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Job announcement “Chief Operating Officer”

We are looking for a dynamic and committed Chief Operating Officer to support conservation efforts.

  1. Context and Background
WWF is one of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world. The global conservation organization, active in almost 100 countries, has been working in the Congo Basin in Central Africa for more than 40 years. WWF’s mission is to stop the environmental degradation in the world and build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.
The goal of the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Democratic Republic of Congo Country Office (WWF DRC) is to ensure that by 2030, the DRC's natural resources are sustainably managed, equitably benefit the population, and contribute to the ecological resilience of the planet.
The mission of the WWF DRC office is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life in the DRC. By 2025, WWF DRC conservation programmes in priority landscapes and project areas have succeeded in reducing threats to biodiversity, and reducing deforestation and degradation by supporting sustainable development in rural communities through collaboration with private sector actors, partners, and provincial and national governments
The country strategy seeks to reduce unsustainable fishing and hunting; reduce or eliminate Illegal Wildlife Trade via support to law enforcement entities and the judiciary, providing alternative livelihood opportunities; reduce the loss of habitat, prevent or reduce illegal logging, improve agricultural practices, promote alternative energy sources and, enhance community resilience, through establishment of functional community governance structures, support to enable communities to achieve land tenure
The WWF DRC programme has a large portfolio of field programmes in different landscapes, including Salonga, Lac Tumba, Virunga, Itombwe and Luki (Kongo Central), as well as different thematic programmes on sustainable forest management, climate, Protected Areas network assessment, and extractive industries.
In this context, the position will be a part of the senior management team and support the Country Director by providing day to day operational leadership to guide prioritization and drive
the implementation of annual and quarterly targets, as well as by preparing operationally for strategic growth and promote innovation and efficiency. The COO will oversee the management and effective integration of Operations for WWF DRC to ensure high performance, efficient operating systems, and the ability to enhance delivery of complex conservation programs and results. The COO is instrumental in improving organizational policies, procedures, and management systems, and ensuring compliance with WWF’s International Network Standards, organizational policies and procedures, globally accepted norms and best practices in NGO operations as part of the Global Network of WWF offices. The COO will also be responsible for the implementation of internal control improvement recommended from the forensic audit and other audits.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) supports the WWF DRC Country Office by leading the support services team so as to ensure the effective and efficient operations to fulfill the Operations, Financial and IT Strategic Objectives.

Location: Kinshasa, with flexibility to work from home (in Kinshasa) depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation from time to time.

Duration:  1 year with possibility of extension.
  1. Main Functions:
The COO has a range of strategic functions as well as operational responsibilities to ensure high performance of key operating departments: Finance, IT, HR, Logistics and Administration. The position will support and advise the CD on key matters related to these functions.
Strategic Functions:
  • Review, set, drive and support the creation of efficiencies across departmental work flows in compliance with WWF International standards and targets and will support functional heads create, deliver and sustain operationally efficient processes and services that meet donor, staff and donor compliance obligations within departments.
  • Guide the organizational change process and deliver continual improvements in key operational areas, elevating WWF DRC’s profile as an efficient ‘partner of choice’ for donors
  • Exercise leadership on bringing holistic organizational growth and effectiveness of operations as an integral member of the WWF DRC SMT. Provide strategic thought and leadership on developing and oversee the implementation of financial sustainability and business planning.
  • Work with the Country Management Team to establish a strong performance culture across WWF DRC to deliver on commitments highlighted in the Strategic Plan
  • Direct, coordinate and manage the work of Support Services Units through the respective departments and Unit Heads: Finance, IT, HR, Logistics and Administration.
Oversight and Operational Functions:
The position doesn't duplicate the role of the Department Leads, but rather provides guidance on standards and leadership and support to ensure operations issues are dealt with at WWF DRC and each team lead can secure high performance in carrying out their functions. The role leads in ensuring efficient and timely coordination of joint cross departmental activities and processes to ensure compliance to WWF DRC, WWF International and Donor compliance deadlines and standards.
  • Donor and Legal Compliance standards: Works with the Head of Finance and team to operationalize high quality and efficient processes are carried out that align with donor standards and ensure full compliance with the different donor requirements including: financial transactions, bookkeeping, accounting, and financial reporting of the organization; financial planning process, financial management policies and accounting practices.
  • Financial Management: Reviews and analyzes financial reports and information and ensures that accurate and timely financial reporting to headquarters, donors and program leads is taking place. Supports and advises the CD in decision making, budgeting and forward expenditure projections. Reviews reporting and monitoring of Financial Management performance metrics, ensures maximum cost recovery following institutional policies. Reviews and monitors contracts and ensures compliance of organizational and donor requirements and policies. Consults with CD on contract anomalies and takes appropriate corrective actions. Will be responsible for effective and regular donor liaison and reporting to WWF International donors on grant operational matters. Ensures the country office has strong internal controls in place and appropriate segregation of duties, especially regarding cash transactions. Reviews audit reports and ensures timely and appropriate management response and follow up.
  • Human Resources: Works with the Head of the Human Resources and team to ensure; Capacity to deliver contracted work is assess and in place at all times; ensures the successful implementation of the human resource strategy in line with conservation strategy including, recruitment, hiring, and compensation; benefits administration and oversight; professional training and development, including new employee orientation; retention and succession strategies; regulatory oversight and legal compliance; ensuring that the human resource function is properly resourced and represented within the senior management team. Supports HR to facilitate across the board the implementation of common performance indicators to achieve breakthrough performance that will link individual work plans to team work plans and to office annual work-plan and targets.
  • Program Operations, Program Quality and Administration: Works with the Conservation Director, and others to ensure highly effective program operations across the organization. Ensures that risk management and legal activities (letters of agreement, contracts, leases, and other legal documents and agreements) are meeting organizational standards and comply with national legislation ; reviews business insurance, procurement, monitoring and management; ensures the ongoing maintenance and updating of information systems and infrastructure; ensures smooth daily operations for all WWF-DRC field offices; promotes effective communications and information flow among key departments and ensures that enabling systems and mechanisms are in place.
  • Business and Financial Sustainability Plan: Leads the development and implementation of the WWF DRC Financial Sustainability Plan to ensure long- term financial sustainability of the organization and alignment between long-term programmatic, financial, and business objectives. Develops and manages Organizational Development (OD) proposal, budget, financial and technical reporting and funding contract for OD in collaboration with WWF Senior Management Team. Track and report on OD impacts and results regularly.
  • Focal Point for WWF Network Operational Issues: Represents WWF DRC on WWF Network operational issues including supporting “regional/cross boarder” functions housed or based in WWF DRC. Actively engages at the Network level – with the Regional Africa Office, Secretariat, WWF DRC stakeholders, etc. - on operational issues such as finance, cost recovery, and human resources. Demonstrates experience, insight, and leadership in working with the WWF Global Network on operational issues.
  • Building office operational capacity to support conservation agenda: Supports the SMT develop, lead and implement high quality work plans to deliver specific targets for WWF DRC. Leads the development of annual Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and work plans for all departments and drives implementation of high standards for DRC programs and functions. Support in planning processes across programmes and across the office.
  • Develop systems to assess cross organizational performance: Lead cross departmental design, implementation and measurement impact of initiatives to increase office wide efficiency through regular liaison with Finance, HR and Conservation teams. Works with Country Director and People and Culture to plan and execute activities that ensure effective leadership practices across all layers of the organizations ensuring that OD and M&E targets are built into individual performance targets. Supports the establishment of change governance mechanisms for procedures, decisions and actions that fall outside of usual business practices.
  • Overall responsibility for the implementation of the OD strategy and delivering the OD projects.
  • Deputize for Country Director as requested.
  1. Profile
Required Qualifications:
  • An advanced degree in management, Finance; Business Administration or international development or a relevant field:
  • Track record of 10+ years in a senior operational leadership successfully developing, leading, and managing large-scale operations, programs and organizations with demonstrated success in managing teams, internal and external engagement and relationship management, and managing complex budgets;
  • Successful experience overseeing coordinated strategy development, operationalization, implementation and monitoring and evaluation in an international and multicultural setting;
  • Proven success working with leaders and supporting remote and functional teams   in driving efficient and effective day to operations and removing bottlenecks quickly across teams and geographies;
  • Proven success leading and managing effective institutional change process and initiatives towards breakthrough performance;
  • Experience in the field of conservation, natural resource management, international development, and/or other related fields will be an added advantage but not a requirement.
Required Skills and Competencies:
  • High level negotiation, facilitation as well as interpersonal and influencing skills and the capacity to develop and maintain strong relationships within WWF and across the WWF Network and in the business and not-for-profit communities;
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and communications skills, demonstrated experience in financial planning and analysis, contracts and legal compliance;
  • Skills mix should include organizational development, human resource management, budget and resource development, strategic planning, and familiarity with information technology;
  • Strong skills in program and project planning, financing, management, implementation, and evaluation; successful management and oversight s of donor grants and relations;
  • Excellent people, team building to facilitate the work of others, communications skills and ability to create and excel in a dynamic working environment;
  • Performance driven with the ability to motivate and develop human potential;
  • Initiative, judgment, flexibility, attention to detail, ability to prioritize and work effectively under time constraints, service to others, and solution oriented;
  • Superior oral and written communication skills in French and English;
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and commitment to the mission of WWF- DRC;
  • Adherence to WWF’s Brand, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.
  • Adheres to WWF’s behaviours, which are: Strive for Impact, Listen deeply, Collaborate openly and Innovate fearlessly.
  • Adherence to WWF’s values, which are: Courage, Integrity, Respect and Collaboration.

How to apply: Interested candidates should email a cover letter (with at least 3 references) and curriculum vitae to: recruit-wwfdrc@wwfdrc.org , with the mention: Chief Operating Officer by February, 12 2023.
To the following address: 4630, avenue de la Science, Immeuble 365 OFFICES BUILDING, Entrée D, Commune de la Gombe
Thank you in advance for your interest in this position.
Please note that only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted for follow up. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
Female applicants are encouraged. WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce

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