7 Apr 2014

Technical Operations Manager Job Vacancy

Conservation International is looking for a Vital Signs Technical Operations Manager.

The Technical Operations Manager will work alongside the Vital Signs Africa Field Director, and other relevant colleagues within and outside of CI to provide support to the technical oversight of all Vital Signs field activities, reporting to the Vital Signs Africa Field Director (AFD).

The Technical Operations Manager will follow closely Vital Signs field activities and data collection activities in Africa.  This includes management of protol versioning and protocol change processes, development and compiling quarterly and annual workplans and reports. He/she will support the training and capacity building of country teams in coordination
with the AFD, and maintain frequent communication with the field teams and the scientific support team.

Field team and protocol management:

  • Assist the AFD in managing field teams in different countries where Vital Signs is working and provide day-to-day coordination of communications within the project field teams. Communicate with country field teams and with the AFD on a weekly basis.
  • Manage protocol versioning process, including ensuring that current versions of protocols (including protocol, data dictionary and field templates) have been approved, are posted on the Vital Signs web site in a timely fashion, and that all field teams are using current protocol versions, and that all old versions of the protocol are archived on the web in an organized fashion.
  • Support the Africa Field Director in managing the protocol change process and ensure that the process, as outlined in the Protocol Change Memo is followed consistently, that all associated documents and approvals are archived and accessible to the entire VS team through the web and that protocol changes are rolled out to the field teams in a systematic way.
  • Manage the field team sampling process:  Ensure that quarterly sampling templates are completed on schedule, are approved by the Africa Field Director, are archived on the web so they are accessible to all VS team members. Each week ensure that field team sampling reports are submitted on time, each week review sampling completed in each country against the approved sampling schedule and bring any discrepancies to the attention of the AFD.
  • Assist the AFD in overseeing, coordination and quality control of Vital Signs protocol implementation, including ensuring timely uploading of data from country field teams to Vital Signs information system, communicating any logistical or methodological challenges with implementation to the AFD.

Training and capacity building:

  • Develops a Field Team Operations Manual, to facilitate the process of starting up new VS country programs and to facilitate better management of existing country programs. Conducts periodic reviews to ensure that country field teams comply with procedures outlined in the manual.  Training and support to use all Vital Signs tools and procedures, such as sampling schedule, templates for data entry and upload.
  • Assist the AFD in organizing and conducting training workshops, developing and disseminating training materials, such as protocol manuals, and supports field teams in trouble shooting logistical and technical issues.
  • Ensuring all training reports are submitted on a timely basis.
  • Documentation:
  • Develops and implements a plan to ensure that field teams have adequate documentation of project activities and reports.
  • Develops and manages an online technical document archive, in liaison with the Vital Signs Senior Coordinator.
  • Synthesis of Non-Vital Signs Data that are critical inputs to the Vital Signs Indices.  Gathers, integrates, reviews and updates data sources that are critical external ancillary data into the current system, including data on water availability, local red lists of endangered mammals and birds, taxonomic authorities, and functional traits for tropical trees, mammals and birds.

Working Conditions:

  • This position will be on fixed term basis, initially for 18 months, with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and availability of project funds.  The position is on national employment terms and conditions of service. CI offers competitive salary and a collegial and gender-sensitive working environment. Notably, the position requires:
  • Occasional international travel (<20% of time), mostly in Africa.
  • Flexibility to work outside of normal business hours when required


  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental sciences.
  • At least 3 years working experience in management of a scientific project.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and familiarity with field monitoring methodologies, general data management systems and the use of web portals.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • High degree of self-motivation and ability to simplify complex problems and “think out of the box.”
  • Demonstrated skills as a strong team worker, and willingness to learn new skills.


  • Masters degree in Environmental Science, Biology or related field.
  • Experience with customer support environments.
  • International experience and demonstrated ability to successfully interact with people from different cultures.
  • Basic proficiency in English and Swahili.

To apply for this position, visit the “careers” section of or click here

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