World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Kenya) is seeking to a recruit highly qualified and competent individual to the following position:
Position Title: Community Officer – African Elephant Programme
Reports to: African Elephant Programme Coordinator
Job Grade: TBA
Location: Mara Landscape, Narok, Kenya
Position Summary: To support the effective delivery of WWF-Kenya’s African Elephant Programme with a focus on socio-economic, cultural dimensions and community-based conservation solutions.
The Officer will work with a range of stakeholders across two priority landscapes (Maasai Mara and Shimba Hills Conservation Areas) to: understand community perspectives linked to elephant conservation; facilitate greater involvement of local communities in natural resource management linked to elephant conservation; support the development of initiatives that will improve sustainable community livelihoods and enhance coexistence between people and elephants.
Key duties and responsibilities
- Facilitate greater involvement of local communities in natural resource management linked to elephant conservation, including human-elephant-conflict (HEC) mitigation measures, holistic rangeland management, and land-use planning.
- Conduct education and awareness activities which will assist communities to explore conservation compatible options for natural resource management and wildlife enterprises in their area.
- Assist communities in planning, prioritizing and implementing natural resource management activities in line with agreed work-plans and objectives.
- Develop and implement initiatives that will improve livelihoods of the communities living within elephant dispersal areas, including but not limited to community conservancy model and other long-term projects for financial sustainability.
- Support communities to gain access to information, resources, other relevant stakeholders and opportunities that are likely to empower them to manage conservation resources more effectively.
- Remain abreast of topical developments and scientific studies related to African elephant conservation linked to community participation in wildlife management, livelihood improvement schemes and HEC and use this knowledge to continuously innovate solutions related to human-wildlife interface.
- Employ social science research methods in priority landscapes to support understanding of drivers of elephant population changes and HEC, community perceptions towards elephants/conservation, community needs, and programme effectiveness.
- Support piloting of new HEC measures, and support ongoing evaluation of their effectiveness.
- Measure the amount of benefits (including non-monetary) that households and community members accrue from conservation programmes.
- Assist Landscape Project Coordinator as a liaison officer between the WWF-Kenya Species team, local communities and other partners in the Mara landscape and Shimba Hills, with a focus on Species related activities.
- On behalf of WWF, establish good working relationships with local communities and their leaders, and endeavor to uphold the reputation of WWF.
- Liaise closely with other Programmes of WWF-Kenya and the WWF Network in identifying CBNRM models and ideas that can be customized to priority landscapes in Kenya
- Ensure implementation of activities is in line with respective donor grants, expectations and planned outcomes of the Species Programme.
- Contribute to data collection and analysis towards the effective monitoring and evaluation of the African Elephant Programme.
- In collaboration with WWF Communications Unit, contribute to periodic publications and features on community engagement.
- Undertake other duties as assigned by the African Elephant Programme Coordinator and the Species Manager.
- In all activities ensure, and support others to uphold WWF’s social policies wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/how_we_work/people_and_conservation/wwf_social_policies/
- A University Degree in the field of Social Sciences, Natural Resource Management, Conservation Science, Environmental Science –(A relevant Master’s Degree or relevant field experience is an added advantage).
- A minimum of 7 years’ active engagement and experience of working with communities on natural resource management and social development.
Key Skills /Competencies
- Familiarity with the dynamics and key issues related to community based natural resource management in Kenya and the region.
- Understanding of the factors constraining community based wildlife utilization in Kenya.
- Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural and diverse setting. Understanding of and support to gender issues is a must.
- Experience of dealing with power differentials and inequalities within and across communities is desirable.
- Ability to build good relationships and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders in a respectful, participatory manner.
- Experience of engaging with ‘hard to reach’ members of society is desirable.
- Experience of working with communities to support natural resource management and improved livelihoods. Experience of participatory (action) research and co-development of conservation initiatives with a wide range of stakeholders is highly desirable.
- Ability to organize and host community meetings, with strong diplomatic skills.
- A proper command of written and spoken English, and spoken Swahili; knowledge of Maa is highly desirable and an added advantage.
- Understanding of socio-economic and cultural aspects of wildlife conservation, including drivers of human-wildlife conflict, poaching and habitat degradation.
- Experience of qualitative and quantitative social science research methods, including surveys, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, research on sensitive topics and their analysis, research ethics. Experience of publishing interdisciplinary or social science based research in peer reviewed journals is highly desirable.
- Self-driven with a pro-active approach to problem solving.
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritize.
- Willingness to work long hours required, occasionally over weekends and at short notice.
- Ability to work with minimal supervision and as part of a team. Frequent field trips away from assigned location.
- Ability to communicate effectively (written and verbal) with a wide range of collaborators/audiences, including proven ability to write project and donor reports.
- High levels of computer literacy; competent use of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint and Word) a must.
- Commitment to WWF and its mission.
- Internal: Interacts frequently with theme leaders, Coordinators/ Managers, Projects Officers, Consultants, researchers and All WWF-Kenya staff
- External: Interacts frequently with ROA staff, government departments and other agencies, conservation officials in the country, development agencies, NGOs, INGOs and donors.
This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the sort of tasks that are anticipated proactively from staff. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organizational needs.
How to apply?
Interested candidates, who meet the outlined requirements, should email a CV and cover letter as one file with the role on the subject line: for example Project Officer -Rhino to HR Manager, WWF-Kenya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for applications 1st December 2017.
Kindly note only shortlisted persons will be contacted.
WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce.