400px Wildlife cs logo15 Director of Programs-CAR

Director of Programs-CAR

Wildlife Conservation Society

Reports to: Country Director
Location: Bangui, CAR
Position Type: Full-time
Internal liaison: WCS CAR Parc Managers, Program Manager,
Coordinator Politics and institutional relations,
Conservation and Landscape manager.
WCS Sudano Sahel: Regional Program Manager, Regional Business Manager, Regional Grants Manager

About Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

WCS stands for wildlife and wild places. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organisation, WCS has a long track record of achieving innovative, impactful results at scale. We run programs spanning the ocean and over 3 million biologically critical square miles in nearly 60 countries. We build on a unique foundation: Our reach is global; we discover through best-in-class science; we protect through work on the ground with local and indigenous people; we inspire through our world-class zoos, aquarium, and education programs; and we leverage our resources through partnerships and powerful policy influence. Our 5,000 diverse, passionately committed team members in New York City and worldwide work collectively to achieve our conservation mission.
More information at www.wcs.org.

About the Director of Programs
The successful candidate will provide leadership and coordination for critical program and project needs, programmatic support to field work across all departments of “protected area management” with a particular focus on planning, monitoring, execution, project reporting and new project development for a diverse array of donors funding sources, tracking contracts and grants implementation, ensuring proper grants launch and closing, onboarding of project and program team members in concert with Country Office HR, assisting with staff capacity building in concert with national program leadership, working with all department across functional boundaries to ensure timely delivery of programs in country.
In concert with Country Office Leadership, the Director of Programs will also identify strategic partnerships and new donor relationships to support WCS CAR’s strategic objectives in our protected areas.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Together with the Country Director, provide strategic vision and direction to the country programme.
  • Identify and maintain strategic funding opportunities. Coordinate and provide leadership to a portfolio of donors that includes bilateral (EU, UNESCO) in close coordination with the Country and Regional office.
  • Oversee management of projects and grants including assistance with the development of strategies, preparation of proposals, coordination of timely reporting and in-country donor communications, as well as compliance with donor regulations.
  • Lead in developing and reviewing programme strategies, area plans and annual plans. Provide technical support to field staff in the review and implementation of existing work plans.
  • Identify and support recruitment, new staff onboarding capacity building and mentoring of implementation team members.
  • As appropriate, facilitate internal WCS communications between the field, CAR country, regional and NY teams.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight to ensure adherence and awareness of WCS policies, donor regulations and government requirements in project administration.
  • Work with the Regional Grants Manager, Director of Finance and Administration and Field Finance Manager to monitor and track project budgets.
  • As requested by the CAR Country Director, represent WCS at meetings on a national and international level

Program Management

  • In collaboration with the Country Office Leadership Team (COLT) and the Senior Regional Program Manager, strengthen the management, timely execution, and accountability of programs.
  • Provide guidance and project management coaching to the Program team, MEL and field staff, in consultation with the park manager, Landscaper manager and program manager.
  • Quickly identify obstacles to the timely delivery of quality technical programs and work with country teams to solve obstacles appropriately and rapidly.
  • Provide ongoing assessments to the CAR leadership on technical programmatic opportunities and risks related to overall program performance, as well as the efficacy of WCS procedures, tools, and guidelines. Present assessment results and propose strategies to enhance technical program performance regularly.
  • Ensure the development and application of a practical field-based Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) system/plans for all projects documenting the measurement of achievement and progress toward programme goals and results through the M&E system.
  • Lead in the development of all project proposals within the framework of the country strategy, and global initiatives, for departmental vetting, and facilitating the rollout of final approved budgets and technical work plans.
  • Conduct in-depth country and field visits to provide capacity building, assess the effectiveness of technical programs, and provide management support as needed.
  • In coordination with the Technical Services Manager, ensure management and operations staff at the field level understand and adhere to WCS policies and procedures, crisis management, procurement for projects, new program start-up, and grants closing.
  • Ensure that technical program management standards are monitored, and ongoing training and technical assistance needs are identified and provided to core program management staff in each WCS-protected area management program.

Grant Management

  • Take the lead role in ensuring country management teams plan and manage grants effectively, achieve program and spending targets, under the supervisor of the Country Director, submit donor reports (to the CD) on time, and meet regulatory compliance requirements.
  • In collaboration with the Program Manager, Regional Grants Manager and Director of Finance and Administration, actively manage burn rates to ensure that grants are fully spent according to grant agreements. Analyze causes of under-spending and over-spending when they occur and develop and track follow-through on appropriate action plans.
  • Review monthly dashboard and financial results and action plans to meet targets.
  • Work in collaboration with the Regional Management team, Program manager and MEL leads to ensure complete grant documentation, agreement review and signing, and grant closure.
  • Monitor and standardize country teams’ application of WCS grant management tools and processes.

Detailed responsibilities are attached to the Job Description are attached.

Qualification Requirements

  • An advanced degree in the social sciences, international affairs, international relations, development studies, conservation, or another field relevant to the position’s responsibilities
  • Demonstrated on-the-ground experience with >8 years in project and program management in the field of biodiversity conservation, community development, community impact investment, natural resource management, or similar.
  • Experience working in the project/programme cycles of ideation, designing, planning, monitoring, controlling, implementing, and creating M&E, reporting, budgeting, performance and work planning framework with knowledge of EU, UNESCO, …or other bilateral donors a distinct advantage.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise staff in a productive and collaborative environment.
  • Experience working, coordinating, and collaborating with diverse sets of stakeholders – such as local NGOs, government officials, donor representatives and the private sector.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in French and English required, with Sango a distinct advantage.
  • Experience in large project or program management, administration, and fundraising.
  • Experience in training, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Proven ability to work effectively and flourish in a multi-cultural team.
  • Results-focused attitude to work
  • Willingness and ability to travel to field sites.
  • Interest in wildlife conservation and commitment to the WCS mission.

Additional Requirements:

Expected travel: Local travel to field sites.

Salary Range

Competitive salary commensurate with experience

How to apply

Interested candidates with the above qualifications, skills and experience should apply via this link by March 4, 2024.

WCS is an equal-opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and are looking for future team members who share this same value.

Deadline: 4 Mar 2024

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