Community Development Lead, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR)

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

About the organization

The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City working to save wildlife and wild lands and to meet global challenges in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. The Africa Program is the largest of WCS’s field programs, with approximately 1,100 staff in 12 country programs focused across four major regions (Central Africa, Sudano-Sahel, East and Southern Africa, and Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean).
Our MISSION is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature. Our VISION is a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. Our GOAL is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity.


Please see full description at:

WCS is seeking a Community Development Lead to design, develop and lead implementation of a portfolio of work that promotes the well-being of rights-holding people living within and surrounding OWR while guaranteeing the biological integrity of the reserve. The portfolio of the position will be diverse and will respond to i) the expressed desires and needs of rights-holding people and working with the people to overcome the risks to their well-being, and ii) the complex socio-political context of OWR and the Ituri Province as a whole. The portfolio will include, but not be limited to: countering the dehumanization and marginalization of rights-holding people living in the forest; leading and building a team of people to implement the work; ensuring rights-based access to and use of land and natural resources; achieving improved, diversified and contextually appropriate livelihoods; contributing to conflict mitigation among diverse groups of people; responding to the needs to trauma caused by conflict and gender-based violence; enterprise development; working with the team to seek sustainable solutions to the threats posed by artisanal and (illegal) semi-industrial mining in the reserve; ensuring social safeguarding and the implementation of a grievance redress mechanism.


• A brilliant, analytical mind that grasps complex issues facing the people living with and surrounding the reserve and finds the most pragmatic, practical and optimum ways to respond to the issues within the environmental context of the reserve
• Ability to communicate and explain complex processes and ideas effectively and efficiently
• A minimum of a master’s degree in social sciences, or environmental sciences
• Five or more years of proven field experience implementing community development projects in Central Africa and preferably in DRC
• Ability to build and manage a diverse team of people
• A strong desire to work in a collaborative environment, with an ability to maintain good working relationships with a diverse group of colleagues
• Outstanding communication, organizational and coordination skills
• Excellent understanding of and practical experience with international safeguarding standards in a development context; experience with Environmental and Social Management systems preferred
• Experience working on US government and/or bilateral/multilateral funded projects is an advantage
• Ability to work, present trainings and write in French and in English; Kiswahili is an advantage
• Ability to operate in remote areas under challenging living conditions

Application instructions

Contact email: [email protected]

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply by emailing a detailed application/cover letter and CV together with the names and contact information of three references to: [email protected] Please include “Community Development Lead, Okapi” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you have any queries related to this position please contact: [email protected]

Application Deadline: The position needs to be filled as soon as possible and WCS will receive applications until the position is filled

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Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

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