Socio-Economic Research Officer

Terms of Reference

Position          : Socio-Economic Research Officer
Program         : Rote Island Program
Based in         : Field (Rote, NTT) (100%)
Line Manager : Turtle Conservation Officer
Key Internal
Relationship   : Species Conservation Specialist
Period of        : March 2017 – March 2018

Background to the ToR
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Indonesia Program (WCS-IP) works in several large landscapes in Sumatra and Sulawesi, is expanding its terrestrial work in eastern Indonesia, and covers multiple landscape and seascape across the Indonesian archipelago where it aims to protect threatened species and their habitats. In order to achieve its overall goal of saving wildlife and wild places, the WCS-IP programs prioritize field activities that seek to build local partner capacity, halt the poaching and illegal trade of wildlife, reduce the overexploitation of wildlife in legal trade, mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, and monitor and sustain the health of wildlife populations.

For the advertised position, WCS-IP is implementing a field project to establish a viable wild population of Critically Endangered Rote Island snake-necked turtle, Chelodina mccordi. The key project activities are to reintroduce and effectively manage a population on Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province. This is in response to the presumed extinction, or dramatic decline, of the species from the wild due to unsustainable harvest levels caused by a previously high demand for the international pet trade. The Rote Island snake-necked turtle is one of 32 turtle species in Indonesia which is one of the rarest turtle species globally. The species is endemic for Rote and is the only turtle species inhabit the area.

The position will be based in Rote Island. The Socio-Economic Research Officer will work under direct supervision of the Turtle Conservation Officer of the WCS-IP with the respect to design, coordination and implementation of projects. In addition of the position will also coordinate directly with the Species Conservation Specialist on the design and implementation of work and development of a work plan for FY17. The Socio-Economic Research Officer will be responsible for coordinating WCS-IP’s strategic engagement. A summary of priority responsibilities and an indicative timeline provide a basis for FY17 work plan development for the position.

Purpose of the ToR

Effective implementation of the WCS-IP support on Rote Island requires a good understanding of local knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards the species. To address this need, WCS-IP will focus its efforts on the following,
• Local communities in Rote Island, to identify opportunities and barriers in conservation initiatives for Rote snake-necked turtle reintroductions. Barriers could be identified as local dependence on and use of natural resources (or conflict over resources use).
• Demography, social, economic, social norm, and belief systems of people living around potential reintroduction areas.
• Examining local community perceptions, needs and incentives required to adopt and support reintroductions, and understanding the socio-economic factors that drive turtle hunting and how relevant this now is.
• Designing and managing socio-economic study that drive support, adoption and compliance with development of reintroduction program for Rote snake-necked turtle as one of protected species under national law.
• Ensure socio-economic monitoring related to Rote Island community has a robust design and can answer the relevant applied research questions.

Project implementation
• Working with the Species Conservation Officer, prepare and pilot a socio-economic questionnaire design and field survey methodology for conducting the research.
• Conduct a stakeholder mapping exercise to identify key stakeholders.
• Conduct a comprehensive and standardized socio-economic survey around Rote snake-necked turtle habitat.
• Compile and manage data from the socio-economic survey.
• Compile secondary data on the Rote people’s socio-economic status through maintaining good and frequent communication with the villagers, customary elders and others.
• Working with the Species Conservation Officer, analyze the questionnaire and interview data and information, and develop recommendations on options for reintroducing Rote snake-necked turtle from a socio-economic and customary law perspective.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication:

• Liaise and establish good working relationships and/or strategic partnerships with key stakeholders such as 18-19 different Nusak elder within Rote local community, local government, NGOs, and others to ensure the successful coordination, implementation and follow-up of project activities, as well as the mobilization of additional resources to the projects.
• Provide technical and facilitating support to meetings, seminars, workshops and public outreach activities as required.
• Deliver regular updates on the project activities, including news flashes and updates for WCS-IP website and other social media postings, and articles for brochures, leaflets, and printing media.


• Undertake any other duties, as assigned by line supervisor.

Job Requirements

• Graduate degree in social sciences or other related discipline
• A first degree and an additional two years relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of a postgraduate degree.
• Candidates from NTT, or have an experience working in the area, are encouraged to apply.

• Strong background in social science, including research, policy analysis and developing appropriate interventions.
• Proven ability to design, conduct, analyses and write-up socio-economic research, such as social studies, economic feasibility assessments, or assessments of the effectiveness of conservation interventions.
• At least 1 year’s working experience in social science.


• Strong facilitation, coordination, networking and negotiation skills.
• Decisiveness and independence.
• Good judgement, ability to work under pressure.
• Ability to maintain financial and technical control of projects in the field.
• Good report writing and presentation skills.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
• MS Office, knowledge of excel required, as well as database and other analytical software.
• Excellent writing skills in Indonesian, and adequate understanding in English.

Application Details
Please submit your job application consisting of updated curriculum vitae, expected salary, three professional references and a cover letter explaining your interest towards this work and/or this organization to marked with “Socio-Economic Research Officer" by February 17th 2017. No correspondence, only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Please note that the above TOR constitutes only the main responsibilities and duties of this position. As WCSIP is a flexible organization, staff members are expected to undertake any other tasks that are allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TOR.

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Contact Information
Address: 2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, New York 10460 Phone Number: (718) 220-5100