Location: Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Reports To: WCS DRC Country Director
Start date: January 2023
Duration: Minimum 2 years
The purpose of this position is to oversee the successful implementation and management of WCS’s Social Safeguards mechanisms and policies in its DRC country program. The Social Safeguards Manager (the Manager) will provide general social safeguards support in all operations in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR), & Kabobo Wildlife Reserve (KWR) to ensure effective programming in each landscape, especially as it relates to engagement with and safeguarding of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs). A primary responsibility for the Manager will be the oversight and management of the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) in each of the parks/reserves while ensuring proper training and mentoring of GRM officers nominated in each of those different sites.
The Manager will report to the DRC Country Director and work closely with the leadership teams of KBNP, OWR, and KWR. He/she will also work closely with the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator (based in Kigali).
The Manager will be based in Goma, DRC, with frequent visits to KBNP, OWR, and KWR. Candidates will need to clearly demonstrate they have the necessary experience, skills and mindset with which to operate effectively in this complex environment.
For the GRM:
The Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) is a first-of-its-kind system for protected areas in the sub-region designed to understand, manage, monitor and mitigate concerns and conflicts within the community related to activities conducted by the KBNP, OWR, and KWR and its partners. Working with the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator and the site-based safeguards focal points, the Advisor will:
- Assist, as needed, in the initial pilot phases of the GRM in all three landscapes and adapt specifically the GRM on the basis of lessons learned for each site, and ensure quality control and operational oversight of the field-based roll-out
- Work closely with the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator to identify and train GRM staff on GRM procedures, and delegate GRM responsibilities appropriately
- Work with site based GRM leads to ensure timely feedback from the pilot phase to park/reserve Directors, the DRC Country Director, the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator, and all GRM implementation partners
- Ensure extensive coordination with partners internal and external regarding GRM implementation throughout the DRC country program
- Provide operational oversight (including workplans and quality control) of the field implementation team for the GRM, and oversee the field teams in the management of the online GRM database and accompanying documentation
- Work with site based GRM staff to ensure regular and timely reporting and coordination on the GRM to the park/reserve Directors and Head of Programs, as well as with the Community Conservation Teams and/or other departments as directed
- Hold quarterly Pause & Reflect sessions with GRM teams from all three landscapes, and the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator, to discuss and plan for adaptations or improvements of the GRM systems
- Record, report and disseminate lessons learned from the roll out of the GRM in all three landscapes, and contribute to donor reports regarding GRM and other safeguards initiatives
- Monitor at the best extent possible how the GRM implementation influences the perception of communities on the park/reserve activities and also how the feedback from communities informs the development of the park/reserve activities for the benefit of communities
- Work with the DRC Country Director to ensure regular feedback of the GRM implementation progress in those sites to the ICCN Human Rights Director in Kinshasa, with the intent to inform and influence positively the national GRM framework.
On Broader Social Safeguards matters:
- Support relevant aspects of implementation of all WCS Social Safeguards policies and procedures amongst field staff and partners – especially as it relates to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
- Ensure WCS Social Safeguards policies align with the premises and the content of the DRC IPLC law in the process of being promulgated
- When necessary for project implementation, assist the field teams in implementing a thorough Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, and ensure proper documentation of the FPIC process
- Assist the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator and the park/reserve Directors in the development of an Early Warning System adapted to each landscape
- Work with Park/Reserve Directors to develop strategies on conflict mitigation
- Work with the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator to ensure field teams are abiding by WCS’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols and submitting IRB applications when appropriate
- Assist the Community Conservation Teams in conducting socio-economic surveys and assessments and ensure ethical data collection processes
- With the Regional Safeguards Coordinator, design indicators to monitor the effectiveness of social safeguards mechanisms KBNP, OWR, and KWR.
- Conduct regular trainings on social safeguards for WCS staff and partners and work with the Regional Social Safeguards Coordinator to develop modules for those trainings
- Support the DRC program to ensure that the best international standards are applied to our activities, in line with donor requirements regarding social safeguards
- Attend meetings with government and NGO partners to represent WCS and our parks/reserves on Social Safeguards matters
- Post graduate qualification in social sciences (International Development Studies, Human Rights, Gender Studies, Human Geography, Conflict Mitigation, Natural Resource Management), law degree holders will have a distinct advantage
- Demonstrated experience in conflict management
- At least 5 years of experience designing, implementing and monitoring programmes/projects especially as it relates to social safeguards and/or the social protection of marginalized and vulnerable groups
- Demonstrated experience working with marginalized and vulnerable groups
- Fluency in French, with Swahili and/or Lingala and English language skills (written and oral) highly preferred.
- Willingness to live in or visit a remote site, at least part time, with basic amenities in a multicultural environment
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal and proven ability to work as a team player
- Results-driven work ethic
Dedication to wildlife and conservation issues, with experience of protected area operations is a distinct advantage.
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the Link by 5 December 2022.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.