Programme Officer - BEST 2.0+

International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 07

Position description

Vacancy #: 4104
Unit: Global Marine and Polar Programme
Location: European Regional Office, Brussels, Belgium
Reporting to: Senior Grants Manager
Work percentage: 100%
Grade: P1
Expected start date: 01 September 2019
Type of contract: Max-term (12 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date: 25 August 2019 (extended)


BEST – voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas – is an EU initiative supporting the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation in the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

Funded by DG DEVCO as part of the BEST Initiative, the BEST 2.0+ Programme is a transition programme towards a more stable financing scheme. It is a direct follow up to the "BEST 2.0 Programme", a part of the B4Life flagship initiative, which has been designed to support field actions for protection of biodiversity in the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). It has been developed in accordance to the overarching policy framework of the Agenda for Change, through emphasising its support to empowering civil society, improving the local governance of natural resources and promoting an ecosystem services-based green economy. It complies with the provisions of the Overseas Association Decision, which establishes the rules and modalities of cooperation of the EU with the OCTs. It is promoting the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of ecosystem services including ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation as a basis for sustainable development in the EU’s OCTs by enabling, empowering and strengthening local authorities and civil society organisations and facilitating their access to EU funds.

BEST 2.0+ is implemented by IUCN (BEST 2.0 Secretariat) with the support of Regional Focal Points. The Secretariat team in IUCN is split between the Brussels Office and IUCN HQ in Switzerland.

The Programme Officer will play a key role in the daily management of the BEST 2.0+ Programme. S/he will support the grant making-facility management and ensure that all stages of the grant making cycle are managed to a high standard and in compliance with the BEST 2.0+ Operational Manual and in line with donor and IUCN requirements. S/he will support a smooth and effective functioning of the BEST 2.0+ Secretariat team and will support the Senior Grants Manager and the Senior Finance Grant Manager as well as external contractors. The position requires excellent organizational and reporting skills, good understanding of conservation projects on the ground, good communication as well as good knowledge of EC DEVCO EFD, DCI and PRAG rules to ensure that the programme is implemented and managed according to best practices.

The Programme Officer will work closely with the BEST 2.0+ Secretariat team (2 staff) and the BEST 2.0+ Regional Focal Points as well as with individuals within IUCN working on other grant mechanism such as BEST4LIFE, BIOPAMA Action Component, and will liaise with other grant-making initiative like CEPF. Regular interactions with staff at IUCN Headquarters, particularly in charge of legal affairs and finances will be required.

Under the overall supervision of the Senior Grants Manager, the BEST 2.0+ Programme Officer will have the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Project Management/Implementation

  • Support the overall management of the BEST 2.0+ Programme including:
    • Ensuring that project activities are on-track and contribute to the efficient achievement of the project’s objectives;
    • Ensuring the quality and timely production of all deliverables and compliance with the donor requirements and IUCN’s contractual obligations;
    • Preparing technical reports and financial reports (in coordination with the Finance Officer) in line with the requirements of the European Commission (EC DG DEVCO) and support the annual audit of programme.
  • Support, in a very efficient and timely manner, all stages of the grant making cycle ensuring compliance with the BEST 2.0+ Operational Manual and respecting all donor and IUCN requirements including:
    • Launching of new calls for proposals;
    • Planning and delivering effective capacity-building for applicants (in collaboration with the Regional Focal Points);
    • Checking all submissions comply with the relevant eligibility criteria and screening project proposals for potential negative environmental and social impacts;
    • Assisting the Senior Finance Officer in conducting due diligence checks of potential grantees and screening proposal budgets;
    • Supporting the secretariat of the regional Advisory Committees ensured by the Regional Focal Points;
    • Organising and preparing the Board and Steering Committee meetings in close coordination with the Senior Grant Manager;
    • Preparing grant contracts;
    • Ensuring that all projects are monitored effectively and that regular support and advice are provided to grantees;
    • Reviewing project technical and financial reports and other deliverables with the support of the Regional Focal Points;
    • Identifying, planning and undertaking necessary field visits to funded projects (in consultation with the Senior Grants Manager and Regional Focal Points).
  • Where relevant, ensure the effective engagement of IUCN members, Commissions and regional offices in the project delivery.

2. Communication

  • Maintain and update the information on the BEST 2.0/BEST 2.0+ Portal to ensure it provides clear, up-to-date and quality information on the call for Proposals, awarded grants, and highlights successes and progress;
  • Coordinate with the external Portal developer to ensure the continued functioning of the Portal to meet the needs of the Programme;
  • Prepare communication materials to promote and highlight the successes of the BEST 2.0 Programme as well as the individual project funded (including but not limited to news articles, information brochures, annual reports, social media posts);
  • Assist in the planning, organization and delivery of events to promote the programme and IUCN’s work in the EU Overseas;
  • Ensure effective information flow between the Secretariat, Regional Focal Points, European Commission and other members of the Steering Committee.

3. Knowledge Capitalization

  • Document the impact of BEST 2.0+ at the individual project and programme levels in monitoring key indicators and promoting regional factsheets prepared by the Regional Focal points;
  • Capture the lessons-learnt from the management of the BEST 2.0+ grant making facility and the best practices and innovative approaches of the funded projects to inform future calls for proposals for the EU Overseas and contribute to the knowledge base for IUCN’s other grant-making work.

4. Project Development and Fundraising

  • Support the design, development and fundraise for new project proposals to continue, build-on and capitalize IUCN’s work in the EU Overseas.

5. Other Responsibilities

  • As required the Programme Officer shall:
    • Represent, upon request of the Senior Grant Manager, IUCN at relevant political and technical meetings, seminars and other events and processes;
    • Assume responsibility for other activities that the Senior Grants Manager may assign from time to time and that do not negatively affect the delivery of the above responsibilities.


  • MSc degree (or higher) in environmental or economic sciences or relevant science field;
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of biodiversity conservation, preferably involving on-the-ground conservation activities;
  • At least 2 years of experience in in grant making or project monitoring initiatives (preferably with the European Commission);
  • At least five years of experience of project management at multiple levels including planning, implementation, reporting, and monitoring;
  • Experience in managing or implementing EU funded projects (particularly with DG DEVCO) with a multiple geographical implementation scope;
  • Experience of working in the EU Overseas and in the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Polar, North and South Atlantic regions;
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem solving and negotiation skills;
  • French (Proficient in writing, reading and speaking), English (Proficient in writing, reading and speaking);
  • Experience in financial management and managing partners and donor relationships;
  • At least 3 years work experience in capacity building of partners.

Application instructions

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