National Consultant Uganda: Alternative Land Dispute Resolution Expert
Result of Service
To develop ADR guidelines including a step-by-step process for amicably settling land conflicts and disputes on customary land other land tenures in Uganda.Work Location
3 MonthsDuties and Responsibilities
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. It is the focal point for urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. The Agency also contributes to national and local governments in laying the foundation for sustainable urban development. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed, and efficient cities and other human settlements, with adequate housing, infrastructure, universal access to employment and essential services such as water, energy, and sanitation. To achieve these goals, UN-Habitat has adopted the Strategic Plan (2020–2023) which repositions UN-Habitat as a major global entity and a centre of excellence and innovation.
This national consultancy post for alternative land dispute resolution expert is primarily created to contribute to the UN-Habitat-Land, Housing and Shelter Section (LHSS) and Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)'s interventions in Uganda. The LHSS, within the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat, hosts the secretariat of the GLTN which is a network of over 80 international institutions that was established in 2006 and since then, has been working to promote secure land and property rights for all, through the development of pro-poor fit-for-purpose and gender-responsive land tools within the continuum of land rights approach. Since 2012, GLTN has started working at the country level to test and implement developed land tools and approaches, contribute to land policy development and implementation, undertake capacity development initiatives and awareness and knowledge building initiatives in collaboration with government authorities and partners. In 2019, Phase 3 of the GLTN Programme has started, with an overall goal of improving tenure security for women, youth, and vulnerable groups.
This consultancy mainly aims to contribute to the implementation of the GLTN Phase 3 Programme in Uganda, particularly the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)-managed "Scaling up Community-based Land Registration and Land Use Planning on Customary Land in Uganda" project, which aims to contribute to the development of a structured and scalable approach towards improved tenure security. The four (4) year project started in September 2021 and has three (3) primary outcomes:
1. Improved tenure security for men, women, and youth
2. Inclusive, climate-smart, and sustainable land use planning
3. Improved capacity and awareness of crucial land stakeholders on customary land registration and land use planning.
Land and natural resources are a major source of conflict in Uganda, with 59% of land conflicts occur on customary land tenure according to Rugadya 2008. Land conflicts at the household level are at 34.9% with rural households accounting for 36% of these conflicts. Land is also a major cause of other conflicts including domestic and/or gender-based violence, assaults, and murder. Over 80% of the of land is accessed through the customary land tenure system, and most of the communities and families who access land through this tenure do not have any formal documentation. During customary land registration processes, existing and underlying land disputes often come out, with most disputes relate to boundaries, land ownership and its transfer, succession wrangles, and trespass, among others.
Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. In Uganda, most land conflicts and disputes are handled by two systems. They include the customary/traditional institutions which handle land disputes and conflicts arising from customary land tenure system which is governed by customs and norms of a given community, and through the courts of law which are characterized with delays in delivering justice, costly and on most occasions inaccessible by the poor and vulnerable persons who cannot afford legal representation and transport to the courts. The quest for expeditious litigation of land conflicts and disputes is evident across the country and alternative dispute resolution processes, especially mediation and arbitration, are very useful and effective if embraced and utilized to resolve land conflicts and disputes expeditiously mutually in both the traditional justice institutions and courts because of their benefits. Customary and community-based mechanisms for conflict resolution are relevant for dispute resolution under customary tenure system which utilize mediation to resolve conflicts and disputes as opposed to passing judgment in favour of one party or another.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices are committed to settling land disputes whether pursued independently or in parallel with litigation or arbitration. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has developed a draft resource book titled “Resource Book for Mediators and Traditional Institutions on Traditional and Dispute Resolution”, however, the resource book doesn’t include guidelines for conducting ADR on customary land in Uganda.
Specific Tasks and Responsibilities
In close consultation with the Directorate of Land Administration and Management under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), UN-Habitat and GLTN Secretariat and other key partners, the consultant shall implement the following tasks and deliver the outputs below:
1. Provide strategic and technical review of documents, reports, and existing land dispute mechanisms. The Expert shall review and analyse legal and policy frameworks governing ADR on customary land, ADR reports, draft “Resource Book on Traditional and Dispute Resolution and any existing manuals on customary land, related regulations reports, relevant international best practices on land dispute resolution and other applicable research documents. In addition, the Expert shall review all existing land dispute mechanisms in Uganda including court, ADR, traditional justice institutions/mechanisms with focus on the institutions women and men may be confronted with on dispute resolution and land administration highlighting the trends, advantages, and disadvantages of each, the relationship between/among them and how they can work collaboratively to provide effective resolution of land cases.
2. Review customary land registration processes. The consultant shall review the existing processes used by various GLTN partners, local NGOs and organizations that are normally followed in customary land registration including institutional framework to identify critical aspects that need to be incorporated into the guidelines.
3. Study and document existing ADR practices during customary land registration. The consultant shall visit selected customary land registration projects sites, document and study and analyse land dispute resolution practices using an inclusive and participatory approach from a gender lens to identifying best practices to inform the guidelines, and to highlighting what works well (or not) in different settings or situations.
4. Provide policy, strategic and practical guidance, and recommendations for ADR on customary land and other land tenure. The consultant shall make concrete recommendations on the required changes, amendments, and actions for ADR during customary land registration considering internationally and nationally recognized frameworks and practices including providing the justifications for such recommendations.
5. Develop draft ADR guidelines for customary land. The consultant shall develop draft ADR guidelines including a step-by-step process during customary land registration in Uganda.
6. Undertake the development of implementation plan for the guidelines. The consultant shall provide advice and input in the development of an implementation plan for ADR guidelines.
7. Provide strategic and technical contribution in advocacy and promotions of the guidelines. The consultant shall provide strategic and technical inputs in the promotion of the ADR guidelines for customary land and in advocating for its adoption by the government authorities and key stakeholders.
8. Provide technical inputs to the consultative and validation workshop. The consultant shall provide technical inputs to the consultative and validation workshop for the developed ADR guidelines and incorporate inputs from stakeholders (that is the users and partitioners).
9. Develop the final guidelines of the ADR guidelines. The consultant shall review the final draft guidelines and provide final inputs, additional write-ups and edits and provide other recommendations as maybe applicable to the guidelines. The consultant shall also contribute to the dissemination of the ADR Guidelines.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in a field relevant to the assignment, such as land tenure, land management, land dispute/ADR, law, land conflict/dispute. land economics, gender studies, public policy, social development, and other related fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
• A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in undertaking projects or assignments related to land and conflict or alternative land dispute resolution mechanism on customary land tenure is required.
• Experience in alternative land dispute resolution or land and conflict analysis/assessments design and review of programmes focused on gender equality, equity and mainstreaming in land governance is required.
• Knowledge of customary land tenure and its related challenges and opportunities in Uganda is highly preferred.
• Previous experience with UN and/or international organization and government bodies is desirable.
Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of the other UN languages is an added advantage.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
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