AWARD: Internship - Natural Resource Management

Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 6 March, 2015
Opportunity type: 

Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) is an NGO in South Africa that works on water supply in the broader context of managing water resources and their wise use, with a focus on learning about water security issues in the Sand River Catchment area.

AWARD works on systemic and social learning approaches to water issues at local and catchment-scales at both national and international levels (mainly water-sharing between South Africa and Mozambique).  Some examples of key areas of focus have included:

  • Understanding the relationship between wetlands and livelihoods;
  • Understanding factors that enable and constrain water resources management in the Lowveld rivers;
  • Guidelines for the Catchment Management Strategies that are to be developed by all CMAs in South Africa;
  • Understanding the role of social learning and collective action in water resources management;
  • Developing and testing approaches to examining water-related ecosystems services;
  • Developing and testing a Wise Use approach for wetlands within the context of Working for Wetlands.

AWARD has recently been awarded a five year grant from USAID known as RESILIM (Resilience in the Limpopo Basin). The objective of the programme is Improve trans-boundary management of the Limpopo River Basin resulting in enhanced resiliency of people and ecosystems. This will be addressed through:

  1. Reducing vulnerability to climate change through improved water resource management;
  2. Conserving biodiversity and ecosystems; and
  3. Building stakeholder capacity to undertake and sustain (i) and (ii).

We will focus specifically on the Olifants Basin which is an international watercourse shared between South Africa and Mozambique.

AWARD seeks to appoint an Intern - Natural Resource Management, based at the AWARD offices in Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, close to the Kruger National Park.

In the second year of the research phase, AWARD will continue building an integrated systemic picture of natural resources in the Olifants River Basin to inform natural resource management practices that build resilience. AWARD has commissioned research on drivers of change of the natural resources in the Olifants, ranging from climate change and political economy to mining, agriculture and waste water treatment works, to understand how these drivers affect natural resources, ecosystem services, and human well-being.
The intern will analyze and synthesize some of this commissioned research to be incorporated into an assessment about which natural resources and related livelihoods are vulnerable. AWARD calls this a resilience assessment. The intern will further support the resilience assessment tasks by developing and narrating diagrams showing the casual links between characteristics of the natural resources, ecosystem services and outcomes in the basin and determining the likely impact of various future scenarios.
This support includes desk-top research, scribing for meetings and organizing materials for field visits. The final two aspects of the internship are: reporting regularly on current practices of natural resource management and providing support for organizations governing water resources. This support includes coordinating meetings and workshops, assisting in writing reports, and presenting about the USAID RESILIM-O project at meetings with strategic partners. The successful applicant will work as part of a broader team.
The incumbent(s) will be provided with accommodation together with other interns at AWARD and will be provided with transport to and from work. The expected duration is one year or 12 months.


  • Providing support to the USAID RESILIM-Olifants project team, specifically in Theme 1;
  • Assisting with the development of research and resilience assessment;
  • Contributing towards the objectives of enhancing resilience in the Olifants River basin;
  • Conducting desk-top research;
  • Collecting field data, through interviews and the VSTEEP process;
  • Coordinating meetings and workshops
  • Organizing materials for field visits;
  • Scribing or note taking for planning, meetings, workshop activities and various other activities;
  • Minor support on facilitation activities;
  • Providing support for the data analysis;
  • Supporting the report writing process (deliverables) and presentation of reports;
  • Plus any duties as assigned by the project manager or senior researchers.


  • Master’s degree in natural resource management or a related field or an honours degree with an exceptional academic record is a minimum requirement;
  • Specializing in water resource management, studying towards a PhD degree and/or work experience will be an added advantage, along with an exceptional academic record;
  • Microsoft Office proficiency - Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Ability to work in teams;
  • Show initiative in terms of understanding and responding to research needs;
  • Written skills and report writing;
  • Interest in the inter-relationships between multiple factors (e.g. social, economic a biophysical);
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Interest in water and participatory systemic approaches to natural resource management;
  • Attention to detail and high level of accuracy;
  • Adaptability;
  • Ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and sectors;
  • Ability to liaise with project partners;
  • Teamwork and collaboration;
  • Proven computer literacy and knowledge of office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook);
  • Good planning and project skills;
  • Fluency in English (read, write and understand), command of other local languages would be an advantage;
  • Prepared to travel;
  • Initiative in terms of understanding and responding to research needs;
  • Valid driver’s licence (EB) and at least more than two years driving experience would be an advantage.

Contract duration: March 2015 – February 2016.  
To apply, submit a CV and motivation letter including at least two references to Please clearly indicate in your application the following reference: “Internship: NRM”
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

Applicants that have not been contacted by 19 March, 2015 must be considered unsuccessful. 

Only short listed candidate with be considered.

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