Consultancy - International Expert, Land Conflict Resolution Project in Rwanda
The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) is implementing the Land Conflict Resolution Project (LCRP), which is part of the broader Land-at-Scale project-Rwanda. Through this project, IDLO seeks to enhance land security in Rwanda by strengthening public confidence in the registration of land transactions. To contribute to this objective, the project will implement a phased approach aimed at ensuring in the long-term enhanced land-related conflict management and dispute resolution mechanisms at the decentral level.
The Land at Scale project-Rwanda includes four long-term outcomes: (i) the institutionalization of a financially sustainable Land Administration and Information System; (ii) the implementation of a national roadmap for sustainable land use planning; (iii) enhanced land-related conflict management and dispute resolution mechanisms at decentral level; and (iv) engagement of key Rwandese land governance knowledge institutes in shaping the Rwandese and East African land governance.
IDLO has been asked by RVO to contribute to the third long-term outcome of the Rwanda Land-at-Scale project. For the other program's long-term outcomes, RVO has contracted Kadaster International (KI) based on their existing framework agreement.
The project is designed by IDLO through a phased approach, which will focus on two pilot districts and will involve:
- Phase 1: Inception (6 months). During this phase IDLO will: (i) conduct a participatory research on the main challenges faced by local communities in resolving land-related disputes through the family councils, local leaders, the Abunzi, the Cell and Land Committees (CLCs), primary courts and other relevant stakeholders (which will also inform the project’s baseline); (ii) select two pilot districts for Phase 2 intervention; (iii) assess a sample of the decisions adopted by the Abunzi and the CLCs in the two pilot districts to verify their compliance with the national law, with international human rights standards (with a specific focus on gender equality); (iv) assess the effectiveness of coordination mechanisms between land justice institutions at both decentralized level (CLCs and Abunzi) and ministerial level (Ministry of Justice (MINIJUST), Ministry of Environment (MoE), Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC)); and (v) conduct a comprehensive capacity needs assessment of the targeted Abunzi, CLCs and of the other land dispute resolution actors identified during the research. Based on the information collected, IDLO will revise the initial theory of change, expanding the initial output-level results and defining the activities that will be implemented in Phases 2 and 3.
- Phase 2: Implementation in pilot districts (12 months). During Phase 2, IDLO will implement the activities designed at the end of the inception phase, targeting the two selected pilot districts. Relevant results will be systematically monitored and analyzed. A reflection workshop will be convened at the end of this phase where IDLO, RVO and relevant stakeholders (notably the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA), MINALOC, MINIJUST, MoE, and development partners involved in the training of the Abunzi/CLCs) will discuss the results achieved and plan for Phase 3.
- Phase 3: Scale-up planning (6 months). During this phase, IDLO will identify the elements needed to create a sustainable enabling environment for fair and just dispute resolution at the decentral level. Based on this enabling criteria and building on the findings from previous project phases, IDLO will then develop (through a participatory approach involving RLMUA, MINIJUST, MINALOC, MOE, the Abunzi, the CLCs, and representatives of the communities) a roadmap that will allow a nationwide replication of the project’s interventions and the sustainable institutionalization of successfully tested strategies. In this context, IDLO will support relevant state institutions to develop a business and resource mobilization plan to ensure that the roadmap can be implemented and sustained over time.
The main objective of the assignment, foreseen in Phase 1 (Inception Phase), is to conduct comprehensive research on the main challenges faced by local communities in resolving land-related disputes through the family councils, local leaders, the Abunzi, the Cell Land Committees (CLCs), primary courts and other relevant stakeholders. Data will be obtained from both primary and secondary sources (i.e. desk research, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews with relevant stakeholders, including communities’ members and women groups). Researchers conducting interviews will be required to strictly adhere to IDLO ethical research protocol (applying principles of privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, and cultural sensitivity) and when necessary safe spaces will be set up to conduct interviews. Taking into account that, within these local communities, women’s knowledge of their land rights or the ability to access the dispute resolution mechanisms in an unbiased manner, remains largely limited, the research will also aim to identify barriers specifically faced by women.
In close consultation with relevant stakeholders, during this phase, IDLO will select two pilot districts for Phase 2. The selection will be based upon jointly agreed criteria, such as their representativeness of the national context and enabling environment. A review of a sample of recent decisions adopted by the Abunzi and CLCs, where available, in the two pilot districts will also be conducted to assess their compliance with the national statutory law and international human rights standards, with a specific focus on gender sensitivity, as well as to assess the effectiveness of internal (e.g. coordination between cell and sector Abunzi/LCs) and external (between the Abunzi, LCs, and relevant ministries) coordination mechanisms. Observational visits or additional interviews will be conducted to supplement the review of written decisions should information recorded therein be insufficient. Finally, IDLO will analyze the role and current challenges faced by the Abunzi Coordination Unit within the Access to Justice Department at the MINIJUST in performing quality control of the decisions made by the Abunzi. The combination of different research methodologies and sources will allow the triangulation of results.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the IDLO Regional Program Manager - Africa, the International Expert, in close cooperation with the National Expert, will be guided by IDLO to conduct the research envisaged in the Inception Phase in order to:
- Identify barriers for access to land justice through the Abunzi and CLCs;
- Identify, in coordination with relevant partners, two districts for the pilot phase;
- Collect baseline data for the LCRP project;
- Assess the training needs of the Abunzi/CLCs;
- Provide support to other IDLO Rwanda programming initiatives.
The International Expert is expected to produce the following deliverables:
a) A research report on the comprehensive study on land-related dispute resolutions handled at the cells and sector level. The report shall clearly outline the main findings and recommendations.
i. Lead the design and implementation of the research (including gender analysis) through desk review, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews with relevant stakeholders, including communities’ members and women groups. Relevant development partners already working with the Abunzi, CLCs and the other land dispute resolution actors (including CSOs) will also be consulted. Specific focus will be put on those CSOs, which are already providing capacity-building opportunities targeting the Abunzi, the CLCs, and/or the other land dispute resolution actors operating in Rwanda at de-central levels. The research will integrate a gender-sensitive approach by focusing on understanding the awareness of land rights amongst women in these communities and the capacity of women's groups/organizations in these pilot districts in supporting women to navigate these land dispute resolution mechanisms. The research will also take stock of the impact of the women's quota in the Abunzi Committee, and the level of women’s participation as decision-makers. Findings of the research will inform the design of activities aimed at building the capacity of women’s’ groups to provide legal information on how to access land dispute resolution mechanisms and/or activities aimed at promoting the involvement of women in the Abunzi Committee, as per the gender quota included in the relevant Organic Law.
ii. Lead the implementation of a capacity gap analysis of the Abunzi, the CLCs, and other relevant land dispute resolution actors (this analysis will also allow determining how to complement the training already provided by other state and non-state actors). The International Expert will consult with the University of Rwanda and those CSOs that are already building the capacity of the Abunzi/CLCs and relevant land dispute resolution actors at the de-central level, including RCN J&D, the Legal Aid Forum (LAF), and Maison d’Accès à la Justice (MAJ).
b) Lead the organization and delivery of two multi-stakeholders workshops: the first to be conducted at the beginning of the inception phase to validate research objectives and methodology; and the second to be conducted at the end of the inception phase to discuss/validate the findings of the research conducted, including the capacity gap analysis.
c) Establish baseline values/data for the IDLO LCRP project, which will allow the project to develop a dedicated monitoring tool to be used to periodically assess the level of inclusiveness, accessibility, transparency and predictability of the decisions adopted at the decentral level
d) Identify two pilot districts for Phase 2, through a participatory process involving RVO, Kadaster Internationaal, academic institutions, MINIJUST, RLMUA and MINALOC. Criteria for the selection shall be jointly agreed upon.
e) Attend consultative meetings with key stakeholders (RLMUA, MINIJUST and other stakeholders) to discuss research findings and agree on the activities to be conducted in the pilot district during Phase 2.
f) Perform related duties as requested in the context of adaptive/flexible project implementation.
Throughout this assignment, the International Expert will, at all times be guided by these terms of reference and will be required to:
- Employ participatory approaches working under the guidance of the IDLO Program and Research & Learning Teams and working closely with the National Expert in the development of methodology, tools, data collection, data analysis, and reporting;
- Provide quality control, guide, supervise and coordinate the work of the National Expert assigned to the project;
- Emphasize peer exchange and review, responding collaboratively to feedback and input;
- Adhere to and incorporate relevant international and national standards for conducting research ethically and to the highest standards of quality;
- Undertake all data collection in line with relevant methodological, ethical, and privacy considerations, making data available to the IDLO Program Team;
- Make available all data collection undertaken to IDLO’s Program Team in line with relevant methodological and privacy considerations;
- Undertake duty travel to selected districts (subject to safety and security measures) for which DSA and transportation will be provided according to the standard of the donor and IDLO specifications;
- Deliver written work in English that is of publishable quality and adopts the United Nations Editorial Manual footnote citation style, available online: [https://www.un.org/dgacm/en/content/editorial-manual];
- Provide support to other IDLO Rwanda programming initiatives.
The International Expert will be employed for six months, commencing on 16th August 2021. Time is of the essence and agreed deadlines must be respected for full payment of the consultancy fees.
IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE
- Postgraduate qualifications in Law, Social Sciences, or Gender Studies.
- At least 10 years of professional experience regarding the rule of law, land rights, gender, customary justice, and governance sector reforms, experience in/on Rwanda strongly preferred.
- Experience in project management, finance, legal research, analysis, and writing, particularly in the field of land rights, customary justice, gender, access to justice, and rule of law.
- Proven experience in managing complex research projects, preferably using a mix of mutually reinforcing qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
- Proven experience interacting in an effective, constructive, and professional manner with relevant project stakeholders, including government and civil society representatives.
- A strong understanding of gender-related issues to land rights in Rwanda and experience in conducting thematic research and other relevant studies is highly desirable.
- Proven experience and knowledge of the legal and justice system in Rwanda.
- Excellent quantitative and qualitative analytical skills.
- Ability to design and conduct surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, and case file reviews.
- Good understanding of current thinking and practice in planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (PMEL).
- Demonstrable excellent skills and experience in oral and written communication, including analytical report writing, in the English Language.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Terms and conditions will be set according to the program implementation needs. Candidates should possess the ability to work and travel within and outside of Rwanda.
In the interest of making the most effective use of resources, only the short-listed candidates will be contacted during the selection process.
Please note that the recruitment of this position is subject to the availability of funds.
IDLO is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in all areas of its operations. We welcome applications of qualified and diverse candidates.
IDLO is committed to achieving a 50/50 gender balance at all levels within its workforce. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for IDLO vacancies.
IDLO does not tolerate sexual exploitation or abuse, any kind of harassment, including harassment of a sexual nature, or discrimination. As such, IDLO will conduct careful reference and background checks of all selected candidates as part of its selection process.
DISCLAIMER AND CLOSING DATE
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the Consultant assigned to this work. This may not be an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities.
All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and in compliance with IDLO’s policy on personal data protection.
The Director-General of IDLO reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities or even to cancel the consultancy opportunity to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.
The application deadline is 30th July 2021.