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Programme Officer - Conservation action

Vacancy #:   6445
Unit:   Protected Areas Programme PACO Regional
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   West and Central Africa Regional Office, Dakar, Senegal
Reporting to:   Grants Coordinator
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   01 August 2023
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (17 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   14 July 2023 (extended)
IUCN is seeking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic candidate to join the IUCN Species Conservation Action Team as Programme Officer – Species Conservation to support the IUCN SOS – Save Our Species programme.
IUCN SOS – Save Our Species aims to improve the conservation status of globally threatened species, their habitats and the people depending on them. It provides grants for conservation projects targeting globally threatened species. By strategically focusing on species conservation priorities identified by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and by providing rapid action funding that can be mobilized quickly during crises, SOS provides critically-needed resources where and when they matter most.
IUCN Save Our Species supports science-based conservation action on the ground that saves animals, plants and fungi from extinction. We focus our efforts where they will have the biggest impact by funding frontline conservation organisations across the world who have unique knowledge of their region and the local biodiversity. IUCN Save Our Species is IUCN’s response to the challenges identified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ mobilising IUCN’s unique knowledge and expertise of the members of the Species Survival Commission and its many Specialist Groups.

The Programme Officer is part of the Species Conservation Action (SCA) team in Gland, Switzerland and the IUCN Regional Office for Central and Western Africa, Dakar, Senegal (PACO).

The primary task of the Programme Officer will be to contribute to the effective implementation of the SOS African Wildlife initiative in West and Central Africa. This position will also be involved in the management of other initiatives with a similar geographic scope. Other tasks will include priority setting for species conservation, managing donor and partner relationships, fundraising, and liaison with IUCN Programmes, Members, Commissions, and partners. This position will be based at the IUCN Regional Office for West and Central Africa based in Dakar, Senegal.


• Ensure the efficient implementation of the West and Central Africa component of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative and other initiatives with the same geographic scope;
o Be responsible for the day to day management of the grants following IUCN SOS standardised procedures and in coordination with the Species Conservation Grants Coordinator;
o Support the development of operational guidelines and templates and contribute to preparing the documentation for calls for proposals to be published in the IUCN Grants Portal;
o Assist in reviewing applications received by the SOS Secretariat, including review of applications’ eligibility under SOS criteria, and supporting the SOS Technical Advisory Group review of applications;
o Liaise with grantees;
o Monitor grants and organise and conduct project monitoring missions as well as prepare mission reports in coordination with the Species Conservation Grants Coordinator;
o Review progress and final reports submitted by grantees and prepare project evaluation reports;

• Lead on the data collection process for grants in West and Central Africa to feed into the SOS monitoring and evaluation framework and other tracking tools;
• Support the collation of impact data and capturing of lessons learnt towards the development of various communication outputs
• Support the organisational development and capacity building activities of SOS African Wildlife;
• Support the development of biodiversity conservation programme in IUCN PACO, with particular input into the development of species conservation elements, and building on the SOS-funded project portfolio in the region
• Support policy interventions at national, regional and international level and make linkages between the IUCN Save Our Species on the ground work and relevant policies at these levels.
• Ensure timely and quality communication of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative through IUCN’s regional and global communications channels and organising bi-annual webinars
• Keep the relevant IUCN Country Offices and programmes effectively updated on all stages of SOS granting processess, implementation and communications, related to SOS projects in their respective jurisdictions
• Liaise and coordinate closely and regularly with the other grant-making projects active in the PACO region And more broadly on an African scale, e.g. BIOPAMA Action Component and the SADC TFCA Financing Facility, sharing relevant information, in order to avoid duplication and increase efficiency e.g. updates on calls for proposals, the project pipeline, joint visibility and communications opportunities, grantee due diigence processes, etc.
• Contribute to drafting progress reports to the donor;
• Regularly liaise with the relevant EU Delegations in the region, providing regular updates on the status with relevant SOS grants
• Assist in identifying opportunities for partnerships and project development, and support IUCN SOS fundraising efforts, in collaboration with the IUCN Regional Office for West and Central Africa, including to ensure the continuation of the SOS African Wildlife initiative;
• Represent the Species Conservation Action Team and IUCN Regional Office for West and Central Africa at relevant international events;
• Contribute towards understanding and learning of the role of grant-making programmes for conservation action;
• Contribute towards knowledge management for conservation in conjunction with the Centre for Science and Data;
• Carry out other relevant tasks at the request of and in agreement with the line manager.
  • MSc degree (or higher) in biodiversity conservation, species/habitat management, environmental sciences or other relevant discipline;

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

• Knowledge of and experience with the main biodiversity conservation challenges in West and Central Africa;

• Experience in grant making or project management, with strong project management skills at multiple levels including planning, implementation, reporting, and monitoring;

• Proven ability to work with multi-disciplinary groups, including governments, experts, civil society and local communities;

• Capacity to produce high-quality briefs and reports;

• Good knowledge of IUCN standards and knowledge tools for species conservation is an asset;

• Fundraising experience;

• Computer literacy in MS Office packages;

• Excellent organizational and networking skills;

• Solution-oriented approach: demonstrates a ‘thinking outside the box’ attitude.

• Demonstrated ability for critical thinking, analysis and strategic planning.

• Proven ability to bring ideas from concept through to realisation and implementation.

• Outstanding writing and editing skills; strong attention to detail.

• Strong interpersonal and presentation skills.

• Excellent fluency in spoken and written English and French;

• Ability to cope with varied workload and flexible working hours, and able to work independently.

• Capacity to work effectively under time pressure and extended hours;

• Willingness to travel within the region, sometimes at short notice;

• Team-oriented attitude and ability to work independently;

• Respond well to remote supervision.

• A demonstrated high-level ability to work in a multi-cultural, international organisation, applying high standards of respect, tolerance and support required

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 around 16,000 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.