IPARD Program Assistant – Capacity Development & Inclusion

FSC Indigenous Foundation


Position: IPARD Program Assistant – Capacity Development & Inclusion

Location: Panama City, Panama

Reporting to: IPARD Program Lead – Capacity Development & Inclusion

Work Percentage: 100%


In 2019, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF) as the operational office of the Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC). FSC-IF, recognized under Panama’s Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995, is a private interest foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to create an environment that safeguards the rights of Indigenous Peoples and advocates for sustainable forest-based solutions across 300 million hectares of Indigenous Peoples’ forests worldwide. The vision is to integrate Indigenous Peoples’ global values, rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services, natural capital, and communities into forest governance, climate change governance, and market systems.

Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights & Development

The FSC-IF is the implementing agency of the five-year Global Development Alliance (GDA) program funded by USAID and FSC—the Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights & Development (IPARD). The IPARD Program is guided by three development objectives:

Objective 1: To organize and convene a capacity building program for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and stakeholders.

Objective 2: To foster an enabling environment for the recognition, effective participation and joint decision-making by Indigenous Peoples in matters affecting them; and

Objective 3: Promote the sustainable development of Indigenous Peoples based on sustainable economic models.

IPARD uses three interconnected approaches to support Indigenous Peoples in overcoming their development challenges:

  1. Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA): Under the strategic guidance of IPARD’s Steering Committee (SC), the Program convenes and leverages the expertise of multi-sectoral partners to ensure that the needs of Indigenous communities are considered across a wide range of sectors.
  2. Country-Focused Approach (CFA): IPARD’s programmatic strategy is guided by a country-focused approach, driven by specific national contexts related to Indigenous Peoples. IPARD implements a structured process to identify, evaluate and select countries for its programs. FSC-IF works in conjunction with the IPARD Steering Committee, and according to the guidelines of the multi-sectoral approach, in order to select countries and identify key priorities and strategies.
  3. Indigenous Project Management Approach (IPMA): Leveraging FSC-IF’s networks and relationships with Indigenous leaders and organizations around the world, IPARD seeks ongoing dialogue, consultation, and feedback with Indigenous Peoples to inform the Program. IPARD supports a forum through which the FSC-IF serves as a bridge between Indigenous Peoples, technical partners, national governments, and the private sector. IPARD invests in best practice conservation and effective approaches and methodologies to ensure strategic cohesion of partnerships at various levels.

Through these three approaches, IPARD aims to empower Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations and catalyze an enabling environment where Indigenous Peoples can pursue their development.

FSC Indigenous Foundation

We are Indigenous Peoples; our strategies and our future actions are shaped by ancestral knowledge, practices, cosmovision, values, and respect for Mother Earth and our past. We as FSC-IF are providers of Indigenous-based solutions, and our ancestral knowledge and traditions have driven Indigenous-based solutions for centuries. We are Indigenous Peoples; we are the owners of Indigenous-based solutions to global challenges, and the FSC Indigenous Foundation is the global vehicle to design, manage, facilitate, and scale up Indigenous-led solutions through multi-sectoral partnerships. FSC-IF is shaped to respond to key challenges and opportunities faced by Indigenous Peoples to achieve their self-development, self-governance, and self-reliance. Driven by this perspective, the way we operate differs from traditional organizational planning because our cultural and traditional way of thinking, acting, and interacting do not fit into a pre-determined Western tradition of thoughts, organizational management, or governance.

We are committed to work driven by our values of being guided by and supporting Indigenous Peoples’ values of: 1) Respect for Mother Earth—Managing our lands, waters, and ecosystems with great respect to nature and care by recognizing that we only borrow them from future generations and 2) Respect for ancestral knowledge—Keeping our promises to our ancestors to manage nature and the resources provided by the Mother Earth in a sustainable and respectful way.


The FSC-IF seeks a Program Assistant for the IPARD Program to support the Program Lead for Capacity Development & Inclusion to ensure the efficient implementation of the activities under IPARD Objective 1.

The position is based in Panama City, Panama.


  • Collect and prepare data and background information in the areas of IPARD Objective 1 activities at the country, regional and global levels.
  • Do desk-based and online research to prepare lists of potential partners as universities, academic centers, NGOs, private sector companies and experts that address capacity building activities for Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders.
  • Provide support indicators and budget tracking and update records in the prescribed format.
  • Prepare background material, presentations, working papers and tables for briefings, review sessions, meetings, webinars, workshop and other events.
  • Prepare and participate in IPARD Program’s stakeholders’ meetings (e.g., send invitation, ppts, minutes, following up on decisions etc.).
  • Provide administrative support with consultants or partners such as activities tracking, following schedules for the delivery of products and meetings.
  • Provides support to the procurement process, prepares purchase requisitions, prepares templates for evaluation committees, supports with Terms of Reference preparation, as well as Memorandums of Negotiation, documents procurement processes and related tasks in order to fulfill the necessary mandatory compliance steps in each process.
  • Prepare reports on different subjects related to IPARD Objective 1.
  • Under supervision of the Program Lead for Capacity Development & Inclusion, assist and maintain good communication with Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations, partners, and other key stakeholders.
  • Performs other related duties as required for the smooth implementation of the program.


  • Experience working in similar position at a regional or international organizational level, coordinating projects at national or regional and international levels with focus on Indigenous Peoples.
  • Experience working with International NGOs is desirable.
  • Professional in social and or environmental sciences, or related fields, with at least 3 years of experience with Indigenous Peoples projects and programs is desirable.
  • Good interpersonal communication and coordination, organization and planning skills.
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC-IF and Indigenous Peoples.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish, presentation and negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in handling a computer and such environments and software as MS Office, communication platforms (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, and others), and other software.
  • Being a member of an Indigenous Communities or Peoples would be an added advantage.
  • A post graduate degree would be an added advantage.

How to Apply

  • Please submit your application by January 16, 2024, (5:00pm Panama) to [email protected]:

    • CV (2 page maximum)

Cover letter (one page maximum) including: (a) your motivation; (b) salary proposal); and (c) two professional references (name, position, organization, email, and phone)

How to apply

How to Apply

  • Please submit your application by January 16, 2024, (5:00pm Panama) to [email protected]:

    • CV (2 page maximum)

Cover letter (one page maximum) including: (a) your motivation; (b) salary proposal); and (c) two professional references (name, position, organization, email, and phone)

Deadline: 16 Jan 2024