Zimbabwean nationals: Senior Programme Officer

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Harare, , ZW



The geographical scope of the IUCN Southern Africa office is the SADC mainland member states, with the exception of the DRC, Tanzania and Mozambique . This includes: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The focus of the IUCN southern Africa programmatic priorities is primarily centered on shared resources (i.e. transboundary systems) and collaborative management of the natural resource base. This is both in response to regional priorities as well as based on a recognition that this is where IUCN is best placed to add value to the work of the IUCN constituency. 

Water resources plays a pivotal role in economic development in Africa. Currently, about half of the African continent faces water stress or water scarcity, with this situation predicted to become significantly worse by 2040, with water demand, resource depletion and climate change causing more countries to feel the impacts of water scarcity.

IUCN has a long history in the water sector in eastern and southern Africa, with a particular focus on the following areas:

  • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), with a particular focus on ecosystem based approaches and climate change adaptation; and 
  • Good Water Governance, promoting stakeholder engagement at multiple levels, with a particular focus on transboundary waters. 

As part of IUCN’s water portfolio, IUCN is implementing a strategy for ‘Building River Dialogue and Governance in Africa’ (BRIDGE-Africa) that is building water governance capacities in African river and lake basins at multiple levels, spanning local, national and transboundary dimensions. BRIDGE-Africa is a programme that aims to improve water cooperation and increase water governance capacity from local to regional levels. The targeted areas in Southern Africa include Pungwe River Basin and Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa (LMNN). BRIDGE is also active in 8 other basins in 4 other regions across IUCN, including in the IGAD region. 

IUCN is also developing a number of water related initiatives particularly focused around transboundary water systems and promoting ecosystem based approaches (including environmental flows). 

The Senior Programme Officer (SPO), Water, will be responsible for coordinating projects within the water portfolio across IUCN’s programme in Southern Africa. More specifically, this will involve the following core functions: 

Core Functions:
1. Administration and management: Oversight of administrative and financial management project activities; 
2. Strategic direction: In collaboration with partners and IUCN staff, provide strategic guidance for all projects, coordinating and communicating recommendations and providing strategic information to partners and IUCN staff.
3. Programme implementation and coordination: Provision of technical support to project partners and IUCN staff engaging in projects, with the purpose of realizing project goals and objectives as stipulated in the donor agreements/contacts.  
4. Knowledge Management, Monitoring and evaluation: Ensure efficient monitoring and evaluation of activities, in collaboration with partners and IUCN staff. This includes identifying and documenting lessons learnt as well as well as utilizing project outcomes and experiences to write up case studies, policy briefs etc. 
5. Representation and leadership: Represent IUCN to government officials, community leaders, private sector companies and businesses and counterpart/NGO representatives as needed. Participate in regional/international meetings as requested by supervisor(s). 
6. Co-investment and developing new proposals: With the support of the Technical Coordinator – Water Programme and the IUCN Global Water Programme, IUCN ESARO Technical Programme Group and Partners, assist with the development of funding proposals and co-investment opportunities for the Water portfolio for Southern Africa. In particular, as part of a coordinated approach to fundraising, the SPO is expected to lead the development of funding proposals for BRIDGE and other complementary water/wetlands projects as appropriate.

1 Administration and management: 
1.1 Manage day to day follow up and collaboration with project partners, including the convening of regular project coordination meetings for all target areas.
1.2 Ensure a collaborative and an interactive approach throughout the programme and that communication between project partners is carried out in a respectful and appropriate manner. 
1.3 Ensure that all administrative procedures are followed, in line with Donor Contracts and the IUCN Internal Control Systems (ICS), such as those regarding vehicle use and procurement.

2. Strategic direction 
2.1 Work closely with IUCN staff and partners to ensure that activities are in line with regional and national priorities and policies 
2.2 Ensure that the strategic direction of projects are informed by evolving national and regional priorities.
2.3 Keep abreast of development needs and Programme opportunities, in particularly those in line with IUCN’s sectoral priorities and programmatic principles. 
2.4 Encourage innovation and excellence in programming.

3. Programme implementation
3.1 Oversee the implementation of project activities and support implementation of activities where needed.
3.2 Ensure compliance with all donor provisions, and timely fulfilment of programmatic reporting requirements.
3.3 Oversee expenditure for projects, avoiding both under spending and overspending on budget line items.
3.4 Compile outcomes of meetings and workshops with stakeholders and disseminate communication material.
3.5 Ensure gender equality is integrated and mainstreamed though all Programme field activities

4. Monitoring and Evaluation
4.1 In coordination with IUCN staff and relevant partners, ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of results. 
4.2 Ensure completion of biannual and annual technical and financial (including co-financing) reports. Prepare and submit all required IUCN and donor reports for review and submission.
4.3 Regularly visit the project areas and follow up on progress to evaluate programmatic outputs and impact both quantitatively and in terms of quality implementation.

5. Representation and Leadership
5.1 Network and liaise with all the partners and potential partners, developing and maintaining partnerships and strong relationships across all sectors (including the private sector);
5.2 Ensure that good working relationships with governmental officials are maintained, particularly those within the ministries and other institutions (including Ara Centro, ZINWA, ZAMCOM, SADC, etc.)
5.3 Represent IUCN and maintain good working relationships among the international and local NGO community in the basins, among community leadership structures and community-based organizations, and to visiting donor teams and other key contacts. 
5.4 Encourage teamwork, openness, and honesty among project partners.

6. Co-investment and developing new proposals
6.1 Ensure that work packages are developed in a phased manner that encourages and facilitates co-investment.
6.2 Play a key role in identifying funding opportunities and the development of concept papers and proposals, including for the next phase of BRIDGE Africa and projects that can be developed to complement BRIDGE. 
  • Education: Master’s degree in Water resource management, International development, Environment, or relevant field required.
  • Training and/or certified qualifications in development issues or technical areas such as, management, organisational/institutional development, community development, etc.
  • Minimum 8 to 10 years of relevant working experience
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the Southern Africa region;
  • Experience in managing and directing field based operations.
  • Strong skills in Multi Stakeholder Processes and Partnerships, including convening and facilitating networks/platforms involving a diverse and large number of stakeholders across different sectors.
  • Experience with capacity building approaches towards improved governance of natural resources
  • Strong abilities in public speaking, facilitation and training
  • Experience in programme design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience in monitoring and evaluation of results and impacts
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal.
  • Computer literacy in relation to office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, powerpoint) use of internet and online communication tools;
  • Adheres to IUCN ESARO core values of Transparency, Inclusiveness, Professionalism and Accountability;
  • Demonstrates strong leadership and people -management experience including supervision of staff, consultants and coordination of programme/projects teams in an multi-disciplinary environment and effective management of virtual team settings;
  • Must be a hands-on, highly motivated, results driven and resourceful individual;
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure managing competing demands and complex situations and deliver satisfactory and timely results;
  • Demonstrated initiative and ability to work independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to su pport building networks and partnerships;
  • Must be a strong team player with proven communication and diplomacy skills and ability to work effectively with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams displaying sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Must be a proactive individual who is able to energize and motivate teams
  • Committed to continuous learning and self-development;
  • Willing to travel frequently within the region.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the “Apply” button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.