Position Available

Researcher/Programme Manager: Extractives and Infrastructure Programme – Kenya

Who is Natural Justice

Natural Justice is a young and fast-paced non-profit organisation specialising in human rights and environmental law. We conduct comprehensive research on environmental and human rights law, support communities and local organisations, provide technical advice to governments and intergovernmental organisations, and engage in key international processes in pursuit of environmental justice. Natural Justice works in a number of African countries.

What we’re looking for

With the increase in oil and gas exploration, major infrastructure and industrial projects, there will be increasing impacts upon marginalised communities dependent on their environments. Concurrently, Kenya has seen a proliferation of the legal and policy frameworks that govern these sectors. We are seeking a full-time legal research officer to analyse how improvements in environmental law and procedures could mitigate impacts and offer adequate remedies to people affected by extractives, infrastructure and industrial projects.

Natural Justice is undertaking a study that examines the strategies used by communities and civil society to mitigate the impacts of extractives and infrastructure projects and offer adequate remedies to the people affected. This would form part of a four-country study also including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Guinea that aims to share and improve upon the strategies and programs being applied in different contexts. We are seeking a full researcher to undertake the study in Kenya, provide technical advice to affected groups or civil society, as well as provide support and oversight to researchers in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The successful candidate will be based in Nairobi, with occasional international travel, both nationally and internationally, and will be expected to begin work immediately.

What’s on offer

Natural Justice is a small, close-knit and nurturing collective that places emphasis on facilitating opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its members. Natural Justice will offer a competitive salary commensurate with skill and experience. The contract length will be full-time for one year with the intention of a longer-term arrangement. Joining Natural Justice will also give the successful candidate a chance to work with a passionate and professional team in a fast-paced environment and gain valuable national and regional experience.

What the role will include

Research and Technical Advice:

  • Developing a research report to investigate the various strategies being used in Kenya to mitigate the impacts of extractives and infrastructure projects.
  • Conducting desktop and field research with affected groups, government, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Assessing the compliance of extractives and infrastructure projects with regional, national laws and regulations, and developing a report on the same in Kenya.
  • Providing technical advice to affected groups, when required.
  • Write research reports, concept documents, academic papers, organisational reports.
  • Sharing research findings with stakeholders and at relevant national and international fora.


  • Providing oversight and support to researchers carrying out similar research studies in both South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • Developing research goals with researchers in South Africa and Zimbabwe and ensuring completion of outputs.
  • Liaising with and reporting to project donors.

Minimum qualifications and experience required:

  • A masters degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline OR an undergraduate degree in law or other relevant political/social science discipline with 6 years relevant work experience.
  • At least 4 years of demonstrated work expertise and interest in environmental law, including natural resource and/or land law.
  • Understanding of, and proficiency in, the Kenyan legal system and institutional arrangements.
  • Experience with conducting primary and/or desktop research and preparing clear and analytical reports (with proof of published work).
  • Experience in conducting field research and working with marginalized communities.
  • Experience with relating national policy research to policy advocacy.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including through online platforms.
  • Solid project cycle management skills, including experience with team oversight and M&E.
  • Experience writing applications and reporting to CSO donors.
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili.
  • Citizen or permanent resident of Kenya.

Personal Profile:

  • A history of advocating for social and environmental justice.
  • Highly motivated, pro-active individual able to work under minimal supervision.
  • Ability to prioritize and act on initiative.
  • Critical and analytical thinking.
  • Reliability and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work as part of a team within a diverse multi-cultural setting.
  • Experience in communicating complex legal issues in an accessible way to communities.

Application process:

Deadline: Friday, 19 January 2018 17:00 EAT.

Please email your application to Human Resources (admin.nbo(at)naturaljustice.org) with the job title in the subject line.

Include a motivation letter that indicates why you feel you are the best candidate for this position, a detailed CV with three references, and maximum three samples of your past work (for example, articles or research reports). Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required skills and experience and desirable traits and attributes listed above.