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  • Posted: Jan 28, 2023
    Deadline: Not specified
  • Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests. Ov...
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    Chief Scientist - Social

    Position Summary

    Wildlife Works seeks to recruit a Chief Social Scientist supporting all Social Research, Monitoring and Development who will work under the functional guidance of the Global Director of Conservation. The Chief Social Scientist will primarily spearhead, provide leadership and support on issues related to social research, monitoring and development for Wildlife Works’ growing REDD+ (and related schemes) portfolio across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The successful applicant will be responsible for designing Wildlife Works’ Social-related strategies and provide advisory support all through the implementation of for all REDD+ (and related) projects globally. S/he will also support the Global Director of Conservation in activities related to research, documentation, dissemination and outreach, and policy development on all social matters. This role requires a dynamic team player with broad understanding of social issues in different contexts, excellent analytical skills, the ability to support multiple initiatives simultaneously, and experience working globally across cultural, geographic and time zone boundaries. S/he shall be expected to be flexible and work within the existing structures, professionally and ethically with competence, accountability and integrity. Preference will be given to candidates in Vermont, US or Nairobi, Kenya.


    • Define, design and support execution of all Wildlife Works’ social and community-related strategies for all REDD+ (and related) projects globally, under guidance from Wildlife Works’ Global Director of Conservation. This involves evaluating various survey instruments, methods and monitoring protocols to determine the most suitable ones for each project objective or target species considering scientific rigour, cost, ease-of-execution, and replicability
    • Support Wildlife Works’ projects’ validation and verification audits, particularly ensuring soundness of the community-related sections of all project design documents and/or monitoring reports, plus helping resolve social impact-related questions from clients or auditors under guidance from the Global Director of Conservation and VP for Carbon Development
    • Write, and/or support writing of, concise and informative internal reports plus scientific, peer-reviewed publications, including dissemination of lessons learned and contributions to best practices on social issues from all Wildlife Works’ projects globally for research, knowledge and learning purposes
    • Link with relevant REDD+ or social-related policy processes internationally, regionally or nationally, e.g., UNREDD FPIC guidelines, IFC Performance Standards and World Bank Safeguards, to ensure Wildlife Works’ interests, opinions and positions on MRV related to social impacts assessment and reporting are articulated in the best way
    • Develop and maintain professional networks, including research organisations, NGOs and relevant public agencies, build research partnerships and propel social research and monitoring excellence at Wildlife Works
    • Support desk research and/or rapid reconnaissance field visits to prospective REDD+ (and related) projects globally whenever needed, describing their community profiles (e.g., socio-cultural High Conservation Values and biocultural aspects) including key drivers of forest loss and potential impacts, plus screening for potential social impacts and risks
    • As appropriate, seek strategic co-funding and grants for undertaking offshoot and/or student social science research that augments core business research work
    • Represent Wildlife Works in various local and international meetings and forums.


    • Master’s or higher degree (PhD a distinct advantage) in an environmental or social science related field including natural resources, anthropology- or biocultural-related studies, community development or other similar fields
    • A minimum of five years’ work experience post-MSc (preferably international and/or with clear application) in academia, the private sector, a development research organisation or other institution undertaking research, monitoring and/or impact assessment.
    • Experience with undertaking large-scale and long-term social research and monitoring linked with environmental conservation and community development interventions, plus interfacing with external partners, donors, local communities and public agencies
    • Good understanding of social research and surveys, monitoring standards, principles and frameworks, and social impact assessments
    • Demonstrated familiarity with socio-economic or cultural impacts of various drivers of forest loss and mitigation options including Payment for Ecosystem Services
    • Demonstrated ability for organising, carrying out and guiding sociological fieldwork in remote locations, involving long-term engagement with local authorities and IPLCs
    • High level of proficiency with MS Office Suite (including Access) and other core research programs like mapping (ArcMap or QGIS), statistics (SPSS, R or similar), project management tools and other specialised tools (like SMART, Distance, Wrike, MIRADI etc)
    • Experience with undertaking systematic reviews, meta-analysis or other forms of evidence synthesis
    • Excellent social research, analytical and writing skills, both popular and scientific, with high levels of attention to detail
    • Candidate should be fluent in English and have a near-native level of either French or Spanish; a working knowledge of the third one will be a distinct advantage.
    • Strong organisational skills, with a high degree of cultural sensitivity and creative ability to navigate unforeseen complexities
    • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to communicate with interdisciplinary colleagues and external stakeholders and partners, across a multicultural professional environment
    • Good leadership skills, assertiveness, ability to take initiative and work within deadlines
    • Ability to work productively on both independent research assignments and in a team
    • Sound judgement and decision-making skills, including proactive problem-solving
    • Flexibility to work long hours, including weekends and public holidays, especially when working with colleagues and partners across different time zones
    • Willingness to travel

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to Wildlife Works on to apply

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