Wildlife Conservation Society
Position: Social Safeguards Technical Advisor
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with significant time spent in Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri province, and Preah Vihear town, Preah Vihear province.
Department, Division: GreaterMekong Regional Program
Reports to: Country Director, WCS Cambodia
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. WCS assists the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to conserve species and habitats in four landscapes across Cambodia: Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in the Eastern Plains, the four protected aeras in the Northern Plains Landscape, the Tonle Sap, and the Freshwater Rivers. Taken together these landscapes support the major habitat types in Cambodia, as well as vital populations of most of Cambodia’s globally threatened species.
WCS recognizes that nature and people are intrinsically linked, and that biological and cultural diversity are interdependent, mutually reinforcing and often co-evolved. Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities frequently represent the most active defenders of nature and the best partners and constituents for conservation. WCS believes that respecting and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities reflects our global commitment to equity and justice and is a necessary and best pathway to achieving durable conservation.
WCS’s policies and practices used in the field with its community, government and private sector partners are designed to ensure that WCS’s conservation actions are consistent with best practices for social safeguards and comply with international human rights standards. WCS’s long-term commitment to the places we work includes building effective and lasting partnerships with the Indigenous Peoples and local communities whose livelihoods, wellbeing and cultural identities depend on the conservation and sustainable use of the land, water, wildlife and other natural resources that make these places special. These partnerships are rooted in a human rights-based approach, whereby we support Indigenous Peoples and local communities to clarify and secure recognition of land and resource rights and exercise them effectively. In situations where WCS works as a partner to governments and donors in support of externally conceived and driven conservation, our adherence to international standards means that we are committed to ensuring that Indigenous Peoples and local communities are meaningfully engaged, through a FPIC process, in decisions related to creating and managing state recognized protected areas and that they are not involuntarily displaced physically or economically.
WCS Cambodia operates several Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanisms, designed to enable external stakeholders as well as WCS personnel to report any good faith complaint about a project or activity implemented or sponsored by WCS that is reasonably believed to contribute to or cause human rights abuses, violation of the human rights of individuals or communities, or safeguarding violations.
The Social Safeguards Technical Advisor will become deeply familiar with WCS safeguards. They will have strong knowledge of FPIC process, grievance redress procedures, and national and international laws and declarations related to the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The advisor will work closely with field program staff and senior management to ensure all WCS Cambodia programs integrate these safeguards in to all current and future activities, building capacity for implementation as needed. Based in Phnom Penh, this role will require significant time spent at project sites working with project teams.
- Ensure country and field staff adhere to WCS Global, regional, and country-specific safeguard policies including Local Labor Laws and the use of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review of research with Human Subjects.
- Oversee environmental and social safeguards due diligence with partner organizations.
- Participate in WCS global Rights & Communities Community of Practice (CoP), share experiences from WCS Cambodia program, and brings advice, lessons learnt, and best practice from these CoPs to apply in the WCS Cambodia program.
- Prepare specific safeguards instruments and frameworks to address country-specific context.
- Maintain certification in CITI training for research with human subjects.
- Train country staff on human rights, Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRM), Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), IRB minimum standards training, and other compliance mechanisms.
- Ensure program alignment with international, national, and other policy and best practice, including UN Declaration of Human Rights, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and international human rights treaties.
- Provide oversight on donor requirements related to environmental and social safeguards.
Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanisms (FGRM)
- Monitor FGRM implementation and ensure feedback from communities informs the development of the project activities for the benefit of communities.
- Record, report and disseminate lessons learned from the roll out of the GRM in all three landscapes, and contribute to donor reports regarding GRM and other safeguards initiatives.
- Provide operational oversight (including workplans and quality control) of the field implementation team for the GRM, and oversee the field teams in the management of the online GRM database and accompanying documentation.
- Support relevant aspects of implementation of all WCS Social Safeguards policies and procedures amongst field staff and partners – especially as it relates to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
- Align SWS FGRM with WCS global GRM system.
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC)
- In accordance with WCS Social Safeguards, CCB requirements, and other donor requirements, assist the field teams in implementing a thorough Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, and ensure proper documentation of the FPIC process.
- Mainstream gender throughout WCS activities based on WCS gender strategy.
- Work closely with WCS field staff and gender focal points at all sites to ensure that gender considerations are incorporated into all community engagement and research activities.
- Support and coordinate with law enforcement technical advisors, national, and subnational government authorities to integrate and mainstream social safeguards and human rights considerations into law enforcement practices.
Qualifications & Competencies
- Proven experience in designing and implementing social safeguards frameworks and policies in development projects, preferably in collaboration with Indigenous People and local communities.
- Extensive knowledge of international standards and best practices related to social safeguards, particularly those concerning Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
- Strong understanding of the social, cultural, and environmental contexts of Indigenous Peoples and local communities
- Experience in developing and delivering capacity-building programs and training workshops on social safeguards for project staff, local stakeholders, and Indigenous Peoples.
- Familiarity with participatory approaches and community engagement techniques, and the ability to facilitate meaningful and inclusive consultations with Indigenous Peoples and local communities
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders, including Indigenous leaders, community representatives, government officials, and project teams
- Prior experience and familiarity with the design and implementation of large, landscape-level forest conservation or rural development projects.
- Professional experience in project management and project reporting.
- Demonstrated professional-level fluency in both oral and written English.
- Ability to travel to project sites, as required, for extended periods.
- Master’s degree in related field.
- Experience in integrating gender-responsive and inclusive approaches into social safeguards frameworks and project activities
- Experience in proposal development and grant reporting
- Experience working in related roles in Southeast Asia
- Communication skills in Khmer or an Indigenous language of the country
To successfully satisfy the requirements of this position, you should:
- Have good personal organizational and priority setting skills, with the ability to work effectively under time pressure and manage multiple priorities.
- Be capable of working independently as well as being an effective team player, with initiative and creativity.
- Have a demonstrated ability to coordinate multiple stakeholders in a culturally diverse setting and build project alliances.
- Value information sharing and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning.
How to apply
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the application tab here by March 1, 2024.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer, and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and engaging a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, caste, genetic information or any other covered status or characteristic protected by laws and regulations/and similar categories.
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s membership in one of these protected categories in areas such as recruitment, selection, job assignment, supervision, training, promotions, job grading, transfers, termination, compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, WCS sponsored recreational activities and facilities.
The organization complies with the spirit and intent of relevant local laws and WCS’s employment policies
Please note that only short listed candidates will be contacted.
Deadline: 1 Mar 2024