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CEPF Programme Officer for the Balkans

Application deadline: Wednesday, 26. August 2020 – 23:45
• Location: in the Balkan region (see below).
• Full time: a 5 day working week.
• Contract: Fixed term until 30 June 2022, with the potential to extend (funding dependent).
• Salary and benefits: competitive salary, based on experience and location.BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership. Through our unique local-to-global approach, we deliver high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. Since 2012, BirdLife International has led the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). BirdLife International has the support from two BirdLife Partners in the Balkans which form part of the RIT; Društvo za opazovanje in proučevanje ptic Slovenije/ Society for the Observation and Study of Birds of Slovenia – DOPPS (BlirdLife Slovenia) and Društvo za zaštitu i proučavanje ptica Srbije/ Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia – BPSSS (BirdLife Serbia).CEPF is a joint programme of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. Additional small grant funding to the Balkans sub-region has been provided by the MAVA Foundation.

CEPF awards grants to civil society organisations through open calls for proposals, which are in-line with the CEPF Investment Strategy for the Mediterranean Basin, more information can be found here: https://www.cepf.net/our-work/biodiversity-hotspots/mediterranean-basin.

We are seeking to recruit an experienced individual for the position of CEPF Programme Officer for the Balkans. The successful applicant will be an integral member of the RIT, and the focal point for CEPF work in the Balkans (covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Montenegro).

They will be responsible for the programmatic oversight of the CEPF investment in the Balkans, ensuring successful implementation of the grant-making programme in-line with the CEPF Ecosystem Profile investment strategy. They will achieve this through the engagement, capacity building and technical support of civil society in the eligible countries. They will be responsible for managing the large grant portfolio of projects, and will support the small grant portfolio development by building the capacity of staff within BPSSS (BirdLife Serbia), who coordinate the small grant mechanism. They will also provide strategic fundraising support to CEPF, and help develop the long-term sustainability of the CEPF investment.

This person will be an integral member of the RIT, with the following main duties:

• Provide strategic advice for the planning and implementation of the CEPF programme in the Balkans; ensuring project outcomes are in-line with the CEPF Investment strategy and part of coherent portfolio of grants in the hotspot.
• Build the capacity of BPSSS (BirdLife Serbia) to help them deliver on their RIT sub-grant responsibilities of managing the small grant mechanism in the Balkans; providing mentorship and guidance to the Small Grant Coordinator and supporting the small grant processes.
• Support fundraising efforts to allow further funding for the region; forming synergies with other donors in the region, aligning programmes and forming joint calls for proposals where relevant.
• Promote the CEPF programme to civil society and other stakeholders in the Balkans; hosting outreach meetings and workshops in local languages, translating documents and engaging high-level stakeholders such as local government and donors.
• Support the large grant application process; explaining requirements to applicants, reviewing all grant applications, checking for eligibility, and helping applicants finalise their proposals following set procedures.
• Provide operational support to large grantees; providing training sessions and local language support, helping grantees use CEPF tools, complete all documentation, report correctly and operate in-line with CEPF processes.
• Provide practical support and advice on project implementation; supporting large grantees through the project cycle, strengthening their ideas, advising on challenging circumstances and mitigating any issues.
• Monitor projects through report reviews, site visits and frequent communication; providing feedback to large grantees and CEPF, ensuring projects are on-track and meeting CEPF requirements such as social and environmental safeguards.
• Facilitate information exchanges; identify linkages between projects, ensure the exchange of experience and best practices amongst CEPF grantees and other experts, networks and initiatives in the region.
• Support the RIT operations; updating databases with grant information, providing translation support, inputting to RIT progress reports, providing and presenting data for RIT meetings and reports, and attending team meetings.

The ideal candidate will have:
• Higher-level education at degree-level (or equivalent), in environmental conservation, capacity development or other related field.
• Good knowledge and understanding of conservation and development issues in the Balkans, preferably with direct, practical experience.
• An interest or experience in capacity building, including support to civil society organisations.
• A proven record of accomplishment of relevant work experience in conservation project management/support, including administration, reporting and communications.
• Excellent organisational skills, and the ability to work to high standards with tight deadlines.
• Excellent communication skills, with the ability to offer direct 1-2-1 support, and to present and facilitate meetings to wider audiences.
• Ability to analyse complex problems, and generate creative and pragmatic solutions.
• Ability to work independently and with team members based in different locations.
• Computer literacy in all standard Microsoft office applications.
• Excellent oral and written English, as well as fluency in one or more local Balkan languages.
• Ability to travel within the Mediterranean region at least once per year. Ability to arrange and undertake travel in the Balkan region, minimum one visit per country per year (when possible, in light of the current travel situation).

See the full job description.

With the role focused on the Balkans we will consider applicants based anywhere within this region. We have BirdLife Partner offices located in Slovenia (with DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia), and in Serbia (with BPSSS – BirdLife Serbia). We would ideally prefer the role to be based with either of these BirdLife Partners. If applicants are based elsewhere within the Balkan region and can work from home, they will still be considered. In this instance, arrangements would be negotiated and the contract with the applicant would be held either with DOPPS, BPSSS or BirdLife International, depending on the individual case. Applicants are asked to please state clearly in your application covering letter where your preferred location would be.

Closing date: Wednesday 26 August 2020.

Application: Applications should include a covering letter summarising the applicant’s suitability for the position, their desired working location, a detailed CV and contact details of two referees known to the applicant in a professional capacity.
Applications should be sent by email to: liz.smith@birdlife.org.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Interviews are intended to be held remotely, between Wednesday 2 and Friday 4 September 2020.

Documents: PDF CEPF Programme Officer for the Balkans – job description

Foto: Dalmatian pelicans (Pelecanus crispus) on Skadar Lake.© Jaime Rojo/The Living Med