Law Enforcement Advisor Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Organization: Wildlife Conservation Society
Closing date: 31 Dec 2020

Location: Epulu, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Reports To: OWR Director

Direct Reports: None

Start date: January 2021

Duration: Two years with the possibility of renewal

About OWR

Created in 1992, the OWR, at just under 14,000km2, is the single largest protected tract of intact lowland tropical forest remaining in the DRC. The OWR harbors one of the largest remaining population of forest elephants and the largest stronghold of okapi in the DRC and the single largest population of the eastern chimpanzee in Africa. OWR is situated in the larger Ituri landscape; comprising more than 40,000km2 of contiguous forests, in which WCS is actively building conservation constituencies and supporting sustainable agricultural practices amongst the local communities who depend upon the forest resources for their livelihoods, and on whom the future integrity of the OWR is inextricably linked. The Ituri forests also have a rich cultural heritage and are home to the indigenous Mbuti and Efé peoples. The OWR presents a challenging environment and is faced with a number of threats to its biodiversity and operations, including poaching, gold mining, increased urbanization of surrounding towns and sporadic insecurity from armed groups.

About WCS

The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international NGO headquartered at Bronx Zoo in New York City working to save wildlife and wild lands and to meet global challenges in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the world’s oceans. The Africa Pro**gram is the largest of WCS’s field programs, with approximately 1,100 staff in 12 country programs focused across four major regions (Central Africa, Sudano-Sahel, East and Southern Africa, and Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean).


The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been active in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR) for more than 30 years, supporting its creation, and subsequently working closely with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) – the government agency responsible for protected areas and wildlife - in its management. In December 2018, WCS and ICCN signed a 10-year management agreement that delegated management authority of the OWR to WCS. This mandate is implemented through the OWR Management Unit (RMU), which is led by the Reserve Director and which is the executive body in charge of all day-to-day management activities, operations and personnel in the OWR.

WCS is seeking a Law Enforcement Advisor (LE Advisor) to strengthen capacity and provide support to the implementation of effective law enforcement within OWR. The LE Advisor will advise and support the OWR Director, the Assistant Director and the Head of the Law Enforcement on activities and operations to build security and disrupt criminality in OWR. A significant part of the LE Advisor’s work will be building the capacity of the eco guard force. S/he has the drive, ambition and vision to build a LE team that is capable of ensuring the security of the reserve, and disrupt criminality within and surrounding the reserve. The person will be comfortable living and working in a remote conservation area. S/he will be able to operate in a challenging political and working environment.

The position is based permanently on-site at the OWR headquarters in Epulu, Ituri Province.


Overall, the Law Enforcement Advisor will advise on all aspects related to improved security of the reserve and disrupting criminality within and surrounding the reserve. This will include, among others, to support the OWR Reserve Director and Assistant Director to advise on, guide and mentor i) intelligence collection and analysis, ii) the development of the capacity of OWR law enforcement staff – including training and mentoring, iii) planning and operations, and, in addition, iv) to advise, mentor and guide the Head of Law Enforcement on day-to-day operations.

Advising, guiding and supporting the OWR Reserve Director and the Assistant Director with the development of an effective law enforcement program for the OWR:

  • To develop and implement a law enforcement staff training and mentoring plan that will result in building and developing the skills and competence of all OWR LE staff, particularly the Head of Law Enforcement, section and platoon leaders, through training and mentorship
  • To adapt and implement an innovative OWR LE strategy.
  • To develop and implement relevant policies and procedures related to law enforcement, including codes of conduct of eco guards
  • To assist with the identification, recruitment and management of external consultants, as required, in the development and implementation of an effective law enforcement, and training and mentorship programs
  • To support the OWR Investigations Unit to gather, collate and analyse information, leading to the development of actionable intelligence.
  • To support the OWR Legal and Judicial Program Team with the case management and successful prosecution and convictions of cases involving illegal activities
  • To ensure correct conduct of routine operations, including mentoring in the delivery of patrol orders, inspections, and debriefs
  • To optimize manpower, including revising leave rotations, training and patrol schedules; to develop and implement an operational readiness mechanism (ORM)
  • To manage and improve command structures, maintaining clear and detailed personnel files, submission of monthly law enforcement reports, mentorship of all levels of Law Enforcement hierarchy, and ensuring high levels of motivation, standards, and discipline
  • To coordinate and supervise the selection and training of new eco guards
  • To coordinate field operations managers to ensure full integration of activities, and jointly planning aerial surveillance and helicopter operations as and when air assets become available, whilst maintaining appropriate use and effective risk management
  • To coordinate and supervise specialised courses for selected eco guards
  • To ensure the implementation of crisis management and serious incident procedures
  • To work with the OWR senior management (including the OWR Reserve Director and the Assistant Director, the Head of Programmes and the Community Development Lead) to implement an OWR eco guard well-being and motivation scheme
  • Ensuring all OWR LE staff are equipped with the appropriate equipment and clothing to perform their job properly

Working with the OWR Reserve Director, the Assistant Director and Communications Manager to ensure effective and strategic communications and coordination:

  • To maintain daily close coordination with the OWR Director, OWR Assistant Director, Head of Law Enforcement, and the Training consultant.
  • To work with the Communications Manager and external consultants, as contracted, to develop and implement strategic and effective communications
  • To support coordination and communication with the OWR stakeholders with regard to all LE matters
  • To support planning and coordination with other key state agencies, as directed by the OWR Director.
  • To maintaining productive internal communications with senior OWR staff, partners and stakeholders

Under the supervision of the OWR Reserve Director and Assistant Director, preparing deliverables and proposals

  • To develop annual, trimestral and monthly operation plans, work plans and budgets, regular donor progress reports, and technical reports. S/He will also contribute relevant information on LE needs to fundraising proposals.
  • To support the achievement of quarterly and annual field operations and training targets, whilst still responding and adapting to changing situations on the ground
  • To ensure that all data relevant for the OWR Results Framework are collected and submitted to the OWR M&E Officer in a timely and accurate way
  • To identify, monitor and report on risks, according to the risk management plan, including coordination of risk response actions
  • To undertaking internal staff and program evaluations as required

Other responsibilities:

  • To operate in accordance with the laws of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statutes of ICCN, the Reserve internal regulations, and the policies and procedures of WCS DRC
  • To be available to perform all reasonable tasks assigned as part of the service by the OWR Director and Assistant Director
  • To assist greater reserve management, including participation in weekly management meetings, liaison with the operations manager for logistical support


The LE Advisor will have:

  • An analytical mind that grasps complex political, legal, security and criminal issues such as those facing the effective management of the OWR and finds the most pragmatic, practical and optimum ways to respond to the issues within the context of the reserve
  • At least ten years of experience leading, managing, and/or advising on law enforcement operations, ideally in Protected Areas, military and/or policing operations.
  • Good understanding of intelligence-led law enforcement
  • Proven experience managing a law enforcement monitoring system
  • Strong leadership and team building and management experience, including ability to motivate, set objectives, and manage the performance of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading, training and mentoring staff – and, thereby, developing the skills and knowledge of individuals and teams
  • The ability to communicate and explain complex processes and ideas effectively and efficiently
  • Outstanding organizational and coordination skills
  • A commitment to working collegially with all staff, and professionally and diplomatically with all partner organisations – government and non-government.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and maintaining partnerships and individual relationships in a complex political environment
  • The willingness to gain an understanding of the institutional and legal framework of conservation in DRC, as well as of relevant policy challenges.
  • Proven experience in remote areas of the world, the ability and skills to make the most of any given situation
  • A working proficiency in English and French and/or KiSwahili
  • Previous experience within Africa, and ability to work with and sensitivity to a diverse group of people including those of different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds
  • And, in the face of sometimes profound challenges, the LE Advisor will have flexibility, optimism, good humour, passion for excellence, motivation and ambition. In such circumstances, s/he will be able to maintain high morale among his/her colleagues, contractors and staff.

How to apply:

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply by emailing a detailed application/cover letter and a detailed CV together with the names and contact information of three references to: Please include “Law Enforcement Advisor, OWR” in the subject line of your email. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. If you have any queries related to this position please contact:

Application Deadline: 31 December 2020

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