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Capacity Builder and Technical Advisor (Voluntary): Managing Natural Resources for Resilient Livelihoods in Madagascar

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Fort Dauphin
Salary Additional Information Unpaid
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Voluntary & Interns
Deadline 16/09/2013
Company Name Azafady
Contact Name Lisa Bass
Telephone +44 (0)20 8960 6629
Fax +44 (0)20 8962 0126
Email Lisa@azafady.org
Website Further Details / Applications
Azafady logo
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An incredible opportunity for a conservation/ sustainable development professional to work in   Madagascar gaining experience with a growing international charity working in partnership with a Malagasy NGO



Position Overview:

The post holder will be working as part of Azafady's international team supporting NGO staff to work with vulnerable communities on the sustainable management of natural resources.  Azafady’s natural resource management projects are based on a belief that truly sustainable management will not be achieved by providing communities with solutions but by creating opportunities for local people to make their own decisions and to learn from the results of these decisions.  Building on the foundation of a variety of community-based tools and approaches previously used, including participatory rural appraisal and participatory environmental planning and adaptive management, this post-holder will build the skills and provide the support required to the local team to ensure sustainable results are attained across all project work.


Azafady is a partnership between a British and Malagasy NGO specialising in integrated conservation and development capacity building projects in a small geographical area in the South East of Madagascar.  Capacity building is core to the remit of both organisations, and since 2008 Azafady's projects have benefited from the support of a team of international capacity builders and advisors who have supported organisational development and implementation of best practise across the range of Azafady's projects.


The Capacity Builder and Technical Advisor will work with Azafady for a minimum of 12 months on the ground inMadagascar.  The post-holder will be predominantly based in Azafady's office inFortDauphinbut on-site support in rural communities will also be required.


Overall aim of the role


To provide technical support, training and advice on participatory natural resource management and livelihoods approaches, tools and programming to staff working with local communities


Main Tasks and Responsibilities



  • Together with the project teams, identify capacity needs both within Azafady staff teams and local communities and develop innovative strategies and tools to meet these needs
  • Advise on, and assist in the development of participatory monitoring strategies and tools
  • Through training and ongoing capacity building, support the project teams to , to conduct participatory monitoring with communities
  • Provide an on going, informal information exchange with the Conservation Research team to support the development of monitoring strategies, which align community and scientific data collection
  • Provide advice and training on integrated community-based climate adaptation planning, with particular focus on climate-sensitive livelihood diversification strategies
  • Work alongside the Head of Conservation & Environment to develop implementation plans for projects concerning the management of natural resources
  • Work alongside the Head of Conservation & Environment and Head of Project Development in ensuring compliance with donor requirements throughout any project activity and assist in any project related communications
  • Lead on donor reporting and assist with writing of project proposals with support from the Project Development Team
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation meetings and input into the future development of related projects
  • Oversee the write up and appropriate dissemination of all related monitoring and evaluation activities
  • Support the local team with the development and implementation of presentations and workshops relating to the subject area
  • Together with the Head of Conservation & Environment, represent Azafady at stakeholder engagement meetings
  • Support ongoing knowledge management of project approach and activities through documentation and information sharing
  • Support ongoing knowledge management of capacity building activities through documentation and information sharing
  • Support Azafady's media presence through regular contributions of blogs, articles and papers to Azafady's website, facebook, and other international publications
  • Support with the orientation and work-related induction of new international volunteers, presenting at workshops as necessary


Experience, Skills and Knowledge



  • Masters in sustainable livelihoods, natural resource management or community conservation or the equivalent professional experience
  • Experience of working on community-based natural resource management or sustainable livelihoods projects in least developed countries
  • Experience of using participatory methodologies with communities
  • Experience of using, or knowledge of, participatory monitoring and learning tools
  • Knowledge of sustainable livelihoods approaches
  • Experience of engaging with a broad range of stakeholders including multilateral institutions, governments, private sector and civil society organisations
  • Proven ability to produce clear and engaging written work, for a variety of  technical and non-technical audiences including donor reports, project proposals, blogs and articles
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills including presentation, negotiation and facilitation
  • Excellent listening and social awareness skills
  • Proven ability to coordinate multiple pieces of work and meet strict deadlines with limited technological resources
  • Experience of living and working oversees
  • Fluent in written and spoken English


  • Previous experience of mentoring, coaching and training
  • Experience of conducting participatory action research with communities
  • Working knowledge of French
  • Working knowledge of GIS
  • Knowledge of community-based climate adaptation
  • Experience or knowledge of agroforestry techniques


Personal Attributes

  • Be able to take personal responsibility, acting at all times with professionalism and respect for self, others and the organisation
  • Be able to work independently under limited supervision, managing own workload in high-pressure environments
  • Be capable and comfortable adapting to life in a least developed country with sometimes basic living conditions
  • Be able to adjust to life in another culture and a foreign language, and be able to work at all times with cultural sensitivity
  • Actively promote and adhere to Azafady’s health, safety and security policies and procedures both in and out of the workplace
  • Be able to adapt and respond to changing priorities, demonstrating flexibility, a willingness to learn and an open mind



Country and organisation background:


Madagascaris one of the planet’s most significant biodiversity hotspots, with approximately 4% of Earth’s different floral and faunal species within this 0.4% of the planet’s land surface. Levels of endemism in plants and animals are estimated at over 80%, with many species yet to be named or even discovered. However, Madagascar is also one of the world’s poorest countries ranking 151/187 on the 2012 UN Human Development Index and is one of the top three countries considered most vulnerable to the effects of climate change (along with Bangladesh and India) as a result of the effects of deforestation and natural disasters, chronic poverty, a dependence on subsistence agriculture and a lack of capacity to adapt to these factors. Rapidly expanding populations (increasing at a rate of approximately 3% per year) and decreasing access to land have rendered traditional farming practices inadequate but populations lack information, training and necessary inputs to implement alternatives. These highly vulnerable communities depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, including forest resources for firewood, timber and the traditional practice of tavy (slash and burn agriculture). Without information available to rural communities about alternative and more sustainable livelihood practices, poverty and increasing populations are resulting in severely degraded forest environments.


Within the Anosy region in the south east where Azafady is based, spiralling poverty and environmental degradation are seen in their most extreme form. Over 90% of the population live below the poverty line and suffer some of the highest rates of illiteracy (80%), disease, and child mortality (40%). Anosy is also home to the Manafiafy littoral forest, a severely fragmented habitat with exceptional biodiversity, where levels of endemism of flora and fauna reach some 80%. Manafiafy has been designated one of the highest conservation priorities inMadagascar; however, situated as it is within one of the country’s most impoverished regions it is also one of the world’s most significantly threatened habitats. The fragility of the ecosystem is exacerbated by the effects of repeated failed harvests and drought in the south of the island, which have forced many farmers into charcoal production, further degrading forest environments. Further, it is estimated that around 80% of the remaining littoral forest in Anosy is subject to planned clearance over the next 50 years as a result of mining activities, leaving few options for the multitude of species, including humans, that depend on these forests for their survival. QMM, a subsidiary of mining giant Rio Tinto, has received authorisation to mine the area for mineral sands.


Azafady is a British registered charity partnered with a Malagasy NGO that has been working in the impoverished Anosy region of south eastMadagascarfor over 15 years. Azafady’s mission is to work with communities to tackle the immediate effects of poverty, support long-term development and protect the environment. It aims to build the capacity of individuals and organisations to lead and support sustainable conservation and development initiatives in south east Madagascar, with the objective of securing local community access to quality health, education and livelihoods assets, and increasing local capacity to conserve and manage natural resources including unique but greatly endangered forest environments. At the heart of Azafady’s work is an integrated approach to community development sensitively built around what are directly expressed to be the most pressing needs of local populations and which maximises their participation in all stages. Azafady has three programmes – community health, environmental conservation and sustainable livelihoods and is a recognised regional specialist in capacity building at the community level (education, training and advocacy). It is estimated that more than 100,000 people have benefited from Azafady’s projects over the last decade.


Application deadline:

Monday 16th September, 2013


Application procedure:


Send CV and cover letter addressing the criteria listed above to Lisa@azafady.org. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by email. Interviews will take place with theMadagascar team by phone and with theLondon team in person. A two day orientation period in theLondon office will be required of successful applicants.

 the work of Azafady can be found at www.azafady.org

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