Deputy Director, Nature-based Solutions (NBS) In The Guinean Forests Of West Africa (NBS West Africa) Project

  • Contract
  • Accra Ghana
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

World University Service of Canada

Position Title: Deputy Director, Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in the Guinean Forests of West Africa (NBS West Africa) project

Position Location: Abidjan (Ivory Coast) or Accra (Ghana)

Reports to: Director, NBS West Africa Project

Contract term: Full-time, 1 year renewable

Likely start date: April 15, 2023

Application deadline: March 26, 2023

Languages: Fluency required in both English and French

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a Canadian non-profit organization with a mission to enhance education, economic opportunities, and empowerment for youth. We work with a diverse network of students, volunteers, institutions, governments, and businesses. Together, we foster youth-centered solutions to overcome inequality and exclusion.

The overall focus of the Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in the Guinean Forests of West Africa (NBS West Africa) project will be on engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to develop local and regional capacity to use evidence and engage with women and marginalized groups to prioritize locally relevant NBS to climate change adaptation. It will take a systems approach to supporting climate adaptation through interventions that plan for, pilot and scale nature based-solutions (NBS) to climate adaptation that contribute to enhanced biodiversity and gender equality. An overall assumption is that restoration and reforestation of degraded forests, both on and off farm, will be critical to supporting women and their communities to adapt to climate change challenges and will be central to protecting and restoring biodiversity in this critical global hotspot.

The project will work in close collaboration with consortium member CECI, and with the IUCN, CIFOR-ICRAF and the University of Guelph. Key local stakeholders include local and national government bodies, regional institutions, private sector, women’s groups, and environmental organizations. This initiative builds on WUSC’s and CECI’s decades of experience supporting vulnerable populations and leverages the experience of a variety of local and international partners who bring a strong climate NbS lens, are fully immersed in their respective ecosystems and whose work can be accelerated by this project. This project is a timely intervention to ensure Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinée continue to effectively address climate adaptation while incorporating Nature based Solutions and strong gender lenses.

  • General Responsibilities

The Deputy Project Director (DPD) supports the Project Director (PD) in ensuring that the NBS West Africa project reaches its stated results and objectives. The DPD assists with strategic and work planning, coordination and management of project technical staff, and overall management and administration of the project at the national and regional level. In the absence of the PD, the DPD will oversee the management of the NSB regional office.

Under the supervision of the PD, the DPD will work closely with and supervise a number of technical regional staff including the Gender and Social Inclusion advisor, the Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, the Adaptation Planning Specialist, the Livelihoods and Business Development Specialist and Investment Specialist. The DPD also provides technical advice and guidance to project staff and partners on capacity building (CB) and climate smart forestry. Through a gender transformative lens, the DPD will support sectoral experts to develop capacity building and training activities, mentoring and coaching interventions and follow-up support in organizational development, institutional strengthening, and climate resilient forest restoration. The DPD contributes to project-wide and individual work planning related to CB and climate resilient forestry and ensures that the connections between CB, climate smart techniques, gender and nature based solutions are always taken into account in the delivery of technical support that aims particularly to support women to use nature based solutions to climate adaptation.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Support the Project Director in their role to oversee the effective and efficient implementation of NBS West Africa project and its efforts in supporting climate adaptation and agro-forestry programs
  • Provide technical advice on the interface between markets agro-forestry, climate adaptation, biodiversity and gender equality
  • Responsible for the supervision and performance of the technical regional team and technical oversight on implementing partners
  • Providing advice on the development of capacity building tools and training materials related to building the capacity of women about climate change, climate adaptation and use of biodiversity
  • Work with regional and country staff to assess partners, prioritize capacity needs, develop strategic plans, and help implement those plans through gender sensitive training, coaching and mentoring;
  • Participating in the Project Steering Committee (PSC), Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) and in selected Working Groups, as appropriate;
  • Ensuring project alignment with and fulfillment of WUSC’s theory of change, programming principles, Gender, Age and Diversity policy, and performance management tools and guidance; and
  • Participating in relevant WUSC technical working groups and communities of practice.

Partner Relations and Communications

  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight on project partners and activities
  • Liaises with relevant government authorities and agencies, partners training providers, private sector partners and other stakeholders as appropriate
  • Advise the Project Director and relevant WUSC and CECI Country Directors on potential strategies and approaches with key implementing stakeholders
  • Participates in coordination and planning meetings with stakeholders
  • Participates and communicates with international partners in coordination with the Project Director

Technical Direction & Project Management

  • Oversee regional team of technical advisors comprised of the Gender and Social Inclusion advisor, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Adaptation Planning Specialist, Livelihoods and Business Development Specialist and Investment Specialist.
  • Provide strategic leadership and regularly monitor progress towards results, ensuring appropriate course correction and iterative management;
  • Work with team members to produce regular reports to key stakeholders, including the donor agency;
  • Oversee the research component aimed at understanding the climate adaptation and forest restoration needs and opportunities with a gender responsive lens
  • Stay apprised of developments in key markets of interest to the project and develop systems for monitoring changes and adaptations in these markets over time;
  • Ensuring project alignment with and fulfillment of WUSC’s theory of change, programming principles, Gender, Age and Diversity policy, and performance management tools and guidance; and
  • Participating in relevant WUSC technical working groups and communities of practice.


  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (agroforestry, business, environment, etc);
  • A minimum of ten years of experience in the field of climate adaptation, forestry and/or nature based solutions;
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender equality;
  • Experience working and managing technical advisors;
  • Experience working with international development partners, international non-governmental organizations and donors, ideally with Global Affairs Canada (formerly known as DFATD or CIDA);
  • Experience working with complex partnerships, including government, private sector and civil society;
  • Experience with RBM concepts and principles is required;
  • Experience working with ethnically diverse communities and with projects implementing gender mainstreaming strategies;
  • Prior training in or equivalent in market systems development or systems practice (preferred);
  • Experience supporting multi-country and multi-language programs (preferred);
  • Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills in English and French.


WUSC offers a dynamic work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees and volunteers exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. Female candidates and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

How to apply

If you are interested, please apply here through our website.

Deadline: 26 Mar 2023