Lead Community Officer
Company Name: WeForest Zambia
Employee – Lead Community Officer
WeForest is a fast growing international non-profit association with headquarters in Belgium and legal entities in France, USA, Ethiopia and Zambia. Our aim is to demonstrate, through the restoration of entire regions, that well planned tree planting and reforestation can be the solutions to today’s biggest challenge: climate change. The organization is promoting Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) best practices, creating a movement, engaging the greatest brands and their millions of customers to act positively. Our activities are growing and the organization is urgently looking for an experienced profile to further capacitate its Zambian team, and drive the projects there to the highest standards.
WeForest has been active around agroforestry and sustainable reforestation in Zambia since 2011, starting in Kitwe district, Copperbelt. Currently, six projects are running, two in the Copperbelt and four in Muchinga province. In all our projects, we centralize both community ownership and ensure return of benefits to the community. We specifically guide local organisations to build capacity in good governance and good conservation management practices such as resource protection (law-enforcement, fire-management), sustainable resource harvesting and resource monitoring.
The position available would focus across projects, on the consolidation of the projects in Muchinga as well as the expansion of WeForest impact in the larger Muchinga province:
The Chintumukulu project, which started in 2020, aims to establish and functionalize a community conservancy of 8,500 ha and support sustainable income sources to run the conservancy in the long-term.
The Mpumba community forest project, which is currently in start-up phase, aims to functionalize a community forest buffer between Lavushi Manda National Park and community lands.
The HEARTH project in Mukungule started in Q2 2022 and aims to upscale beekeeping across the GMA through establishing community-coordinated beekeeping value chains.
In Mafinga, WeForest has partnered with the Wildlife and environmental conservation society of Zambia (WECSZ) to support the establishment of community forest areas in the Mafinga hills.
The role of the Lead Community Officer would be to:
Provide expert technical support to the project’s primary target beneficiaries, being the local communities that depend on the landscape for their livelihoods and survival.
Provide expert advice in partnership management, related to public and private collaborating partners, private market actors and contractors with which the projects will engage.
Provide hands-on strategic guidance and technical oversight for community capacity building and practices for improving community natural resource management and reducing the human, economic, and ecological burdens that are prohibiting sustainable resource management currently.
Provide a strong liaison and collaboration with local communities and community groups (e.g. Community Forest Management Groups), relevant Government agencies (e.g. Forest department) and private partners (e.g. NGO’s)
Coordinate and organize joint meetings, trainings and workshops to work out concepts for Income generating Activities away from natural resource depletion.
Drive the development of training manuals, community awareness and school programmes
Drive, together with the WeForest Zambia livelihoods and enterprise development adviser, the development of sustainable income generating activities.
Smooth coordination and implementation of field activities related to community outreach programmes
Assist the Project Managers in the design, implementation and running of day to day activities and monitoring of community projects in the respective field sites and community areas
Expected outcomes through your work
In consultation with local authorities and communities, project partners and other stakeholders, you determine the target communities for outreach programs in the different areas
Working with and supporting project partners, you ensure that communities living in target intervention areas and surrounding areas benefit from our interventions and have increased access to and knowledge of forestry and agricultural services and information.
You co-supervise together with the project managers, the chiefdom-based community outreach officers as they mobilize community institutions and members in project activities
You collaborate with project partners and other stakeholders in the landscape to ensure consistency, synergy and effective messaging of community conservation and forest-related topics across our portfolio in Muchinga.
You establish community outreach-specific goals and priorities in the execution of your (teams) workplan.
You contribute to the development and implementation of the Gender Integration Action Plan and takes the lead in ensuring its implementation in Muchinga.
You ensure that a participatory dialogue, planning and decision making process around natural resource governance and management includes the principles of FPIC and “Do no harm” (both during implementation and development of new project components)
You work as a part of the project implementation team and as part of the broader WeForest Zambia team, ensuring close communication, collaboration and learning with peers across projects, teams (and potentially countries).
You work with the project’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) staff to implement the MEL Plan, report on project activities, measure outcomes in accordance with project requirements and document key lessons learned from stakeholder engagements and community interactions, ensuring these lessons learned are also shared with those stakeholders and communities.
1) Core competencies
Innovation and delivery-oriented: Ability to make new and useful ideas work, and to get things done.
People and partnership management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction of team members/stakeholders.
Communication and facilitation: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform; excellent interpersonal skills.
Participatory, bottom-up approaches: Ability to foster a sense of ownership in partners and local stakeholders with different backgrounds.
Compromising: Ability to comprise and keep different stakeholders in line with the common goal. Bridge-builder rather than pushing through.
2) Technical/functional competencies
Forests and development: Theoretical knowledge and practical experience of forestry, legislation and economic principles, including establishing and supporting Community Forest Areas and Management groups.
Agriculture, beekeeping and other livelihoods development and implementation: theoretical knowledge and practical experience in setting-up and running community-centred livelihood programs
Governance: theoretical knowledge and practical experience in community-centred natural resource governance, including developing and conducting capacity building trainings and workshops
Land Use planning: Practical knowledge of the procedure for participatory (village) land use planning
Systems thinking and strategy development: Ability to gather, structure and analyse complex information and relationships to inform realistic strategies
Community oriented: Ability to plan, organise and mobilize communities
Knowledge Management and Adaptive Management: Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge and adapt strategies in real-time
Advocacy and representation: Ability to productively share knowledge and activities for various venues and stakeholders.
Negotiation and strategic partnership development: Ability to facilitate and negotiate partnerships; ability to understand complex landscapes and interests.
3) Qualifications and other requirements:
A B.Sc., or equivalent experience, in Forestry, community/Rural development, Agro-ecology, Planning or related field;
an M.Sc. will be considered a distinct advantage
A minimum of 5 years’ relevant work experience with at least 4 years’ practical experience in community-based natural resource management and community outreach programs
Experience in gender integration and community participation.
Experience in negotiating and conflict managemen
Experience in community conservation and/or conservation education
Experience with leading multi-stakeholder conversations and develop common concepts that are workable for a variety of stakeholders.
Demonstrable skills in management, coordination, training and reporting
c. Language requirements
Fluent in English (both speaking and writing)
Fluent in Bemba/Bisa (both speaking and writing)
d. Considered a plus
Experience with driving motorbikes is considered a plus
Experience with offroad driving
Experience working in Miombo ecosystem
Experience with CFA establishment, CFMG governance and/or CWC
Flexible in terms of traveling (evenings/weekend) and living conditions. Ability to live in remote areas with few comfort and facilities.
Terms & Conditions
Position: Full-time employee, 5 or 6 days per week.
Base: Mpika. Predominantly working in Lavushi Manda and Mpika districts, Muchinga province.
Start date: As soon as possible, preferably by 02/05/2023
Package: Competitive package for a small organisation, level 3b salary package
Please send applications to [email protected] with your CV, a motivation letter, and min.3 recent references by 14/04/2023. References must include at least one former employer and one enterprise that you have supported.
Also attach a maximum two page community engagement plan for a chiefdom with 10 VAGs and with 50HH per village with specific attention to attention to engage the youth and women.
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