Sr. Land Tenure Specialist


Job Summary:  The on-call Sr. Land Tenure Specialist provides expertise on one or more of the following topics: land tenure security, access to land, land rights formalization, land markets, land administration (land titling and registration, cadastral services), land management, resolution of land disputes and related fields (e.g. food security, agricultural productivity, responsible land-based rural investment, corporate services and partnerships, and natural resource management) across diverse settings. Priority will be given to professionals with strong communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work at a distance and take on a variety of assignments with a quick learning curve. The Sr. Land Tenure Specialist must be able to take on a variety of tasks including but not limited to: a) contribute to or prepare concept notes, proposals, budgets and work plans; b) assessments and analyses  of land tenure issues; c) prepares and presents analytical reviews, research and briefing papers, advisory memos, training modules, presentations, and other products for internal or external distribution; d) lead or participate in field research or other overseas project implementation teams for short term project assignments; e) participate in mentoring, coaching or training other land tenure professionals.  The Sr. Land Tenure Specialist, on-call, is expected to manage relevant assignments, projects, teams and tasks consistent with Landesa’s mission, core values and approaches and work with relevant other Landesa staff as may be necessary to do so.

Reporting and relationships: The on-call Sr. Land Tenure Specialist will report to a Sr. Landesa Program Staff to be determined upon hiring.

Level of Effort:  Landesa anticipates requiring the on-call Sr. Land Tenure Specialist to be available between 25 – 50% of a full time equivalent (the on-call employee may work up to 75% of a full time equivalent, but Landesa does not guarantee any hours).  The 25 – 75% level of effort is equivalent to 65 – 195 days a year. The manager assigned and the on-call employee will communicate regularly to discuss Landesa’s needs and the on-call employee’s availability for specific tasks.  The position may requires travel, 20 – 80 days per year; this includes international travel  and travel to Washington D.C. or Seattle as might be necessary to complete certain assignments.

Duty Station:  The duty station will vary according to task, budget and availability of space within Landesa offices. The on-call Sr. Land Tenure Specialist must be able to work from a personal office space and from one of Landesa’s U.S. based offices (Washington D.C. or Seattle) as appropriate to the assignment and in accordance with Landesa’s space and budget availability.

Essential Job Functions:

Any or all of the functions listed below may be relevant for an on-call Sr. Land Tenure Specialist.

§  Performs research, analysis, and synthesis of topics and issues related to Landesa’s work in Africa and other regions as assigned.

§  Undertakes and, at times, supervises fieldwork (rapid rural appraisal, key informant interviews, public meetings, workshops, surveys) to gather information about current land tenure conditions and the prospects for reform.

§  Makes policy, program and project recommendations that are practical, useful, and realistic, given country realities and resources.

§  Contributes to the development of plans for implementation of selected recommendations, including ensuring gender considerations are addressed.

§  Collects progress and performance data, assesses progress and results, carries out or monitors evaluations/assessments of activities as needed, identifies problem areas, and takes corrective steps as needed to achieve program and project objectives.

§  Engages with corporations to improve corporate policies and practices around farmland investments; and coordinates with corporations as allies in improving government policies, laws, and regulations where those improvements strengthen pro-poor, pro-women land rights.

§  Manages projects in conformance with Landesa procedures on budgeting, human resource allocation and work planning, cost monitoring and control, monitoring travel schedules, and product preparation and delivery.

§  Collaborates with foreign government officials, other counterpart country nationals, international aid agencies, and corporations in the work, advocates for key legal and policy changes consistent with Landesa’s research findings and mission in both country-specific and global contexts.

§  Manages relations and collaborates with donors, fee-for-service clients and public sector grantors. Prepares and reviews reports for these funders on a regular basis.

§  Contributes to the expansion and/or development of the Landesa Africa programs and projects.

§  Contributes to internal learning objectives by sharing research methods and findings with other Landesa staff, including making presentations.

§  Prepares and delivers public education and awareness presentations consistent with Landesa’s educational strategic objectives.

§  Assists the Advocacy & Engagement and Partnership departments in preparing and presenting funding, educational and communication material.

§  Performs other management and administrative tasks as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • A deep commitment to the mission of a better, safer future for the world’s poorest people through secure access to land.

§  Dedication and persistence working in a mission-driven environment as a constructive, solutions-oriented problem solver.

§  Research, analysis, synthesis, reasoning, and writing abilities that have been developed to a level that permits the Sr. Land Tenure Specialist to work independently and take leadership on Landesa projects in addition to providing technical and individual supervision. Skills in quantitative analysis are highly beneficial.

§  Familiarity with legal, economic, sociological, agricultural, political, institutional, geographic, and anthropological concepts and information to an extent sufficient to permit the Sr. Land Tenure Specialist to lead, participate in and manage Landesa projects and initiatives. Candidates with deep knowledge of customary land tenure systems, smallholder and large-scale agriculture, and related issues in Africa will receive special consideration.

§  Ability to develop concrete work plans and manage tasks, teams, people, funds, products, and other elements so that work is performed according to agreed budgets, schedules, delivery requirements, and staffing plans.

§  Ability to manage documents and correspondence, track and report on project labor, and carry out other administrative tasks efficiently, routinely, and in conformance to Landesa standards and procedures.

§  Ability to work collaboratively with a range of people at all levels, including those from host country governmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, clients, donors, and grantors. Ability to demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity, tact, and poise. Ability to lead and work collaboratively as a member of teams, regardless of role within team, including consensus building, communications, and leadership skills.  Demonstrates effective and positive conflict management skills and acts as a mentor to junior staff.

§  Ability to engage and lead in high-level legal and policy advocacy with legislators, government officials, multilateral representatives, and private sector leaders.

§  Exceptional ability to communicate in writing and orally in English. Ability to work in French or Portuguese is preferred. Ability to make and use distinctions as to types, frequency, tenor, and levels of communications, depending upon the circumstances and audience.

§  Proficiency using Microsoft Suite of products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other software.

Education and Experience:

  • A graduate or professional degree in agricultural economics, economics, sociology, geography, anthropology, law, or related field is required.
  • A minimum of ten years of relevant international development work experience, engaging in policy research and in the design and implementation of projects, including significant focus (5+ years) on the types of land issues mentioned above is required.
  • Experience with legal analysis, drafting and advocacy is highly preferred.
  • Strong depth and breadth of field work experience.
  • Experience in women’s land rights and a deep focus on applying gender in all work is highly preferred.
  • Experience working with commercial agriculture and/or corporate social responsibility is considered highly beneficial.
  • Prior work experience with USAID, the World Bank or other multi/bi-lateral donor is considered highly beneficial.

Work Environment and Working Conditions for Travelers to Developing Countries: While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be exposed to working conditions and hazards which are prevalent for the location and/or country of assignment.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  Work is primarily performed indoors with some potential for exposure to safety and health hazards related to electronics work.  The employee may be required to travel overseas and domestically.  When traveling overseas in a developing country, the employee may be exposed to: physical hazards (illnesses, noise, extreme temperatures, wet or humid climates, etc.) road hazards (unfinished/dirt roads, potholes, traffic-related accidents, etc.), and atmospheric conditions (odors, dust, fumes, smog, etc.).

Additional Comments:  The above job description is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, exhaustive of all responsibilities, skills, efforts, or working conditions associated with this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made in appropriate circumstances to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this job.

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