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Senior Biodiversity Advisor, EKNA IE Design and Baseline

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USAID/Zambia Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance (EKNA) Activity Impact Evaluation (IE) Design and Baseline

Job Description – Senior Biodiversity Advisor

Position Title: Senior Biodiversity Advisor, EKNA IE Design and Baseline

Contract Name: Integrated Natural Resources Management (INRM)

Contract No: 7200AA20F00010

Period of Performance: Upon signing – August 31, 2023

Place of Performance: Zambia

Maximum Level of Effort (LOE): 5 days

STARR II IDIQ Labor Category: Natural Resource Specialist – Senior

Integrated Natural Resource Management Task Order: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Zambia Eastern Kafue Nature Alliance (EKNA) Impact Evaluation (IE) Design and Baseline is managed under the Integrated Natural Resource Management (IN RM) Task Order (TO). The INRM TO provides on-demand support services and technical assistance for USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Independent Offices, and is managed by the Center for Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure (EEI) in the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI). INRM supports integrated analysis and programming across development sectors. By using a multi-sectoral lens, INRM seeks to strengthen the impacts of USAID’s core environmental programming by recognizing synergies, adopting best practices, and building broader constituencies for integrated programming. The activity is designed to help USAID operating units achieve higher impact environment programming and to support the uptake of principles and approaches outlined in the Agency’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management Framework .

Project Background and Description: USAID has commissioned a team under the INRM TO to design and implement the baseline for an IE of the USAID/Zambia EKNA Activity in 2022-2023. The EKNA Activity will be implemented in several Game Management Areas (GMAs) and conservancies that border the eastern side of Zambia’s Kafue National Park (KNP), by a consortium of public and private sector partners led by The Nature Conservancy. High poverty rates in the area lead to a dependence on natural resources and income from forests for many households, contributing to deforestation and forest degradation from wood extraction, agricultural expansion, and fires.

To address these issues and impact both conservation and human well-being outcomes, the EKNA Activity is comprised of four strategic approaches (SAs):

SA1: Strengthen natural resource compliance and management systems

SA2: Develop inclusive ecosystem-based markets for local prosperity

SA3: Strengthen community maternal and child health and improve access to clean water

SA4: Develop effective land and resource use planning, tenure, and governance systems

The objectives of this assignment are to (1) design an IE for the EKNA Activity, (2) conduct baseline data collection and analysis, and (3) prepare a final baseline report. Given the lack of counterfactual-based studies on the EKNA Activity’s main interventions, a rigorous impact evaluation presents an important opportunity to improve USAID’s understanding of conservation and biodiversity programming effectiveness. In particular, the EKNA Activity presents a unique opportunity to measure the effect of conservation programming on biodiversity outcomes given the large amount of biodiversity monitoring that will take place as part of the program implementation, which will be further expanded as part of the evaluation. Additional primary and secondary data sources that will be used include a large household survey, qualitative data from key informants, and remotely sensed data.

Position Description: DAI/INRM is seeking an individual to fulfill the role of the Senior Biodiversity Advisor for the EKNA IE Design and Baseline . The Senior Biodiversity Advisor will provide subject matter expertise in biodiversity and species measurement approaches, including for elephants, carnivores, and prey species in the Greater Kafue Ecosystem (GKE). The Senior Biodiversity Advisor will work closely with the Team Leader and other research team members to contribute to the baseline design, survey instruments, data collection and analysis, and provide technical inputs for the draft and final report(s) – the Evaluation Design Report (EDR) and Baseline Report – as requested. The project will begin in September 2022 and is projected to last through July 2023. The EDR will be drafted in September 2022 and finalized in October 2022. Fieldwork for baseline data collection will take place from October – November 2022 prior to the rainy season, although this position will not be required to participate in fieldwork. Data analysis will take place from December 2022 – March 2023 with reporting in April – June 2023.

**Citizens and residents of Zambia are strongly encouraged to apply**

Responsibilities:

  • Provide subject matter expertise in biodiversity and related species outcome measurement and analysis.
  • Provide guidance on analysis methods and approaches for conducting evaluations of conservation programs.
  • Work closely with the other research team members, including the Team Leader, Senior Forest Ecology Advisor, Evaluation Manager/Technical Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist, and Biodiversity and Forest Ecology Specialist on evaluation design, data collection, and analysis
  • Contribute as requested to project deliverables, including the draft and final EKNA IE Evaluation Design Report (EDR), draft and final EKNA IE Baseline Report, and any related presentations. This may include drafting responses to USAID comments/questions on draft reports.
  • Maintain clear and regular communication with the research team and INRM support staff, and inform the INRM team of any risks, problems, or challenges in a timely manner.

Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or higher in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or a closely related field.
  • Minimum of ten years of experience with a master’s degree designing and executing similar projects, or six years of experience with a PhD.
  • Extensive expertise in conducting research, evaluation, and related studies for biodiversity and wildlife conservation required; designing and conducting impact evaluations preferred.
  • Experience working on multi-disciplinary teams preferred.
  • Experience working in Zambia or other southern Africa countries preferred.
  • Experience with USAID/Zambia or similar regional or country USAID Missions preferred.
  • Exceptional organizational, analytical, writing, and presentation skills.
  • Fluency in English required.

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