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Head of Project Development (Conservation, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods), Madagascar

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Arboriculture, Forestry, Horticulture
Location Madagascar - Africa
Town/City Fort Dauphin
Salary Additional Information Yes
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 10/02/2014
Company Name Azafady
Contact Name Mark Jacobs
Telephone +44 (0)20 8960 6629
Fax +44 (0)20 8962 0126
Email info@azafady.org
Website Further Details / Applications
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IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


Focus of the role

To support and represent Azafady UK interests within ONG Azafady.  To coordinate the conservation, environment and sustainable livelihoods element of the project development department on the ground in Madagascar and ensure professional development of all staff within it, including the ongoing development of the department’s internship programme, whilst building the capacity of the local partner NGO to develop, implement, evaluate and report on conservation, environment and sustainable livelihoods projects. This role will be responsible for generating funds across these project departments and has a central role in writing and editing proposals and reports.

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone wishing to gain comprehensive field experience (grassroots at local level and mid-level internationally) in overseas development, environment/conservation and poverty reduction work.


Duties and Responsibilities

Conservation, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods related:

To be responsible for writing and generally maintaining the high standard of all proposals, reports and evaluations submitted on behalf of Azafady, including the writing and proof reading of key project development related documents


  • Conduct research into international & national development latest thinking, best practice and possible funding for the project departments (Sustainable Livelihoods, Environment / Conservation) and support other Departments (Construction and education) where necessary
  • Work with the Director of Programmes & Operations, Head of Project Development (Community Health) and NGO Heads of Department to develop project and organisational strategy
  • Work with NGO project leaders to design projects that fulfil local need and sit within the aims of Azafady for poverty reduction and environmental conservation in the aforementioned sectors, taking into account research findings, local needs and constraints, Azafady’s previous experience including results of pilot studies, and government objectives
  • Develop high quality proposal documents and accurate budgets with a fair likelihood of success for grant funding for these projects for submission to donors
  • Work with the Education & Funding Coordinator in London in developing funding strategies, proposals, reports, research and the internship programme, liaising on all communication with current donors
  • Secure the ongoing funding of the NGO’s projects – currently at around £500,000 per annum across simultaneously operating interventions
  • Support the Director of Programmes & Operations in overseeing and ensuring sound management of all grants
  • Support the Director of Programmes & Operations in overseeing and ensuring day-to-day support of Azafady UK staff and volunteer both professionally and privately
  • Develop effective systems for monitoring & evaluation of projects and build technical capacity of NGO project leaders where needed to implement these
  • Conduct field work and monitoring visits to project sites when appropriate
  • Coordinate, write and edit donor reports including details of activities completed, results achieved and evaluation of impact to a high standard of English
  • Coordinate and proof read all written communications for external audiences, including volunteer blogs, website updates and academic papers to a high standard of English and in a variety of styles suited to each medium
  • Use evidence-based advocacy from research & project findings for briefing papers to NGO staff to feedback to government departments on national and regional development strategy
  • Support Azafady’s shorter term volunteer programmes to align volunteer activity plans with NGO project priorities
  • Support the Director of Programmes & Operations to identify the need for and recruit long term international volunteer and staff roles as necessary
  • Support the NGO staff recruitment processes
  • Delegate to and manage the work programmes of sustainable livelihoods and conservation/environment personnel and volunteers within the Project Development department to achieve departmental objectives and support organisational ethos and strategy

Build the professional capacity of sustainable livelihoods and conservation/environment personnel and volunteers within the Project Development department, particularly through development and management of interns.




  • Provide core support to the Director of Programmes & Operations in management, security and safety of all international volunteers and personnel, including leading cultural orientations for new international volunteers and staff
  • Work flexibly, including changing work priorities at short notice and working unsociable hours when it is necessary to meet a short deadline, for example the submission of project funding documents within the window given by donors
  • Act as temporary stand in for the Director of  Programmes & Operations and/or Head of Project Development (Community Health) when required during absences
  • Represent Azafady in external meetings with other agencies, donors and partners on the ground in Madagascar and in the UK


Contract details - Unaccompanied post


Contract type: Permanent, local salaried position with Azafady UK

Contract minimum duration: 2 years


Required skills & experience:


  • Excellent listening and non verbal communication skills
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) to the level of editing English documents for publication
  • Excellent written communication skills and an ability to tailor written information for maximum impact among various audiences
  • Excellent report writing skills, ideally previous experience compiling project reports for donors
  • Ability to write and proof read to a high standard and mentor interns to develop their skills in achieving these standards of excellence within their written work
  • Cross-cultural negotiation skills
  • Flexible and patient attitude
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Curiosity and interest in effective work practices in cross-cultural settings
  • Ability and desire to build capacity across cultures
  • Excellent analytical skills, with demonstrable ability in gathering and assimilating facts and data from various sources
  • Ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers
  • Ability and desire to develop, support and manage a team of volunteers and staff, and  to operate an internship programme
  • Ability to mentor and be a role model for responsible professional and social attitudes to volunteers living in another country and to manage these aspects of volunteers’ behaviour when required
  • Qualification or equivalent experience in international development or conservation/ environment
  • Sound knowledge of the international development framework and contemporary development and conservation issues facing least developed countries
  • A commitment to international development supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction among the most marginalised groups
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience in project design & putting together successful funding proposals for multi- or bilateral donors such as EC, USAID, DFID, AusAID, SIDA
  • 2 years’ direct project experience related to at least one of Azafady’s core areas of Sustainable Development and Conservation / Environment
  • Line management and/or project management experience
  • Familiar with the use of project management tools including Logical Frameworks, work plans and Monitoring & Evaluation frameworks
  • Good understanding of the importance of project monitoring and evaluation and of approaches used to measure outcomes and impact
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel



  • Previous experience working in a developing country with a local NGO
  • Knowledge / experience of natural resource management and livelihoods issues in areas subject to resource extraction operations
  • Knowledge of the contractual obligations and reporting requirements of institutional and other significant donors of NGOs such as the EC, USAID, DFID, AUS AID and Big Lottery Fund
  • Proficiency in data management software such as Excel or SPSS
  • Proficiency in written and spoken French


Country and organisation background:


Madagascar is 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, and a lack of capacity to adapt to these factors through chronic poverty and a dependence on subsistence agriculture. 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 being available to rural communities about alternative and more sustainable livelihood practices, poverty and increasing populations are resulting in severely and increasingly 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 (up to 40%). Anosy is also home to the Ambatoantsignana littoral forest, a severely fragmented habitat with exceptional biodiversity, where levels of endemism of flora and fauna reach some 90%. Ambatoantsignana has been designated one of the highest conservation priorities in Madagascar; situated as it is within one of the country’s most impoverished regions it is one of the world’s most significantly threatened habitats. The fragility of the ecosystem is exacerbated through the impacts of repeated drought in the south of the island and failed harvests, 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 (ilmenite), and operations have already begun in the pilot site. The Ambatoantsignana littoral forest is home to numerous endemic and endangered species which face extinction if this fragile habitat is not protected and direct species interventions are not implemented.


Azafady UK is a British registered charity (charity no.1079121) based in London and Fort Dauphin, Madagascar.  Established in 1994, Azafady UK works in partnership with ONG Azafady, a Malagasy non-governmental organisation.


Azafady has over 15 years experience in grassroots community development work, during which time the organisation has grown hugely in size and reputation. The NGO now employs a workforce of over 60 Malagasy personnel, who are supported in country by expatriate permanent staff of Azafady UK (Country Director of Programmes & Operations, Heads of Project Development) and through a network of specialist volunteers from the international community sourced by Azafady. The organisation works in Fort Dauphin, the urban centre of the Anosy region, and surrounding rural communities aiming to alleviate extreme poverty and protect a unique but greatly endangered environment by empowering the poorest people to improve their health and wellbeing and establish sustainable livelihoods. At the heart of Azafady’s work is an integrated approach to community development sensitively built around what are directly expressed as the most pressing needs of local populations, and which maximises their participation in all stages. Project activities are focused on the areas of construction, health and sanitation, education, livelihood diversification plus natural resource management and conservation, and the NGO is a recognised regional specialist in capacity building. All projects align with and contribute to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and the Madagascar Action Plan derived from these.


Azafady has funding relationships with numerous donors including the EC, AusAID, Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund, and collaboration agreements with government ministries, international NGOs including CARE International and agencies such as the World Food Programme. The organisation has been elected onto government platforms and taskforces in the fields of nutrition, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, conservation, education and rural development to guide local implementation of the Madagascar Action Plan so as to ensure it benefits the poorest people and most vulnerable groups.


To enable ONG Azafady to continue supporting the local communities through the next stages of the organisation’s development, Azafady UK is seeking to recruit a new Head of Project Development in Conservation, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone wishing to gain comprehensive field experience (grassroots at local level and mid-level internationally) in overseas development, environment/conservation and poverty reduction work.



Application procedure:

Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the job description criteria to Azafady UK Managing Director Mark Jacobs by email on mark@azafady.org. Short-listed applicants will have an initial informal chat with Madagascar-based staff and a face-to-face interview with the London team in person.


Please note: The face-to-face interview in London is an essential part of the recruitment process.


Applications deadline: 27th January, 2014.


More information on the work of Azafady can be found at www.madagascar.co.uk

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