The Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) (www.ruahacarnivoreproject.com) is a small but highly dedicated field project, which aims to reduce human-carnivore conflict and investigate carnivore ecology in Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape. The project is part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) but operates as a largely independent research project in Tanzania, registered under the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). RCP was established in 2009 and started fieldwork in 2010, and has already had marked success in terms of reducing conflict and providing baseline data on large carnivores in the Ruaha landscape. This success means that the project now needs to expand, and for that to happen as smoothly as possible, we require a full-time on-site Field Operations Manager. This person will be based in the field camp, where they will help organise and monitor logistics, fieldwork and research, and will also assist the Director by helping provide updates and communication to external partners.
The successful candidate will be an experienced, highly motivated, hands‐on, collaborative manager. This is a tremendous opportunity for someone with advanced skills in personnel and logistics management to help a grassroots conservation project grow and achieve significant success, with important benefits for both local communities and large carnivores. The main duties involved in this post are listed below, but additional tasks may be included as needed by the Director.
Duties and responsibilities
1. Managing logistics in the field
(a) Activity planning – setting out monthly and weekly work targets to ensure that overall project aims are met; organising activities such as town trips twice per month; conducting weekly meetings to ensure that activities are coordinated as efficiently as possible; ensuring all project activities are well-integrated, regularly communicating with all field staff to check on progress through the week; and reporting progress back to the Director.
(b) Financial planning – working with field staff to set budgets each month for project activities and communicating those to the Director by the 20th of the month; checking each week that staff are on track with accounting for their budgets; combining Excel sheets, sending copied receipt sheets and all budgets to the Director by the 7th for the previous month; and summarising expenditure for any reports or as needed.
(c) Vehicle logistics – establishing regular and frequent checks of all vehicles, associated equipment (e.g. working jacks) and log-books; helping organise the training and management of new drivers; ensuring that vehicle use is kept as efficient as possible; reporting any incidents or damage as soon as it occurs; keeping a track of fuel use; and ensuring that all legal requirements (tax, insurance, fire extinguishers etc) are kept up to date and planned and budgeted for in advance.
(d) Staff management – communicating regularly with the staff and Director to set staff tasks (e.g. for the following month); checking to see if any problems arise; helping manage staff issues or complaints and communicating them with the Director; checking performance for any bonus-related pay; ensuring that all staff are on time and acting professionally (in accordance with the RCP handbook); helping manage staff recruitment, disciplinary issues, time off and staff pay.
(e) Data management – regular checks with all staff that data are being entered correctly; helping manage any problems; ensuring that all data are regularly backed up and sent to the Director once per month; working with the Director and other staff to update data sheets and databases; helping train staff to present the data in reports and presentations; using the data to generate reports for the Director as needed.
(f) Other logistics – formalising and regularly checking RCP’s inventory of equipment; regularly checking all equipment for damage or loss; keeping an eye on the condition of tents and the overall camp (including the condition of the dogs); requesting new equipment or repairs as needed.
2. Updates and communication
(a) General work updates – sending brief daily updates to the Director; sending weekly Excel sheets on work plans, progress, guarding dog checks and vehicle forms; telling the Director promptly about any issues or significant changes in plans.
(b) Helping update project communication – providing information, stories, photos etc to the Director at least every fortnight, which could be used for blogs, the project’s website and Facebook pages, updates to supporters etc. In particular, regular updates will be required (at least once a term) from the Kids 4 Cats schools and Simba Scholars, and from the sponsored camera-traps.
(c) Helping write grant proposals and reports – helping the Director coordinate information and photos for reports and updates; working with staff and the Director on possible new sources of money; liaising with interested people in the field who may become donors or supporters; helping formulate and edit reports, publicity materials and grant proposals as needed.
(d) Liaising with field partners – regularly visiting field partners (e.g. managers and colleagues in Ruaha National Park, and colleagues from NGOs in Iringa) to help provide updates, build relationships and maintain open communication.
- At least a Masters degree in a relevant subject, with a passion and commitment to community-based wildlife conservation
- Skilled in the use of common computer software, including SPSS or similar and Powerpoint
- Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to fit in well amongst, and effectively manage, a team of diverse people.
- Strong operational experience – ideally has worked in a senior management role for several years with a non‐profit organization and or tourism industry (with a focus on logistical and personnel management, as well as administration)
- Strong writing and verbal communications skills
- Proven ability to live and work happily in a remote field camp under very basic conditions (i.e. living in a tent with no running water, intermittent power, and the presence of wild animals in the local area)
- High proficiency of English is necessary and Swahili is preferred
- Demonstrated experience managing vehicles and a garage/workshop preferred
- Demonstrated personal qualities of integrity, attention to detail, strong professionalism, investing in people, credibility, and commitment to RCP’s conservation mission.
- Flexible and able to multi‐task; able to work well under pressure or challenging conditions; can work within an ambiguous, fast‐moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and proposing new ways of creating efficiencies (even when communication systems are poor), and guiding investment in people and systems.
- A strong team player that can also lead and work independently.
- The ideal candidate will have experience with and knowledge of community conservation in East Africa.
How to Apply
Interested candidates may send a CV and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org – please put “Application for Field Operations Manager” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is 25th September 2016.