July 31, 2019

Job Posting: World Wildlife Fund

The international non-governmental organization that works on wilderness preservation is seeking its first Ombudsperson. The position is open-ended and based in Switzerland. At this point, WWF has not defined an Organizational Ombuds role, as have most of the other major NGOs/IGOs. Major duties and responsibilities for the position include:

  • Take a lead role in dealing with complaints from external parties affected by WWF projects in relation to the application of safeguards. Complaints, once verified, will be investigated by the Ombudsperson, as appropriate, in consultation with affected parties, project sponsors, and WWF’s management.
  • Report on his/her findings and make recommendations directly to the WWF International Board and to the NET and WWF International Senior Management.
  • Advise and assist WWF in dealing with sensitive or controversial projects, either at the request of the WWF International’s Board or WWF’s management or on the suggestion of the Ombudsperson. In addressing such projects, the Ombudsperson will consult with WWF’ Board’s and coordinate with WWF’s management. 
  • Supervise reviews of WWF’s overall environmental and social performance and sensitive projects, in order to ensure ex-post compliance with policies, guidelines, and procedures.  
  • Provide advice to WWF management on environmental and social policies, procedures, guidelines, resources and systems established to ensure adequate review and monitoring of WWF projects.. 
  • Provide advice at the request of WWF’s environmental and social staff on specific project issues.  
The position requirements seem to match those of a seasoned Organizational Ombuds. Applicants must have: 10-15 year experience managing in a conflict resolution capacity; knowledge and experience of environmental and social issues; experience with international development organizations and relevant NGOs; and a post-graduate degree and professional background. Applications are due by September 2, 2019. (WWF Jobs.)

Update 8/8/19: The new Ombuds office is part of WWF’s enhanced Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework, which "establishes a common set of standards, policies, planning and implementation mechanisms, and compliance systems that govern how activities on-the-ground are carried out." (WWF.)

Related post: Overview of Internal Dispute Programs at Intergovernmental Organizations.

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