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Consultant For a Review on Rights-Based Approaches in Climate Change, Conservation, and Development Initiatives

Reference number: 2294
Job status: In-progress
Job category: Consultancy
Duty station: Home-based
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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where trees in all landscapes, from drylands to the humid tropics, enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR and ICRAF are non-profit science institutions that build and apply evidence to today’s most pressing challenges, including energy insecurity and the climate and biodiversity crises. Over a combined total of 65 years, we have built vast knowledge on forests and trees outside of forests in agricultural landscapes (agroforestry). Using a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to improve lives and to protect and restore ecosystems. Our work focuses on innovative research, partnering for impact, and engaging with stakeholders on policies and practices to benefit people and the planet. Founded in 1993 and 1978, CIFOR and ICRAF are members of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

CIFOR-ICRAF is looking for a

Consultant For a Review on Rights-Based Approaches in Climate Change, Conservation, and Development Initiatives


CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study (GCS) on REDD+ ( has produced information, analysis, and tools to promote effective, efficient and equitable (3E) REDD+ outcomes, including secure rights and livelihoods for indigenous peoples and local communities. The project is in its fourth phase (2021-2023) with a focus on using science to help overcome the barriers to implementation of 3E REDD+ policies and actions in Peru, Brazil, DRC, and Indonesia in light of growing finance for forests.

Work package 3.2 focuses on rights-based approaches and safeguards to support transformational change. At the global scale this WP will produce evidence for different audiences to support implementation of rights-based approaches associated with safeguarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in REDD+ and other forest-friendly initiatives in the four countries. A comparative review will be complemented with key stakeholder interviews and will cover three main topics: (i) RBAs in conservation and development to understand drivers of (rights-based) transformational change; (ii) experience with standards associated with safeguarding or promoting rights of IPLCs and women aimed at understanding drivers of success (and failure); (iii) current REDD+ and related standards regarding content, criteria and associated monitoring.

Duties and responsibilities

The consultant will undertake a review of the scholarly and grey literature on rights-based approaches (RBAs) to conservation, development, and climate actions. Although the consultant will work on a definition for RBAs with the supervisors, they are understood in the context of the project – broadly – as approaches seeking to recognize, protect, and expand the rights of underrepresented groups including IPLCs, women, youth and other marginalized groups in relevant initiatives (e.g., FPIC/participation, land/resource tenure, health/food security, self-determination, etc.).

Outputs will examine different definitions/types of RBAs (including their link to international human rights law), and review earlier experiences with RBAs as well as the more recent resurgence of RBAs (including the role of IPLCs and their allies in this process). The review will outline current priorities related to RBAs, their trajectory/direction in recent discussions in scholarly and policy spheres, and arguments connecting rights to practical solutions (e.g., the impact of rights on the effectiveness of initiatives). 

Depending on the availability of evidence, the consultant will review previous implementations of RBAs by relevant organizations (e.g., donor agencies, multilaterals, and grassroots organizations) to understand drivers and definitions of success/failure. 

The objective of this consultancy is to extract lessons for protecting and supporting the rights of IPLCs, women, youth, and other marginalized groups in forest-based initiatives.

The tasks and activities of the consultant will include but will not be limited to the following activities: 

Literature review 

Working paper on RBA concepts and experiences in conservation, development, and forest-based climate actions, including REDD+. The review will focus on definitions, trends, and examples (including case studies), with close attention to lessons on what has worked well and why, and will include both scholarly and grey literature. 


Set out key findings and evidence-based recommendations for the design and implementation of RBAs in forest-based climate, conservation, and development actions. 


Summarise findings for a non-technical audience.

Education, knowledge and experience

  • Masters or PhD in relevant social science topics including Anthropology, Development Studies, Geography, and Sociology.
  • 5 years of research experience with demonstrated expertise in rights, governance, and policy relevant to forests and natural resource governance in the Global South.
  • Demonstrated excellent written communication skills (English) is required.
  • Ability to work both independently as well as in a team
  • Experience in research for impact is a plus.

Terms and conditions

  • Terms and conditions
  • This is a consultancy position
  • Period of the consultancy in total is 30 days
  • Work location: Home-based
    To apply, please visit our career site at: and
    To learn more about CIFOR-ICRAF, please visit our websites at: and
    CIFOR-ICRAF promotes Gender Diversity – Applications from women professionals are encouraged.
    CIFOR-ICRAF is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity.

Application process

The application deadline is 07 Aug-2022
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

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