Regional Thematic Coordinator - WASCAL



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WASCAL seeks to hire Regional Thematic Coordinator to consolidate its position as a leading Regional Research Partner Institution in West Africa and to expand into new areas of work relevant to climate science, climate services and societal impacts. The Regional Thematic Coordinator will be responsible for WASCAL Priority Research Theme 1 which is Land Use, Land Cover and Land Degradation Nexus.

The position will be based at the WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The successful candidate will report to the Director of Research at the WASCAL Competence Centre who is the Head of Research and climate service provisions.

WASCAL is research and education-focused institute designed to provide knowledge and climate services that should help tackle the climate change challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of eleven (11) West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Cape Verde.

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WASCAL has its Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, the Competence Centre is based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and 12 graduate schools (PhD and MSc. Programs) in 12 lead universities in and across West Africa.

The WASCAL Research Program is aiming to (i) develop qualitative and quantitative tools and models for linking bio-physical and socio-economic processes and feed-backs; (ii) use these models and tools to develop and analyse impact scenarios of climate change including the assessment of alternative land use options as a means to help society cope with the vagaries of climate change, both in climate trends as well as climate variability and extreme events and (iii) facilitate collaboration with research and donor institutions and organizations in West Africa to commonly identify constraints to adaptation and mitigation strategies in land use and how to master these.

The Regional Thematic Coordinator will undertake the following duties among others:

  • Project Management and Administration (50%)
  • CES Provision (35%)
  • Research and Innovation (15%)

Project Management and Administration (50%)

  • Winning Proposal development as a response to global climate funds
  • Program/Project management and grant management
  • Supervise and coordinate the provision of support services to project managers and deliver relevant scientific inputs as needed
  • Identify national and regional problems in the Land Use land Cover/land degradation nexus to climate change and develop winning proposals to Funding Entities.
  • Work through his network to attract National, Regional and International partners to WASCAL.
  • Establish documentation for project commitments (i.e. agreements, contracts, etc.)
  • Provide active guidance to project coordinators and partner institutions regarding research plans sampling strategies, training, fieldwork programming and measurement methods and other methodologies for reaching expected outcomes
  • Monitor and evaluate program/project performance against contract requirements, keep track of deliverables, and other performance goals, and participate in the analysis and reporting for impact assessment
  • Work with consortia leaders, elaborate outlook budgets for the program and proposals to donors and contractors, coordinate and schedule meetings and workshop among team members, and plan and coordinates regular advisory board and steering committee meetings
  • Lead the drafting and the submission of grant proposals and coordinate recruitment and manage integration of a new staff members as needed
  • Act as the primary administrative point of contact for internal research staff and as the principle operational liaison for other research organizations, funding agencies and regulating bodies

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CES Provision (35%)

  • Synthesize output from programs and or projects and identify salient results for climate and environmental development
  • Lead the development and delivery of climate and environmental information relevant for WASCAL member countries sectors and communities as well as regional political bodies
  • Identify, develop and implement ways of improving access to, and use of CES for sectors, communities and regional political bodies
  • Develop tools, approaches and products for effective delivery of CES and integration to day-to-day activities with support from the data management department
  • Establish training guidelines on technical aspects of CES, organize stakeholder engagement workshops and prepare communication materials for dissemination

Research (15%)

  • Provide scientific analysis and interpretation to support the timely delivery of the results and output
  • Contribute to knowledge products (reports, briefs, data products, scientific publications)
  • Carry out research, when relevant (e.g. in the framework of a project), and deliver science that can be used in practice by the West African adaptation community
  • Assist with reviews of knowledge products written by other RTCs
  • Show scholarly evidence through publication in high-impact factor journals.

Qualification Required & Experience

Desired Skills and Experience

  • PhD in Meteorology and climate science, remote sensing, Geography, environmental or agriculture science, and Forestry.
  • At least five years post qualification experience
  • Good understanding of the role of geospatial sciences in development at various scale
  • Experienced in Modelling and simulations using various models suitable for West Africa
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing practical remote sensing applications, decision support tools in agriculture and in the use of High-performance Computer (HPC)
  • High Decree of initiative and self-motivation
  • Good track record in resource mobilization and research proposal development
  • Ability to lead and mentor a group of researchers
  • Ability to supervise students’ research
  • Experience in developing training materials and organizing/conducting training
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience in working and interacting effectively with a variety of stakeholders, and demonstrated ability to collaborate well across disciplines and with key collaborative institutions and agencies
  • Working knowledge of main remote sensing and GIS tools software
  • Research experience in interdisciplinary working environments
  • Strong publication and record in peer-reviewed journals
  • Fluent in spoken and written English and French
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to generate new ideas and implement them
  • Ability to work as part of a dynamic and multicultural team
  • Work experience in West-African countries and willingness to travel is an advantage

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