Project Coordinator, African Environmental Defenders Initiative

Natural Justice
  • Location
    Multiple Locations, Kenya
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
    May-31-2022
  • Posted
    May 09

Position description

Natural Justice is an organisation rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, we specialise in human rights and environmental law in pursuit of social and environmental justice. The values, knowledge and self-determination inform our work of the communities whom we stand in solidarity with. Through legal empowerment, research, policy influencing and litigation, and as part of coalitions and campaigns, we support communities to defend and affirm their rights to their lands and environments. To learn more about the work of Natural Justice, please refer to www.naturaljustice.org

About the African Environmental Defenders Initiative

The African Environmental Defenders Initiative was launched in 2019 with an objective to enhance respect for the work of African Environmental Defenders and advocate for and secure their human rights. The Initiative aims to minimise or manage the risks faced by Defenders in Africa by offering support to enhance their resilience in terms of protection against threats. 

Through the Initiative, Natural Justice established the African Environmental Defenders Fund. This is a joint program by Natural Justice and various partners, including the International Land Coalition, which provides emergency funding to land and environmental defenders based in Africa whose lives are under threat. The website of the Fund can be accessed here: https://envirodefenders.africa/

What are we looking for?

Natural Justice seeks to hire a full-time Project Coordinator to lead, coordinate and oversee the implementation of the African Environmental Defenders (AED) Initiative across the organization. The successful candidate will work closely with the project team members in the Southern, Eastern and West African Hubs of the organization to implement the project in the respective countries of focus, which include Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, South Africa, Guinea and Mozambique among others. 

This will be a full-time position based in any African country, with preference given to applicants able to be based in Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar, Senegal, and other countries where Natural Justice has a presence. The ideal candidate will also have substantial experience working in several African countries and professional fluency in English; fluency in French is desirable.

Key roles and responsibilitiesProject Coordinator, AED Initiative

  • As a thought leader on environmental defenders for the organization, coordinate with the AED project team to develop and implement strategies, projects and plans for the AED Initiative across the organization. 
  • Collaborate with Natural Justice staff members, community-based partners and movements, other NGO/CSO partners in multiple countries, academia, government allies and technical experts to develop and implement legal and other advocacy strategies at the international, regional and national level aimed at enhancing the legal and policy protections of African environmental human rights defenders. 
  • Assist to design and implement a comprehensive legal empowerment and capacity building program for community environmental human rights defenders in key focus countries. 
  • Work with the Natural Justice project team to oversee and administer the African Environmental Defenders Emergency Response Fund. 
  • Identify, build, strengthen and maintain networks and partnerships with relevant actors and stakeholders at national, international, and regional levels. 
  • Represent Natural Justice at international, regional and national meetings relevant to environmental defenders. 
  • Provide technical advice to partners, affected communities and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Work with the project team and partners to organize and conduct webinars, workshops and seminars to amplify the issues of grassroots environmental human rights defenders.
  • Write research reports, concept documents, academic papers, organizational reports, and other documents for publication. 
  • Work with the staff of Natural Justice to apply for and oversee grants, including preparing donor reports, providing regular project updates and maintaining a good relationship with the donors.

Qualifications and experience required:

  • A minimum of at least 5 years of demonstrated work experience in human rights, environmental law, or other related fields. Experience working on programs/projects relating to the protection of African environmental human rights defenders will be an added advantage. 
  • An undergraduate degree in law, political science or another relevant social science discipline. A bachelor of law and a post-graduate degree in law is desirable. 
  • The ideal candidate will have substantial experience working in several African countries and with professional fluency in English and French. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of and experience working on law and policy advocacy initiatives on international, regional and national legal and policy processes and mechanisms for the protection of environmental human rights defenders. 
  • Candidates with experience managing emergency response funds or initiatives will have an added advantage. 
  • Experience coordinating with and supervising teams. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Shows initiative, good judgment, ability to think critically and problem-solve, and a strong work ethic. 
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with clients, partners and staff, and to develop and maintain partnerships with community-based or other grassroots groups. 
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally. 
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.

Application instructions

Applications should be submitted via email to [email protected] with “Application for position of Project Coordinator, African Environmental Defenders Initiative” in the subject line.

Applications must include:

  1. A motivation letter that indicates: a) why you are interested in this position and what inspires you about working with African Environmental Human Rights defenders more broadly; and b) aspects of your background that demonstrate the required competence for this role;

  2. A detailed CV with three references; and

  3. Two writing samples (for example, legal briefs, articles or research reports) that demonstrate your analytical, writing and communications skills.

Please ensure that your application as a whole speaks to the required qualifications, experience, personal profile and key roles and responsibilities. Please do not apply if you do not meet the required experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Deadline for ApplicationsAll applications to be sent on or before 31st May 2022.

Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Salary is commensurate with skill and experience. The contract length will be two years with the intention of a longer-term arrangement.

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