Job Opportunity: Network of Researchers Coordinator | Land Portal

The Land Portal Foundation seeks dynamic and highly motivated Coordinator to establish and lead an international land-related Network of  Researchers to scale up the land data and information available on the Land Portal and to cement the Land Portal’s role as a reputable sources of well-founded and accessible land information. This is a part- time position (i.e. 2 days/week) for a 12-month period, with the possibility of renewal based on performance. Women and people from the Global South are encouraged to apply.

Organizational profile

The Land Portal exists to nurture a vibrant online platform to inform and engage with partners,  promoting open data and the sharing of best practices and stimulating debate and collaboration both on and offline. We provide a vital bridge for those grappling with complex land governance issues – from researchers and NGOs through to governments and grassroots communities – connecting people, facilitating dialogue and joining the dots between fragmented information. Finally Land Portal plays a critical role in creating a better understanding of land data and increasing people access and use of data.

The Land Portal was established in 2009 to create, curate and disseminate land governance information; helping to foster a more inclusive and accessible data landscape. Over the subsequent ten years, the Land Portal has grown to become an information gateway and resource base, a vibrant online community of users from around the world, and a trusted voice within the land governance sector globally.

We believe data and information are powerful tools for achieving our vision of a land governance system that benefits those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness. However, information sources remain highly fragmented, unstructured, poorly curated, represent a narrow range of perspectives, and continue to be published in ways that do not facilitate maximum discovery, engagement and reuse. Until policy and decision-makers, intermediaries and grassroots groups have access to the data and information they need to make sound decisions, their initiatives (programs, policies, campaigns) will fail to achieve maximum impact.

Raising awareness of “open data” – and the critical role it plays in realising tenure security for individuals and communities around the world – continues to be our greatest challenge. To this end, we make use of every possible conference, meeting and speaking engagement to promote the concept of “going open”, while recognising that, given the highly sensitive nature of land data (particularly for vulnerable communities), not everything can or should be made entirely open.

We have set out an ambitious new strategy in 2019  to improve the documentation, mapping and monitoring of land governance issues; enrich and inform the global debate on land rights; and democratize access to the land governance “information ecosystem” and improve the flow of data between diverse actors.

Job Description

The Network of Researchers Coordinator will be responsible for establishing and supervising the Network of Researchers and scaling up land data and information on the Land Portal. The Land Portal currently has 20 detailed country portfolios, 60 brief country narratives, 14 thematic portfolios, along with 45 datasets and over 760 indicators currently on the Land Portal. In particular, the Land Portal is looking to scale up detailed country portfolios to more than 100 countries. In collaboration with the Land Portal Team and Regional Engagement Coordinators, the Network of Researchers Coordinator will coordinate and oversee efforts to scale up this work and to ensure the quality of data and content, while building extensive relationships among land researchers nationally, regionally and internationally towards a common set of goals. The Network of Researchers Coordinator will serve at the heart of international dialogue on land data and research, helping the Land Portal Foundation to lead the way on cross-cutting themes such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure and land-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Principal Tasks & Responsibilities: 


  • Lead and coordinate the production of 80+ detailed country portfolios on the Land Portal. This includes:

    • Coordinate the development of detailed country narratives that summarize the land situation in the country, provide a broad overview of the basic land tenure system and historical context of the country, indicate land use trends and primary challenges in collaboration with Local Knowledge Engagement Coordinators and researchers. This involves:

      • Identification and selection of qualified researchers and land experts at the country level to write the country narratives..

      • Overseeing the peer-review process of narratives with recognized land experts.

    • Identifying and planning the ingestion of data for new focus countries.

    • Coordinating with the Land Portal team and the Local Knowledge Engagement Coordinators to ensure adequate and relevant content is included in country portfolios.

    • Identifying country-specific data (including spatial data) for inclusion in portfolios.

  • Verifying methodological and statistical robustness and consistency of the data.

  • Curating metadata indicators, data providers and datasets.

  • Overseeing the work of Local Knowledge Engagement Coordinators relating to research.

  • Coordinate efforts with other national, regional and international land-related initiatives.


Qualifications and skills

The successful candidate will have:

  • University degree (Masters level) or a PHD in a relevant discipline.;

  • Prior experience or studies in land governance related issues;

  • Some knowledge of data management and analysis; 

  • Some knowledge of open data, data sharing technologies and standards such as metadata standards, semantic web and linked data;

  • Fluency (native level) in English;

  • Minimum 5 year of relevant work experience;

  • Excellent computer skills, including with Content Management Systems;

  • Superior attention to detail;

  • Good drafting, communicating and presentation abilities;

  • Good understanding and ability to use several visualization tools for story maps and data stories.

Personal and Professional Attributes

  • Inclusive and effective communication skills and techniques with an ability to respectfully engage with, and to communicate concepts to others. 

  • High standard of ethics and integrity which inspires trust and confidence. 

  • Enthusiasm and commitment to sustained effort through diligence and pursuit of high standards. 

  • Commitment to ongoing personal and professional development which drives best practice. 

  • Proactively utilizes initiative, innovation and a commitment to continuous improvement. 

  • Strong collaborative skills which enable effective engagement within a high functioning cohesive team. 

  • Ability to employ sound judgment and decision making amongst competing demands 

  • Ability to show initiative in planning and developing new ideas and approaches, and to implement and communicate change effectively.

  • Problem-solving attitude;

  • Diplomacy, team spirit and willingness to take initiatives;

  • Ability to meet strict deadlines;

  • Disciplined - good at managing his or her own time and committed to work from home in a remote environment.


The Network of Researchers Coordinator will report to the Land Portal Team Leader. 


This position(s) will be staffed on a part-time basis for a year following a probationary period of 3 months. The Consultant will be working from home. 


How to apply?

Please send your curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter explaining your interests and qualifications (addressed to Laura Meggiolaro, Land Portal Team Leader) no later than midnight CET on Sunday, February 16th, 2020, or email your cover letter and CV to

Please write “Network of Researchers Coordinator –  Job Application” as the subject of the email.

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