Microcredit Development Officer Needed at ERuDeF

Job Description

Programme: Livelihoods and Economic Development

Position: Microcredit Development Officer,

Reports to: Director, Economic Development at ERuDeF

Supervises: All FoProF staff and operations

Duty Station (s): ERuDeF offices –Buea town and Menji

Probation: 3 months

Other information: 45-hour working week

I.Mission of the Forest Protection Fund: To promote the sustainable development of rural communities in which ERuDeF implements conservation and rural development programmes in Cameroon through the development and operation of bio-ethical trade leading to equitable distribution of benefits.

II. Context:

The ERuDeF Sustainable Biodiversity Management Programme in SW Cameroon was established in 2006 to support the rural population in their efforts to sustainably manage their biodiversity resources. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to environmental stability and sustainable development of local communities by testing and demonstrating an increased range of options for sustainable management of natural forest resources for a variety of beneficiaries.

The project area covers 4 divisions in SW Cameroon comprising of Fako, Lebialem, Manyu and Kupe/Muanenguba Divisions. The interventions of the project include: (a) support to sustainable natural forest management; (b) support to community development activities in villages adjacent and within natural forest areas; (c) training of staff, beneficiaries, and others in areas outside the immediate project mandate; and (d) project management enhancement within the cooperating offices and institution building, especially with regard to micro-credit activities.

The microcredit sub-component of the project aims to enable village households to engage in economic activities that allow them to diversify their income sources and to develop environmentally sustainable land-use practices. The achievement of this aim requires good financial products that meet the needs of the target groups, efficient and transparent product delivery systems that are convenient for them, and cost-effective institutions adapted to delivering good products.

The operational details of the micro-credit scheme will be specified in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between ERuDeF and the local communities. The project will implement different models on pilot basis, including cooperation with existing NGOs, establishment enterprises revolving funds and decentralised, participatory community funds managed by the villagers themselves through self-help groups or village committees. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis and tested where the local circumstances are suitable.

III. Overall Objectives:

The main objective of the Microcredit Development Officer in cooperation with the Director of Economic Development and Manager for Livellihoods and Economic Development, will advise, train and support the respective communities in the set up of the local community funds based on the village bank concept.

 Leads the development, management, and implementation of the ERuDeF’s

FoProF Business Plan, ensuring its ongoing alignment with national and international priorities

 Promotes the vision and objectives of the ERuDeF Forest Protection Fund to external and ERuDeF stakeholders, and participates in strategic partnership-building / fundraising approaches to them, in collaboration with the Directors of Economic Development and Policy & Development and the CEO of ERuDeF as appropriate;

 Supervises ERuDeF FoProF staff, providing technical assistance as equired, in accordance with ERuDeF policies, procedures, and standards.

IV. Main Duties:

 Advise and support in the planning and commencement of microcredit activities, especially with regard to selection of pilot areas and operational model to implement.

 Advise and support in the establishment of community funds in cases where these are regarded as suitable microcredit delivery models.

 Legalise the Biodiversity Community Trust as a network of microfinancial institutions category one

 Liaise and negotiate partnerships with the other national and international micro-financial institutions

 Cooperate with institutions (such as NGOs and other microfinancial institutions) which operate microcredit funds such as the Village Banks and government services to develop and implement cooperative microcredit initiatives. and monitor their performance and progress.

 Advise and support in the establishment of a monitoring system for the microcredit sub-component.

 Generally follow-up, coordinate, troubleshoot and monitor implementation of the microcredit initiatives.

 Assess microcredit-related training needs of community microcredit staff and villagers in project areas.

 Develop necessary training modules and/or other materials for training community microcredit staff and villagers in microcredit-related issues where required and provide training as appropriate, both on-the-job and classroom (in cooperation with the other microcredit projects in the region).

 Advise community microcredit staff and villagers on the identification, design and implementation of appropriate income-generating/livelihood activities in rural areas and coordinate with the other project staff and technical agencies to provide training and other support where required.

 Generally support co-ordination with other project components, especially community development.

 Participate in project meetings and workshops as required.

 Submit weekly, monthly, quarterly, semester and annual workplans and reports to your line Manager

 Carry out additional tasks as required or as agreed with by the Director of Economic Development

V. Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

 A university degree in finance, management, economics, accounting and development studies,.

 At least three years of practical experience in operational management of microcredit operations at the field level,

 Specific experience in several of the following areas:

 Establishment of microcredit operations

 Client selection and retention expertise

 Business planning and organizational development for microcredit institutions

 Development of appropriate products and services

 Loan portfolio, credit and risk management

 Loan officer operational procedures

 Financial and information management systems

 General experience in the field of rural development, especially with regard to sustainable livelihoods and participatory techniques.

 Flexibility and willingness to travel and spend significant time in the field.

 Good team-working skills with a variety of foreign and local technical specialists and government officers.

 Fluency in spoken and written English and pidgin English.

 Computer literacy with the full range of products contained in Microsoft Office Professional and internet capability

 Previous experience of working in a microfinance project would be a distinct advantage.

 Capable to mobilise and work with a minimum of 500 rural peasants a year

 Ability to mobilise enormous financial resources from the rural areas on an average of over 2 million CFA per month

 Ability to trek under harsh conditions in rural and enclave areas

 Ensures that a Business Development Plan relevant to national policies is developed and approved by the President/CEO,

 Ensures that the Business Development Plan is effectively implemented and

 contributing to the vision of the ERuDeF and other priorities defined in ERuDeF’s

Cameroon Programme Vision; In line with the Strategic Plan, develops annual Business Development Programme workplans with clear priorities for ERuDeF, and ensures their efficient implementation;

In line with the requirements of the monitoring and reporting system, ensures the establishment and implementation of a monitoring and reporting system for the Silver Back Company measuring its performance against its

Business Development Plan, at the same time providing support to field projects for


 Ensures strategic / policy engagement with relevant international and national

stakeholders on business and related issues to promote the vision and objectives of the Forest Protection Fund to government, donor, civil society, corporate, and ERuDeF

stakeholders at national and international level in collaboration with the Director of Economic Development and President/CEO as appropriate;

 Develops, participates in, and oversees strategic partnership-building /

fundraising approaches with government, donor, civil society, corporate, and

ERuDeF stakeholders, in coordination with the Director of Economic Development and President/CEO as appropriate;

 • Ensures timely technical reporting to donors, the Director of Economic Development, and all relevant parts of the ERuDeF, as required and according to agreed standards;

 Cooperates with programmatic audits, and implements audit recommendations in a timely manner;

 Ensures that all staff working for ERuDeF are fully informed of the Silver Back Company’s Mission and its Global Programme, and are kept abreast of new developments, policies, and procedures as and when they arise;

 Works closely with the Communications team on the development and

implementation of a Communications Strategy supporting all of the above;

 Within the scope of the conservation programme, promotes the ERuDeF brand

and raises the image of ERuDeF and the company in Cameroon and abroad;

 Ensures that technical meetings to monitor the progress of the Business

Plan are held every month, attended by key project personnel and, as

appropriate, by external stakeholders;

Consults with relevant specialists / consultants externally and within the ERuDeF Network to gather information relevant to the development and implementation of the Business Plan and its component programmes / projects;

 Oversees the development of the Forest Protection Fund project proposals, including assisting with the preparation of Terms of Reference for any specialists


 Coordinates with the Communications team to ensure that the latter posts

all technical reports and other relevant documents onto the ERuDeF Project


 Works closely with, and seeks support from, others in ERuDeF as

appropriate to undertake all the above tasks most effectively, and

 Performs other duties as requested by the management of ERuDeF

VI. Profile

Required Qualifications

• At least a university degree in an appropriate field (marketing/management/sales/economics).

• Several years of experience leading, developing, and managing

programmes / projects in one or more of the above-mentioned

fields. Experience with multi-disciplinary teams, as well as in Cameroon business environment, would be a strong asset.

• Knowledge of and experience with monitoring and evaluation of programmes

/ projects; and

• Knowledge of the institutional and legal framework of the environment and

business in Cameroon, as well as of relevant policy issues.

 Very strong knowledge of fundraising and project development

 A good track record in fundraising in previous jobs.

Required Skills and Competencies

• Proven leadership skills;

• Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating

strategic plans and policy;

• Strong skills in project planning, financing, management, implementation, and


• Experience working with government and with donors / government aid


• Proven knowledge and experience of the not-for-profit sector, preferably of

environmental non-government organisations;

• Negotiation, influencing, and media relation skills, preferably at a high level;

• Excellent inter-personal skills, including the ability to develop and maintain

strong relationships at all levels, including with local communities,

government agencies, the not-for-profit sector, and the scientific community;

• Excellent oral and written communications skills in English and French; and

• Adherence to ERuDeF’s values, which are: Accountability, Transparency and Engagement

 Ability to write a moto cycle in enclave environments

 Ability to work and live in rural and enclave environments for extended periods

 Excellent community rapport management skills

VII. Supervisory Responsibilities

The Business Manager is ultimately responsible for the supervision and

management of all ERuDeF Silver Coompany Ltd staff.

VIII. Working Relationships

Internal: Interacts and works closely and on a regular basis with project

implementation personnel in general and project leaders in particular,


External: Interacts with national governmental institutions, non-governmental

organisations, academic institutions, the media, donors, specialists / consultants,

and other stakeholders, in collaboration with the President/CEO


IX. Terms and Benefits:

A good remuneration package depending on qualifications and experience will be offered to the successful candidate. Various other benefits include health coverage, annual leave, sick leave and

other leave provisions.

X. Deadline for the applications

Applications must include a complete CV with full contact details of three referees. Applications addressed to the Administrative & Human Resources Director, should be sent via email to: info@erudef.org or deposited in ERuDeF offices. Applications are received until position is filled.

XI. Other Skills and Qualifications

Computer literate, ability to ride a moto cycle, stay and work in rural and enclave areas for extended periods, ability to trek under harsh conditions, good team manager, preparing and distributing publicity materials and displays, writing plans, reports and press releases, producing educational resources, businesses, voluntary/community groups and other local organisations, generating income via fundraising activities, managing budgets, supervising and training staff/volunteers and analysing data and collating information.

XII. Contract duration:

The Microcredit Development Officer will be initially contracted for 12 months with possible extension depending on performance and funding. This position is expected to start in January 2014.

ERuDeF is an equal opportunity employer and regardless to race, religion or sex. Eligible women candidates are encouraged to apply. Only short-listed candidates will be called for the assessment profiling process

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