Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar, with regular travel to our sites, and occasionally to other locations in Madagascar and internationally
Closing date for applications: midnight UK time, January 08, 2023
Start date: as soon as possible
Contract duration: 2-year full time contract, with a 6-month probation period
Contract type: Fixed term
Remuneration: competitive salary, based on experience

Organisation overview

Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation working to rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities. We’re committed to protecting marine biodiversity in ways that benefit coastal people. We work in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and where there is a fundamental unmet need to support human development.

Position in organisation

A senior member of the Madagascar leadership, reporting to the Country Director with close collaboration, technical support and oversight from the global conservation team. Line management responsibilities for National Technical Advisors (Fisheries, Mangroves and Governance), Head of Advocacy and Monitoring & Evaluation lead. Member of the Madagascar Coordination Group (MCoG).

Description of role

The Director of Conservation (DoC) – Madagascar is responsible for the oversight and governance of our conservation work in Madagascar. You are the national lead for the design and scope of our work to deliver the Blue Ventures (BV) conservation strategy. As such you play a key role in supporting BV in Madagascar to move away from multiple siloed programmes to a single country programme aligned with BV’s global strategy and agreed country key results. You lead a team of technical experts in our principal areas of intervention – fisheries, mangroves and governance, as well as our national monitoring & evaluation and advocacy functions. Together, you and your team advise and support the Madagascar country team to partner with communities and like-minded organisations in pursuit of our ultimate goal: empowered coastal communities managing their resources and ecosystems for generations to come.

You are also the champion for BV Madagascar’s conservation work – both internally, ensuring understanding and buy-in amongst BV global teams, and externally, taking the lead in representing BV Madagascar’s work to the world. In close collaboration with teams in-country and Donor Stewardship in the UK, you are accountable for identifying funding needs, and shaping and driving the conservation focus of the grants that support our work across the country. You will ensure existing projects evolve in line with BV strategy where and when possible, that all new proposals are carefully calibrated to further BV’s conservation goals, and that grant undertakings are in line with organisational capacity and capability, and vice versa.

Working alongside BV’s field teams, you will also spearhead the transformation of our current model, and the expansion of our mission into new zones. This entails guiding the country team on three critical axes for the coming years: transitioning from our current model of intensive direct support to communities, to a simpler and more replicable model that sees BV step back and communities take the lead; second, focusing BV’s own work on our core disciplines of rights, management, financial inclusion and value recovery, while helping identify and engage expert agencies on the other barriers to marine conservation in Madagascar’s coastal zones, including health, education, and livelihood diversification; and finally, identifying and engaging likeminded implementing partners who share our values and are ready to collaborate on community-based marine conservation.

Accountable for the strategic development, technical validity, monitoring and evaluation of the Madagascar programme, you lead and develop a team of specialist national technical advisors in Fisheries, Mangroves, Governance, Monitoring & Evaluation and Advocacy. Working closely with the global evidence and learning workstream (global technical advisors, M&E, and knowledge development) you ensure that country teams and partners have strong support across these technical areas. You ensure these different areas of technical expertise come together in a coherent and synergistic way, build a culture of evidence-based decision-making, and integrate learning processes into our work and operations. You are responsible for approving decisions that affect the programme direction in Madagascar, with input from the MCoG, the technical advisors, and field teams.

Training and developing capacity is a key function of this role. You support the ongoing development of key skills training for BV staff, implementing partners and – critically, and through these two – the communities we serve. You ensure trainees have a broad multidisciplinary proficiency in empowering coastal communities to manage and govern their local marine areas. You ensure BV teams are skilled and fluent in the fundamental elements of our core model, and able to access our scaling infrastructure of data, funding, learning and advocacy. You take a lead in talent development and producing the next generation of conservation leaders for the country and beyond.

With your team, you lead on all technical communications, including first and foremost toolkits and other media to assist communities and partners in our shared mission, as well as the technical aspects of all grant proposals, donor reports, scientific publications, internal comms and external blogsYou bring a flare for sharing knowledge that engages the team in documenting their experiences and publishing these across the full range of channels, from scientific to policy and public communications, and promoting them through learning exchanges and external speaking opportunities. In so doing you help Blue Ventures to capitalise on its 20 years of learning and the team’s in-depth experience of the challenges and opportunities of locally-based marine conservation in Madagascar. Your leadership positions Madagascar as a go-to provider for insights and know-how globally.

As the Director of Conservation you lead BV Madagascar’s relationships with the Madagascar government and other national and regional stakeholders, including civil society groups such as Mihari, commercial and industry actors, and fellow national conservation and development NGOs. You are accountable for ensuring partnerships with these actors are pragmatic and action-oriented, framed where relevant under compelling and technically valid MOUs, and overall promoting trust and transparency in BV’s work in the sector and standing in the country and wider region.

Madagascar Management – Madagascar Coordination Group (MCoG)

The Director of Conservation – Madagascar is a key member of the MCoG. You actively participate in these meetings and work of the Group as a key decision-maker. The main responsibilities of the MCoG include:

  1. Lead strategy development
  2. Country level oversight of the implementation of activities
  3. Develop the team, supporting well-being and Blue Ventures’ organisational culture and values
  4. Ensure strong operating systems support efficient and safe working practices
  5. Lead cross-cutting work and initiatives (i.e. capacity reviews, national conference, budget)


Conservation programming and support

  • In close collaboration with the MCoG the post holder will ensure the delivery of high quality, evidence based and impactful conservation outcomes in Madagascar aligned to our 2025 strategy core model
  • Provide (including through regular field visits) a technical oversight of activities across sites, to help deliver coherent and consistent work across all sites in Madagascar.
  • Have an overview of all technical work across all sites in Madagascar and be accountable for decisions that cut across sites
  • Ensure review and reflection processes are built into programmatic functions to drive evidence-based decision making, learning and improvement
  • Support National Technical Advisors to develop clear strategic frameworks in their area of speciality that include guidance on how to deliver Blue Ventures’ core model
  • Support National Technical Advisors to scope new geographical areas of work, additional implementing partners or greater technical support across the country.
  • Ensure that the annual country key results are set out, aligned to the organisational key results, matched to key indicators (and logframes), monitored and then reported upon
  • Ensure the country programme has effective monitoring systems in place and are systematically evaluated by facilitating and overseeing effective collaboration between the National Technical Advisors and site teams. Propose improved methodologies for tracking and optimising outcome delivery across sites
  • Liaise with the UK technical and M&E teams, as required to provide support on core technical areas – Ensure close collaboration with members of the global conservation support team (Technical Support and Innovation)
  • Direct and coordinate Blue Ventures’ resources ( with input from the team) on the best way forward for technical policy engagement and advocacy at the national level in particular
  • With support from the Head of Advocacy and the Global team, ensure Blue Ventures has a robust advocacy framework in place for Madagascar.
  • With support from the Head of Policy and Partnership, ensure our Policy Position papers are updated and pursued through the Advocacy framework
  • Provide oversight and accountability that the components of the country Programme are carried out in a timely manner, to a high quality in accordance with project design and BV strategy
  • Ensure that programmes are appropriately designed and delivered in order to reach both the country strategy and the donor grants
  • Share insight with colleagues and partners in other countries as well as bringing into Madagascar lessons from other locations
  • Lead the transition in Madagascar from static site based (technical) support to a more mobile model that that will bolster development of new LMMA sites and increase our capacity to give technical support to implementing partners

Communications and Partnerships

  • Oversee and increase opportunities for technical partnerships, in collaboration with the National Technical Advisors (NTAs).
  • Work with regional managers and NTAs to identify potential new partnerships as well as strengthening our existing partnerships.
  • Ensure effective contribution of team members to reach goals, via a productive collaboration across the programme to hit standard indicators and deliver key results
  • Contribute to writing lessons learned from BV’s core model as peer-reviewed articles, reports or communications pieces.
  • Contribute to BV communication efforts by supporting and encouraging teams to provide high quality content for internal and external audiences.
  • Help optimise information flows and collaboration between National Technical Advisors, geographic leads, and global technical advisors, for powerful internal communications on programme outcomes
  • Help ensure BV communicates appropriately on policy and advocacy engagement
  • Provide strategic guidance on and active facilitation of BV’s national engagement towards the overall goal of conservation in Madagascar

Capacity Building and Learning

  • Ensure internal training needs are identified for all staff within the technical/conservation team
  • Along with colleagues, oversee the development and implementation of a training and capacity development plan and teaching tools for both entry level staff in these roles (governance, fisheries and mangrove management) as well as their immediate supervisors. o junior staff plans to follow a 2 year capacity development strategy o mid level staff a 12 month capacity development plan
  • Ensure that capacity development plans and respective teaching tools are focused on the transfer of roles and responsibilities from BV to the communities we support – our ultimate goal being an empowered coastal community able to manage their local resources
  • Line manage National Technical & M&E Advisors, supporting them to develop and deliver clear performance goals against the BV strategy and overseeing their professional development
  • Lead organisational development efforts to ensure we have the right locally agreed structures and capabilities to deliver the BV strategy in Madagascar
  • Exemplify a nurturing and caring management style and contribute to a strong team culture and team spirit within Blue Ventures
  • Provide advice and guidance to colleagues and partners globally on strategies and plans that have worked in Madagascar, have not worked and why. Proactively share learning and experience
  • Oversee the ongoing digital data collection roll out, ensuring communities we serve can access appropriate data for local management

Grant Management

  • Participate in new business development, including the development of programme design and proposal budgets
  • Maintain a global overview of our grants across the country, the needs they are addressing, and how they deliver the Blue Ventures strategy
  • Track these grants to ensure we seek appropriate new funding opportunities in a timely manner that focus on the BV core model
  • Oversee the conservation aspects of all grants and funding contracts, ensuring grant deliverables are both ambitious and realistic, tracking they are met and reported upon in a timely manner
  • Ensure that new grants align with BV strategy and organisational key results
  • Work closely with the grant management teams in UK and Mada, finance and HR to support effective financial planning of new grants and their integration in BV Madagascar funding
  • Support and oversee engagement of donors in Madagascar by assisting with visits and building relationships with donors as required
  • Ensure technical aspects of projects are appropriately budgeted and that unit costs are available for future budgeting
  • Ensure there are sufficient resources in Madagascar for accurate and timely data analysis

Skills and experience


  • Track record of achievements in a previous, similar role at national leadership level
  • Clear commitment to Blue Ventures’ human rights-based approach to conservation – Extensive progressive managerial experience, in [marine] conservation with demonstrable experience both in project management and team management
  • A Masters level qualification in conservation, or related subjects where first degree is in conservation such as international development, business management, social science – Experience of working in NGOs and/or international organisations
  • Experience in financial management
  • Experience in project cycle management
  • Experience of community level project implementation and community empowerment
  • Able to collect, organise, and analyse data
  • Able to deal with ambiguity across different teams and projects
  • Experience in working with external partners including ministerial and local authorities, and partner organisations
  • Experience working in multicultural settings
  • A strong professional proficiency in French and English
  • Dynamic, enthusiastic, motivated, serious and autonomous
  • Excellent knowledge of computer tools
  • Excellent interpersonal skills,
  • A team player, with the ability to network and work effectively in a multicultural setting,
  • Creatively solves any problems as they arise, with relentless execution.


  • Experience of working with small scale fishers and fisheries
  • Experience in protection of coastal resources, habitats and protected areas
  • Experience of policy change and influence through an advocacy approach
  • Experience in research and publication of findings
  • Experience in operational support in such areas as human resources, logistics and administration procedures
  • Experience of working across several countries
  • Previous experience in Madagascar
  • Qualification in project cycle management
  • Skills/training in coaching techniques
  • Qualification in management
  • Experience in process improvement
  • Experience of mapping software such as Tableau or ArcGIS
  • Competency in Malagasy

Blue Ventures is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young and vulnerable people and expects all members of staff to share this commitment. We take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone who contravenes our policy. All candidates will be asked questions on safeguarding and child protection.

Due to the nature of Blue Ventures’ work we aim to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. This means that we will close adverts as soon as we have found the right candidate and this may be before the published closing date. We would therefore advise interested applicants to submit an application as early as possible.

Application process

Applicants should apply online via Blue Ventures’ website (https://blueventures.org/about/careers/) by 08th January 2022.
This recruitment will be carried out on a rolling basis until we find a suitable candidate.
Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Why work with us:

Mission: We operate at the frontline of some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems, innovating effective and scalable responses with tropical coastal communities. We are recognised as a transformative force in our sector.
Working style: We’re a fast-moving social enterprise, quick to embrace and implement promising ideas without bureaucracy.
Autonomy: We expect and support our staff to take a lead in their own work, offering scope for creativity and strategic input.
Professional development: We challenge and support our staff to grow their skills, providing considerable exposure to different work experiences and training opportunities.
Adventure: We offer extensive opportunities for travel, working in diverse environmental and cultural contexts.
Family: We look out for one another as we work closely together in challenging situations, celebrating successes and spurring each other on when the going gets tough.
Values: Our organisational values are central to everything we do: