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Programme Manager: Affirming Rights, Southern Africa

Who are we looking for?

Natural Justice seeks a professional, with preference given to someone with a legal background, to join its Southern Africa hub as a Programme Manager under the Affirming Rights Programmatic Stream. The hub works across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The successful candidate will be primarily based within the Affirming Rights Stream, but will work closely with the Standing with Communities and Defending Rights streams, as well as across the organisation. They will be expected to work with the support staff, including finance, communications, monitoring and evaluation and research staff.

The Programme Manager must have an interest in supporting Indigenous people and local communities throughout the countries we work in. They will be expected to foster long-term, committed relationships with communities, build connections to community partners and work in consortiums and partnerships with other civil society organisations.

Their knowledge and experience should include policy development across the region and nationally, community and biocultural rights, climate justice, the just energy transition, Indigenous rights, land rights and human rights. Experience should include tracking of legislative and policy cycles, managing public participation, policy and legislative input and mobilisation of communities and advocacy. Knowledge of Biocultural Community Protocols, and Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements will be an added advantage.

Natural Justice is an African organisation and preference is given to those applying from African countries, but particularly from countries supported by the Southern African team.

What’s on offer?

Natural Justice is a close-knit and nurturing collective that places emphasis on facilitating opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its members. The organisation promotes personal responsibility, wellness, feminist and collective leadership and values of solidarity and support. Joining Natural Justice will also give the successful candidate a chance to work with a passionate and professional team across Africa, and support the candidate to gain valuable national and regional experience.

Natural Justice will offer a competitive salary commensurate with skill and experience, with additional medical aid benefits, Provident Fund, UIF and access to a laptop and technical support. The position is for permanent, full-time employment.

The successful candidate will be based in Cape Town, with regular travel nationally and regionally, and occasional travel internationally. They are expected to begin work as soon as possible.

The Programme Manager will work closely with the Senior Programme officers and Programme Managers across the programmatic streams, and will report directly to the Director of the Cape Town Hub. Their role will be to further develop, maximize the impact of, and expand the Affirming Rights programmatic stream in Southern Africa, initially with a focus on South Africa and Mozambique. They will assist in the development of strategy, and initiate, plan, implement and manage projects and activities (including timelines and deliverables). 

The key roles and responsibilities

The Programme Manager will be expected to, amongst other things:

  • Under the guidance of the Hub Director, develop and supervise the implementation of the Affirming Rights programme of work in Southern Africa, including its projects, deliverables, and annual plans, ensuring their alignment with Natural Justice’s overall strategy.
  • Assist with supporting the growth of the Affirming Rights programme through support of proposal development, reporting, monitoring and evaluation and research. Manage the financial, administrative and procurement processes of the projects within the programme. Manage individual budgets from funders.
  • Work closely with and provide guidance and oversight of the affirming rights officers, as well as other junior staff.
  • Write collaborative research reports, policy briefs, concept documents and organisational reports.
  • Develop and implement a strategic advocacy policy for the Affirming Rights programme.
  • Support local communities in Southern Africa to assert their land, biocultural, customary, Indigenous and community rights through legal empowerment approaches, community consultations and submissions to relevant government and institutional bodies.
  • Develop and deliver community training on laws and legal empowerment methodologies, including Biocultural Community Protocols and Access and Benefit Sharing processes.
  • Support environmental defenders and communities in affirming their customary and Indigenous rights, as well as human rights.
  • Undertake legal research, write submissions and provide opinions on environmental, human rights and climate justice issues through the countries of Southern Africa, focusing on South Africa and Mozambique.
  • In collaboration with hub staff, provide support to community environmental legal officers (incl. Provide training on laws, policies and processes that impact communities’ rights and access to land and the environment).
  • Support the work of the hub in relation to tracking policy changes, research and submissions on law and policy.
  • Write opinion articles and support the communications team in respect of circulating relevant information to the public.  
  • Guide the research team to conduct relevant desktop and field research. Share research findings with stakeholders and at relevant national and international fora.
  • 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 where relevant.
  • Collaborate with Natural Justice staff in the other countries. Participate in regular programme meetings of the Hub and Natural Justice.
  • Submit updates and reports on projects and programmes to the Hub Director.


  • Completed bachelor qualification, with five years’ work experience in land rights, environmental justice, human rights or other related sectors. Preference will be given to someone with an LLB or equivalent qualification.
  • A post-graduate degree in law, political science or other relevant social science discipline is desirable.
  • A good knowledge of South Africa’s and/or Mozambique’s constitutional and administrative law, including human rights, land & environmental law, or a clear ability to acquire the necessary knowledge within a short space of time.
  • Experience of working with marginalised communities and/or Indigenous communities.
  • Good research skills in law, policy and social issues.
  • Experience in policy advocacy highly advantageous.
  • Experience in legal empowerment methodologies highly advantageous.
  • Programme management experience, including budgeting, project planning, contract drafting, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience writing applications and reporting to donors advantageous.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills imperative.
  • Ability to grasp quickly and accurately new and complex concepts.
  • Ability to work under pressure and as part of a team.
  • Ability to balance priorities and co-ordinate work effectively to meet deadlines and deal with high workloads.
  • Conviction in and commitment to community rights, constitutionalism and principles of environmental justice.
  • Sound emotional intelligence skills to enable interaction with persons from all sectors of the society.
  • Proficient in English. Fluency in another local language would be advantageous.

Application process

Deadline: 31 March 2022

Please email your application to with the following subject line: “CT: Programme Manager Officer Affirming Rights”.

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;
  2. A detailed CV with three contactable references; and
  3. Two samples, if possible, of your past written work (for example, articles or research reports).

Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Natural Justice supports the development of young, African legal and human rights professionals and promotes representation and diversity within their hiring practices.

Best of luck!

The Natural Justice Team

Closing Date

31 March 2022

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