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  • Organization: UN-HABITAT - United Nations Agency for human settlements
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2016-03-25

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Research on Women and Land, (Nairobi),Deadline:24 March 2016

Nairobi (Kenya)

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Issued on: 11 March 2016



FUNCTIONAL TITLE:Consultant – Research on Women and Land

DURATION:**30 days over 4 months**

CLOSING DATE:24 March 2016


The Land and GLTN Unit - The Land and GLTN Unit, located within the Urban Legislation, Land and Governance Branch of UN-Habitat has the mandate to develop, test and disseminate pro-poor and gender responsive approaches in regard to urban land, innovative residential tenures, affordable land management/administration systems, and land related regulatory/legal frameworks and tools. The Unit hence focuses on research and tool development also to supply technical advice to Member States and backstop the Regional offices and other sections of UN-Habitat. Land tools provide a resource for enabling action. While there has been extensive global discussion around land policies that work for the poor, there has been insufficient attention paid to the development of methods for developing and implementing these pro-poor land policies. Consequently what are required are land tools that are affordable and accessible for all sections of the population in countries around the world. This is essential for creating societies with sustainable, equal access and use of land. Work has already started on these approaches, both for developing and post-conflict societies. Incremental expansion of this work over time, as capacity is developed, will take place through the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN, the Network), the Secretariat of which is located at UN-Habitat. The consultant will report to the Human Settlement Officer in charge of the Islamic land mechanism portfolio, located within the Land and GLTN Unit of UN-Habitat.

The Global Land Tool Network - The goals of the Global Land Tool Network is the development and adoption of pro poor and gender sensitive land tools and approaches. The core themes on which the Networks focuses on are: access to land and tenure security, land management and planning, land administration and information, land-based financing, land policy and legislation. The Network also works on eight cross-cutting issues, such as land governance, youth, capacity development, land in the Muslim world, conflict/disaster, environment, gender, and grassroots. GLTN has developed a global partnership on land issues pulling together global partners, as well as many individual members. These partners include international networks of civil society, International finance institutions, international research and training institutions, donors and professional bodies. It aims to take a more holistic approach to land issues by improving global coordination on land; through the establishment of a continuum of land rights, rather than just focus on individual land titling; through improving and developing pro-poor land management, as well as land tenure tools; by unblocking existing initiatives; assisting in strengthening existing land networks; assisting in the development of gendered land tools which are affordable and useful to the grassroots; and improving the general dissemination of knowledge about how to implement security of tenure. More information on GLTN can be found on

Research and tool development to increase Tenure Security for Women in the Muslim world - With only an estimated 2 per cent of land registered in the name of women globally, access to land for 'the fairer half' of the world remains a challenge. Change requires shifting the mind-set of women, men, communities, policy and law makers, land administrators, judges, planners, researchers, civil society groups, traditional and religious leaders, and all those with a stake in land (users, administrators, or providers). Since 2006, GLTN partners the University of East London and UN-Habitat have researched and developed capacities of key partners on Islamic land principles and pro-poor and gender sensitive land approaches for the Muslim world. The need of a set of specific tools to improve and increase access to land for women in Muslim communities emerged as a key gap to be filled with urgency. On the 2-4 March 2014, a brainstorming workshop took place in Cairo, Egypt to identify key tool development areas.

The priority tool development area identified is awareness and capacity development on: (1) Selected useful Islamic principles; (2) Land-related rights; (3) Inheritance rights and provisions; (4) Access to land in relation to marriage (marital property, land and property regimes during and after marriage, land and property options for different categories of women); and (5) Compensatory and alternative mechanisms for women access to land.

Based on the process described above, GLTN is developing a knowledge / awareness / capacity development product composed by a series of independent but interconnected modules. The modules composing the product, or publication, are: (1) Why women need land? (2) How can women access land? (3) What protects women access to land? (4) What Islam says about women and land? (5) What Islam says about women inheriting land? (6) What role does marriage have in granting access to land for women? (incl. marital property regimes) (7) Is joint marital property allowed in Islam? And (8) Good practices and success stories on women and land.

The content of the publication will be developed by GLTN Partners and consultants, based on existing GLTN material (e.g. Land Law and Islam, Islamic Principles and Land), using new information being researched and collected, and putting together new information. The final draft of the publication will be reviewed by a reference group remotely and the document with the incorporation of the inputs will be presented to a broader audience. This consultancy intends to fill the gaps that are in the existing document, identify additional data to substantiate the finding and develop additional case studies that will be able to point to a further defined change model for increased access to land in Muslim contexts.

Guidance on the development of good practices and success stories on women and land - The length of the stories should not exceed 1000 words. Each good practice should start with an Introduction (one paragraph describing the key features of the case study), Background (Few paragraphs describing the country situation where the intervention took place , focusing on the key aspects related to access to land for women, while the more general / detailed information can be referred to in the foot notes), What was done (Few paragraphs describing the intervention(s) and the impact as much as possible with data), and Conclusion (One or two paragraphs drawing the key lessons from the case study and pointing at general learnings that can be applied in other contexts, replicated and up-scaled). Bibliography should accompany each story.


Under the supervision of the Human Settlements Officer in charge of women and land issues in the Muslim world and in close collaboration with the GLTN Partners engaged on this portfolio, the consultant will:

  1. Develop ten (10) good practices / success stories on women and land in the Muslim world. Each story should be maximum 1000 words. This includes conducting the necessary research, the writing or the story, the development of bibliography / further reference to the story and the incorporation of the comments received after the first submission. The proposed themes of the stories to be developed are proposed below, and cases from South East Asia would be particularly welcome, and building on the experiences of GLTN partners such as the Norwegian Refugee Council (e.g. Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan, etc.) or the International Islamic University of Malaysia would be desirable. An adjustment in the stories to be developed can be discussed with the supervisor, if needed.
  • Secondary rights (including rental options for women, increasing the say that women have on the revenues earned from land-based resources, )

  • Joint titling

  • A case where customary and religious leaders have a key role

  • Women as users / managers of waqf land

  • Ownership or user rights as settlement of divorce

  • Mahr as an option for tenure security (e.g. building on the NRC experience in Afghanistan)

  • How land dispute resolution mechanisms respond to the needs of women (e.g. formal tribunal versus customary / religious / informal land disputes mediation – with data). An option would be land mediation in Palestine.

  • The role of the private sector

  • A good practice from Egypt (e.g. capitalising on the work of the Arab Union of Surveyors)

  1. Carry out research and identify facts and data on at least three specific topics and write small text / description (1000 words max) to illustrate them. These include:
  • How much land is accessed by women through inheritance (urban / rural, country / country, etc.).

  • Link between good land governance and access to land for women / youth and peace and stability of a country (preferably in Mena Region)

  • A third topic relevant to the Guidelines to be identified by the consultant, in consultation with the supervisor.

  1. Develop a list of resource persons and organisations, inclusive of contact details, that can be reviewing the draft guidelines and be engaged in the use of the guidelines once they are ready (at least 30 people / organisations).

  2. Develop two short concept notes (max 3000 words each) for follow up projects that will build on the guidelines for their application, use and mainstreaming, with a list of potential donor organisations and partners for implementation.

  3. Final proof reading of the guidelines and provision of detailed comments and inputs for the finalisation.


Professionalism: Knowledge of concepts and approaches relevant to tenure security in the Muslim world, specifically in the areas related to the Global Land Tool Network areas of work; Highly developed conceptual, analytical and innovative problem-solving ability; and Familiarity with, and experience in, using various analysis and research methodologies and sources.

Creativity: Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches, takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; Offers new and different options to solve problems and achieve results against set goals.

Planning and organizing: Ability to work within set deadlines and in line with the requested outputs.

Communication: Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to articulate complex ideas in a simple and clear manner.


Advanced University degree (masters or similar) in a field deemed relevant to the subject areas covered by these Terms of Reference such as land management, international development, business administration, etc. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least ten years of relevant work experience in development and land and related fields at the international level, which should also include experience working in Muslim contexts;

  • First-hand knowledge and experience in working on land and tenure security in Muslim countries and contexts;

  • Previous experience in carrying out research and papers’ drafting assignments on issues related to land and tenure security;

  • Collaboration with one of more GLTN Partners’ organisations is an asset.


Proficiency in spoken and written English and Arabic is required. Knowledge of French or of another UN language is an asset.


Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period. There are set remuneration rates for consultancies. The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant. The fees will be paid as per agreement. For this consultancy payments will be done in four instalments, based on the completion of the outputs as detailed below. The daily rate is determined by the experience of the selected candidate. Travel costs (airplane ticket in economy class), and daily allowance as per the UN rate will be paid in addition to the daily fee.




Output 1:

  • Develop the good practices / success stories and include the comments received

Output 2:

  • Carry out research on three key topics and include the comments received

  • Develop a list of resource persons and organisations

  • Develop two concept notes and include the comments received






Applications should include:

  • Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

  • Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information: Educational Background (incl. dates), Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months), Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.), Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments, Expectations regarding remuneration

Please also be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the
UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster
through the following link:

All applications should be submitted to:
M/s. Ombretta Tempra
P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya


Deadline for applications: 24 March 2016

UN-HABITAT does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact:

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