World University Service of Canada (WUSC) New Job Offer
Position title: Project Director, Nature-based solutions in the Guinean Forests of West Africa
About the company
World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a Canadian organization that works to make the world a better place for all young people. We bring together a network of students, volunteers, schools, governments, and businesses that all share this vision. Together, we find ways to help young people around the world, especially young women and young refugees, get the education, economic opportunities, and power they need to overcome inequality and exclusion.
WUSC works in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Each year, it spends about $40 million CAD. We have more than 90 people working in our office in Ottawa and more than 200 people working overseas on 16 development projects. These projects are funded by organizations like Global Affairs Canada, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
- Job Title: The Senior Manager for FSS and Francophone Africa Programs
- Contract term: Anticipatory Hire; expected start date: April 1, 2023
Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in the Guinean Forests of West Africa (NBS West Africa) will focus on working with a wide range of stakeholders to build local and regional capacity to use evidence and work with women and marginalized groups to prioritize locally relevant NBS to adapt to climate change. It will take a systems approach to help people adapt to climate change. This will be done through interventions that plan, test, and scale up nature-based solutions (NBS) to climate change that help improve biodiversity and equality between men and women.
Overall, it is thought that restoring and replanting degraded forests, both on and off farms will be very important for helping women and their communities deal with the effects of climate change and for protecting and restoring biodiversity in this important global hotspot.
The project will work closely with the IUCN, CIFOR-ICRAF, and the University of Guelph, which are also members of the consortium. Some of the most important local stakeholders are local and national governments, regional institutions, the private sector, women’s groups, and environmental groups.
This project builds on the decades of experience that WUSC and CECI have had helping vulnerable populations. It also uses the experience of a number of local and international partners who have a strong climate NbS lens, is fully immersed in their own ecosystems, and whose work can be sped up by this project. This project is a good way to make sure that Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Guinée keep using Nature-based Solutions and strong gender lenses to deal with the effects of climate change.
Nature and Scope
The Project Director, who works out of a regional project office, is in charge of the strategic and operational implementation of the NBS West Africa Project in all three countries. The Project Director manages relationships with key stakeholders, such as national and local governments, project partners, local partners, the private sector, and the funder. The Director will set up a regional project office in either Abidjan or Accra. He or she will also help smaller project teams in the other two countries where the project will be carried out.
The Project Director will report to the Project Steering Committee and the Director, Field Support Services and Francophone West Africa, and will have a strong line of communication with the WUSC and/or CECI Country Directors in Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, and Guinée. The Project Director will be responsible for the following:
Partner Relations and Communications
- Develop and manage a good working relationship between WUSC and CECI, two members of the project consortium, with the help of the project Steering Committee and any relevant technical committees.
- Develop work plans for key project partners (such as WUSC, CECI, IUCN, and ICRAF-CIFOR) and set up the right contracts to make sure that project goals are met.
- Set up and keep good relationships with key project partners, including those in West Africa and those from other countries;
- Develop strong relationships with project stakeholders, such as local and national governments, regional bodies, private sector companies, universities, investors, consultants, and environmental organizations;
- Ensure effective and inclusive communication between project partners and stakeholders to help with planning and problem solving;
- Represent WUSC among stakeholders to make sure the project can help local actors and have a positive effect;
Technical Direction & Project Management
- Give the initial technical and managerial direction and guidance in line with what is expected from the project;
- Develop key project planning deliverables, such as the Initiative Inception Plan and the Annual Workplan, using results-based management approaches and tools;
- Develop specific strategies for the initiative’s cross-cutting themes, such as building up people’s skills, ensuring gender equality, getting the private sector involved, and protecting the environment;
- Keep strategic partners and project team members in Canada and West Africa in touch in a clear and effective way;
- Oversee the day-to-day coordination and delivery of project activities with the help of staff, technical advisors, volunteers, and partners;
Monitoring & Evaluation
- Set up and manage a system for tracking the project’s results;
- Keep up with what’s going on in key markets that are important to the project and set up ways to track how these markets change and adapt over time;
- Monitor the progress toward results on a regular basis and make course corrections and other changes as needed;
- Work with team members to make regular reports for key stakeholders, including the donor agency;
- Keep in touch with WUSC colleagues in Canada and key partners on a regular basis;
Human Resources Management
- Manage the team working on the project in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Guinea;
- Supervise, direct, and evaluate the work of project staff and consultants;
- Oversee issues related to human resource management, such as hiring policies and practices, to make sure they are in line with local law;
- Work with colleagues and partners to make sure that volunteers and technical advisors are recruited, trained, and coached well;
Financial & Office Management
- Set up and oversee a system for managing the project’s finances;
- Make sure that the project complies with local laws about taxes, banking, and work;
- Together with the finance team, make and monitor the project budget and make sure the donor gets regular updates;
- Staff, field offices, and equipment needed for administrative and project infrastructure must be hired, maintained, and managed. Decisions must also be made about administrative policy, planning, and procedures.
Risk Management & Security Preparedness
- Actively evaluate the project’s risk profile; identify specific risks and the best ways to deal with them;Make sure that WUSC’s security policies, procedures, and preparedness fit the operational context of the project and are relevant to it;
Donor Liaison & Coordination
- Set up a good working relationship with the Donor, including planning, building up their skills, and sharing information;
- Hold regular meetings of the Project Steering and Advisory Committees;
- Coordinate with other development actors on a regular basis to make sure that similar projects work well together;
- Represent the Project in official meetings and communications.
Skills or Experience Needed
- A master’s degree in international development, forestry, business administration, gender, or another relevant field.
- It would be helpful to have specialized training in Nature-based solutions (NBS) or gender equality.
Experience and Competencies
- At least 15 years of managing development projects with responsibilities that get more important over time;
- Proven knowledge of gender equality and willingness to work for it;
- Knowledge and experience of how to adapt to climate change, forest management, and/or solutions based on nature.
- A track record of getting the private sector involved in development programs;
- Proven ability to work with people from different fields; experience managing technical advisors is a plus;
- Experience working with organizations that give money to international development;
- Knowledge of Results-Based Management (RBM) and policies on the environment and gender, as well as what needs to be reported;
- Technical, financial, administrative, and organization skills that have been tried and tested;
- Knowing how and what a donor wants for financial and narrative reports;
- Proven experience leading a large, multidisciplinary, and international staff;
- Diplomatic skills and the ability to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds;
- Proven ability to adapt to a challenging, always-changing environment that requires regular planning in small steps;
- Experience building up the skills of local partner organizations and a commitment to a partnership-based approach to development.
Language: Fluency in both French and English, both orally and in writing.
How to Apply for this World University Service of Canada (WUSC) New Job
Closing Date: 12th March 2023
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