Community Development Officer Job at WWF Kenya in the Mara Landscape, Narok

Exciting Career Opportunities at WWF Kenya

Are you creative, dynamic and driven by a passion for biodiversity and vision for a world where people live in harmony with nature?

WWF-Kenya believes in a future where people live in harmony with nature, so we’re committed to safeguarding the natural world.

As one of the leading conservation organisations in Kenya we work on tackling key threats to biodiversity.

We also focus on influencing the decisions – often involving governments, businesses and partners – which have a significant impact on the natural world, using our expertise and experience.

To do this, we need to create an organisation that is results-driven and adaptable, which inspires positive solutions to our Country’s environmental problems.

Position Title: Community Development Officer

Reports to: African Elephant Programme Coordinator

Supervises: None

Position Level: Professional Level 1

Location: Mara Landscape, Narok, Kenya

Position Summary: To play a lead role in better understanding local communities and supporting their increased inclusion, participation and engagement in WWF associated work in the Mara-Loita landscape as part of the wider SOKNOT (Southern Kenya – Northern Tanzania) Programme . And therefore, contributing to the delivery of the overall WWF objective of conserving key habitats, wildlife and enhancing local community well-being.

The Officer will work with a range of stakeholders across three priority landscapes (Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo Conservation Areas) to:

  • improve WWF Kenya’s understanding of the socio-cultural perspectives of communities’ in these landscapes, their rights and how these are linked to wildlife conservation and Natural Resource Management;
  • facilitate greater inclusion, involvement and effective participation of these rural communities, particularly vulnerable groups, in Natural Resource Management, through equitable and locally appropriate governance structures; and,
  • co-create jointly with communities, initiatives that will enhance coexistence between people and wildlife.

The aim of this engagement is to promote equitable and sustainable community based natural resource management, and to support adaptive management and improved design of projects.

As part of this role, the incumbent will work with the WWF-Kenya Policy, Research and Innovation programme manager and SD4C Focal Point, and the CBNRM programme coordinator (both based in Nairobi) to support mainstreaming of WWF social policies and safeguards, integration of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) principles and advancement of equitable opportunities (including inclusive economic growth) amongst local communities in the Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo landscapes.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Lead and further develop the implementation of CBNRM principles in the Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo landscapes in close collaboration with Policy, Research and Innovation programme manager and SD4C Focal Point, the CBNRM officer and the Conservation Enterprise Development Expert (to be appointed, based in the Mara landscape)
  • Promote establishment of linkages/synergies and lessons sharing with other WWF-Kenya landscape and seascape programmes related to CBNRM and liaise closely with other programmes of WWF-Kenya in identifying CBNRM models and approaches that can be customized to Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo landscapes
  • Promote establishment of strategic linkages/synergies, formal and informal networks and external partners implementing similar programmes within the three landscapes.
  • Identify and adapt existing tools and materials on social development and CBNRM (and related issues) and where necessary, develop new tools and materials for use within the three landscapes.
  • Support community dialogue forums to help in peace building and conflict resolution around the governance and use of natural resources and related to promoting more equitable benefit sharing in conservancies in the three landscapes
  • Lead mainstreaming of WWF social policies and safeguards in all WWF implemented and supported projects within the three landscapes (including Gender and Human Right Based Approaches), in conjunction with and with the support of the Policy, Research and Innovation programme manager and SD4C Focal Point, and the CBNRM coordinator
  • In collaboration with M&E team, lead on the collection, collation and analysis of gender and socio-economic information (including a measure of “well-being”) of selected beneficiaries and updating of monitoring, evaluation and learning matrices for projects in the three landscapes.
  • Facilitate greater inclusion and participation of local communities in natural resource management decision making with a focus on wildlife conservation, including human-wildlife-conflict (HWC) mitigation measures, holistic rangeland management, and land-use planning – considering the needs and priorities of vulnerable groups within communities in the three landscapes.
  • Support communities in exploring, initiating and operationalizing the conservancy model in the three landscapes through undertaking full consultation processes and seeking community consensus and agreement – any subsequent operationalization would include development of robust community governance for decision-making and benefit-sharing
  • Assist communities in planning, prioritizing and implementing natural resource management activities in line with agreed work-plans and objectives.
  • Support communities to gain access to information, resources, other relevant stakeholders and opportunities that are likely to empower them to claim their rights and to manage natural resources more sustainably.
  • Remain abreast of topical developments and scientific studies related to community based management of wildlife, livelihood improvement schemes and HWC and use this knowledge to continuously innovate solutions related to the human-wildlife interface.
  • Employ social science research methods in the three landscapes to support better understanding of drivers impacting key habitats and populations of priority wildlife species; HWC; community perceptions towards wildlife and conservation; community needs, aspirations, priorities, concerns as well as barriers and other factors affecting programme effectiveness.
  • In collaboration with the Conservation Enterprise Development Expert, work with both community representatives and vulnerable groups to promote equitable and sustainable natural resource management, improved benefit sharing from conservation enterprises and entrench good governance and transparent financial management systems.
  • On behalf of WWF, establish good working relationships with local communities, their leaders and relevant groups within them in the three landscapes and endeavor to uphold the reputation of WWF.
  • Ensure implementation of community based activities are in line with respective donor grants, expectations and planned outcomes of the relevant programmes in the three landscapes.
  • Facilitate documentation and share experiences on lessons learned in CBNRM work in the landscapes with other WWF-Kenya programmes and externally.
  • Undertake other related duties as assigned by Wildlife Programme Manager.
  • In all activities ensure, and support others to uphold WWF’s network standards and social policies


  • A University Degree in the field of Social Sciences, Development Studies or Natural Resource Management – (A relevant Master’s Degree is an added advantage).


  • At least 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 and rural development in Kenya and the region.
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural and diverse setting. Understanding of and support to gender issues is a must, and experience in supporting gender equality and/or women’s empowerment in conservation/development projects an advantage.
  • Experience of dealing with power differentials and inequalities within and across communities is desirable.
  • Ability to communicate, build trust and good relationships and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including with vulnerable groups, in a respectful, participatory manner. Experience of engaging with ‘hard to reach’ members of society is desirable.
  • Experience of participatory (action) research, other participatory approaches and co-development of conservation or development initiatives with a wide range of stakeholders – particularly with local communities – is highly desirable. Ability to work with community representatives/authorities to organize and host community meetings, with strong diplomatic skills.
  • Knowledge of or familiarity with human rights-based approaches to conservation is an advantage
  • A proper command of written and spoken English, Swahili and knowledge of Maa is desirable.
  • Strong planning and analytical skills
  • Self-driven with a pro-active approach to problem solving.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and as part of a team.
  • Frequent field trips away from assigned location.

Working Relationships

  • Internal: Interacts frequently with theme leaders, Coordinators/ Managers, Projects Officers, Consultants, researchers, all WWF-Kenya staff and the wider WWF network and practices
  • External: Interacts frequently with communities, government departments and other agencies, conservation officials in the country, development agencies, NGOs, INGOs and donors.

How to Apply?

For more details please apply with your CV and cover letter as one file with the Job Title of Position Applied for on the subject line to the HR &Administration Manager, WWF-Kenya: to be received no later than 25th October 2019.

We will not accept applications without a CV and cover letter.

Work permit restrictions may apply

Kindly note that only short listed candidates will be contacted.

WWF Kenya ¡s an equal opportunity employer and ¡s committed to having a diverse workforce.

Community Development, Environment and Natural Resources, NGO and UN
Updated: October 15, 2019 — 6:58 am