mobilization of additional resources from other interested parties in order to expand the facility (i.e. marketing of the Facility and fundraising).
Build synergies with other relevant grant-making initiatives active in the region e.g. BIOPAMA Action Component and the SOS programme.

Other responsibilities:

Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time, provided that they complement, and do not impact negatively, on the main duties above.
  • Education

Advanced University Degree in Natural Resource Management, Business Administration, International Affairs or another similar and relevant field

• Work Experience;

Proven track record in the managementof international donor-supported projects or programmes of a similar scope or scale. Experience in managing a grant-making programme an added advantage;
At least 8 years professional experience in conservation or natural resources management, 5 of which should be at senior level; Field experience in managing protected areas and species conservation in the SADC region and/or protected area capacity development an added advantage.
Proven ability to effectively establish, lead and coordinate teams of technical and administrative staff;
Familiarity with the SADC TFCA programme and SADC decision-making processes and structures as well as relevant policies, strategies and action plans an added advantage;
Familiarity with KfW regulations or experience managing previous Kfw-funded projects an added advantage
Experience and familiarity with international Environmental, Social and Health & Safety standards and safeguards (e.g. WB ESS 1-10, the World Bank Group General and sector-specific EHS Guidelines, the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines for Development Based Evictions and Displacement and Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT, FAO 2012) an added advantage.

• Language Proficiency;

Fluency in written and spoken English. A working knowledge of Portuguese and French would be an Fluency in written and spoken English. A working knowledge of Portuguese and French would be an advantage

• Competencies;

Energetic, highly motivated and results-oriented individual who can express/recognize ideas, opportunities and communicate goals and objectives clearly
Proven ability to lead and work effectively as a team member with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
Demonstrated ability to work with limited supervision to prioritize tasking and manage workflow in a high pressure environment;
Able to work at big-picture level but also to see processes through to completion
Proven ability to develop and communicate a common vision among diverse partners, and the ability to lead multi-sector and multi-disciplinary teams;
Ability to organize, analyze, interpret and utilize program performance data
Committed to continuous learning and proactive and mature attitude towards self-development;
Exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills;
Willing to travel frequently within the SADC region

• Functional competencies;

Adheres to IUCN ESARO core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability;
Strong communication skills, both written and verbal.
Highly skilled in strategic planning, management, supervision, and budgeting.
Excellent analytical skills for the review and assessments of project proposals.
Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), database applications, spreadsheet and graphics presentations

• 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.

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.