Position Available

Call for applications : Program Manager, Defending Rights, East Africa Hub 

Who is Natural Justice? 

Natural Justice is an organization rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, we specialize in human rights, climate law and environmental law to pursue social, climate and environmental justice. 

Natural Justice has been working with communities, NGOs, and government agencies in Kenya since 2009. Natural Justice strives to enhance people’s collective rights and protect the sacred relationships indigenous peoples, and local communities have with nature. Our work is informed by the values, knowledge, and self-determination of the communities with whom we stand in solidarity. Through legal empowerment, research, policy influencing and litigation, and as part of coalitions and campaigns, we support communities to know the law, use the law and shape the law. Natural Justice has three main programs: the Affirming Rights Program, Defending Rights Program and Standing with Communities Program.  

To learn more about the work of Natural Justice, please refer to www.naturaljustice.org 

What we’re looking for 

Natural Justice seeks a full-time program manager to implement and further develop the work of the Defending Rights program in the East Africa Hub. Working under the guidance of the Hub Director and working closely with the Head of the Defending Rights and Litigation Program, the Program Manager will engage in strategic advocacy, including environmental and climate litigation, secure partnership development for movement building and advocacy, support community legal empowerment approaches, provide technical and legal advice to local communities affected by extractive, infrastructure, and other large-scale projects, and develop key participatory action research documents on community, public and trust land and other environmental decision-making processes, laws and policies. The successful candidate will be based in Nairobi, with frequent local travel and occasional regional and international travel and will be expected to begin work as soon as possible.  

How to Apply: 

Applications should be submitted via email to admin.nbo@naturaljustice.org with ‘Application for the position of Program Manager – Defending Rights’ in the subject line.  

Closing Date for Applications: Tuesday 2nd May 2023. 

Applications must include: 

  1. A motivation letter that indicates a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about environmental justice; and b) aspects of your background that demonstrate the required competence for this role, 
  1. A detailed CV with three references; and 
  1. Two samples of your past written work (either excerpts or complete copies of, for example, articles, research reports or legal briefs) no longer than ten pages each.  

Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Please do not apply if you do not have the required experience.  

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so interested candidates should submit their applications as soon as possible. The position remains open until filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

Key Roles and Responsibilities – Program Manager, Defending Rights 

  1. Strategic planning, project development and work planning  
  • Work with the Hub Director and the Head of the Defending Rights and Litigation Program to develop the organization’s overall program strategy 
  • Under the guidance of the Hub Director and the Head of the Defending Rights and Litigation Program develop a litigation strategy for the hub, including supporting and building environmental and climate litigation cases with partner communities 
  • Under the guidance of the Hub Director, develop and supervise the implementation of the Defending Rights program of work in the hub, including its projects, deliverables, and annual plans, ensuring their alignment with Natural Justice’s overall program strategy 
  1. Technical Advice 
  • Provide technical and legal advice to partners, affected communities and other relevant stakeholders 
  • Lead and assist with drafting legal documents (letters, drafting of pleadings etc) to advance strategic litigation on behalf of Natural Justice and/or with key partners within the environmental, climate, indigenous and local peoples, and land justice focus areas 
  • Provide comments and training on laws, policies and processes that impact communities’ rights and access to land and the environment 
  • Respond to inquiries from partners and relevant stakeholders 
  • Deliver presentations, organize and conduct workshops/meetings 
  1. Policy and Legal Reform 
  • Identify and engage with key policy issues and key collaborators 
  • Provide comments and make submissions on relevant law and policy 
  • Develop and implement a strategic advocacy policy for Defending Rights  
  1. Legal Empowerment 
  • With the other Hub Program Managers, oversee the paralegal projects and provide direct advice and assistance 
  • Develop, improve and deliver community training on laws and legal empowerment methodologies  
  • With the Hub Director and Program Managers, supervise legal fellows working and provide direct guidance 
  • Link litigation to advocacy campaigns 
  1. Research and MEAL 
  • With the research team, develop the program’s research, monitoring, evaluation and learning tools  
  • Write collaborative research reports, concept documents, academic papers, and organizational reports. 
  • Work with Natural Justice’s Defending Rights team to lead strategy planning and progress meetings, and facilitate updates and learnings from across the region 
  1. Partnerships, Networks and Communication 
  • Identify, build and maintain networks and/or partnerships with relevant stakeholders from government, civil society groups, community-based organizations, the private sector and academia 
  • Support the development of partnership documents (MOUs, etc.) where relevant 
  • In coordination with the communications team, write articles, comments, statements, articles, blogs and reports relevant to the program for public distribution, including on the Natural Justice website, social media, legal media, etc  
  • Contribute to the communications and campaign strategies and outputs of the Hub 
  1. Finance and Administration 
  • Manage the financial, administrative and procurement processes of the projects within the program 
  • Manage individual budgets from funders and provide financial guidance to junior staff. 
  1. Oversight, Fundraising and Reporting 
  • Provide oversight and support to the Hub’s program team, fellows, CELOs (Community Environmental Legal Officers), and paralegals concerning program activities and deliverables 
  • Assist the Hub Director and the Head of the Defending Rights and Litigation Program to identify funding sources, prepare grant applications, and develop and manage relationships with funders 

Selection Criteria 

Qualifications and Experience: 

  • Bachelor of Laws degree with at least five years of demonstrated work expertise in environmental and/or climate change law, including natural resource and/or land law, and administrative law 
  • A post-graduate degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline is desirable 
  • Understanding of and proficiency in Kenyan and regional legal systems and institutional arrangements. 
  • Experience in environmental, climate or human rights litigation 
  • Experience in conducting fieldwork and working with marginalized communities 
  • Experience communicating complex legal issues in an accessible way to communities 
  • Experience relating research or project experiences to policy advocacy 
  • Experience conducting primary and/or desktop research and preparing clear and analytical reports (with proof of published work) 
  • Experience writing applications and reporting to donors 
  • Experience in program management, including budgeting, project planning, contract drafting, monitoring and evaluation 
  • Experience in managing and supervising teams 
  • An understanding of and experience in the socio-political environment and civil society work in the region 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili 
  • Citizen of Kenya or authorized to work in Kenya 

Personal Profile: 

  • Demonstrated experience advocating for environmental and/or social justice 
  • Highly motivated, pro-active individual able to work under minimal supervision  
  • Ability to prioritize, act on initiative and meet deadlines 
  • Ability to think critically and problem solve 
  • Reliability and attention to detail 
  • Ability to travel frequently 
  • Ability to work with the team and to develop and maintain good relationships with community-based or other grassroots groups and partners 
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations. 

Closing Date

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