Environmental and Social Safeguards Manager (ESSM)

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Last update: May 19, 2022 Last update: May 19, 2022


Deadline: Jun 19, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Cameroon, Dem. Rep. Congo, Kenya Cameroon, Dem. Rep. Congo, Kenya
Sectors: Environment & NRM, Social Development, Human Rights Environment & NRM, Social Development, Human Rights
Job type: Contract, 12 months +
English, French English, French
Work experience: From 7 years
Date posted: May 19, 2022
Expected starting date: Jul 1, 2022


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DRS is looking for an Environmental and Social Safeguards Manager (ESSM), to work for an INGO whose mission is to ensure that wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa, focusing on building African capacity for wildlife management and implementing biodiversity conservation programs in Africa for more than 60 years. The ideal candidate will oversee the implementation of and serve as the focal point for the IPLC (Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities) grievance mechanism.

Position Description

The Environmental and Social Safeguards Manager (ESSM) will be responsible for capturing complaints and concerns from IPLCs and other third parties systematically, addressing issues that can be readily resolved, refer issues to a complaint owner within the operation/company when substantive expertise is necessary, and follow up with both the complaint owner and community member(s) to ensure that the issue is resolved in a fair and timely manner. The position will also lead on designing and implementing training for all staff on “Rights-Based Conservation policy and standards” and ensure that training is conducted and documented and that modules are fit-for-purpose to the diverse needs of staff throughout the organization. The incumbent will play a key role in supporting teams across the INGO to ensure they have the capacity and tools they need to deliver on the commitments set out in the INGO’s policy and standard and will serve as a point of contact for country and landscape offices to lodge formal requests for support to address any concern related to rights of IPLCs and draft the INGO annual report.

The Environmental and Social Safeguards Manager will play a lead role at the INGO in advising programme design and implementation as well as other departments regarding social policies and safeguards, screening, and capacity building. The advisor will work with a range of staff and stakeholders across our countries’ priority landscapes to:

  • Improve INGO’s understanding of the perspectives of local communities and potential ESS issues in the priority landscapes, including in relation to the rights of communities as concerns land, access to resources, human rights, Indigenous people’s rights amongst others;
  • Facilitate greater ownership and effective participation of relevant IPLCs and vulnerable groups in Natural Resource Management, through equitable and locally appropriate governance structures based on mutual respect and equitable collaboration within countries;
  • The Environmental and Social Safeguards Manager will also oversee the development of an IPLC grievance mechanism;
  • Co-create jointly with communities, initiatives that will enhance coexistence between people and wildlife and contribute to the improved wellbeing of communities.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Advise and support landscape leads and project teams in conducting essential initial steps of the Environmental and Social Safeguards Screening, such as stakeholder analysis and context analysis and providing quality assurance for these products;
  • Assist in social screening for all programme work, including the development of whistleblowing and IPLC grievance mechanisms for the different countries/programmes;
  • For programmes requiring ESS risk analysis, lead in the development of associated mitigation plans together with the project teams and when appropriate, the affected stakeholders;
  • Provide technical support from a safeguarding perspective during funding proposal development, design, appraisal, and resource mobilization plans;
  • Lead on assisting and delivering capacity building for staff at the country offices as well as partners to build knowledge and skills on ESS and minimize the likelihood of risks arising;
  • Prepare plans associated with ESS (e.g., stakeholder engagement, mitigation, collaborating with Indigenous peoples etc) and ensure that such plans are approved by relevant authorities before implementation;
  • Conduct regular spot checks to ensure staff implement safeguarding policies staff at the grassroots level in line with INGO guidelines;
  • Prepare reports (monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, field monitoring) on the Safeguarding risks and make recommendations on the appropriate actions to ensure timely resolution on issues;
  • Work with the knowledge management team to incorporate learnings and ensure proper filing and accessibility of documents.

Other specific duties:

Manage the grievance mechanisms:

  • Manage relationship with the platforms of grievance lodging (community officers and whistleblowing service);
  • Receive community complaints and concerns and record them in a database;
  • Classify complaints and concerns;
  • Define the process pathway to address each concern;
  • Resolve complaints and concerns as appropriate;
  • Escalate complaints per the established protocols;
  • Follow up with complainants to ensure speedy and fair resolution;
  • Update complaint information in the database regularly;
  • Review complaints regularly and close them out when appropriate;
  • Monitor any resolutions to grievances to ensure their implementation;
  • Ensure evaluations and revisions of the grievance mechanism.

Engage with Stakeholders:

  • Ensure landscape leadership provides information about the grievance mechanism to community stakeholders;
  • Facilitate community officers to prepare disseminating information about the grievance mechanism;
  • Adapt the grievance mechanism according to landscape/country team needs;
  • Inform management of concerns and complaints received by the grievance mechanism;
  • Communicate with complainants to inform them about complaint registration, agree on the process pathway for complaint resolutions and ensure the complainant is updated on the progress and any decisions;
  • Organize and manage third-party support in grievance handling (technical experts, professional facilitators, or mediators);
  • Work with staff tasked with community engagement to understand community issues before, during, and after community engagement events;
  • Ensure that landscape/country programs have the tools and processes to secure free and prior informed consent from rights-holders;
  • Establish INGO processes and systems for documenting FPIC;
  • Retrieve FPIC information in cases of question/challenge;
  • Ensure that relevant MOUs and contracts comply with INGO rights standards.

Formalize human rights support handling mechanism:

  • Receive concerns and record them in a database;
  • Classify concerns;
  • Define the process pathway to address each concern;
  • Escalate concerns as per established protocols;
  • Follow up with concern owners to ensure the response to concern is advancing in a timely manner;
  • Update information with regards to the concern regularly in the database;
  • Review concerns regularly and close them out when appropriate.

Staff and stakeholders training:

  • Compile all training materials in English and French;
  • Supervise all training related to RBC report;
  • Ensure the production of an RBC training report annually.

Qualification, Experience, and Skills:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Conservation, Social Sciences or Development Studies, conflict management, human rights, rural development, or similar field.



  • At least 5 years holding managerial positions;
  • At least 7 years of active engagement and experience in collaborating with communities on social development;
  • Previous experience in collaborating with communities on environmental and social safeguarding in a Conservation setting;
  • Firsthand experience in developing, administering, and/or overseeing RBC (Rights-Based Conservation) policies and standards;
  • Experience in dealing with power differentials and inequalities within and across communities is desirable;
  • Ability to build good relationships and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders;
  • Knowledge of international donor expectations on rights and conservation;
  • Experience collaborating with Indigenous peoples and local communities in Africa.

Computer skills:

  • Strong knowledge of computer skills sufficient to maintain a database of community complaints, and prepare reports and presentation of results, Computer savviness.

Language skills:

  • Fluency in English and French

Soft skills:

  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural and diverse setting;
  • Excellent intercultural communication skills;
  • Ability to work independently and with teams;
  • Ability to work on issues that may lead to conflict or are emotive.

Applications and updated CV should be submitted to n.remizova@developmentaid.org, under the title: DRS 11280 (ref. number). Due to the high number of applications received via DevelopmentAid website, we can reply to shortlisted candidates only. Please note that the above requirements can be modified during the recruitment process according to client's procedures.