Consultant VA: Specialist legal and technical support on implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure Act of Namibia | Land Portal


DUTY STATION: Home Based with missions as necessary

FUNCTIONAL TITLE: Consultant: Specialist legal and technical support on implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure Act of Namibia

DURATION: Twenty five (25) days spread over 8 months

CLOSING DATE: 12 May 2016


The Land and GLTN Unit, located within the Urban Legislation, Land and Governance (ULLG) Branch of UN-Habitat, has the mandate to develop, test and disseminate pro-poor and gender responsive approaches in regard to urban land, innovative residential tenures, affordable land management/administration systems, and land related regulatory/legal frameworks and tools. The Unit hence focuses on research and tool development also to supply technical advice to Member States and backstop the Regional offices and other sections of UN-Habitat. Land tools provide a resource for enabling action. While there has been extensive global discussion around land policies that work for the poor, there has been insufficient attention paid to the development of methods for developing and implementing these pro-poor land policies. Consequently what are required are land tools that are affordable and accessible for all sections of the population in countries around the world. This is essential for creating societies with sustainable, equal access and use of land. Work has already started on these approaches, both for developing and post-conflict societies. Incremental expansion of this work over time, as capacity is developed, will take place through the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), the Secretariat of which is located at UN-Habitat (see

A key GLTN tool is the continuum of land rights. In terms of this tool, land rights are viewed as lying on a continuum. At one end are formal land rights, where the owner is an individual, who holds a set of registered rights to a parcel of land that are enshrined in law: the parcel is delineated on a map held in a record office; the owner has the right to occupy the land, build on it (subject to approvals), sell it, rent it out, transfer it to his or her heirs, and prevent other people from coming on to it. At the informal end of the continuum are informal rights: a group of individuals (such as a clan) may have traditional rights to use a piece of land. The boundaries of the land may not be clearly marked on the ground or on a map, and there may be no official paperwork certifying who owns or has what rights to the land. In between these two extremes are a wide range of rights. In reality, the rights do not lie on a single line, and they may overlap with one another. Tenure can take a variety of forms, and “registered freehold” (at the formal end of the continuum) should not be seen as the preferred or ultimate form of land rights, but as one of a number of appropriate and legitimate forms. Registered freehold, for example, requires a sophisticated (and costly) administration system, a reliable survey of the land parcels, good land governance, and so on. GLTN research has shown that the most appropriate form depends on the particular situation: customary rights, for example may be superior to registered freehold in certain situations. Pro-poor, gender responsive land tools have to take this continuum into account.

Growing acceptance through the work of GLTN partners of the idea of the continuum of land rights and alternative forms of secure tenure is part of a fundamental paradigm shift which is underway in the global understanding of and approach to land. Ongoing debates have emphasized that the continuum concept is evolving, and needs to be reviewed, debated, improved and refined over time. To this end the GLTN Secretariat has undertaken to prioritize intensive work in this area. 

Complementary to and informed by this work, GLTN is in the process of expanding its activities in a selection of targeted countries and cities/municipalities through intensified support for the testing and implementation of pro-poor and gender-responsive tools in the land sector. This work will be done in conjunction with government and other in-country partners; regional and country offices in UN-Habitat; and international partner organizations with their national networks. It does this through five main, interconnected activity areas: knowledge and awareness building; land policy reform; donor coordination; capacity development; and land tool development, testing and implementation.

In light of resource and other considerations, GLTN is strategic in its selection of target countries, by identifying priority areas of opportunity for catalytic change and joining forces with existing country-based initiatives that have the potential to deliver maximum capacity development and implementation impact. Each country has its own history, context, support requirements and collaboration opportunities. In countries where land policy reform and implementation are well underway, GTLN would tailor its approach so as to add value to the existing processes. In such situations it may, for example, only be necessary to engage at the level of one or more tools that could help to address pressing challenges or problems. In countries where less progress has been made, full-scale engagement in the abovementioned activities may be necessary. In all cases, a key measure of impact of the country-level work of GLTN will be the quality and level of capacity development that has taken place.

In addition, the GLTN Secretariat has implemented a project on “Increasing Urban Tenure Security: investigating the continuum of land rights in practice in selected sites in Southern Africa”. The sites investigated were: Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia. Building on this work, UN-Habitat commenced research and collaboration with the Namibian government and other role players on technical support on documentation, piloting and up scaling of implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure System in Namibia. This consultancy will form part of this technical support process.


The consultant, under the guidance of the Land and GLTN Unit Leader and key staff from GLTN Secretariat, will be responsible for;

Preparation of inception report and work plan

Legal and technical support to key partners to facilitate understanding, finalisation and adoption of the Regulations to the Flexible Land Tenure Act (FLTA)

Provision of technical advice and support on draft FLTA Regulations to help facilitate commencement of promulgation procedures and implementation as per legal and practical requirements

Support to key partners on the Implementation of Piloting of the Flexible Land Tenure System

Consultations and provision of technical advice and support on the planning, preparation and/or implementation of Flexible Land Tenure System pilot projects, to include both land holder and starter title options for beneficiaries

Interpretation of FLTA registration procedures as provided in the Act and Regulations and assist where required in the practical implementation thereof, including identification, testing and customization; leading to a simplified business process.

Materials for Capacity Development

A implementation handbook on implementation of the provisions of the FLTA and Regulations drafted jointly and/or in consultation with the relevant institutions


 Professionalism: Knowledge of laws, concepts and practical approaches relevant to security of tenure, land administration and land rights.

Communication: Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to articulate ideas in a clear and accurate manner including the ability to present the content of the thematic area in a clear and concise manner.

Planning and organizing: ability to work under pressure, establish priorities and plan, coordinate own work plan, use time efficiently and apply judgment in the context of competing deadlines.

Creativity: Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches, takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”, and offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs.


 Relevant academic qualification (legal degree in a field deemed relevant to the subject areas covered by these TOR, preferably land law, administrative law and/or land administration).


A minimum of 10 years of experience working in the fields of land law, land tenure, land administration and land reform implementation

Experience in analyzing and drafting land law and/or regulations

Demonstrated skill in research and practical analysis of complex land tenure issues, producing clear arguments and constructive recommendations for future action

Previous experience working with international development assistance agencies, as well as with different levels of government, including in Africa. Namibia country experience will be an advantage

Previous experience in delivering legal and technical support on land Namibia will be an advantage


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the post advertised, excellent proficiency in spoken and written English is required


Proficient in use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Ability to work to schedule, but where requested to be flexible with changes in timelines


The rate is determined by functions performed. The fees will be paid as per agreement. Where applicable, travel costs of the consultant (airplane ticket economy class), transfers, and daily allowance as per the UN rate is payable in addition to the daily fee.

Applications should include:

•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

•    Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information:

Educational Background (incl. dates)

Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years / months)

Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)

Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments

Expectations regarding remuneration (daily rate for period of up to 50 days)

List of referees

•    Optional: A document developed by the applicant that is able to depict his / her ability to perform the tasks described in these Terms of Reference. 

Please also be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster through the following link:

All applications should be submitted to:

Ms. Josephine Ruria     


P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya


Deadline for applications: 12 May 2016

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