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Community Develop. Assistant

Mbabane (Swaziland)

Background

Swaziland’s formal Protected Areas (PAs) cover approximately 4% of the country’s total land area, and are relatively rich in biodiversity with their share of endemism as represented in various ecosystems. Furthermore, the country has set targets for the conservation of its ecosystems and species in line with the National Development Strategy (Vision 2022) and other international targets such as the Aichi Targets under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity. While some of the critical ecosystems and species are found in existing PAs, some are found in areas where there is prone to unstainable utilization and overexploitation of resources, thereby threatening livelihoods and impeding sustainable development.

The Strengthening National Protected Areas Systems (SNPAS) in Swaziland is a six-year (2014-2020) Project funded by GEF, aims at developing, expanding and effectively managing the capacities of Swaziland’s PAs network in order to adequately protect the biodiversity. The project is undertaken through the “landscapes” approach that which involves integrated land and natural resource management with the aim of transforming the current PA patchwork into network and enhance vulnerable communities’ livelihoods, in particular those adjacent to the PAs. The SNPAS Project has been organised around three components: (i) knowledge-based platform operationalised at the national, regional and community levels to address current and emerging threats to PAs and biodiversity conservation; (ii Expansion of PA network, and (iii) strengthening PA functioning through improved conservation management and operational support for existing and new PAs, including both formal and informal. PAs will be established and managed in critical biodiversity areas as clusters, integrating different sites that are managed by the Government of Swaziland (GoS), the private sector and local communities and enable a matrix of complemental land-use activities across board.

Continuous community mobilization and participation is central to the SNPAS Project to address biodiversity conservation through the landscape approach in the four (4) clusters: Ngwempisi, Malolotja, Mkhaya-West and Lubombo. The services of two (2) Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) are required to facilitate activity implementation in the Mkhaya-West and Malolotja Clusters ensuring full participation and beneficiation by community members from the SNPAS Project

The Community Liaison Officers working with the Project Managers will facilitate the establishment of sustained networks with traditional leaders and communities in the cluster and ensuring participation and ownership of the SNPAS activities. This will be enabled through a better understanding of the community roles, and stewardship over outcomes, which centre on enhanced conservation management and economic growth.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Community Liaison Officer (CLO) will work under the Project Managers with guidance from the National Project Manager and the Swaziland National Trust Commission and:

  • Mobilise communities to be aware, participate and own the SNPAS Project activities and outcomes.
  • Establish and sustain networks with community traditional leadership advocating for a better understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders in the Project implementation.
  • Assist the mapping of all the SNPAS Project Cluster, Chiefdoms and Communities.
  • Facilitate the SNPAS Chiefdom Development Plans and Community Participation Strategy, establishing SMART indicators for the various communities’ activity for measurability of outcomes.
  • Facilitate the community organization and participation in the Project assessments:  GIS, Biodiversity, Land-use, Sustainable Financing etc.
  • Ensure effective coordination of project activities and collaboration working closely with development partners, including the government, community based organizations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other UN Agencies to enhance complementarities, in particular at community level.
  • Facilitate establishment of at least two (2) Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBRM) initiatives/models in the country.
  • Provide capacity building for the communities, and other relevant technical staff from the government, NGOs and private sector for the development of Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBRM) initiatives.
  • Support the tracking and documenting of lessons learnt for the project and assist in making recommendations for achievement of better outcomes.
  • Organise regular meetings with the communities and PMU.
  • Prepare and present quarterly progress reports at community level.
  • Perform other tasks as may be requested by the PMU.

Competencies

  • Ability to effectively network and coordinate a multidisciplinary team of community members.
  • Good client orientation skills.
  • Good writing and communication skills including the ability to prepare clear reports.
  • Computer skills, in particular mastery of all applications of the MS Office package and internet search.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Bachelor Degree in social, development studies, eco-tourism, conservation management, biodiversity management, business management, land-use planning, agricultural or related.  

Experience:

  • At least 2 years working experience in community development.
  • Experience working in PA management, conservation management will be an added advantage Demonstrated experience in project organization and ability to serve as an effective negotiator.
  • Basic knowledge in business planning, ecotourism management, conservation management.

Languages:

  • Good command of English and knowledge and fluency in SiSwati.
  •  

Disclaimer

Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Mbabane (Swaziland)
  • Grade: SB-3, Service Contract - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social studies
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2017-09-29

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