Senior Program Officer, Governance and Rights, Main Office

The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC)

RECOFTC is an international nonprofit organization working towards a future where resilient communities with respected rights thrive in forest landscapes that they manage sustainably and equitably. We take a long-term, landscape-based and inclusive approach in supporting local communities to secure their land and resource rights, stop deforestation, find alternative livelihoods, and foster gender equality. We have more than 36 years of experience working with people and forests and have built trusting relationships with partners at all levels. As a trusted, honest broker, we occupy a distinct position as an international organization that supports, informs and brings together governments, communities, businesses, academia and civil society organizations. Our innovations, knowledge and initiatives enable countries to foster good forest governance, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and achieve the UN Global Goals.

RECOFTC operates in the Asia-Pacific region, with country program offices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Viet Nam.

RECOFTC is currently seeking a Senior Program Officer, Governance and Rights for the Program Coordination and Technical Services (PCTS) unit. The selected candidate will be based in the RECOFTC Main Office in Bangkok, Thailand, and will be offered a 24-month contract with the possibility of extension, contingent on funding availability and satisfactory performance.

Task and Duties

The Senior Program Officer, Governance and Rights is a member of the PCTS Unit and will be responsible for conducting and coordinating action research, performing analysis, and assessing best practices at regional, national (within RECOFTC’s focal countries), and landscape levels to improve governance and respect for rights. The results of such analysis must be strategically used for project implementation, policy recommendations, business development, and strategic communications. The Senior Program Officer will also help design and deliver training programs and capacity development exercises related to RECOFTC’s governance and rights-related work, supervise staff who focus on these themes, and actively collaborate with other team members and programs. The Senior Program Officer will constantly strive to innovate rights and governance thinking and methods and actively look for ways to expand RECOFTC, particularly for its rights and governance portfolio.

The Senior Program Offer reports directly to the PCTS Director and works closely with the team members, as well as other staff members, partners, and service providers.

The Senior Program Officer’s specific tasks and duties include:

Providing strategic direction for Main Office programs and activities on RECOFTC’s Goal 3 of improved governance and respect for rights (40% of time):

  • Developing and coordinating action research and analysis in governance, tenure and rights including developing, implementing and monitoring protocols for conducting research.
  • Reviewing, analyzing, synthesizing and documenting relevant best practices, outcome evidence, and lessons learned related to Goal 3 topics from within and outside RECOFTC focal countries.
  • Providing strategic direction to RECOFTC staff to promote and mainstream Goal 3 issues institutionally and in country/regional programs.
  • Coordinating with other goals leads to synergizing Goal 3-related tasks with other goals.
  • Coordinating internally and with partners white papers/policy briefs on Goal 3 topics based on needs or requests by synthesizing documents, articles, and other publications to generate a better understanding of these issues. These documents will be prepared in response to requests from donors, to support specific project implementation, and to improve RECOFTC’s visibility and credibility as a knowledge hub and on its action research expertise on Goal 3 topics.
  • Managing projects (e.g., project implementation, reporting, donor relationship, monitoring) related to Goal 3 issues in community forestry in close coordination with relevant staff and Director as needed.
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of capacity development and training activities on Goal 3 issues in coordination with training experts and local/regional partners. This will include integrating research results into these trainings and planning for piloting and demonstration activities.
  • RECOFTC’s primary representative at conferences where expertise on governance, institutions, tenure, and rights in community forestry is needed.

Providing strategic direction for country programs and activities on Goal 3 (30% of time):

  • Leading the promotion and mainstreaming of Goal 3 principles and activities into RECOFTC’s country programs. This work will be done in response to requests from country directors to support Goal 3 principles or activities of country projects, in response to requests from the PCTS Director or Executive Director, as well as through their initiative.
  • Developing a work plan that includes desired outputs, outcomes and indicators for Goal 3 activities across country and regional programs. Review the work plan regularly as agreed with and in consultation with the PCTS Director and update it as needed.

Knowledge Management and Strategic Communications (10% of time):

  • Collaborating with the Director and staff of the Knowledge Management, IT and Strategic Communication (KMITSC) unit, as well as with project and country office Directors, to identify and produce stories and other communication materials as necessary, focusing on issues related to Goal 3.
  • Taking the lead in showcasing and representing RECOFTC’s expertise on topics related to Goal 3 at strategic events onlocal, regional and global scales; responsible for drafting summary reports for each engagement, including trips and meetings.

Business Development, Partnerships and Innovation (20% of time):

  • Identifying funding opportunities for RECOFTC’s Goal 3 portfolio from public sources, social enterprises and private sectors.
  • Supporting the Business Development unit in developing innovative project proposals that incorporate new techniques and tools for enhancing work related to Goal 3. This involves collaboration with existing projects and country Directors to identify best practices, aiming to replicate these practices where necessary and to innovate whenever possible.
  • Maintaining and expanding strategic networks with partners in the private sector, enterprises, innovation partners and other organizations within the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
  • Acting as a representative for RECOFTC and its work related to Goal 3 at strategicnetworking events with key partners and donors; responsible for drafting summary reports for each engagement, including trips and meetings.


  • Supervising and offering guidance and mentorship to staff and interns involved in work related to Goal 3.
  • Formally representing RECOFTC in selected international networks and coalitions, as designated and agreed upon with the PCTS Director.
  • Carrying out any additional tasks as assigned by the PCTS Director.

Qualifications and experience

The Senior Program Officer, Governance and Rights will have the following essential and desirable qualifications and experience:


  • A master’s degree in political science, forestry, conservation, or related fields with a minimum of 10 years work experience in project development and implementation related to forest governance, communities’ rights, tenure and public participation.
  • Proven experience in natural resources management, local governance, land tenure, indigenous and women’s rights, as well as addressing land/forest use conflict issues.
  • Experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder processes, land use governance dialogues and networking within the forestry and land use sectors.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills and an innovative thinker who actively contributes to team development.
  • A reasonable record of publications highlighting expertise in relevant fields.
  • Ability to multitask effectively across diverse cultural and institutional contexts.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and fluent in English.
  • Willingness to be based in Bangkok, Thailand.


  • Prior experience working with international organizations in the Asia-Pacific region is highly preferred.
  • Proficiency in one or more languages spoken in RECOFTC’s focal countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Viet Nam) is considered an asset.
  • Knowledge of social inclusion and gender equality principles.

RECOFTC’s core values

At RECOFTC, our core values are the foundation of our culture and guide all our work. In addition to job-specific skills and experience, the applicant should possess the following characteristics, attitudes and skills:

  • Embrace innovation
  • Adapt to and learn from challenges
  • Nurture commitment, responsibility and ownership
  • Collaborate with partners and stakeholders
  • Committed to sustainability
  • Cultivate participation, gender equity and social inclusion
  • Prioritize wellbeing

How to apply

Interested candidates are requested to submit their CV and a cover letter indicating why they are suitable for the position, with salary expectations and current contact details of three referees, including recent supervisors. Please click “Apply Now” >>

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. RECOFTC offers a competitive compensation package.

For more information about RECOFTC, please visit our website at

RECOFTC is committed to non-discrimination and equal opportunity. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on ethnicity, religion, age, nationality, physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by RECOFTC’s values and code of conduct. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable qualified disabled applicants to participate in the application process. If you require special accommodation, please inform RECOFTC’s Human Resources in writing at the time of application. RECOFTC is an equal opportunity employer, and the successful candidate will be selected based on merit. Thai nationals and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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