Sustainable Development Goals

The Project

The Fundasaun Haburas Moris (FHM) is looking for a Project Management Mentor to support the management for the long-term “Inclusive Social Forestry with small-holder farmers in Timor-Leste”, which they are undertaking with Value Network Ventures Advisory Services (VNV).

The Location

Maliana is the capital of Bobonaro district, Timor Leste, located near the Indonesian border. With a population of approximately 22,000, the inland regional city is approximately 150km southwest from the capital, Dili.  The predominant agriculture is rice production. The majority of Maliana’s population is heavily dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Most of the population are farmers cultivating rice and maize.

Maliana has seven villages consisting of Lahomea, Holsa, Ritabou, Odomau, Raifun, Tapo-Memo and Saburai. There are two main sources of water irrigation that supply water to paddy -fields Bulobu River, Nunura River, Malibaka and Bui Pira river. The main native dialects include Bunak and Kemak but most people understand and speak Tetum.

The Challenge

For the farming communities who make up 80% of Timor-Leste’s population, deforestation poses a real threat to their rural livelihoods. Reforestation offers a way to combat land degradation and adapt to climate change with more resilient landscapes and incomes. But with the payback from traditional industries like timber too small and too slow to encourage planting, what are the alternatives?

The “Inclusive Social Forestry with small-holder farmers in Timor Leste” project aims to establish sustainable agroforestry systems through carbon finance across 2 sub districts of Bobonaro Municipality.

The project will provide farmers with seedlings of suitable agroforestry species to plant on their lands by using various agroforestry models. The species selected for the project will be species that will contribute to the farmers’ livelihood or food security and include species for timber, fruit, medicine and other important needs.

The project will be a long-term project and will also include maintenance and monitoring of the agroforestry systems to ensure long term survival.  This will help generate higher nutritional status, overall community empowerment in addition to fostering protection and enhancement of local and regional ecosystems and biological diversity.

In this position FHM is looking for a person who can integrate into the organisation and help build capacity as a peer/ colleague, from within. This person will also assist to embed best practice into management systems and procedures and support the organisational development.

About You

The successful candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated experience in a project management role
  • Strong organisational and communication skills
  • Ability to gently persist with multiple tasks in an environment of change where work practices and pace of work are different from metropolitan societies and where many interruptions and delays will occur
  • Personal attributes that will be vital include flexibility, patience and a sense of humour
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to working within a different cultural context
  • A willingness to engage your Australian community in promoting the work of the host organisation and their role.

How You Will Help

First you must be willing to learn from the local community.

Over the first six months you are asked not to change anything or suggest a change to operations.  During that six months you will take the time to learn language and cultural mores from a local counterpart willing to mentor you.  You will also start a register of the strengths of the current personnel and the assets in the community/country that might be used to achieve the goals of the assignment.

You need to commit to clarifying why things are done the way they are rather than presuming from your own cultural lens to outline what is missing. So, you need to ask questions to enable you to learn from your hosts, rather than in ignorance make suggestions about how things can improve. Palms training will prepare you for this approach.

In the second six months you will be ready and better know which of your skills and what of your knowledge applies to:

  • Providing coaching and mentoring to FHM staff on project management processes
  • Guide FHM staff in designing and developing appropriate project management activities, data collection tools and M&E frameworks
  • Work with FHM staff to strengthen communication and reporting relationships between and amongst stakeholders
  • Producing reports for donors

Note: The monthly living allowance enables you to live a modest local lifestyle. Based on the cost of living in a particular country, it covers food, your daily commute, communication and other local costs. It is not set to enable you to meet financial commitments at home, such as a mortgage or a personal loan.  It will not cover the costs of eating out and other entertainment. Read more about what is covered in our FAQ.

Think you have what it takes? Register your interest

    * Successful applicants must be available to attend an orientation course in Sydney. Palms Australia will not fund international flights and will not sponsor visas to attend this course. Read our FAQ for more.