Community Engagement Officer

Job Description




PositionCommunity Engagement Officer

Reports to: The WCS Savannakhet Program Manager with additional supervision by the Savannakhet Program Director

Location: This position is based in Kaysone Phomvihan City, Savannakhet province

Country Program/Sector: GCP/WCS Lao Program

Position Type: Full-Time

Working Schedule: Office work hours will be Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm with a 1.5-hour break for lunch. 

Expected travelPeriodic travel to work in other work locations, districts, and provinces as required.

Organization Background:

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.

Lao Program Overview:

The WCS Lao PDR program was established in 1993 and currently has 50 staff. During the last 22 years WCS has successfully implemented 23 projects with the Government of Lao PDR (GoL) supported by more than 30 donors.  A core thematic intervention to support the vision is protection of biodiversity values through Collaboration with local communities through participatory approaches to land use planning and natural resource management. WCS Lao PDR has worked for more than 15 years in the Greater Xe Champhone Wetlands Complex of Savannakhet Province. Working on diverse components of the development of Participatory Land Use Plans (PLUP), Water User Groups (WUAs), and Community Conservation Agreements (CCAs).                        

Job Summary:

The primary purpose of this position is to lead the Savannakhet landscape program’s works related to livelihoods and community engagement as part of the landscape team’s objective to develop community-based strategies that benefit community livelihoods, natural habitats, and biodiversity. This will be best achieved through participatory land use planning and community conservation agreements with partner villages across the Greater Xe Champhone Wetlands Complex landscape. 

Main tasks/duties:

  1. Lead community engagement of, the Participatory Wetlands Landscape, Landuse, and Livelihoods Assessment, Mapping and Planning (P-WELLLAMP) Program. The Community Engagement Officer will lead WCS’s in-field activities for P-WELLLAMP in close collaboration with communities, GoL, consultants, and the rest of the WCS SVK team. Assist in improving the P-WELLLAMP Process.
  2. Coordinate with the WCS SVK GIS assistant in mapping of village boundaries and conservation areas.
  3. Develop feasibility assessments for livelihood interventions
  4. Coordinate Community Conservation Agreement (CCA) process with partner province, districts and communities.
  5. Provide and coordinate (with Consultants) livelihood trainings as established in the CCAs.
  6. Develop natural resource use management frameworks and facilitate community regulations for water, fisheries (Fish Conservation Zones), NTFPS, and tourism activities in collaboration with community members, GoL counterparts, consultants, and WCS Staff. Work with WCS education and Outreach Officer to develop and disseminate awareness campaigns about improved natural resource use and regulations. 
  7. Develop and implement monitoring systems for the XCP village land-use plans and CCAs

Key responsibilities:

  • Lead the implementation of livelihoods and community engagement work in XCP landscape, including community conservation agreements, community action plans, rural appraisals, and livelihoods activities.
  • Develop and maintain detailed knowledge of WCS’s strategic program in the XCP landscape
  • Assist WCS Technical Advisors and government staff with the development of activity concepts and plans
  • Integration of livelihoods, community engagement, and land use planning into project plans
  • Coordination with government staff to facilitate implementation of activities
  • -Develop and coordinate collaborations with technical experts and partner agencies/organizations
  • Training of government and community members to implement activities as needed
  • Provide day to day mentoring and support for government staff assigned to livelihoods, community engagement, and land use planning activities
  • Organize data for, write and revise CCAs and related documents
  • Supervision of field staff during activities when required
  • Assist the Program Coordinator and Finance officer Manager with managing and monitoring the assigned budgets for livelihoods and community engagement activities
  • Manage data generated by livelihoods and community engagement activities
  • Ensure adequate reporting of livelihoods and community engagement activities, both in Lao and English.
  • Attending at regular coordination meetings with WCS and government staff
  • Contribute to reports developed for donors and government
  • Support to the WCS SVK Education & Outreach officer as required
  • Any other duties as determined by the Program managers or Program Directors. 


  • Education

Minimum of Diploma or Bachelor degree in an environment or agricultural/rural development related field

  • Knowledge

Working knowledge of general conservation principles

Knowledge of conservation and natural resource management issues in Laos and Savannakhet Province (desired)

Knowledge of Lao laws related to land use planning, wetlands, conservation, natural resource management, and wildlife and how they are applied community resource planning and protected areas.

  • Experience

At least 2 years experience working with international NGO’s or the private sector

At least 2 years experience working with communities and government in Lao PDR related to agriculture, natural resources, and/or conservation

Experience working on land use planning in Savannakhet Province (desired)

Experience working on issues related to irrigation (desired)

  • General skills

Excellent Lao language skills both written and verbal

Good English language skills and the ability to produce draft reports in English

Computer literacy, particularly proficiency using Microsoft Office products

  • Ability

Ability to work as part of a developing team

Ability to learn quickly and adapt management of activities

Ability to administer component and activity level budgets

Ability to use GPS and collect mapping information in the field

  • Personal qualities

Willingness to be based in Kaysone Phomvihan City, Savannakhet province

Willingness to spend extended periods of time working and staying at field site (Champhone, Songkhone, Xonnabouly and Xaibouly districts)

Willingness to travel to Vientiane capital for meetings

Willingness to learn and apply new skills




Good people skills

Application Process:

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications should apply by emailing an application letter and CV together to: (Palina Souliyadeth – HR Officer) latest by (21 July 2020) deadline. Please include the Community Engagement Officer in the subject line of your email.

WCS is an equal opportunity employer and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on age, color, disability, gender identify, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations