Conservation and Climate Consultant

  • Anywhere
Organization: Village Enterprise
Closing date: 20 Jan 2022


Village Enterprise has supported people living in extreme poverty to set up successful microenterprises in East Africa for 30+ years, impacting the lives of over one million individuals. Our ‘poverty graduation’ approach consists of a sequenced set of activities over a 12-month period: targeting (to identify those living in extreme poverty), establishing savings groups, training in savings, loans, and business, seed capital grants, and mentoring.

Since 2007, Village Enterprise has partnered with conservation actors on joint conservation and economic development projects – including Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, and the Jane Goodall Institute, among many others. We know conservation relies on people, and that communities living in or on the fringes of protected areas are often driven to negative practices by a lack of alternative sustainable income opportunities. Working with conservation partners, we have adapted our approach to support poachers and hunters set up sustainable businesses that generate an income and enable them to stop or reduce hunting.

However, our new strategic plan (August 2020-July 2023) recognises that we need to go much further. Our conservation work should not be limited to protected landscapes, but rather we must integrate a climate-smart element across all our programming. We know that people living in extreme poverty are the most impacted by the effects of climate-change, and we see our entrepreneurs facing increasing challenges year on year with droughts, floods, locusts, and other climate-triggered disasters. We must equip these entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these climate challenges and continue to earn an income, and to do it in such a way that they are not contributing to further climate degradation. We must also address the conundrum of how we can continue to support entrepreneurs in the pursuit of an income (an individual gain) with how these entrepreneurs can act to protect their environment (a public good). Finally, we must recognise that for this to be successful, our entrepreneurs will need to change their mindsets and behaviours, and our programme must facilitate these changes.


The objective the consultancy is to answer the below questions comprehensively, and develop a practical approach to implementing these answers at Village Enterprise:

Examples, Exidence and Related Literature

● Outline examples of interventions that encourage private action towards environmental public goods and conservation efforts. What evidence is there on the effectiveness of these interventions?

● Outline examples of interventions that encourage collective community action towards environmental public goods and conservation efforts. What evidence is there on the effectiveness of these interventions?

● Outline examples of climate smart mircro enterprises (incuding agricultural activities) that contribute to environmental public goods and conservation efforts. What evidence is there on the impact of these entreprises?

● Are there any examples of whether there were gendered effects in any of these examples – where they benefited men/women differently.

Strategic Suggestions

● What climate-smart practices should our entrepreneurs adopt (and what should be a minimum requirement vs what should be a best practice), remembering that these are individuals living in extreme poverty and starting small microbusinesses? We anticipate that some of these may be generic practices, and some may be relevant to specific types of business[1].

● How should we support our entrepreneurs to adopt these practices? How can we address the tension between the personal gain of profit and the public good of protecting the environment? How can we facilitate genuine behaviour change?

● How should Village Enterprise measure if a business is climate-smart? How should we measure if being climate-smart has led to greater resilience of that business?

● What graduation add-on activities might motivate entrepreneurs to contribute to the protection of the (local) environment?


The consultant will develop his/her own deliverables in line with the objectives set and these will be approved by Village Enterprise at the start of the consultancy. The consultant will be required to submit regular progress reports that as a minimum advise on project progress and the delivery of the tasks against a project work plan. It is expected that feedback provided will be incorporated into deliverables.

Education and Experience:

● Post-graduate degree in relevant field.

● A minimum of 10 years expertise in conservation, agriculture, and small livestock in Sub Saharan Africa.

● Excellent understanding of climate issues impacting rural communities in Africa, and approaches that have been proven successful in counteracting this impact.

● Direct experience working with rural, African communities.

Experience in economic development programmes would be ideal.

[1] The most common businesses currently started by Village Enterprise entrepreneurs are beans, sunflower, soya, groundnuts, cotton, chicken, and pigs.

How to apply:

To apply, please send your CV and a 5-page maximum proposal for how you would propose to answer the questions outlined in the objectives to This should include an overview of your deliverables, a timeline, and a budget.