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 was established in late 2010 and draws on evidence-based and best practice approaches to enhance the conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystems. 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 current CAS strategy and portfolio is particularly focused on enhancing management effectiveness and governance of protected and conserved areas and on 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 and to understand and implement relevant international conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

General Scope

The Senior Programme Officer (SPO) reports directly to the IUCN ESARO Technical Coordinator, CASD Programme and has a functional reporting line to and is expected to work closely with the IUCN ESARO Technical Coordinator, Regional Water Programme, in their capacity as Country Representative, and the BIOPAMA Global Programme Coordinator.

The main duties of the SPO include the management and implementation of projects in the CASD portfolio, with a particular focus on the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) project http://www.biopama.org/ as well as other IUCN ESARO’s initiatives related to protected and conserved areas, including Transfrontier Conservation Areas. The BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Programme is a six-year programme funded through Intra-ACP (Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific countries) resources from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The Programme is being implemented jointly by IUCN and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC). The implementation of BIOPAMA will require targeted capacity building activities for protected area managers at various levels making full use of IUCN’s network of experts and IUCN’s policy informing mandate. IUCN ESARO is also supporting biodiversity conservation with a particular focus on improving the management effectiveness and governance of protected and conserved areas in Africa through targeted capacity building and knowledge sharing. The SPO will play a supporting role in the development of portfolio-wide strategies and assist the Technical Coordinator, to develop, resource and manage projects and activities, and link them with those of the other ESARO Component Programs and Global Programmes.

Specific responsibilities and Tasks

The Senior Programme Officer is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of BIOPAMA and other on-going projects/programmes within the CAS portfolio. More specifically:

1. Programme management and implementation:
– Ensure the implementation of existing CAS projects in accordance with the project documents, supporting agreements (e.g. contracts, MOUs, PAs, IAs etc.), annual work plans and the procedures of IUCN;
– Manage and supervise BIOPAMA Project Officers and Administrative & Finance staff, and other staff that may be assigned to the SPO
– Implement specific project activities and ensure quality outputs that meet the satisfaction of project partners and donors. This includes implementing a wide range of technical activities such as designing and implementing capacity building programmes, supporting and enhancing protected area management and governance, and species conservation, developing regionally tailored communication and awareness products, etc.;
– Provide capacity strengthening to project partners to improve delivery of specific project activities and objectives;
– With relevant IUCN officers and collaborating partners, select and appoint consultants following acceptable procurement practices, and oversee delivery of quality products;
– Ensure that project budgets are utilized and monitored in accordance with IUCN internal controls and donor agreements;
– Ensure the collection, collation, and reporting of all project data and documents, and be responsible for the submission of technical progress reports according to the agreed formats and deadlines;
– Provide administrative and logistical support to project implementation including the organization of workshops, meetings and consultations;
– Undertake regular duty travel in the region as necessary to ensure smooth implementation of programmatic activities;
– Help to communicate the project results through the IUCN website, articles, news stories, publications, etc.

2. Representation: Assist in building and maintaining strong relationships with relevant IUCN partners. More specifically:
– Assist in overseeing and developing the relationship between IUCN and its donors and implementing partners (including Southern African Development Community and East African Community), ensuring that these partners are appraised of and satisfied with progress of projects in the CASD portfolio;
– As required and approved, represent IUCN at internal and external meetings.

3. Fundraising:
Working closely with the CASD Technical Coordinator support the development of project proposals with a particular focus on leveraging additional funds related to Protected Areas initiatives.

4. Financial Support
– Liaise with IUCN ESARO Finance Officers regarding compliance with donors’ contractual and financial requirements;
– Support the provision of financial reporting to headquarters and donor partners, by providing the finance department with the relevant project/programme information on a timely basis;
– Support the Technical 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;
– Coordinate the procurement process of project assets and ensure all processes are in line with the IUCN Internal Control systems and donor requirements.

5. Monitoring and evaluation
– Ensure that all projects develop and effectively implement M&E frameworks and systems, in line IUCN guidelines and procedures as well as that required by specific projects.
– Ensure that all the information related to the implementation of projects is adequately filed, organized and updated for easy access;
– Identify and use lessons to inform practice;
– Document and share lessons and experiences, as appropriate.

• An advanced degree in natural science related to biodiversity conservation, protected areas or related fields;

• At least 8 years of relevant working experience in the eastern and southern Africa region

• At least five years in management of projects in the field of biodiversity conservation, natural resources or environmental management, including management of donor grants and donor relations, technical and financial reporting, monitoring and evaluation (experience with previous European Commission projects a distinct advantage);

• A good understanding of current and emerging environmental issues in the region, particularly those related to protected areas and biodiversity conservation approaches and policies in the region;

• Previous experience working with a wide range of conservation practitioners from field to senior government manager levels;

• Good understanding of the main international multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention of Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the World Heritage Convention.

• Experience in capacity building activities related to protected areas and biodiversity conservation. Practical experience with IUCN protected areas management effectiveness and protected area governance tools and guidelines a distinct advantage

• Experience with managing granting mechanisms (e.g. small-to medium grants funds) an added advantage

• Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and communicate effectively in a cross?cultural environment;

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English required. Fluency in French and/or Portuguese as an added advantage

• Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work effectively with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams with sensitivity and respect for diversity;

• Highly motivated and results-oriented individual;

• High personal integrity

• Demonstrated ability to work with limited supervision to prioritize tasks and manage workflow in a high pressure environment;

• A good team worker with sound leadership abilities

• Adheres to IUCN ESARO core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability;

• Committed to continuous learning and proactive and mature attitude towards self-development;


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.