Position Available

Call for Applications: Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator, East Africa Hub

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 and environmental law to pursue social 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 pillars: Affirming and Securing Rights to Lands, Resources and Knowledge; Defending Rights against Environmental and Social
Impacts; and Standing with Communities.

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

What are we looking for?
Natural Justice seeks a full-time Research + MEAL Coordinator to join its East Africa hub. The hub works across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia and Ethiopia. The successful candidate will work with a passionate team of staff working across all three workstreams in the hub. S/he will conduct evidence-based research and monitoring, evaluation and learning regarding land
rights, climate justice, resource rights, and human rights touching on indigenous people and local communities.

The Research + MEAL Coordinator will supervise our research team. You will work across the hub to lead the implementation of an ambitious, high-quality and impactful research and MEAL strategy working closely with our research and programme teams.

You will lead the compilation and analysis of data from the hub’s legal empowerment, litigation and advocacy work. You will utilize the learnings to enhance our programmes and methodologies in collaboration with our community partners, environmental defenders, and lawyers to increase the scale and impact of environmental justice strategies and help improve the region’s law and policy.

The successful candidate will be based with the Natural Justice team in Nairobi.

How to Apply:
Applications should be submitted via email to admin.nbo@naturaljustice.org with ‘Research
and MEAL Coordinator in the subject line.

Applications must include:
1) A motivation letter that indicates a) why you are interested in this position and how research and MEAL can assist in the fight for environmental justice in East Africa, and b) aspects of your background that demonstrates the required competence for this role.
2) A detailed CV with three contactable references; and
3) Two samples of your past written work (either excerpts or full copies of, for example, articles or research reports) no longer than ten pages each.

Please ensure that your application speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Please do not apply if you do not meet the required experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Closing Date for Applications: Monday, 24th January 2022

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Planning, Project Development and Work Planning

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of the hub’s research and MEAL strategies
  • Assist in the development of strategy and initiate, plan, implement and manage research projects and activities (including timelines, deliverables and budgeting) in the specific country under the guidance of the Hub Director
  • Develop and implement a learning agenda relevant for the programs team, ensuring learnings inform the improvement of strategies, are adapted to methodologies for communities and lawyers to utilize, and are shared via tools such as shared digital platforms and webinars
  • Design and coordinate MEAL plans, database, and formats
  • Promote and facilitate the research capacity of the programs and research teams
  • Plan and coordinate regular advisory research meetings on cross-cutting program themes

Research and MEAL

  • Oversee the collection of monitoring data and data analysis
  • Develop and implement MEAL methodologies in line with the hub’s programs and coordinate support and training of the community partners to implement research and MEAL methodologies
  • Develop and implement robust monitoring plans for quantitative and quaitative reporting on program and project performance indicators
  • Develop high-quality database for programs in the hub
  • Develop work plans, budgets, technical reports, and deliverables, in conjunction with hub director and program heads
  • Develop quarterly and annual evaluations of program/project activities
  • Supervise research teams
  • Share, discuss and apply the lessons learnt from monitoring data in the development of new projects, programs of work and strategies
  • Ensure that the research and program teams review and adjust research and MEAL plans and tools accordingly
  • Develop and guide reflection sessions in the hub to systematically analyse data for programmatic use, and to document and incorporate lessons learned into project design and implementation
  • Ensure collation, analysis, and presentation of MEAL information from partners is well captured in the MEAL system
  • Support the development and implementation of feedback mechanisms to understand the views of community partners and other partners, and ensure the feedback is documented, addressed, analysed, and utilized by Natural Justice programs
  • Coordinate and support program/project learning events
  • Assist with the conceptualization of, and conduct research and write opinions on core program issues, including land rights, climate change, environmental compliance, impacts of major projects and citizens advocacy

Project and Knowledge Management

  • Organize all relevant project activities, including developing project plans, timelines and monitoring and evaluation
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation of the programs in Kenya and East Africa
  • Utilize and improve Natural Justice knowledge management system
  • Utilize and regularly update program management tools, communications tools and time-keeping tools
  • Work with Program Managers and Hub Director in project planning and ensure that pre-established work scope, protocols and research regulatory requirements are followed

Networking and Communications   

  • Contribute to the communications and campaign strategies and outputs of the hub
  • Identify and interact with relevant researchers or institutes, organizations, or other relevant stakeholders from Government, NGO, private sector and academics in the region
  • Attend and represent Natural Justice in conferences and events that are relevant to the respective research

Strengthening staff and partner capacity    

  • Support community partners to improve monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning systems and processes; in particular, the collection of quantitative & qualitative information from various sources related to influencing strategies
  • Supervise the building of capacity of community partners in research and MEAL
  • Verify MEAL data received from partners and project staff and investigate inconsistencies
  • Apply practical feminist principles in the research, monitoring, evaluation and learning practice across the hub
  • Support staff to engage in quality monitoring and evaluating project performance and incorporate participatory methods into MEAL systems in the project
  • Guide, support and mentor the hub’s research team
  • Initiate and co-ordinate the development of community accessible materials, with the assistance of program teams


  • Support the development of concepts and work with the hub director around the overall fundraising strategy and specifically in terms of funding for research and MEAL components
  • Contribute to the research and MEAL components of funding applications and donor reports

Reporting and Communications

  • Compile data from project activities into overall reports reflecting activities, outputs and outcomes to guide management decision making, provide accountability to partners, share learning and demonstrate impact
  • Routinely monitor project performance against targets and prepare of periodic reports on MEAL activities of the project
  • Produce information, comments, statements, articles, blogs and reports relevant to the program, including on the Natural Justice website and social media in coordination with the communications officer(s)
  • Share research findings with stakeholders and at relevant national and international fora

Selection Criteria

Minimum Academic Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in economics, statistics, mathematics, actuarial science, environmental studies or other relevant social science discipline
  • Master’s degree in research, law, political science, economics (cooperation and human development), statistics, mathematics, environment, climate change and adaptation or other relevant social science discipline is desirable


  • At least 5 years of demonstrated work expertise in research and MEAL
  • Experience in gathering, analyzing, and presenting quantitative and qualitative data
  • Excellent knowledge and experience in establishing and maintaining effective monitoring and evaluation systems for development projects, including MEAL for influencing and campaigning
  • Experience with conducting primary and desktop research and preparing clear analytical reports and publications (with proof of published work)
  • Experience relating research or project experiences to policy advocacy
  • Demonstrated experience advocating for environmental justice or human rights
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervision and guidance from supervisors
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in leading high-performing teams
  • Good knowledge of East African and international politics and political processes

Knowledge and skills:

  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili. Proficiency in other regional languages an added advantage
  • Excellent knowledge and experience in establishing and maintaining effective research and MEAL systems for development projects, and an added advantage if related to legal advocacy, influencing and movement building
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, genders, and orientations


  • Citizen or permanent resident of Kenya or other EAC country
  • Ability to undertake frequent local and occasional international travel

Closing Date

24 January 2022

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