Project Field Assistant

Food and Agriculture Organization

Monrovia, Liberia

The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, program, and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to develop the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner.  FAO Liberia is implementing a joint program on Community Forestry Management in two of Liberia’s priority landscapes. With funding from the Embassy of Sweden, and under a UN-to-UN arrangement with UNDP, through the Multi Partner Trust Fund (MPTF). FAO will implement the program working with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and other relevant government institutions, international and national non-governmental organizations, as well as development institutions working towards sustainable natural resource management, environmental protection, and biodiversity conservation. 

The Joint Programme, entitled “Community-Based Forestry and Protected Area Management: Boosting Biodiversity Conservation and Improving Livelihoods of Forest-Fringe/Forest-Dependent Communities and Groups in Liberia” seeks to strengthen management of community forests and protected areas in Liberia through improved governance of community forest management bodies, capacity building of forest regulatory institutions, empowerment of national CSOs/NGOs and Forest and Farm Producer Organizations, integrated natural resources management and the promotion of sustainable livelihood incentives for forest fringe communities. The Joint Programme, building on the experiences of each organization, will work across the following four components: 

  • Component 1: Enabling policy, governance framework and institutional capacity for CFM
  • Component 2: Promote effective community-based management of PAs and INRM in the target landscapes
  • Component 3: Create and strengthen resilient, low-emission land management, equitable, non-timber forest product smallholder value chains through sustainable business development of forest and farm producers, and their organizations (e.g., cooperatives)

Component 4: Knowledge management, communication and awareness, gender mainstreaming, and monitoring & evaluation

Given the complex demography within forest fringe communities and the importance of promoting effective community-based management of the PAs and INRM in the target landscapes, this component seeks to address capacity barriers 3 and 4 through: (i) systematizing information on land and forests to facilitate strategic planning and decision-making; (ii) implementation of a comprehensive capacity development program for communities and other key institutions – including mainstreaming of sustainable community-based forest and land management; and (iii) development of a national strategy for promoting community-based sustainable forest and land management. 

With Outcome (2.1) focusing on improving the habitat and status of key species, using participatory forest management and biodiversity conservation approaches; while Output 2.1.2 seeks to restore degraded areas within the PAs, through restoration/reforestation of said places affected by activities of mining and unsustainable agricultural practices. Under activity, “Develop and implement reforestation and land restoration intervention plan in the target landscape” the two Consulting staff will support the project implementation in the target landscapes. 

The assignment is located  on the North-western Landscape  Lofa County (based in Voinjama),Grand Cape Mount County Gbarpolu County) and South-Eastern Landscape (Grand Gedeh County (based in Zwedru), River Gee County, Sinoe County
River Cess County).

Reporting Lines

Under the overall guidance of the FAO Representative in Liberia and the direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative for Programme, and in full collaboration with the Project Management Specialist and Gender and Social inclusion Specialist – Community Forestry Management, the National Field Assistant in coordination with UNDP and FDA colleagues and project partners will undertake the tasks outlined below.

Technical Focus 

  • Project management at the field level.
  • Community engagement, support to delivery of field based activities, backstopping and monitoring IPs and commercial service providers delivering on behalf of FAO.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The incumbent will perform following duties:

Project Implementation

  • Support quality program implementation through thorough monitoring of activities 
  • Support beneficiary’s identification and selection processes
  • Support beneficiary’s communities to establish forest management bodies (CFMB) and/or to strengthen existing CFMBs.
  • Conduct beneficiary mobilization at the inception of each key activity of the project
  • Support the implementation of livelihoods activities to beneficiaries (with emphasis on vulnerability and gender) 
  • Participate in various field data collection (i.e., assessments and research)
  • Ensure equal participation by all segments of the community, taking into consideration issues regarding gender, age, and people with special needs
  • Coordinate with NGOs/Consultants and support the conduct of trainings and other capacity building activities
  • In collaboration with Gender and Inclusion Specialist, engage with women and girls through outreach activities, including information dissemination, risk identification and mitigation.
  • Carry out regular field visits to project activities sites
  • Deliver capacity building and best practice messages to the community.
  • Conduct informative sessions with community members, record feedback (comments, suggestions) and report result back on issues of concern with recommended areas of intervention

Candidates Will Be Assessed Against The Following

Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in General Forestry, Social Sciences, Agriculture, and Rural Development or related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years project implementation experience in humanitarian and development context, preferably with a specific focus on community Development, Forestry and Agriculture, and environment management issues.
  • Fluent in English and working knowledge of the local language.
  • National of Liberia

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with local and international staff and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to build staff capacity using various methods, including strong communication and teamwork skills.
  • Excellent report writing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and in challenging environment. 
  • Computer skills: Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet, etc.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, self-motivated and efficient, with willingness to pay attention to details.
  • Previous experience working on international donor projects is highly preferred.
  • Working knowledge of MS office and relevant IT tools and software.
  • Excellent communication, networking, written and presentation skills.
  • Familiar with United Nations System and/or FAO’s programming mechanisms.