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Chief of Party, (CONNECT) Project

Vacancy #:   5234
Unit:   Uganda - Programme
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya
Reporting to:   Regional Director - Eastern and Southern Africa
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   M1
Expected start date:   01 February 2020
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (36 months)
Closing date:   20 January 2020

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.

CONNECT is a four-year project funded by USAID. The project is designed to contribute to the USAID Kenya and East Africa’s (USAID/KEA’s) Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) and the USAID/KEA’s regional environmental program. Specifically, it will contribute towards the achievement of Intermediate Results 1.1. “Conservation and management of natural capital improved” identified in the RDCS Framework and the following three Sub-purposes and associated Outcomes:

Sub-Purpose 1: Collaborative Management and Conservation of Transboundary Natural Resource Management Enhanced
• Outcome 1: Strengthened regional policy dialogue, learning and decision-making on management of transboundary natural resources
• Outcome 2: Improved sustainable management of key transboundary landscapes
Sub-Purpose 2: Perceived value of living wildlife increased
• Outcome 3: Increased awareness of the economic and intrinsic value of living wildlife
Sub-Purpose 3: Wildlife poaching and trafficking reduced
• Outcome 4: Reduced demand for wildlife products
• Outcome 5: Improved regional and bilateral collaboration on enforcement and prosecution

CONNECT aims to contribute to the above Sub-Purposes and associated Outcomes by capitalising and building on existing conservation initiatives, information, methodologies, best practices, resources and approaches to combating illegal wildlife trade, as well as injecting new and innovative thinking to strengthen wildlife conservation action and policy at regional level for the benefit of the Partner States of the East African Community (EAC).

The project is led by IUCN ESARO and implemented in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and TRAFFIC, in close collaboration with the EAC Secretariat.

The Chief of Party is responsible for the performance, communications, partner relationships, technical and financial reporting and all technical aspects of the Project, as well as developing and maintaining strong relationships with the East African Community, USAID K/EA and the project partners. Working closely with the CONNECT Project team, the Chief of Party is expected to proactively and effectively manage the project with only minimum supervision from the Line Manager.


The Chief of Party will be responsible for the following main duties;

Project direction and management;

Provide overall project direction and management, and maintain vision and commitment to outcomes/results.
Ensure continued alignment of project objectives and activities with EAC policies, strategies and priorities.
Ensure effective stakeholder engagement and buy-in to project activities including by the EAC Secretariat, relevant EAC structures, relevant government agencies, NGOs and private sector
Ensure the timely and effective implementation of all IUCN-led project activities focused on: (i) strengthened regional policy dialogue, learning and decision-making on management of trans boundary natural resources in the EAC region (ii) improved sustainable management of key trans boundary landscapes in the EAC and (iii) building capacity for stronger engagement of local communities in combating illegal wildlife trade in the EAC.
Provide technical expertise to project implementation as appropriate
Manage sub-awards to WWF and TRAFFIC for the implementation of WWF and TRAFFIC-led activities of the project
Closely coordinate with WWF and TRAFFIC and help monitor progress with the implementation of WWF and TRAFFIC-led project activities
Identify short-term expertise needs, consultancy requirements, TORs for such assignments, and management of contracted consultants.
Actively participate in all relevant coordination and governance mechanisms and structures working closely with the EAC Secretariat, USAID and project partners
Ensure effective day to day communications with EAC Secretariat, USAID K/EA and partners to coordinate and support implementation and monitoring of milestones and deliverables
Ensure the development, implementation and monitoring of annual work plans
Proactively identify, create synergies with and coordinate between CONNECT and other complementary initiatives in the region
Actively coordinate, plan and build synergies with other relevant IUCN ESARO projects, particularly the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme, which has a direct linkages to CONNECT
Serve as the principal liaison with USAID K/EA including attending regular Chief of Party meetings
Ensure high professional quality and timely submission of all required programmatic deliverables to USAID K/EA including work plans, technical and financial reports, and other deliverables specified in contract documents and as per agreed standard operating procedures.
Working with the IUCN ESARO Communications Officer, ensure effective delivery of all communication and visibility requirements in line with the project Communications Plan and relevant USAID K/EA and IUCN regulations and requirements
Maintain close lines of communication with relevant technical and administrative staff at relevant IUCN country offices, the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern as well as relevant IUCN Global programmes, IUCN Members and Commissions, as required
Effectively supervise and manage relevant project personnel in line with IUCN human resources systems and procedures

Budget and financial management;

Have overall responsibility for the management of the project budget in close liaison with the CONNECT Finance Officer and other EARO Finance& Administrative staff in compliance with all USAID contractual and financial requirements and IUCN ESARO requirements. In this context, in particularly ensure the timely and effective delivery of the following tasks (not exhaustive):
Timely financial requests by IUCN and partners following established procedures
Timely financial reporting to USAID in line with contractual obligations and provide the finance department with the relevant project/programme information on a timely basis;
Regular review, analysis and monitoring of project financial reports and communicate any over?under expenditure observations to the Technical Coordinator on a timely basis;
Timely procurement of project assets and ensure all processes are in line with the IUCN Internal Control systems and donor requirements.

Monitoring and evaluation;

Working with the CONNECT Monitoring and Evaluation Officer ensure the implementation and regular updating of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan for the project in line with USAID requirements and IUCN guidelines and procedures
Identify and use lessons to inform practice;
Documenting and sharing lessons and experiences, as appropriate.

Leveraging and fundraising;

Lead efforts to mobilize and leverage resources for new/commentary activities in line with CONNECT project objectives, contributing to sustainability objectives for the CONNECT project

Other responsibilities:

Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time
  • Education;

At least a Master’s-level degree in natural resource management, international development, or related field of study.

• Work Experience;

10 years of experience in successfully managing conservation and/or international programs or projects of similar scope and scale, preferably USAID-funded projects in Eastern Africa;
Proven ability to effectively work and collaborate with regional economic communities, national government authorities and other stakeholders. Specific experience working with the East African Community a distinct advantage; familiarity with the relevant EAC policies, strategies and governance mechanisms a distinct advantage
Extensive familiarity with US Government Project management, administrative and regulatory requirements, inclusive of experience in managing multi-partner USG-funded projects in natural resource management or related sector
Proven leadership in the management, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of large-scale international donor-supported programs
Proven experience in managing and coordinating multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, and effective human resources management
Fundraising experience including writing project proposals and concepts;
Extensive experience organising, coordinating and facilitating international conferences, meetings, workshops and other consultations
Demonstrated expertise in biodiversity conservation, such as protected area management, community-based natural resource management, and/or related topics. Good knowledge of major regional challenges and opportunities, particularly related to illegal wildlife trade and trans boundary ecosystems in East Africa

• Language Proficiency;

Excellent proficiency in written and spoken English.

• 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;

Highly motivated and results-oriented individual
Demonstrated ability to work with limited supervision to prioritize tasking and manage workflow in a high pressure environment;
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
Strong skills in strategic planning, management, supervision, and budgeting.
Excellent interpersonal skills, culturally sensitive, and ability to lead or work effectively as a team member with respect for diversity;
Proven ability to develop and communicate a common vision among diverse partners
Exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills;
High proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), able to use social media and other relevant communication tools and methods to further the objectives of the project
Committed to continuous learning and proactive and mature attitude towards self-development;
Willing to travel frequently within the Eastern Africa region

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.