Call for Consultants to carry out research on Land Policy Reform Development on Equal Access Rights for Women and Vulnerable Groups

  • Consultancy
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • TBA ZMW / Month
  • Applications have closed

EU National Land Audit Project - DAI

Shaping a more livable world


Title of the consultancy research:

Research study to support the Land Policy Reform Development on Equal Access Rights for Women and Vulnerable Groups

Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Duration: 25 days
Expected start date: 01/07/2024

I. Background Information


The EU support to the National Land Audit (NLA) project aims to improve land administration and management in Zambia. The project focuses on (1) improving the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), updating it with information that is publicly available and accessible, and, producing land cover, and land use maps at the National level, (2) making available and accessible key results of the National Land Audit, (3) testing and validate Innovative National Land Audit methodologies, and (4) providing guidance for shaping a full National Land Audit implementation and forming a post audit action plan.


Despite no law in Zambia discriminating against women and other vulnerable groups on land ownership, statistics in land applications and land offers present glaring discrimination against women. Land delivery procedures are also discriminatory against women at land application or land offer stage. The table below outlines offers of land to women between 2006 and 2024, and highlights the gender gaps in state land.

The statistics suggests public patriarchy exists in legal and policy provisions. This is because most women in Zambia hold low levels of education and fail to meet complex application form requirements that contain tedious land transaction procedures. The table also implies that most statutory land is held by men even when there is a Constitutional provision for Gender Equity. Although more and more women have gained control of statutory land since the 1995 Land Act, the statutory mandate to ensure 30% of land to be given to women is still not met.

However, the statistics in the table above provide a starting point for further analysis of land rights and access by gender and other vulnerable groups. Records at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) in ZILAS show land entries of slightly over one million, but do not clearly define the gender, age, and vulnerability categories as these as disaggregation of data was not compulsory in land records before 2015. One of the salient outputs of the NLA is to provide an inventory of land records disaggregated by gender and vulnerability status, to shed further light on ownership of land/titles by gender.

Equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups are also affected by constitutional bias. The Constitution in Zambia, like in many other African countries, has the inconsistency of dualism in the application of the law. The statutory laws co-exist together with customary laws thereby creating a dual system in land tenure. The Zambian constitution contains provisions that guarantee equality, human dignity and prohibits discrimination based on gender and otherwise. Whilst the constitution is upheld by the statutory land system, the customary land system held by traditional leaders is mostly biased against women. Customary land system and law recognises men as owners of land, which presents a clear bias inherent in the Zambian constitution. Zambia, like Lesotho and Zimbabwe, remain with this bias in their constitutions while other African countries like South Africa have recognised women’s rights in their constitutions. Therefore, South Africa is in line with International Human Rights Standards and obligations as contained in the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Charter. It is also conforming to the UN General Assembly of 1979 adoption of the International Bill of Rights for Women – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Zambia ratified the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Charter in 1984, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1985, and the 2003 commitment of the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, ratified the 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender in 2014, among many other international conventions and agreements.

Despite Zambia ratifying various protocols and Conventions, implementation has been slow. Zambia domesticated some of the provisions of the CEDAW through enactment of the Gender Equity and Equality Act Implementation is a challenge because the principle is not attached as a priority policy objective nor serious attention is paid on how to carry out these commitments in practice. For example, gender mainstreaming lacks practical programmes and activities on how to help poor women on land ownership if results are to be witnessed in the present, near or distant future.  Additionally, there has been inadequate institutionalisation of the Gender Responsive Budgeting.

Equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups are hampered by the associated effects of colonialism on land tenure system that has had major implications on commercialisation of land for agriculture, and alienation of land, owned not through clans or families, but by individual farmers who were predominantly men. Women’s contribution was mainly reduced to labour, as ownership of farmland was expensive and beyond their reach. Commercial crops such as maize, cotton, tobacco, and sunflower required intensive use of labour which women provided. Effectively, the labour demands of cash crops meant women withdrew from their own agricultural activities and were left to be dependent on men.

The literature on women and land tenure suggests that in many African ethnic groupings, many African customary laws made provision for women to have rights to land. It has been argued that under traditional systems in many Zambian ethnic groups such as the matrilineal Bemba of Northern province, the valley Tonga of Southern province, and the patrilineal Lozi of Western province, both men and women had access to land and considerable control over productive resources such as land. The abundance of land and the small size agricultural activities and small population made it easier for communities to share land without difficulties in Zambia.  The biggest challenge women have is not necessarily access, but it is security of tenure. Those have access through marriage may lose land after death of their husband, even those that inherit land, they may lose land upon marriage.


Given the discrimination of women and vulnerable groups in land ownership in Zambia, it is imperative that further research is conducted to inform the current land right status for marginalized groups and contribute to the ongoing land governance reforms in line with the vision of the National Land Policy for having a “transparent land administration and land management system for inclusive and sustainable growth by 2035” which, highlights the need for equity for all people having access to land, including women and other vulnerable groups within its basic principles.

In this light, the terms of reference (ToR) focus on a research study to inform the policy development on equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups, which directly speaks to basic principle number 3 of the National Land Policy.

The assignment ToR forms part of the NLA project under Output 4.1: Thematic research and assessment studies completed for informing reform action. As part of Activity 4.1. Production of Six Thematic Research and Assessments Studies, this ToR will aim to inform Land Audit question number 9: How can the National Land Policy´s basic principles be applied to develop a policy for equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups?

The research will investigate how current practices of service delivery are aligned or not with basic principles that are adopted in the National Land Policy and provide key conclusions and recommendation that feed into future legal, procedural, and institutional reform actions required to align service delivery with these principles of good land administration and governance, as captured in the National Land Policy.

II. Objectives and expected results


To conduct a research study to examine how the National Land Policy’s basic principles can be applied to develop a policy for equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups.


1.      Establish status of current land ownership records by gender and vulnerability status.

2.      Assess the land delivery system with a view to identify discriminatory practices.

3.      Investigate the constitutional biases in the Zambian constitution with a view to make a comparative a study with other countries and come up with practical frameworks for implementing international conventions and protocols.

4.      Examine land tenure systems in a Zambian context and how it apportions rights to men and women and vulnerable groups.

5.      Develop recommendations that will inform a policy legal reform agenda.


The research is expected to inform policy reform development on equal access rights for women and vulnerable groups. Limited access to land resources restricts women and vulnerable groups’ opportunities for agricultural productivity, economic empowerment, and food security, thereby perpetuating a cycle of poverty and vulnerability. This research will seek to ensure these challenges are overcome not only through legal reforms but also through comprehensive gender sensitive programs that empower women and promote equal rights and opportunities for all.

In addition, the expected results of this research are that it will help inform improvements in land related data and management systems for promoting gender equality by identifying gender disparities, track progress, and inform evidence-based interventions that address barriers women face in accessing and owning land.

III. Scope of Work

This research is expected to use gender sensitve and rights-based approaches and tools in the research process, and in close coordination with the European Union and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.  The researcher will undertake consultations and data collection at national, provincial and district levels.


The target groups to be involved include government institutions (MLNR; Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development; some selected local councils; ZDA; Resettlement Department; Ministry of Agriculture), regional and international players (EUD; World Bank; SADC; COMESA), civil society (ZLA, Paralegal Alliance Network, NGOCC), local and community actors (traditional leaders, selected communities, key opinion leaders), and private sector (MEDEEM Zambia) and other projects such as the Land Governance project.


The Senior-NKE will carry out services and deliver outputs listed below.

Establishment of the research plan, specifying research priorities and design the detailed methodology for the research process

Literature search on land rights that relate to audit questions

Formulation of research topics and detailed planning

Briefing with the EUD and with the MLNR

Production of a provisional list of questions, define objectives and scope of research and plan the relevant activities

Consolidation of scope and structure of research and validation of their proposed methodology

Preparation of research protocols/data collection instruments

Field visits and survey to identified target sample to selected 3 provinces

Data analysis, assessments, and preparation of research findings

Preparation of a draft research report to inform policy reform

Debriefing with the EUD and MLNR

After reviews, preparation of the final research report

Presentation of the research findings, recommendations and inputs to policy reform during the restitution workshop

IV. Deliverables and Reporting Requirements


The working language of the assignment will be English.

An electronic copy of each of the below mentioned deliverables should be submitted first to the Team Leader and KE4 within the respective timeframe specified for each deliverable. The Team Leader and KE4 will submit the electronic version of the deliverable to the Contracting Authority and MLNR for further feedback.

Inception report and overall research plan

Detailed plan of individual research, including objectives, scope based on ToR, timelines, implementation modality

Research methodology

Draft research and assessment report and support materials

Final research and assessment report

Consultative workshop (reports, participant list)

Dissemination workshop

Final report


Monthly Time Sheets according to the template provided at the beginning of the mission, which includes a brief description of task(s), conducted each day signed and submitted to Team Leader for revision and approval. Holidays, weekends and working days outside Zambia cannot be included in the Time Sheet as working days unless there is a prior written approval from the contracting authority.

Monthly report according to the template provided at the beginning of the mission accompanying each Monthly Time Sheet and submitted to team leader for revision and approval, which describes activities, outputs, indicators achieved, etc. completed during the month with reference to, coded project activities.

V. Supervision and backstopping

The Team Leader will hold overall responsibility for supervising the NKE and will delegate areas of technical supervision to Key Expert 4, who will also provide respective backstopping of the NKE under this assignment.

The Project Officer based in Lusaka, Zambia will support the NKE with arranging meetings, transportation, coordination of timesheets and other administrative matters as needed. The NKE should contact the Team Leader prior to commencing the input to confirm the specific start date and arrange a briefing meeting to be held upon arrival.

The Project Manager and Project Director from  the Contractor based in Headquarters will review all formal deliverables prior to their submission to the Contracting Authority.

VI. Candidate selection criteria

Qualifications and Skills

Education: Master’s Degree level in Gender Studies, Development Studies, or Social Sciences related areas relevant to this research specific assignment

Language: Fluency in both oral and written English to a C1 level of proficiency as a minimum

General professional experience

Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in Gender and policy reform processes.

Specific professional experience

Minimum 5 years of experience in gender related work, and knowledge of legal policy reform processes.

Knowledge of land tenure practices related to rights of women and vulnerable groups is an asset.

VII. Logistics and timetable

The expert will be based at the project office in Lusaka and may undertake some field missions to selected provinces and districts when necessary, subject to prior notification and approval from the Contracting Authority.

The assignment should start based on Contracting Authority approval date (indicative start date 01 July 2024) and continue for a duration of 3 months (indicative end date end of september 2024).


Qualifying INDIVIDUAL consultants should submit :

Technical Proposal (page limit: 10 pages including appendixes)

Budget proposal page limit: 2 pages including appendixes)

Cover letter provide with at least three written references,

Detailed curriculum vitae.

By 14th June 2024 COB (17.00hrs Zambian time) to the following email [email protected]


By applying for the above-mentioned opportunity, you consent to DAI to conduct qualification, ID, criminal, and reference checks. Should you not receive a response to your application from DAI within one month of this advert being placed, kindly consider your application as being unsuccessful.

Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process. Be advised that DAI does not charge any fee at any stage of the procurement process.

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