Call for Applications: Research and Policy Officer (Kenya)

Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT), is a grassroots organization founded in 2009 whose mission is to foster social, economic and environmental justice in the Lake Turkana Basin. FoLT do this through protecting and conserving Lake Turkana, the Lake Turkana Basin and its environment; advocating for the rights of the Turkana Basin communities; increasing the participation of communities in environmental protection policy formulation, sustainable management and wise use of natural resources; and lobbying for increased participation of communities in the development and governance of their resources.

Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and the Environmentis a young and fast-paced non-profit organisation specialising in human rights and environmental law. We are a pioneering international team of legal practitioners, who 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 and social justice. Natural Justice currently works in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with its headquarters in Cape Town and regional offices in Malaysia, India, and USA.

What are we looking for?
With the increase in oil and gas exploration, developments around major infrastructure projects, community land and resource laws there will be increasing impacts upon indigenous peoples and/or marginalized communities. Concurrently, Kenya has seen a proliferation of the legal and policy frameworks that govern these sectors. In order to engage proactively in discussions on these sectors indigenous peoples/marginalized community representatives and their supporting organizations must have an understanding of the legal and policy frameworks and their implications.
FOLT and Natural Justice are therefore seeking a full-time research and policy officer to support their activities in Kenya.  The successful candidate will be based in Nairobi and will be expected to begin work immediately.
What’s on offer?
FoLT and Natural Justice will offer a competitive salary commensurate with skill and experience. The successful candidate will be based in Nairobi with Natural Justice staff.
What will the role include?
Conducting research and mapping changes to legislation and polices on natural resource law, land law, extractive industries and infrastructure; identifying the implications of legislative and policy changes to indigenous peoples/marginalized communities in Kenya; working with programme staff in Kenya to support activities with communities; providing clear information on research findings to programme staff; writing publications on research findings; writing submissions, with partners, on community reactions to relevant law or policy; developing community friendly legal empowerment materials; meeting with and clearly presenting information to community project partners; attending national or international workshops and meetings, where relevant.
Minimum skills and experience required:
  • An undergraduate degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline;
  • Demonstrated work expertise in human rights, natural resource and/or land law;
  • Experience with conducting primary and/or desktop research and preparing clear and analytical reports (preferably proof of published work);
  • Experience with relating national policy research to policy advocacy;
  • Experience in identify implications of policies and laws for indigenous/marginalized communities or groups;
  • Understanding of, and proficiency in, the Kenyan legal system and institutional arrangements;
  • Experience or keen interest in some aspect of international law or policy (for example, multilateral environmental agreements, human rights, or grievance mechanisms);
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including through online platforms;
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili.

Desirable traits and attributes:
  • A postgraduate degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline;
  • Professionalism, strong work ethic, and personal initiative (“a self-starter”);
  • Keen interest in and commitment to advancing the rights of minority/indigenous communities, particularly in relation to their territories, areas and natural resources;
  • Ability to work both in teams and independently, with little supervision;
  • Willingness to travel and work with local organisations and communities in remote areas;
  • Critical and analytical thinking;
  • Reliability and attention to detail;
  • Ability to communicate complex legal issues in an accessible way to communities.

Application process:
Deadline: 23 May 2014, 17:00 GMT
Please email your application to Gino Cocchiaro (gino(at)naturaljustice(dot)org)and Ikal Angelei (ikal(at)friendsoflaketurkana(dot)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.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

13 May 2014


Governance of Lands and Natural Resources



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