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National Legal Specialist 

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In Rwanda, FAO is mainly engaged in agriculture, food security and nutrition, natural resources management (land, forestry, and environment), and disaster risk management. FAO also provides support for the implementation of various projects and programmes, either through collaborative efforts with other UN agencies under “One UN”, and/or bilateral and multilateral agencies, or as “stand-alone”.

Since FAO Rwanda opened its office in 1985, there have been four key periods of operation:

  • 1985-1994: Supported large scale projects through the United Nations Development Program UNDP
  • 1994-2000: Conducted projects that related directly to the agricultural emergency operations system that was put in place after the war and the Genocide
  • 2001-2006: Focused on the rehabilitation of the agriculture system (as opposed to the response projects of the previous period), as well as the strengthening of government partnerships
  • 2007- To date: FAO Rwanda is working strategically under the One UN Rwanda initiative in close collaboration with other governmental organizations and national counterparts on projects that cross-cut agriculture production, value chain development, nutrition, social protection, and climate change resilience.

In its current line of activity, FAO Rwanda is working across organizations to respond to the global and national challenges put forth through the One UN initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs), and Rwanda’s Vision 2020 plan. FAO Rwanda has participated in projects and activities that support the promotion of sustainable growth in the country’s post-war redevelopment efforts, as well as the increased social protection of women, children, youth, and other vulnerable populations. These efforts include activities that strengthen food and nutrition security, support of agribusiness, economic empowerment of rural women and youth, aquaculture, capacity development, forest, and landscape restoration and small scale irrigation.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Issued on:     21st May 2020

Deadline for Application:  1st June 2020

JOB TITLE: National Legal Specialist 


DUTY STATION:    Kigali-Rwanda

ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT:     FRRWA                        

DURATION:    12 days

FAO seeks gender, geographical, and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.

Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries are encouraged to apply.

Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Organizational Setting

The project “Knowing Water Better: Towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources for greater food security (Knowat)” aims to strengthen water governance processes in three countries – Senegal, Sri Lanka and Rwanda – so that they are better prepared to ensure food security and adapt to climate change, and for managing increased competition for water resources in a more equitable and sustainable manner The practical importance of law in connection with water tenure, whether formal or customary, will tend to increase with water scarcity and increased competition for water. For this, the project promotes an integrated approach to arrive at a comprehensive methodology for the assessment of water resources that takes into account not only the biophysical aspects but also the policy, legal and socio-economic aspects of water use. 

The legal component of this project, to be implemented by the Development Law Service (LEGN), requires the assessment of the legal elements of water tenure. The legal assessment will result in a description of the existing formal statutory and informal customary frameworks governing the right to access, extract, and use water for all purposes, including for food and agriculture. It should also identify country-specific terminology to address water tenure issues in order to arrive at a clear understanding of what this comprises in the country context so as to support better governance of water resources. Secondly, a more qualitative assessment will be undertaken, based on a set of standard legal assessment criteria, as well as any specific criteria to be defined by the Project, in collaboration with national counterparts.

Reporting lines

She or he will be working under the overall guidance of the FAO Representative in Rwanda and direct supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative/ Programme and with technical supervision by the KnoWat National Project Coordinator and with technical backstopping from the International Legal Expert

Technical Focus

The project aims not only to assess water tenure arrangements in a country but also to develop a standard methodology for the assessment of water tenure arrangements which could be adapted based on a country’s requests and also potentially replicated in other countries. LEGN will develop the part of the methodology concerning the legal aspects of water tenure by developing a template for legal assessments of water tenure in this context.

Tasks and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Knowat project Lead Technical Officer (LTO) and the National Knowat Project Coordinator, under the overall technical supervision of the Chief, LEGN, and in consultation with national authorities and other project team members and experts, and in close collaboration with the international consultant specialist on water law (international consultant), the national legal specialist will undertake the tasks included in the attached terms of reference:


Minimum Requirements

  • A university degree in law, with a focus on environmental, natural resources, development of agriculture in Rwanda
  • A minimum of three to five years of experience in related fields.
  • Familiarity with water law, dispute resolution procedures, human rights law applicable to food security and nutrition are considered an asset.
  • Excellent drafting skills in English

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Selection criteria:

  • Flexibility and tact to work with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet agreed dates.
  • Knowledge of the operation and procedures in epidemiological surveys.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All, and Integrity and Transparency.


  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing).
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you need help or have queries, please contact:
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications.
  • For other issues, visit the FAO employment website:
  • For further information on categories, contract duration, and honoraria, please refer to the  Conditions page.


To apply, kindly submit your application to the FAO Office located at Umuganda Blvd, Glory House, 2nd Floor not later than 1st June 2020 at 4 pm.

Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the application.