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Senior Program Manager

  • Kedougou, Senegal
  • Posted on Friday, January 25, 2019

For more than 50 years, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has been a key player in African conservation and sustainable development. AWF will implement an integrated conservation and livelihoods program in Kedougou Region, SE Senegal in partnership with the Municipal Council (MC) of Tomboronkoto Commune and Petowal Mining Company (PMC). Under the overall supervision of AWF’s Vice President, Programs for West and Central Africa, the Senior Program Manager is responsible for the setup of this multi-year program and for overseeing the delivery and management of the pilot phase program activities, including all technical, financial, human resources, and administrative matters.

This position will coach and mentor a deputy who will assume Program leadership by the end of the pilot phase. This position will be for a two year period based in Kedougou Region, Senegal, with the potential for extension.

The Program is located on community lands but within the designated Biosphere Reserve of the Niokolo Koba National Park, which hosts mix-use landscape of farmland, pasture and natural habitats. A range of conservation strategies have been identified by PMC that aim to change behaviors and reduce threats to species and their habitat through the adoption of land use plans and sustainable livelihoods. The TOMBO pilot program will develop detailed work plans for implementation of identified strategies informed by AWF’s program experience and methodologies elsewhere via participatory planning and agreement with local communities and authorities. It is recognized that only through achieving a net benefit to local communities will the conservation interventions succeed.

The legal mandate and authority to administer land management programs rests with the Municipal Council of Tomboronkoto Commune. However, the MC is faced with weak institutional capacity, lack of means and motivation to engage in natural resource management. AWF has been appointed by PMC as the lead technical assistance partner to support the MC overcome these challenges and to effectively implement conservation and livelihood actions consistent with Commune development plans. A two-year pilot phase is being launched in early 2019 to test and adapt conservation actions, and design a program for scale-up in subsequent years.

The TOMBO Program represents component B of a larger biodiversity offset program commissioned by the Petowal Mining Company. Component A focuses in the adjacent Niokolo-Koba National Park (NKNP) and is led by a partnership between the Department of National Parks and the NGO Panthera. The two components will complement one another contributing to overall net positive biodiversity gain over the life of the programs to offset the residual impacts of the Mako Gold Mine.

The Program represents an innovative public-private partnership that is hoped to set a benchmark for biodiversity offsetting and approaches to community-based conservation in West Africa.


The Senior Program Manager will be the lead Program representative in Senegal. They will report to the AWF’s Vice President of Programs for West and Central Africa, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Senior Program Manager will put in place and direct a team of professional staff, consultants and service providers to work alongside the MC and support with the coordination and technical development of the program.

The Senior Program Manager will establish strong, inclusive, and participatory working relations between Program staff, the MC and PMC and CBOs.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Set up of the TOMBO Program
  • Act as the AWF lead on the ground in negotiations with MC and PMC as a key input into the pilot phase partnership agreement to be developed between the three parties.
  • Conduct an institutional capacity assessment of the MC and existing CBOs, to determine their immediate and long-term needs for technical assistance.
  • Lead the transparent and competitive selection, recruitment, supervision and mentoring of Program staff, consultants and service providers as required.
  • Ensure efficient HR management, conduct regular performance appraisal exercises for Program staff.
  • Guided by a range of preparatory studies and in consultation with the MC and PMC, develop a detailed work plan and corresponding budget for the pilot phase guided by the draft Program LogFrame.
  • In line with AWF’s project management systems and procedures, set up optimal monitoring, information sharing and reporting mechanisms.
  • Develop a comprehensive M&E framework including data collection tools and procedures with technical support from AWF M&E staff.
  • Liaise proactively with the NKNP component of PMC’s biodiversity offset program led by NGO Panthera/Department of National Parks aiming for maximum complementarity.
  • Ensure the appropriate registration and related regulatory frameworks for AWF in Senegal are put in place.
  • Set up an office working space.
Lead the delivery and management of the pilot phase Program activities
  • Working with the Municipal Council, PMC and CBOs on the ground, manage and coordinate project activities, including technical, administrative and financial aspects ensuring the delivery of quality pilot phase activities, outputs and results in accordance with the work plan.
  • Provide direction and leadership in ensuring pilot phase objectives are met and that all interested parties are informed about the project’s activities and goals.
  • Prepare annual work plans, and quarterly and annual narrative and financial reports, and work with the AWF UK Director to submit to PMC.
  • Prepare quarterly reports (French) on key project activities and progress, and 6 monthly progress reports (French) (progress against planned activities, update on risks and issues, expenditures).
  • Manage project administrative and security related activities, monitor financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports.
  • Ensure professional relationships are developed with local, national and international partner agencies, and relevant developing programs/projects.
  • Represent AWF and the TOMBO Program as required in Senegal including at the highest political level, and or facilitate the introduction of AWF staff to relevant members of the Senegal Government as required.
Supervision and mentoring
  • Supervise the professional development of TOMBO Deputy to manage the staff.
  • Specifically mentor the Senegalese Deputy Program Manager to whom overall Program management responsibilities will ultimately be transferred.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree required in natural resource management, biodiversity and/or protected area management.
  • Ability to work holistically across conservation/land use planning/livelihoods disciplines.
  • 7+ years in conservation in Africa.
  • Management experience on similar donor-funded, technical assistance and capacity building programs.
  • Proven experience setting-up, designing and implementing integrated conservation and livelihood programs.
  • Fluency in written and spoken French and English.
  • Proven ability to prepare work plans and results focused reports.
  • Understanding of ESIA processes and the significance of offsetting as a mitigation, including good practice and international experience governing biodiversity offsetting, a strong advantage.
  • Strong communicator, negotiator and able to demonstrate high levels of political awareness.
  • Ability to fulfil mandatory AWF operations and financial procedures.
  • Willingness and ability to work in a rural location of Kedougou Region, Senegal.

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