Conservation South Africa: Senior Director Conservation Outcomes

Conservation South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Thursday, 16 May, 2019
Opportunity type: 

Conservation South Africa (CSA), as a local affiliate of Conservation International, is committed to helping societies adopt a more sustainable approach to development—one that considers and values nature at every turn and improves human well-being through the conservation of healthy ecosystems and the goods and services they provide.  Conservation South Africa seeks to influence policy, develop markets, engage the private sector, and support communities to build resilience to climate change whilst, developing and implementing conservation- based economic CSA’s Rangeland Restoration Programme combines restoration best practice, job creation, market access and integrated freshwater land stewardship to enable restoration and sustainable farming at scale in three landscape demonstration areas – Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Kruger to Canyons Biosphere. This position provides for growth models for long-term human well-being. 

The Senior Director Conservation Outcomes (SDCO) is responsible for supporting the Country Director (CD) and Senior Director Operations (COO) in the day-to-day management of the Country Management Team (CMT), with a specific focus on ensuring the conservation outcomes of the country programme, in addition to taking some responsibility for oversight of financial and other resources. The SDCO ensures the coherence of all technical elements of the country programme’s work and works together with the CD and relevant staff to design and implement conservation initiatives with explicit social and/or economic outcomes. 
Reporting to the CD, the Senior Director Conservation Outcomes works with a high degree of independence and serves as a technical expert in CI’s multidisciplinary approach to conservation.  Experience in designing, resourcing, managing and closing projects in rural and peri-urban contexts would be a prerequisite, as will a high level of creativity and strategic thinking to efficiently lend high-level management to the country program and build local staff and partner capacity, within environments that are complex and full of challenges.  While the position requires technical proficiency there is also a large staff management and fundraising component and the Senior Director Conservation Outcomes will need to balance technical knowledge with strong project management and fundraising skills.
Key Responsibilities 

  • Provide strategic management and team leadership to effectively implement program activities and ensure high-impact outputs, by managing program technical strategies, objectives, work plans and metrics.  This will include:
    • Oversight of the Conservation South Africa senior Technical Staff working through the Country Management Team
    • Input and oversight to support the definition, implementation and refinement of the Country Programme Strategy by coordinating initiatives, and ensuring activity/policy linkages
  • Work together with the CD and COO to lead and inspire a multidisciplinary team ensuring effective communication, instilling organizational values and behaviors and creating a work environment that attracts, develops and retains talent
  • Support the CD as required to ensure program alignment and integration with division and CI-wide conservation priorities.  Engage CI leadership and other senior staff as appropriate.
    • Promote coordination and cooperation between programming and operations staff working closely with the CMT to ensure stewardship of resources and appropriate budget management of projects
    • Support accurate and timely management and reporting on technical and project activities
    • Support COO as required in approval of expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors, according to CI policies and procedures, CSA Board Decisions, and donor regulations
    • With the CMT support development of the Annual Programme Plan
  • Support the COO to ensure program compliance with CI policies, funding agreements and local requirements.
  • Support the CD’s fundraising initiatives and support field teams and technical staff in the development of robust fundraising pipelines.
  • Provide representation support to the CD with government and partner agencies locally and internationally as is required
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

 Additional Responsibilites 

  • Ensure CSA’s research, policy and field operations are technically coherent and aligned with CSA’s local strategy and CI’s global strategies
  • Ensure all toolkits, training resources, case studies and communications materials are technically coherent and aligned with CSA’s local strategy and CI’s global strategies
  • Follow national and international conservation and development trends and identify new strategic opportunities to enhance or expands CSA’s work 

People and Resource Management Responsibilities 

  • Directly supervise strategic technical program and project staff, including overseeing the technical work of external partners as and where required.
  • Support the COO in the management of the program’s budget and finances with a specific focus on ensuring the budgets are aligned to conservation impact priorities and technical integration across all projects. 
  • Support and oversee the management of public or private funds; ensure overarching compliance with donor requirements and CI policies.


  • Bachelor’s degree in biological and/or environmental, social sciences, international development, economics or related fields
  • Advanced university degree, Master’s or MBA degree preferable.
  • 8 years or more related technical experience at a senior management level with supervisory responsibility for multi-disciplinary teams in the sustainable development sector with specialist expertise in at least two of the following sectors: Biodiversity Conservation; Community Development; Fresh Water; Economic Development.
  • Senior-level program or project management experience, preferably in a national / international  conservation or sustainable development NGO
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex conservation projects or initiatives involving multiple internal and external stakeholders with explicit social and/or economic outcomes
  • Has demonstrated effective field and technical programme / project management preferably in national / international conservation or sustainable development NGO
  • Proven track record in fundraising for medium (R2 million – R5 million) and large (R5 million – R15 million) size grants
  • Proven leadership skills and success in effectively inspiring and engaging diverse works groups in a multicultural environment.
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English. Fluency in any of South Africa’s other official languages is an added advantage.
  • Excellent technical and analytical skills in at least two of the following fields: Biodiversity Conservation; Community Development; Fresh Water; Economic Development
  • Excellent organization and time management skills.
  • Adept at working in a fast-paced environment with changing priorities with limited supervision. 

 Additional Qualifications 

  • Demonstrated ability to achieve program goals with a high level of creativity and strategic thinking, to efficiently manage, and to build local capacity within extremely complex, challenging environments.  
  • Flexible and results-oriented with a high level of resourcefulness to deal with constant changes as a result of local social and economic circumstances.

 Working conditions 

  • Local and/or international travel of 30% or more, often in difficult travel conditions.
  • Ability to work sometimes in remote locations or under difficult working conditions.

This position will be on a 12 month renewable contract based on performance and availability of funding for the first 3 years, thereafter may be eligible to become permanent.  In line with the CSA Payband structure, which ensures equitable remuneration for all staffing levels in the organization, the basic gross salary is capped at R800 000 per annum, however flexibility around working conditions may be negotiated.  The successful incumbent would preferably be based in the Cape Town or Johannesburg office.
Please submit your abbreviated CV (no longer than 3 pages) with contact details of 3 referees with a cover letter motivating why you should be selected by  16 May 2019 to: using the reference CSA-SDCO.  Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. CSA is an affirmative action employer, wherever possible, selection will favour previously disadvantaged individuals, provided they are in possession of the required skills, knowledge and experience.

Candidates who have received no response within 14 days of the closing should kindly assume that their application was unsuccessful. CSA reserves the right not to fill this position.  CSA is an affirmative action employer,

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