Position Available

Director of Programmes – Africa

Who are we:

Natural justice is an organisation rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, we specialise in human rights and environmental law in pursuit of social and environmental justice. Natural Justice strives to enhance the collective rights of people and protect the sacred relationships that indigenous peoples and local communities have with nature. Our work is informed by the values, knowledge, and self-determination of the communities we stand in solidarity with. Through legal empowerment, research, policy influencing and litigation, and as part of coalitions and campaigns, we support communities to defend and affirm their rights to their lands and environments.

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 Director of Programmes to provide overall leadership to our policy, advocacy, research and programme work. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Programmes works closely with and provides guidance to colleagues in the core team and hubs to advance NJ’s strategic priorities. The key components of the role include contributing to strategy implementation – and its further development; effective programme development in new areas of work and supporting effective implementation of current programmes; overseeing the implementation of the organisation’s initiatives and assisting in their growth; and providing technical input to the programme leads and fundraising.

The position is full-time, and Natural Justice offers a competitive salary, commensurate with experience. The successful candidate will report to the Executive Director, and will be based in any African country, with preference given to applicants able to be based in Natural Justice offices in Kenya, South Africa or Senegal. Applicants must be a citizen of an African country or have a valid work permit for an African country.

Contract length will be two years with the intention of a longer-term arrangement.

Key roles and responsibilities:


  • Contribute to the development of the Natural Justice overall strategy and ensure effective implementation.
  • Lead the programmes’ conceptual and strategic development. He/she will provide oversight over the direction in which NJ’s programmes are heading vis-à-vis the broader policy debate and ensure it stays in tune with NJ’s vision/mission.
  • Support the strategy development process of each hub and ensure alignment between hub strategies and the overall strategies. Provide input into all overall programme strategies and approve them jointly with the ED.
  • Provide thought leadership in new areas of programming and regular analysis and reflection on current and future context and the impact on and programmatic shifts.

Leadership and new initiatives

  • Working closely with, and supporting the ED and CFOO with overall programs leadership and organisational growth and development.
  • Assist in the leadership and growth of the organisation’s six initiatives – and the quick response funds of the organization.
  • Work closely with the ED, Hub Directors and Programme Heads to raise funds for new projects.
  • Assist the ED in leading the growth and development of NJ in Africa.
  • Work with ED to provide thought leadership and oversight of all programmatic work in accordance with the vision/mission with an eye towards long term development.
  • Ensure Natural Justice is providing thought leadership within the Environmental Justice, Climate Justice and Human Rights sector based on the teams experiences and direct learning.
  • Ensure sound technical and legal advice is offered to relevant stakeholders in alignment with program-specific documents.
  • Regularly update donors/funders on work progress and involve them in ongoing work. Provide regular updates on funders’ relations to the ED and CFOO.
  • Timely submission of program reports to the funders as well as to the ED and CFOO.
  • Provide oversight of cross-cutting continental projects, and project lead when required.

Programme leadership

  • Ensuring coherence and coordination between the programs by working closely with Program Heads, Hub Directors and Programme Managers from each hub
  • Facilitate inter-program discussion in light of larger policy context within which NJ is embedded.
  • Support the ED in identifying fundraising needs and provide input and leadership, where necessary.
  • As part of the Management Team, provide leadership to the organisation.
  • Ensure Natural Justice is effectively represented in regional and global forums
  • Remain relevant to international processes, including whether submissions are to be made.
  • Remain relevant on current policy debate and involved in relevant online fora to ensure NJ strategy remains innovative and NJ’s work is distributed in relevant policy circles.
  • Work with the research and MEL team to ensure effective research monitoring, evaluation and learning.
  • Provide input to the annual budgeting process.

Communications and Campaigns

  • Work closely with the communications and campaigns team to ensure effective communications around our programmes and Initiatives.
  • Ensure the identity of Natural Justice reflects our programmatic approach with communities and is based on the key principles of Natural Justice.
  • Work closely with the communications and campaigns team to ensure strong content in all of our online platforms.
  • Create and sustain relevant NJ stakeholders and network organisations from Government, NGO, private sector and academics in the region.
  • Place emphasis in raising and maintaining a high profile for NJ in the region.
  • Provide input to the communications and campaigns strategy.


  • At least 5 years of senior management level experience. This includes people management, resources and programmes.
  • Very good track record in programme management experience, including budgeting, project planning, contract drafting, monitoring and evaluations.
  • At least 10 years of demonstrated work expertise in environmental law and justice.
  • Experience and ability to work with communities in a respectful manner
  • A law, environmental, social science or equivalent degree or alternative knowledge and experience.
  • Solid experience in working with marginalized communities.
  • Good experience communicating complex issues and ideas in accessible ways.
  • Very good experience relating research or project experiences to policy advocacy.
  • Excellent track record in fundraising including developing concepts and proposals, donor relations and effective implementation based on funding contracts.
  • Ability to undertake required local and international travel.
  • Fluency in English (required), French (desired) and other local languages (desired).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Personal profile:

Natural Justice is looking for a team member who 1) resonates with the values of the organisation; 2) is committed and passionate about environmental justice; 3) is a highly motivated, pro-active person able to work under minimal supervision and provide effective leadership; 4) has the ability to prioritise, act on initiative and to meet deadlines; 5) can think critically and go beyond the current paradigms; 6) pays sharp attention to detail; 6) is both a team player and team builder; and 7) has experience  working with local communities, and can demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals and communities with diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.

How to Apply:

Applications should be submitted via email on or before 24 July 2023 to allison@naturaljustice.org using the subject-line ‘DOP/app/2023.’

Applications must include:
1) A motivation letter that indicates: a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about environmental and climate justice work; and b) aspects of your background that demonstrate the required competence for this role.

2) A detailed CV with 3 references.

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 meet the required experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Natural Justice believes that a diversity of experiences and perspectives will help us build stronger strategies, teams and movements and strongly encourages applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, particularly those from under-represented or historically disadvantaged communities.

Closing Date

24 July 2023

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