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Head of Knowledge and Innovation

Wetlands International is the global NGO dedicated to safeguarding and restoring wetlands. At the heart of our vision is a plan to demonstrate whole landscape recovery in large wetland landscapes including mangroves, peatlands and freshwater wetlands across the world. These are among the top global biodiversity treasures, but also sources of much of the world’s land-based climate emissions where people are poorest and most vulnerable. To make a global difference, we seek to inspire and mobilise society to act and to influence levers of change.

The Head of Knowledge and Innovation is a new position created to steer development and uptake of Wetlands International’s knowledge, innovations and assets to scale up wetland conservation and restoration globally. You harvest best practices from and facilitate effective wetland action in our three streams of work (Rivers and Lakes, Peatlands, Coasts and Deltas) described in Wetlands International’s Strategic Intent. You stimulate adaptive management, learning by doing and joint sensemaking to leverage ongoing improvement. With your team, you disclose and develop knowledge, practical tools, innovative finance mechanisms and organise monitoring, evaluation and learning alongside training, dissemination and exchange both within the organisation and externally.


We are looking for a facilitative leader, with vision, professional insights and a relevant network, who has experience in strategic knowledge development and capacity building relevant to scaling up wetland conservation and restoration. You bring a good understanding of the many facets of wetland management with foundations in a relevant academic subject and a demonstrable track record in developing country contexts. You have significant experience in programme design and implementation, mobilising alliances and upscaling action. The ideal candidate also has the competencies needed to line manage a team of professionals in the global office and motivate and capacitate a network-wide team and partners to deliver innovative and tangible impact according to best available practices. You are willing and able to travel regularly and you are committed to Wetlands International’s mission, values and ways of working.

Job Offer

● Full time (36 hours- 5 days per week), gross salary max. EUR 7.592,00 excl. 8% holiday pay.
● Contract duration: One year, with expectation of extension.
● Location: Global Office in Ede-Wageningen, the Netherlands (2 days per week).

Responsibilities (and estimated % of your time):

Leading knowledge and innovation management (50%):

  • Developing and steering implementation of a knowledge and innovation strategy, including setting up a knowledge management system or process to harvest, organise and strategically disclose knowledge, experiences and best practices as well as organising innovation space.
  • Developing and steering a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system to systematically collect, analyse and transform data (KPIs) into strategic information that enables decision making with focus on the impact areas and goals in our strategic intent.
  • Ensuring accountability towards our Strategic Intent, nurturing high quality and adherence to best practices and ESG principles.
  • Developing and (line) managing a small team of professionals and supervising a portfolio of knowledge and innovation projects.

Mobilising our knowledge and partners (50%):

  • Championing and further driving development of Wetlands International’s knowledge and innovations, and assets like the International Waterbird Census, Global Mangrove Watch, potentially developing an overarching Global Wetlands Watch Initiative.
  • Facilitating collaborative learning and sense-making across the organisation to strengthen our Theory of Change and to help us to effectively inspire, mobilise and upscale.
  • Stimulate embedding of knowledge management and MEL into our projects and programmes along with capacity building on and uptake of best practices in programme development and resource mobilisation.
  • Mobilising relevant strategic alliances and partnerships and nurturing and maintaining our scientific committees, associate experts and relevant networks.
  • Represent and promote Wetlands International towards external partners, donors, members and networks on various levels and in a multitude of international settings, using our knowledge and innovations as an upscaling mechanism.

Essential education and experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience with a track record of successful results, working with dispersed teams and diverse partners.
  • Proven ability to inspire, empower and motivate colleagues, so as to build a high-performance team.
  • Knowledge of key issues, debates, trends and key global processes related to wetland landscapes and nature-based solutions as an integrated approach for safeguarding and restoring wetlands.
  • An international network with relevant (international) NGOs, academics, knowledge institutes, governments, and other regional and global institutions.
  • Diplomat, good listener with strong interpersonal skills and comfortable working across different cultures; confident communicator and advocate for different target audiences.
  • Strong willingness and ability to learn, share and innovate; proven ability to mobilise ideas through developing and coordinating teams.
  • Education: minimum of a master’s degree in a relevant discipline. Languages: excellent communications skills in English are essential (written and spoken); other languages an advantage, especially French or Spanish.

The Head of Knowledge and Innovation works closely with and reports to the Director of Programme Impact, line manages a small team of professionals in the Global Office and facilitates collaboration across the network. As a member of the Programme Leadership Team, you take collective responsibility for delivery of our Strategic Intent targets.

How to apply

Please send a 2-page CV and motivation letter to Jozefa van der Veen, HR Officer to [email protected] no later than 8 March 2024, with the subject: “Application – Head of Knowledge and Innovation”. In this procedure we work with Sustainability Works. Please feel free to contact [email protected], should you have any questions.

First round video call interviews will take place on 18 March 2024; second round on 21 March (office).