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Programme Officer  







Job Advert: Programme Officer –Species Conservation

Vacancy #: 1498

Unit: Global Species & Key Biodiversity Areas Programme

Organization: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Location: Cameroon Country Programme Office, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Reporting to: Deputy Director - Global Species & KBA Programme

Work percentage: 100%

Function group: P1

Expected start date: 01 April 2017

Type of contract: Fixed-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)

Closing date: 31 March 2017


SOS - Save Our Species is an initiative intended to be a long-term global programme to improve the conservation status of globally threatened species, their habitats and the people depending on them. It provides grants for conservation of globally threatened species. By strategically focusing on species conservation priorities identified by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and by providing rapid action funding that can be mobilized quickly during crises, SOS provides critically-needed resources where and when they matter most.

SOS is executed through IUCN, with a small secretariat in the IUCN Global Species Programme at Headquarters and regional positions supporting some specific initiatives. SOS Calls for Proposals for Threatened Species Grants (TSG) are issued once or twice a year and applications are accepted for a period of 6-8 weeks following this announcement. All applications submitted are screened for eligibility, reviewed by experts (according to taxonomical and geographical expertise) and finally reviewed by the SOS Working Group (a technical group of experts associated to the initiative) before being submitted to the SOS Donor Council for validation and funding.

Projects selected for funding are reviewed in detail during a negotiation phase with the applicant and before a grant agreement is finalized and signed. Funded projects submit regular progress reports that require the SOS Secretariat’s review to assess progress against planned milestones and the achievement of project objectives and results.



IUCN is looking for a Programme Officer to provide support to:

1.The review of applications received by the SOS Secretariat

The Programme Officer will assist in the screening of applications for eligibility, matching individual applications to expert reviewers, collating and presenting the results of the external review for use and further review by the SOS Technical Advisory Group. 

2.The review of progress and final reports submitted by grantees

Working in collaboration with the SOS Coordinator the Programme Officer will review a selection of submitted reports according to a predefined checklist and against the objectives, results and milestones described in the project proposal. Written comments will be compiled for further distribution to individual grantees.

During the review process the consultant will be also expected to extract from the reports data and information to help populate the SOS monitoring matrix. The information extracted will be inserted in a specific template to be provided by the SOS Secretariat.

3.The developing organisational capacity of SOS beneficiaries

The Programme Officer will be the first point of contact for CSOs based in his/her region. He/She will assist CSOs during project proposal preparation, answering questions and providing advice. He/She will then help improve the quality of the reports and products delivered by grantees. He/She will organise specific capacity-building workshops.

4-Project monitoring

The Programme Officer will conduct project monitoring missions according to a calendar discussed with and agreed by the SOS Coordinator.


The Programme Officer will support fundraising efforts in particular those targeting donors based in his/her region.


The programme officer will execute the activities of support to the beneficiaries in coordination with other UICN or regional or local capacity development initiatives. He/she ensure that the SOS funded projects contribute to the EU strategy in West and Central Africa by coordinating with other EU initiatives and support programs. 

The position requires familiarity with grant making processes, proposal writing, proposal reviewing and experience of species conservation in the field.


This position will report to the SOS Coordinator based in IUCN Headquarters for all technical aspects of the work and will be under the authority of the Regional Director.

1)Review of applications’ eligibility under SOS criteria

  • Using the Application Database created by the SOS Secretariat for a specific Call for Proposals, review all applications received against the SOS eligibility criteria with the aim of discarding any ineligible applications from being distributed for external review. 
  • Record all reasons for application ineligibility in the Application Database.

2)Securing external technical reviews for applications received

Identify and contact experts with the appropriate profile to review the applications received. Maintain correspondence with reviewers as necessary to ensure submission of review (issue reminders, clarify review content if needed). This task will also involve:

  • Maintain a list of initial contacts from the relevant IUCN SSC Specialist Groups;
  • Contact individual experts to confirm their availability for review;
  • Maintain up to date information on possible reviewers in the Reviewer’s Database;
  • Confirm experts’ availability for review for set up of reviewers’ account in the SOS Online Application Portal;
  • Issue reminders to reviewers if reviews are not completed on time;

3)Support to SOS Advisory Group review of applications

  • Prepare the SOS Application Database for the relevant SOS advisory Group meeting. This task will also involve: (i) Integrate all scores from completed reviews in the database; (ii) Integrate all important comments from reviews in the database;
  • Review in detail the top ranking applications (up to 40) for consistency with SOS guidelines and major issues to be flagged and addressed by the SOS Advisory Group and SOS Secretariat if selected for funding;
  • Participate in the SOS Advisory Group meeting

4)Review individual progress/final reports and stories submitted by grantees

  • Review reports according to a predefined checklist provided by the SOS Coordinator;
  • Prepare written comments on the consistency of the reported information against the objectives, results and milestones described in the project proposal;
  • Compile the “Project Impact” template with information extracted from the report and contributing to the overall impact of the SOS grant portfolio;
  • Submit these comments to the SOS Coordinator for further distribution to individual grantees or integration in the SOS monitoring framework;
  • Screen financial reports and provide feedback to grantees;
  • Provide feedback to grantees and assist in the improvement of reports;
  • Identify relevant stories to be featured on SOS Social media or on the website and sned them to the SOS Communication and Marketing Officer.

5) Project monitoring

  • Organise and conduct field monitoring missions according to a schedule agreed with the SOS Coordinator
  • Write monitoring report
  • Follow up with grantees to ensure that requested changes are taken into account

6) Support to fundraising

  • Identify potential funding sources in the region and discuss a fundraising strategy with SOS Director
  • Facilitate access to projects to donors, ambassadors

7) Representation of the Species programme in the region

  • Handle specific requests that may arise related to species conservation issues in the region
  • Maintain relationship with SSC experts in the region
  • Assist the Regional Programme with specific requests on species conservation issues


  • 3 or more years of experience in the species conservation sector with a significant component in the field. Experience with large carnivores will be considered an advantage;
  • A thorough understanding of conservation grant making funds (some familiarity with SOS – Save Our Species and its application process preferred);
  • Working knowledge of French
  • Experience and success in writing grant proposals
  • Experience in reviewing grant proposals
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills in English
  • Computer literate and available to work remotely through online platforms and/or through email
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in a multicultural environment


Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST).

About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

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