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Consultancy - National Expert, Land Conflict Resolution project in Rwanda

Kigali (Rwanda)

  • Organization: IDLO - International Development Law Organization
  • Location: Kigali (Rwanda)
  • Grade: Single Engagement Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-07-30

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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 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 specifically 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 overall supervision of the IDLO Regional Program Manager - Africa, and the direct supervision of the International Expert, 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.


Under the supervision of the International Expert, the National 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. Support 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 these 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. Support 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 National 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) Support the organization and facilitate 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) Support the establishment of 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) Assist in the identification of 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.

e) Attend consultative meetings with key stakeholders as needed (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 National Expert will, at all times be guided by these terms of reference and will be required to:

  • Employ participatory approaches working under the supervision of the International Expert and overall guidance of the IDLO Program and Research & Learning Teams in the development of methodology, tools, data collection, data analysis, and reporting; 
  • 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;
  • Make available all data collection undertaken to IDLO’s Program Team in line with relevant methodological and privacy considerations;
  • Undertake all data collection in line with relevant methodological, ethical, and privacy considerations, making data available to the IDLO Program Team;
  • 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;
  • Produce (or supervise the production of) high-quality translations into English as needed in support of the research objectives;
  • Deliver written work in English that is of publishable quality and adopts the United Nations Editorial Manual footnote citation style, available online: [];
  • Provide support to other IDLO Rwanda programming initiatives. 


The National Expert will be employed for five months, commencing on 16th September 2021. Time is of the essence and agreed deadlines must be respected for full payment of the consultancy fees.


The ideal candidate for this assignment is a Rwandan national (or permanent resident), with the following education, experience, and competencies:


  • Postgraduate qualifications in Law, Social Sciences, or Gender Studies. 

Work experience

  • At least 5 years of professional experience regarding the rule of law, land rights, customary justice, gender, and governance sector reforms in Rwanda.
  • 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. 
  • Experience in conducting applied research projects, preferably using a mix of mutually reinforcing qualitative and quantitative research techniques.

Technical competencies

  • 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. 
  • Experience designing and conducting surveys, interviews, focus group discussions and case file review is desirable.
  • Excellent quantitative and qualitative analytical skills.
  • Demonstrable excellent skills and experience in oral and written communication, including analytical report writing, in both English and Kinyarwanda language.


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.


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.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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