Job Title: Program Manager – Government & Community Partnerships
Based: Vientiane, Lao PDR, with frequent travel to other provinces
Reporting Obligations: This position reports to the Lao Country Director.
Job Purpose Summary:
Earlier this year, the WCS Lao Program revised its approach and primary objectives to be more aligned with government policies related to decentralization of decision making and emerging cross-border threats to National Protected Areas (NPAs), and will focus more resources to assist provincial governments with development planning where conservation outcomes are possible. Nam Et Phou Louey (NEPL) Protected Area overlaps three provinces, Houaphan, Luang Prabang, and to a lessor extent Xieng Khoung, and WCS will work directly with those provinces to ensure that development planning incorporates conservation aspects.
Additionally, the Lao Program will ramp up significantly its engagement with forest-dependent communities to partner with them in producing tangible benefits for those communities that commit to generating conservation outcomes. The Lao Program has developed a three-step process to engaging communities as partners, with outreach, participatory land use planning, and sustainable livelihoods implemented in consecutive order. The preceding approach aligns with WCS’ worldwide 2020 Vision, and the Lao Program seeks an individual with an extensive background working with SE Asian governments (preferably with Lao government agencies) and forest-dependent communities that can lead the process in driving forward the two above-mentioned objectives.
Coinciding with this new approach and objectives is that WCS has received funding from three large regional grants that promote improved management of NPAs through a landscape scale approach, including assisting in provincial and community land use planning. Additionally, WCS is participating in the KfW/GIZ REDD+ project in Houaphan that has similar objectives as those mentioned above, and this position will ensure that coordination is maintained and conservation methods and activities are harmonized wherever possible. Therefore, multi-year funding is in place to support the Lao Program’s revision of its overall approach and implementation of the revised objectives.
1. Take overall management responsibility across WCS sites for the Lao Program’s
Community Partnership component, which includes outreach, land use planning,
and sustainable livelihoods sub-components.
2. Lead on coordinating with national, provincial, and district governments with an
initial focus on provinces that surround Nam Et Phou Louey to improve conservation
of the NPA and surrounding forested landscapes.
3. Contribute to writing donor reports submitted by WCS.
4. Review the Lao Program’s approach toward engaging communities in conservation
and recommend ways to improve that approach.
5. Supervise the implementation of WCS activities under the CLiPAD REDD+
jurisdictional project in Houaphan Province, attend CLiPAD coordination meetings,
and write progress reports to the CLiPAD CTA.
6. Coordinate the development of activity and budget plans as they relate to the
Program’s Community and Government Partnerships.
7. Provide occasional assistance in developing and writing grant proposals.
8. Provide occasional support to the emerging PES pilot that could include transparent
benefit allocation mechanisms and engagement with government and NGO partners.
9. Seek collaboration or partnerships with development NGOs as needed to gain
strong commitment from WCS-selected communities to deliver conservation
10. Participate in coordination and planning meetings both within WCS (including
regional meetings), and with government and other partners.
11. Ensure that budget plans and spending are in accordance with approved work
plans, WCS policy, and donor requirements.
12. Coordinate the submission of reports (both technical and financial) from
government partners implementing activities supported by WCS.
Master’s degree in environment related field such as Forestry, Biology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Management, or Environmental Law
Extensive knowledge of Government of Lao PDR ministries involved in natural resource management.
Comprehensive knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern natural resource management in Lao PDR.
Experience working with INGO’s to coordinate and implement program activities in collaboration with government.
Experience managing large project budgets and expenditure
Good to excellent Lao language skills; written, oral and verbal.
Extensive computer skills needed, including the use of statistical programs.
Ability to work independently without supervision and meet deadlines according to approved work plans
Ability to provide concise reports accurately outlining activities undertaken, conclusions, and recommendations.
Ability to present both in English and Lao language program activities during meetings and conferences.
Ability to work collaboratively within a multi-ethnic team and motivate team members that this position directly supervises.