Project Development Internship (Environment, Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods)

SEED Madagascar

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Location: Fort Dauphin, Anosy Region, Madagascar

Contract minimum duration: 2 years

Probationary period: 3 months

Contract type: Permanent, with stipend covering flight, insurance, accommodation and reasonable living expenses. Unaccompanied post.

Reporting to: Director of Programmes & Operations

Focus of the role:

Working alongside both local and international teams, you will coordinate the development, funding and evaluation of our conservation, environment and sustainable livelihoods programmes on the ground in Madagascar. You will be responsible for generating funds across these project departments and expanding their output, whilst also playing a central role in writing and editing proposals and reports. In order to achieve this, you will need to work closely with Malagasy local staff and develop, support and manage a team of Project Development Interns and Officers, building their capacity to deliver high quality projects.

Duties and Responsibilities (Conservation, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods related):

  1. Conduct research into international and national development latest thinking, best practice, and funding opportunities for the project departments (Sustainable Livelihoods, Environment and Conservation) and support other departments (Community Health, WASH, Construction and Education) where necessary.
  2. Ensure the high standard of all proposals, reports and evaluations submitted on behalf of SEED Madagascar, including writing and proof reading key project development related documents and securing the ongoing funding of the NGO’s projects – currently at around £500,000 per annum across simultaneously operating interventions.
  3. Work with the Director of Programmes & Operations, Head of Project Development (Community Health and Construction) and Heads of Department to develop project and organisational strategy.
  4. Work with Malagasy project leaders to design projects that fulfil local need and align with the aims of SEED Madagascar for poverty reduction and environmental conservation, taking into account research findings, local needs and constraints, SEED’s previous experience, including results of pilot studies, and government objectives.
  5. Work with the Project Development Coordinator in London in developing funding strategies, proposals, reports, research and internship programmes, liaising on all communication with current donors.
  6. With support from the Director of Programmes & Operations, take the lead in overseeing and ensuring the sound monitoring and management of all grants.
  7. Support the Director of Programmes & Operations in overseeing and ensuring day-to-day support of SEED Madagascar staff and volunteers, both professionally and privately.
  8. Develop effective systems for monitoring project progress against activity plans, working with the local teams to ensure objectives are met and using learning from ongoing evaluation to inform the development of projects and the personal development of the team.
  9. Conduct fieldwork and monitoring visits to project sites when appropriate and ensure observations are fed back into ongoing project design.
  10. Coordinate, write and edit donor reports to a high standard of English, including details of activities completed, results achieved and evaluation of impact.
  11. Coordinate and proof read all written communications for external audiences, including volunteer blogs, website updates and academic papers to a high standard of English and in a variety of styles suited to each medium.
  12. Use evidence-based advocacy from research and project findings in briefing papers for staff, local and regional stakeholders and government departments to inform regional and national development strategy.
  13. Support, manage and provide professional development to a team of Project Development Interns and Officers, and Specialists, delegating to and managing their work programmes to achieve departmental objectives and support organisational ethos and strategy.
  14. Support the Director of Programmes & Operations in to identifying the need for recruitment and recruit long-term international volunteer and staff as necessary, providing orientation, support and line-management.
  15. Support SEED’s shorter term volunteer programmes to align volunteer activity plans with project priorities
  16. Act as temporary stand in for the Director of Programmes & Operations and/or Head of Project Development (Community Health) when required during period of leave and absences.

Duties and Responsibilities (General):

  1. Provide core support to the Director of Programmes & Operations in management and ensuring the security and safety of all international volunteers and personnel, including leading cultural orientations for new international volunteers and staff.
  2. Work flexibly, including changing work priorities at short notice and working unsociable hours when necessary to meet a short deadline, for example the submission of project funding documents within the timeframe set by donors.
  3. Represent SEED Madagascar in external meetings with other agencies, donors and partners on the ground in Madagascar and in the UK.

Required skills & experience:


  • Excellent listening and nonverbal communication skills
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken)
  • Excellent written communication skills, to the level of editing English documents for publication, and an ability to tailor written information to maximise impact for various audiences
  • Excellent proposal and report writing skills, with previous experience compiling project proposals and reports for donors
  • Ability to write and proof read to a very high standard and mentor others to develop their skills in achieving these standards of excellence within their written work
  • Cross-cultural negotiation skills and a curiosity and interest in effective work practices in cross-cultural settings
  • Flexible and patient attitude
  • Excellent problem solving and analytical skills, with demonstrable ability in gathering and assimilating facts and data from various sources
  • Ability and desire to build capacity both within international and cross-cultural teams
  • Experience of living and working in a developing country with the ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers
  • Ability and desire to develop, support and manage a team of volunteers and staff, and to operate the Project Development internship programme
  • Ability to mentor, be a role model for responsible professional and social attitudes required for living in another country, and to manage these aspects of volunteers’ behaviour when required
  • Qualification or equivalent experience in international development, or conservation and environment
  • Sound knowledge of the international development framework and contemporary development and conservation issues facing least developed countries
  • A commitment to international development supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction among the most marginalised groups
  • Minimum of 2 years’ professional experience related to at least one of SEED’s core areas: Sustainable Livelihoods, Conservation or Environment
  • Minimum of 2 years’ professional experience in line management and/or project management
  • Knowledge of the contractual obligations and reporting requirements of institutional and other significant donors such as the EU, USAID, DFID and AUS AID
  • Familiarity with the use of project management tools including Logical Frameworks, Budgets Activity Plans and Monitoring & Evaluation frameworks
  • A sound understanding of the importance of project monitoring and evaluation and of approaches used to measure outcomes and impact
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Proficiency in written and spoken French would be an advantage

Country and organisation background:

Madagascar has failed to achieve a single MDG (WB, 2016). For decades, the uniquely beautiful island nation has performed poorly across a range of economic, environmental and human development indicators. The average Malagasy is now 42% poorer than in 1960 (WB, 2015), forest cover fell by 40% between 1950 and 2000 (WB, 2015), and Malagasy mothers are nearly 100 times more likely to die giving birth than their British counterparts (UNICEF, 2012).

Poverty in the southeastern Anosy Region is amongst the most severe (WB, 2015). Poor road networks combined with a highly centralised state result in the region’s inability to retain local talent or attract potential drivers of development. Fort Dauphin, the region’s capital, has seen sharp infrastructure improvements through investment from QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM); the town’s roads are now paved, water and electricity supplies are relatively consistent, and the town has an international deep-water port. Yet state involvement from a ministerial to a local level is incapable of providing the most basic of human development needs in the Fort Dauphin District.

SEED Madagascar is a British registered charity that has been operating in the impoverished Anosy region of southeast Madagascar for over 15 years. SEED works with and in support of urban and rural communities, aiming to tackle the immediate effects of extreme poverty, support long-term development and protect the environment. Its central mission is to build the capacity of individuals and organisations to lead and support sustainable conservation and development initiatives in southeast Madagascar, with the objective of securing local community access to quality health, education and livelihoods assets, and increasing local capacity to conserve and manage natural resources including unique but greatly endangered forest environments.