Job Post: Circular Economy Programme Manager

Tags: ,

Closing date for applications is: 31 January 2024


Job Type: Full Time

Experience Level: Middle to Senior Level

Workplace Type: Hybrid

Town / City: Newlands, Cape Town

Province: Western Cape

Country: South Africa

Job Category: Other

Description: This is a 36 month contract position based in Cape Town or Braamfontein

WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. WWFs work is for nature, for you.

Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team, you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.


WWF South Africa’s Circular Economy Portfolio strategy takes a holistic, systemic approach by identifying and shaping interventions within identified plastic and ‘plastic +’ (materials and products that contain plastic) value chains providing co-benefits and reducing the negative externalities for both environmental and socio-economic well-being. This is done while being acutely cognisant of South Africa’s role in strengthening global, regional and national governance frameworks and policies related to the circular economy coupled with the limited institutional capacity of institutions– both horizontal (state) and vertical (sub-national and non-state).

This role will primarily be responsible to manage the Global Environment Fund (GEF) 8 national project, made up of  several project components, aiming to transition the food and beverage plastic packaging sector from linear to circular. This project is taking place over 5 years in collaboration with key project partners (project execution team) and project steering committee to assist with execution, together with the broader stakeholder landscape. The position will report to the Senior Manager: Circular Economy Portfolio at WWF South Africa and would contribute towards the following:

  • GEF 8 Circular Plastics Integrated Programme for Circular Plastics in South Africa. 

National and regional projects within the portfolio including the  WWF global No Plastics in Nature (NPIN) Initiative.Minimum Requirements

  • A postgraduate qualification in Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Economics or similar. A masters level qualification will be an advantage.
  • A demonstrated understanding and ability based on 7 years+ experience in managing large and smaller projects with multiple stakeholders and team members within the green economy, circular economy or sustainability sector space.
  • Ability to network, build and manage strong partnerships with government (all levels), corporates, international organisations (i.e. GEF, UNEP, WRAP, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation) and national entities including GreenCape.
  • Understanding and experience working in or with the plastics, textiles or similar material or energy value chains in South Africa.
  • Demonstrated understanding of systems thinking, life cycle assessment, and power/influence dynamics in material or energy value chain landscape.
  • Strong project and administrative management capabilities considering donor and internal WWF procedures and policies.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation, and financial systems.
  • Demonstrated report writing, proposal writing and presentation skills.
  • Ability to convey complex environmental and socio-economic issues in an effective way to diverse audiences.
  • A strong command of English as a speaking and written language is essential. Proficiency in other South African official languages is an advantage. French and/or Portuguese language/s is an asset
  • Proactive, self-starter, with the ability to lead and provide leadership.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills both written and verbal, strong command of the English language.
  • Strong management and organisational skills, with a proven ability to organise, manage and deliver on projects within a cross-cultural and diverse team environment.
  • Capacity to work rapidly and accurately under pressure in a dynamic environment and to quickly define and adhere to priorities.
  • Strong diplomatic, internal and external networking and influencing skills.
  • Discretion, reliability, flexibility, empathy.
  • Highly computer literate, competent in use of spreadsheets and other electronic tools.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Manage the GEF Project Proposal Grant and GEF Project Implementation Phases in line with the GEF (Funder), UNIDO (Implementing Agency) and WWF-South Africa (National Executing Agency) policies and procedures within delegated authority.
  • Play an active role in managing and contributing to the Project Preparation Grant (PPG) phase for the GEF project implementation phase through
    • partner and stakeholder communication and coordination,
    • project administration, stakeholder engagement and report writing among other activities.
  • In collaboration with the project steering committee and project execution team, effectively deliver agreed activities and outcomes in the multi-year implementation phase across all project components.
  • Maintain good relationships with donor, co-financing organisations and UNIDO (Implementation Agency) throughout the PPG and implementation phases.
  • Facilitate bilateral and multi-stakeholder engagements and collate information, assisted by the senior manager and partners within the project execution team.
  • Engage with all WWF portfolios to explore mutually reinforcing collaborative and integrative opportunities.
  1. Coordinate and manage the implementation of identified projects, with assistance from the senior manager.
  • Assist the senior manager with management of the NPIN Regional Plastics project and support the Regional Plastics Policy Advisor and Project Coordinator with project reporting and monitoring.
  • Assist with coordination of project activities and deliverables;
    • Within the WWF corporate partner space and;
    • Projects in the Circular Economy portfolio within the strategic pillars of Policy, Business, Communities, Research and Communication.
  • Regular reporting on project activities and progress to WWF NPIN, WWF Circular Economy projects, funders and other stakeholders.
  1. Contribute to sustainable funding streams to support implementation of the Circular Economy Portfolio Strategy
  • Assist and in some cases lead in proposal writing and preparing project budgets to sustain the Circular Economy body of work.
  • Work with the Business Development Unit and other portfolios to design and develop projects aligned with the Circular Economy portfolio and WWF organisational strategies.
  • Proactively provide guidance to the Circular Economy portfolio with regards to the changing policy, industry landscape to inform future funding opportunities.
  • Explore, develop and maintain relationships with potential project partners and funders.
  1. Manage staff within the GEF national project and other identified projects
  • Coordinate and manage staff reporting to this role specifically in the multi-year GEF project.
  • Set up and monitor the Key Performance Indicators of project staff.
  • Lead on staff appointments, redeployment and contract extensions within the GEF and other identified projects with assistance from the senior manager.
  • Manage internal processes relating to staff cost recoveries and other budget expenditure to ensure financial and technical sustainability of projects.
  1. Perform further duties as necessary, including;
  • Shape and contribute towards the Circular Economy portfolio strategy, work plan and participate in relevant fora internal and external to WWF South Africa.
  • Report back and contribute to organisational monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure full accountability against pre-identified targets.
  • Prepare communication materials as required including blogs, press releases, opinion pieces, articles and others as needed based on the needs of projects and the portfolios communication strategy.

More details and apply here.

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