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Consultancy - Assessment of Housing, Land and Property Rights among the Displaced (Ugandans Only) - Uganda

Adjumani / Pakelle (Uganda)

I.                     BACKGROUND


Refugees in Uganda

Uganda’s refugee laws are among the most progressive in the world. Refugees and asylum seekers are entitled to work; have freedom of movement; and can access Ugandan social services, such as health and education. The Refugee Act of 2006 provides prima facie asylum for refugees of certain nationalities including refugees from South Sudan. The Refugee Act of 2006 allocates land to each refugee family for their own exclusive (agricultural) use and shelter. More than two million people from South Sudan overall have fled since the country’s crisis began in 2013. Along with Uganda, South Sudanese refugees have also migrated into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Kenya and Ethiopia. Women and children comprise 85 per cent of Uganda’s total refugee population. Refugees in Uganda are either self-settled or live in organised settlements that cover approximately 350 square miles of land set aside by the Government.[1] In areas where land is not gazetted for refugees, the Office of the Prime Minister, Refugee Department (OPM), negotiates with the local communities to acquire land for use by refugees. Until recently refugees were provided with 100m x 100m plots but this has been reduced to 30m x 30m plots to cope with demand. In theory each household should have the resources to carry out kitchen gardening on their doorstep, but fertile land is scarce.

The Adjumani, Yumbe and Nakivale camps in Uganda, are one of the large formal refugee camps in the country mainly hosting refugees from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Somalia.2 UNHCR is the lead agency coordinating humanitarian activities in these camps and works closely with the Government of Uganda through the Office of the Prime Minister as the authority responsible for the provision of protection and assistance to refugees.  Many refugees also live at the BidiBidi settlement in Yumbe, which opened in August 2016. [2]

NRC’s experience with HLP rights in Uganda

In the 1990s, the Norwegian Refugee Council provided information, advice and legal assistance to internally displaced persons in the Acholi sub-region. Experience with housing land and property for IDPs in Uganda presented some lessons that would be key in addressing the situation facing refugees in Uganda.  Displaced communities face many HLP challenges such as evictions, land grabbing, conflicts over land and boundary disputes. According to an ODI report[3], in 2004, an estimated 15 per cent of IDPs in 2004 had entered into contracts to rent land from landowners, who evicted them during the agricultural season. Had more attention been paid to their legal rights as tenants, thousands of people could have been saved from near-destitution.



While ICLA programmes were established in Northern Uganda during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency that caused internal displacement, recent displacement trends have presented new issues affecting the HLP rights of refugees. The aim of the study is to draw lessons from the IDP response in the Acholi sub-region and how they can be used to inform NRC’s response to the current refugee influx. The research will also identify challenges facing refugees in exercising their HLP rights. The consultant will therefore make recommendations for policy and programmatic approaches that will be used to address HLP issues in Uganda. HLP issues remain relevant during all stages of displacement and if not adequately addressed, the potential for land conflicts will be high during return and reintegration. Addressing HLP will provide key actors and all relevant stakeholders with an opportunity to ensure that the rights of displacement affected populations (refugees and host communities) are respected and protected. Both development and humanitarian actors have the obligation to address land issues in displacement contexts. There are huge gaps in HLP skills and knowledge amongst key stakeholders responding to the refugee situation in Uganda. It is therefore necessary to ensure they are provided with an evidence base and recommendations to respond most effectively and appropriately to HLP issues that affect humanitarian assistance and investments and are likely to deter the realisation of durable solutions for refugees in Uganda. The consultant will work closely with NRC’s core competencies and partners in Uganda. It is recommended that the consultant works in in collaboration with NRC regional and country office. 


  1. Review legal and policy frameworks governing HLP rights of displaced persons including refugees in Uganda from an international and domestic legal perspective.
  2. To work in collaboration with the ICLA team in Uganda to formulate an analysis of the trends in cases / issues addressed by the ICLA programme and to select illustrative case studies.
  3. Identify and document specific challenges facing refugees in exercising their HLP rights including gender age and diversity issues and how they relate to HLP violations.
  4. Provide recommendations to effectively protect HLP rights of refugees and hosting communities (including for the ReHoPE and Settlement Transformation Approach/ Project) and for how to access land. This could be through validation workshops and interagency coordination mechanisms.
  5. Provide recommendations to address programmatic gaps in order for NRC and other stakeholders to address HLP issues affecting refugees in Uganda.



Report to be comprised of the following:

•        Approximately 40-45 pages excluding accounts of stakeholder meetings. Report structure to be agreed at the outset of the consultancy.

•        Documented account of stakeholder meetings

•        Documented account of the tasks listed under the objectives

•        A set of policy and programmatic recommendations.

•        Documentation of challenges, capacities and potential vulnerability of refugees in this context.



The consultant will use NRC existing tools and frameworks to carry out the analysis of the conflict and displacement situations and to identify possible responses and the implementation modalities. At least 50% of the respondents should be female. The information for this study will be gathered through a combination of a desk study, field work and qualitative and quantitative research including: 

•       Desk study:  Review of literature and stake holder consultation on key challenges for refugees in terms of HLP rights and security of tenure.

•       Key informant interviews (KIIs): Series of KIIs in refugee camps, host communities and with key humanitarian and development actors addressing HLP related issues in Uganda.  

•       Focus group discussions (FGDs): Structured FGDs held with refugees, IDP returnees and host community in settlements to identify risks and proposed solutions for HLP challenges, capacities and potential vulnerabilities.  ICLA staff should be involved in the research as much as possible.




NRC is looking for a qualified consultant with a strong technical background and skills in Housing, Land and Property (HLP). In addition, the consultant must demonstrate expertise in the following areas:

•       Proven experience working in the humanitarian sector and conducting project assessments and/or evaluation and significant field experience in supporting HLP rights in humanitarian response or development contexts. 

•       Excellent research skills, including quantitative and qualitative research methodology at the field level,


and an understanding of ethical research principles. 

•       Experience in legal research including international and national legal concepts; collating legal data, case information and presenting legal analysis.

•       Strong command of written and spoken English. 

•       Previous experience and knowledge of NRC and the ICLA programme is an advantage. 

•       Previous awareness of Uganda context and domestic legal framework applicable in the country is an advantage. 



The consultant is envisaged to be hired for 3 months including spending part of this period in the refugee settlements and host communities and the rest of the time working remotely and/or from Kampala depending on country of residence.  The period for the consultancy is November 2017 to January 2018, home based including field missions to Adjumani, Yumbe, Arua, Gulu and Kampala during the first two weeks of November 2017. 

All applications must include the following:

•       Detailed CV of the consultant; 

•       Cover letter detailing the consultant’s qualifications and experience in undertaking similar assignments; 

•       Copies of previous publications, writing sample and legal analysis examples

•       Proposed budget for the consultancy, covering all consultancy fees including travel per diem, insurance and communication.

Interested consultants should submit their application by 6 October 2017 to the following addresses:; cc; cc
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: NRC - Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Location: Adjumani / Pakelle (Uganda)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Emergency Aid
    • Architecture, Building and Property Management
  • Closing Date: 2017-10-06

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