Position Available

Research and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning coordinator, Southern Africa

Who is Natural Justice?

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 whom we stand in solidarity with.

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

Who are we looking for?

Natural Justice seeks a full-time Research + Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) Coordinator to join its Southern Africa hub. The hub works across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The successful candidate will work with a passionate team of staff working across all three workstreams in the hub. They will be expected to work with the support staff, including finance, communications and programmatic staff.

They will conduct evidence-based research and monitoring, evaluation and learning regarding land rights, indigenous rights, climate justice, resource rights, and human rights.

They 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.

The Research and MEAL officer will work closely with the staff across the programmatic streams, and will report directly to the Director of the Cape Town Hub. They will receive support from the Head of MEAL at the Core level.

They will lead the compilation and analysis of data from the Hub’s legal empowerment, litigation and advocacy work. They will conduct research related to donor proposals, country analysis and other research outputs that are needed to develop key strategies. They will utilise the learnings to enhance 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.

Natural Justice will offer a nationally 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 some travel nationally and regionally, and occasional travel internationally. They are expected to begin work as soon as possible.

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.

The key roles and responsibilities

  • Assist in the development of a research and MEAL 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, with support from Core.
  • Develop and implement a learning agenda relevant for the programme teams, 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, databases, and formats.
  • Promote and facilitate the research capacity of the programmes.
  • Oversee the collection of data and data analysis. Ensure collation, analysis, and presentation of MEAL information for partners and donors.
  • Coordinate support and training for the community partners to implement research and MEAL methodologies.
  • Develop evaluations of programme/project activities. Ensure that the programme teams review and adjust research and MEAL plans and tools accordingly.
  • 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 utilised by Natural Justice.
  • Assist with the conceptualisation of, and conduct research and write opinions on core issues, including land rights, climate change, environmental compliance, impacts of major projects and citizens advocacy.
  • Utilise and improve Natural Justice knowledge management system.
  • Identify and interact with relevant researchers or institutes, organizations, or other relevant stakeholders from government, NGOs, private sector and academics in the region.
  • Attend and represent Natural Justice in conferences and events that are relevant to the respective research.
  • Apply practical feminist principles in the research, monitoring, evaluation and learning practice across the hub.

Minimum Academic Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in economics, statistics, 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.

Experience and abilities

  • At least 3 years of demonstrated work expertise in research and MEAL.
  • Experience in gathering, analysing, and presenting quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Experience with conducting primary and desktop research and preparing clear analytical reports and publications (with proof of published work).
  • Excellent knowledge and experience in establishing and maintaining effective research and MEAL systems for development projects. Preference will be given to candidates with experience related to legal advocacy, human rights and environmental justice.
  • Good knowledge of Southern African and international socio-economic, climate justice and environmental issues.
  • Understanding of legal frameworks, legal empowerment, human rights development, and other subjects related to the work of Natural Justice.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervision and guidance from supervisors.
  • 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.
  • 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: 18 May 2022

Please email your application to claire@naturaljustice.org with the following subject line: “CT: Research and MEAL Officer”.

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.

Shortlisted candidates will be expected to take part in at least one interview Should it be necessary, Natural Justice may require a second interview which may involve a short, written exercise and presentation on a relevant issue pertaining to the job. 

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

18 May 2022

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