Position Title: Transition Management Lead (TML)

Organisation: Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust

Reports to: Executive Management Committee (EMC)

Location: Mount Mulanje Biosphere Reserve

Contract Type: Short-term consultancy, 4 months


The Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust (MMCT) was established in 2000 to support the efforts of the Department of Forestry in the management of the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve (MMFR). Since then, it has fostered the sustainable management of Mt Mulanje through collaboration with the Malawi Government and communities living in the wider Mount Mulanje Biosphere Reserve (MMBR).

MMCT is seeking delegated management authority for the MMFR through a long term public private partnership concession. Under this concession, MMCT will manage, coordinate, and implement biodiversity conservation actions within the forest reserve and the wider biosphere reserve. This will be achieved through partnerships and community engagement in a transparent and accountable manner, benefitting all who share conservation interests, while ensuring ecological, socio-political, cultural, and financial sustainability. Negotiations toward the concession are at an advanced stage.

MMCT is currently undergoing a Transitional Period within its overall organisational transformation, in process to change from a facilitative support organisation to an organisation assuming the role as protected area management authority of the forest reserve.

Purpose of the Position.

This Transition Management Lead position is a short-term position. The TML will manage all MMCT departments/programmes through the necessary organisational change processes to ensure that MMCT is organisationally prepared to take on the role of delegated manager of MMFR. The TML will be responsible for the management of people, assets and funding for the implementation of MMCT’s activities within the transitional period as approved by the Executive Management Committee (EMC) and the Board of Trustees.

This will include leading the development/improvement and implementation of organisational systems and procedures, work planning and budgeting processes, and work monitoring and accountability for outcomes. The TML will work with current staff to understand their interests, aspirations, motivations and capacities in relation to MMCT’s new role and the planned new structure/organogram.

MMCT is therefore seeking the services of an appropriately qualified and experienced individual to coordinate the transformation process and ensure that by the end of the process: (i) the Finance and Administrative Department is functioning, adhering to new Strategic Operational Procedures (SOPs); (ii) all positions within the structure have reviewed job descriptions, and their roles in the new organogram are defined and personal interests evaluated; (iii) individual appraisal sheets for all staff established; (iv) reporting system, based on the core metrics is in use; (v) activities within the work plan and implemented, and (vi) new reporting framework is in place.

Specific Tasks.

Primary functions and responsibilities:

  • Implement the decisions of the MMCT Executive Management Committee;
  • Finalise organisational policies and SOPs (currently at different stages of development), onboard these to all staff, and ensure they are systematically introduced and adhered to;
  • Support on-going specific change/improvement processes including a major upgrading of the Finance & Administration Department to improve functioning, efficiency and accountability and ensure fiscal discipline is rigorously applied;
  • Work with programme staff to support the transition to new work-planning and budgeting processes and procedures as defined in the 5 year business plan;
  • Review all staff job descriptions and update them accordingly;
  • Develop, with programme staff, appropriate monitoring systems and an overall plan to ensure accountability and learning. Put in place African Parks Reporter, based on identified MMCT/MMFR core metric;
  • Work with programme and support staff to understand their motivations, aspirations, and capacities in order to assess and propose if, how, and where staff will fit into the new organogram. Set up staff performance appraisal sheets, with individual KPIs;
  • Develop a plan for populating the new organogram including reviewing job descriptions for key positions, determining the need for & job descriptions of additional support personnel within departments, recruiting for all agreed positions (including from current staff);
  • Support the staff to understand and accept the possibility and reality of not being offered a post in the new structure and how they may plan for their future;
  • Promote and maintain good working relationships with all stakeholders concerned including local Government, local communities and donors and other stakeholders;
  • Work closely with the ED/Biosphere Coordinator to ensure the function/content of his role is clearly developed and included in all work planning and budgeting;
  • Provide periodic reports to the MMCT Executive Management Committee and other stakeholders as required;
  • Support incoming Reserve Manager in all aspect of his/her work.
  • Put in place weekly management meetings as a tool for team strengthening, planning and daily management of activities;
  • Manage all activities of MMCT in the field as per approved work-plan and associated budget.
  • Produce short weekly reports to EMC/ED and AP and attend bi-weekly calls with African Parks.

Outputs of the Transition Management Lead assignment:

  1. Finance & Administration Department functions with high standards of compliance, efficiency and accountability and fiscal discipline is rigorously applied. All African Parks and internal audit recommendations are applied/implemented.
  2. Key organisational SOPs and policies, and associated administrative templates adopted, explained to relevant staff and in use.
  3. Interview existing staff about their interests, capacities, new roles and responsibilities executed and reflected in the implementation of the new organogram (as per Institutional overview).
  4. Staff performance appraisal sheets set-up, with individual KPIs for fiscal year 2024/25 (starting July 24).
  5. Job descriptions and staff contract template reviewed. The new Code of Conduct understood by all employees.
  6. Head of Departments have good understanding of Business Planning process, and contribute to the business planning and work-planning process.
  7. A 5-year Business Plan updated by end of April 2024, including associated budget.
  8. Workplan March – June 2024 implemented.
  9. AP Reporter, based on MMCT/MMFR core metric implemented;

10. Weekly management meetings established.

11. Weekly reports produced and bi-weekly calls attended.

Timeframe and location for the coordination assignment:

The assignment will be a full-time contract for a period of 4 months (could be extended). The position is based in Malawi, Mulanje. The consultant will adhere to normal MMCT working hours.

Support from MMCT during the assignment:

The EMC Chair will be the line manager for the coordinator and overseer of the contract.

Key resource persons from the EMC and the Executive Director (and where required other nominated persons) will be available to support key areas of consultant’s work in the delivery of specific areas of the ToR.

The APN Incubation Programme Focal Point will also advise and assist in the implementation of tools and strategy.

Remuneration and costs for the coordination assignment:

MMCT will pay the coordinator a ‘salary’ fee for each month for the 4-month assignment. This fee will be negotiated as part of the contract discussions.

Starting Date:
MMCT seeks to contract this position as soon as possible but remains flexible around the start date.

Experience required for the Position:

  • Strong experience in the development, introduction, implementation and oversight of organisational systems and procedures across all aspects of organisational life.
  • Long term experience in senior management role and/or organisational change role.
  • Proven financial management and budgeting experience.
  • Strong experience of programme/project work planning and budgeting with development of clear targets, outcomes and monitoring performance to maximise achievement.
  • Experience of developing organisational operating procedures.
  • Ability to motivate, build, drive and manage individuals and teams through organisational change.
  • Ability to work with a diverse team of nominated professionals to ensure local knowledge is fully incorporated into the process.
  • Familiarity with African Parks Network operations is desirable.

How to apply

To apply for this contract please submit a resume and cover letter explaining your motivation to Grace Chawawa at RMpost@mountmulanje.org.mw