Household and Personal Debt Intern

WCS Cambodia

Sen Monorom, Cambodia

Volunteer • Full Time

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, carbon, climate & energy, environmental policy & campaigning

Closing date: Saturday, 30th November 2019  


Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia

Household and Personal Debt Intern

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is looking to recruit a Household and Personal Debt Intern for working at Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Eastern Plains Landscape.


WCS assists the Royal Government of Cambodia to conserve species and habitats in four landscapes across Cambodia, namely, the Eastern Plains (consisting of the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) in Mondulkiri and Kratie provinces), the Northern Plains, the Tonle Sap, and the Freshwater Rivers. Taken together these landscapes support all of the major habitat types in Cambodia, as well as vital population of most of Cambodia globally threatened species. These protected areas are also extensively used by human populations that reside in and adjacent to the protected areas.

Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of almost 3,000 km2, and is home to more than 350 species of bird, 60 species of ray-finned fish, 90 species of mammal, and 80 herptile species. More than 70 of the 900+ species of flora and fauna found in KSWS are threatened or endangered. Around 32,000 people live in and around the protected area and are key stakeholders in the long term success of the area.

Traditionally, the area was inhabited by the Bunong indigenous group, practicing shifting agriculture and extensive forest use. The area, especially the borders, is becoming increasingly populated by people of Khmer ethnicity, and practices are shifting towards cash crops such as cassava.

KSWS is support by a REDD+ project, providing sustainable financing to protected area management. This REDD+ project is validated under two standards, the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (BCC) standards. This latter standard certifies that communities in and around the protected area benefit from the REDD+ project. In order to track the project’s impact, KSWS management authorities undertake a suite of monitoring programs, including a 5-yearly Social Impact Assessment (SIA).

Recent surveys have highlighted the problem of household and personal debt – an issue that is becoming increasingly severe across Cambodia. Land is used as collateral for loans from financial institutions including MFIs, driving increased land clearance which can illegally leak into the protected area. With interest high rates and variable cash crop markets, households are often unable to keep up payments, ultimately leading to land alienation, in turn driving increased land clearance.

Household and Personal Debt Intern

WCS seeks a quantitatively strong Household and Personal Debt Intern with familiarity with debt and microfinance, in order analyze and interpret existing household and personal debt data. This existing data can be supplemented by a survey of communities in the target area, investigating perceptions of debt, of risk, and other factors.

This position represents an excellent opportunity for an early-career researcher interested in the interface between economics, development, and wildlife conservation to gain experience in:

  • Data analysis
  • Survey design and implementation
  • On-the-ground realities of complex systems

The intern will also have the ability to impact program design through provision of management-critical insights.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Minimum of a Master’s degree in a related subject, including economics or finance
  • Familiarity with data analysis, ideally including experience with R or similar statistical environment


  • Analysis of social impact assessment data, focusing on debt, with the support of the Data Analysis and Operations Technical Advisor
  • Production of summary report highlighting key findings and insights.

Deliverables and outputs

  • Summary report


The project duration will be 4 months, ideally starting in January 2020.


Work costs related to this position will be covered by WCS, in cash or in-kind, including travel to the site, food during field work, accommodation. Field equipment will be provided for the duration of any additional survey work required. Salary range starts at $750 and will be dependent on candidate experience and suitability.

Duty station

The Household and Personal Debt Intern will be based either at KSWS headquarters in Sen Monorom or in Phnom Penh.

Reports to

Employment period

1st January 2020 – April 31st 2020

Please mention when responding to this ad.