CALL FOR APPLICATION: Land Matrix Initiative Research Assistant.

The Land Matrix Initiative (LMI) ( see also is a global and independent initiative monitoring competition over land use in the Global South. Its goal is to facilitate an open development community of citizens, researchers, policy‐makers and technology specialists to promote transparency and accountability in decisions over land and investment. The LMI has become an international innovative benchmark for its open data and development approach, database structure, web appearance, and multi‐stakeholder character, and has received wide interest among policymakers, development practitioners, NGOs, the media, researchers and the informed public. In view of enhancing the quality of the LMI, and increasing its impact on policy‐dialogue and decision making, the LM is presently involved in a process of decentralization and expansion.

The LMI is presently a partnership of seven LMI partners (AFA, CDE, CIRAD, GIGA, GIZ, ILC, UP). The partnership was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2011 that will be updated to accommodate recent changes in the governance structure of the LMI. The main achievements of Phase 2 in terms of governance was the establishment of a decentralized project coordination unit, including a partnership coordinator at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and the establishment of regional focal points for Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Land Matrix Co-ordination Unit
As the LMI expands and decentralizes, project coordination becomes necessary. In December 2016, the partners of the LMI decided to replace the Project Support Unit (PSU) with the Land Matrix Coordination Unit (LMCU) that splits the different coordination tasks between five coordinators with specific responsibilities. The LMCU is composed of five coordinators in charge of these main functions:

– Partnership Coordinator: Organization of the LM Partnership, Support implementation of
decisions by SC, support decentralization, networking, reporting, M&E, documentation (currently located at UP)
– Communications Coordinator: Communication strategy development and implementation
(Public relations, Editing, layout, design of products, support to further enhancement of platform etc.) (currently located at UP)
– Learning and Training Coordinator: Training strategy, Coordinate the design and development of Learning Modules, Coordinate the design, development and delivery of trainings (currently located at ILC)
– Technical Coordinator: Tech support, Platform maintenance and development, Tech issues concerning data exchange, spatial data (currently located at CDE)
– Data and database Coordinator: Data strategy development and oversight, data quality assurance, Data and database management, Data and data entry support, Database editor and structure, Training on LM web-application and database, User administration, Global data collection (currently located at GIGA)

The Research assistant

The research assistant will report to the Land Matrix Coordinator. The work will include mainly statistical analysis of the Land Matrix database, strengthening the accuracy of the data collected from the regions and development of country profiles. The contract will be offered for a period of 1-year renewable based on performance.

Minimum requirements

Postgraduate degree with a good educational background either in GIS or remote sensing with an interest in land issues. The candidate should also have excellent statistical knowledge.

Which fields and topics are focused on?
‐ Fields and topics are related to large‐scale land acquisitions, which include the broad fields of development policy, agriculture, rural development, natural resources governance, water policy, food security, etc.)

How to apply?
‐ A comprehensive motivation letter detailing skills and experience in the listed fields of expertise;
‐ Recent curriculum Vitae, including a list of referees and contact details (no longer than two pages);

Applications should be sent to the Land Matrix Coordinator:

Dr Mercy Ojoyi (
Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development
University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 420‐6666

Application process and calendar:
‐ Deadline for applications: 20th April 2018
‐ Selection outcome announced by University of Pretoria: 27th April 2018
‐ Starting date: 7 May 2018