Project Manager (Kgalagadi Drylands)
Natural resources management in the Kalahari landscape is characterised by competition and conflict between conservation goals, economic development and livelihoods. Home to large herds of angulates and iconic predators, the landscape was dominated by low-density wildlife with hunter-gatherer livelihoods until borehole farming enabled cattle ranching a few decades ago. The consequent rangeland degradation and ecosystem fragmentation threatens wildlife and economic development. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) meant to support wildlife-based economic activities and secure migratory corridors linking the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve continue to be lost to livestock encroachment, due to delayed gazettement. Wildlife is under additional threat from poaching, wildlife poisoning and illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
Stakeholders lack the planning tools, institutional coordination and operational capacities to balance competing needs and optimise environment, social and economic outcomes. In particular, there is a need for improved coordination in tackling poaching, wildlife poisoning and IWT, improved capacities for improving rangeland management in the communal lands and limited incentives for local communities to protect wildlife. The project will remove these barriers using the following strategies: coordinating capacity for combating wildlife crime/trafficking and enforcement of wildlife policies and regulations at district, national and international levels; incentives and systems for wildlife protection by communities increase financial returns from natural resources exploitation and reduce human wildlife conflicts, securing livelihoods and biodiversity in the Kalahari landscape; integrated landscape planning in the conservation areas and SLM practices in communal lands secure wildlife migratory corridors and increase productivity of rangelands respectively, reducing competition between land-uses and increasing ecosystem integrity of the Kalahari ecosystem; and, gender mainstreaming, knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation
The Project Manager (PM), will be a nationally recruited expert selected based on an open competitive process managed by UNDP. S/he will be responsible for the overall management of the project, including the mobilization of all project inputs, supervision over project staff, consultants and sub-contractors. The PM will report to the Director of the DEA at the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) in close collaboration with DWNP (Dept. of Wildlife and National Parks) and UNDP RR (or duly designated UNDP officer) for all of the project’s substantive and administrative issues. From the strategic point of view of the project, the PM will report on a periodic basis to the Project Steering Committee (PSC). The PM will also perform a liaison role with the Government, UNDP and other UN Agencies, NGOs, Academia and project partners, and maintain close collaboration with other donor agencies providing co-financing.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Management of Project Planning Processes
- Ensure operational project management in accordance with the Project Document and the UNDP guidelines and procedures
- Supervise and coordinate the delivery of project outputs, with a particular focus on project indicators and targets in the Project Results Framework, as per the project document
- Supervise and coordinate the work of all implementing partners, with a particular focus on the overarching strategic approach of the project to: maintain/increase populations of threatened wildlife (including lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and leopards); secure wildlife migratory corridors to allow seasonal movements between the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park; and enhance productivity of communal lands to reduce pressure on adjoining protected areas
- Liaise with UNDP, MENT, relevant government agencies, and all project partners, including donor organizations, NGOs and Academia for effective coordination of all project activities
- Coordinate the recruitment and selection of project personnel and contractors as needed, especially with a view to the large infrastructure investments made by the project
- Facilitate administrative backstopping to subcontractors and activities supported by the Project
- Ensure that gender is mainstreamed into operational plans, and that gender markers are reported on as part of regular reporting
2. Budgeting and Financial Management
- Manage the procurement and the project budget under the supervision of UNDP to ensure timely involvement of local and international experts, organization of training and public outreach, purchase of required equipment etc. in accordance with UNDP rules and procedures
- Allocate budgets to project activities and carry out timely budget revisions when necessary
- Oversee and provide quality control of financial reports submitted by counterparts and liaise with counterparts to ensure the transparent and accountable use of funds
- Advise counterparts on workplan development, develop checklists for all counterparts to assist in implementation and ensure that capacity support to counterparts are carried out in a timely and appropriate manner
- Analyze and monitor progress and advise on timely corrective actions for proper delivery
- Together with implementing partners, where necessary identify new areas of support and facilitate implementation of new initiatives.
3. Monitoring and Reporting
- Oversee and ensure timely submission of the Project Implementation Review/Annual Project Report (PIR/APR), annual workplan and budget (with detailed process plans showing actions), technical reports, quarterly financial reports, and other reports to MENT, UNDP, GEF and other oversight agencies; in accordance with the “Monitoring and Evaluation” section of the Project Document;
- Report progress of the project to the Project Steering Committee and ensure the fulfilment of the Steering Committee directives.
- Facilitate project progress update meetings with the chief technical advisory team and implementing partners
- Arrange for regular, announced, and unannounced inspections of all project activities and on-the-ground interventions.
- Contribute to quarterly, mid-year and annual reporting
- Oversee partner reporting and where necessary help them to improve in line with UNDP and project reporting standards
- Contribute to the identification of risks and issues and updating of risk logs in ATLAS
- Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders
4. Coordination, Partnerships & Communications:
- Develops partnerships with other agencies implementing similar initiatives and ensure exchange and sharing of experiences and lessons learned with relevant actors nationally and internationally.
- Address key communication needs and support the development and implementation of a project communication plan; and
- Ensure effective dissemination of, and access to information on project activities and results (including a regularly contribution of stories to UNDP website and social media)
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards
- Promotes vision, mission ad strategic goals of UNDP
- Displays cultural, gender, race n nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
- Knowledge management and learning
- Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example
- Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills
Development and operational effectiveness
- Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting
- Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and programmes, mobilize resources
- Strong drafting, presentation and reporting skills
- Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contribution and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost recovery
- Good knowledge of Results Management Guide and Toolkit; and
- Experience in developing countries, preferably in southern Africa.
Management and Leadership
- Good communication skills and competence in handling the project’s external relations at all level
- Fluent/good knowledge of Setswana and English
- Familiarity and prior experience with UNDP and GEF requirements and procedures are considered an asset
- Good ICT skills
- Ability to implement new systems and effect staff behavioural/ attitudinal change
- Good analytical and problem-solving skills and the related ability to adaptively manage with prompt action on the conclusions and recommendations coming out of the project’s regular monitoring and self-assessment activities, as well as from periodic external evaluations
- Ability and demonstrated success to work in a team, to organize it effectively, and to motivate its members and other project counterparts to work effectively towards the project’s objective and expected outcomes
Required Skills and Experience
- MSc or PhD in Natural Resources Management, Conservation or Protected Areas Management, Environmental Sciences, or related fields of expertise.
- At least 10 years of experience in natural resource management
- At least 5 years of project/program management experience
- Working experiences with relevant ministries and national institutions is a plus, but not a requirement
- Ability to effectively coordinate a large, multi-stakeholder project
- Ability to administer budgets, train and work effectively with counterpart staff at all levels and with all groups involved in the project
- Strong drafting, presentation and reporting skills
- Strong computer skills, in particular mastery of all applications of the MS Office package (e.g. Outlook, Excel and Word) and internet searching
- Strong knowledge about Botswana’s political and socio-economic context, in particular with relation to ecosystems management, land use planning, poaching, IWT and related work.
Excellent English writing and communication skills.
Women are strongly encouraged to apply. The selection process will be fair and transparent.