Valuable expert input in LAND-at-scale country projects | Land Portal

LAND-at-scale is a Dutch government program that contributes to improving land governance. The program supports better food and nutrition security, economic development, peace and stability in developing countries. It also contributes to sustainable incomes and social justice. In October last year, the program took off with 13 promising project ideas in different countries. Since then, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) - the program manager of LAND-at-scale - has been collaborating with Dutch embassies and other experts in the field to develop these ideas into fully-fledged project plans.

Key concepts for the LAND-at-scale program are scaling successful approaches, adding value to ongoing processes and ensuring its interventions have a lasting and sustainable positive impact. To achieve this, learning from other’s experiences in the countries and knowing what is happening on the ground, is crucial. This is why wide expert consultations are pivotal in the process of developing a robust project plan from an initial project idea. Not only does RVO seek inputs from land governance professionals in the country, but RVO also organizes periodic roundtables to gather inputs from the Dutch field of experts.

Virtual Roundtable September 3rd

On September 3rd this year, RVO organized a roundtable to gather feedback and inputs on country plans in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan and Uganda. No less than 28 experts from academia and research institutions, civil society organizations and other land practitioners gathered for the virtual event, organized with the support of LANDac and the Land Portal. The aim of this roundtable was to provide the Dutch field an update of where the LAND-at-scale programme currently stands, as well as gathering inputs for the further development of the project plans in the countries mentioned above.

Through the course of three consecutive ‘speed dating’ sessions, participants were able to provide some inputs on the plans in these countries. Even though time was limited to go in depth, the RVO program advisors received extremely valuable inputs and insights to incorporate in further project development and follow up on. A few general take-aways that were applicable to all countries were how it is crucial to:

  1. Involve the right stakeholders and involve them from the beginning of a project to achieve maximum result. Whereas the inclusion of central government is needed, a multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for the success of a project. It is important not to lose sight of local communities, and ensure the views of different groups of the population are properly represented.
  2. Incorporate context-sensitive approaches. Particularly in LAND-at-scale projects where successful approaches are scaled to a wider area, it is important to consider that there are regional differences in countries and different customs to consider; those differences should be incorporated into the approach. Similarly, context-specific elements such as differences in COVID-19 measures, or countries or regions in conflict, might require different approaches than others.
  3. Consider important cross-cutting themes such as gender and climate. In many of the countries discussed for this roundtable, themes as climate change and gender play an important role in the daily reality. Participants emphasized the importance of ensuring that any land intervention in such settings should be sensitive to and incorporate these themes in the project approach, and provided concrete ideas and suggestions of doing so.

Besides these general take-aways, RVO received many more useful tips and advice that will be incorporated when developing the projects further. The program advisors also exchanged contacts of partners in the field and planned for more in depth follow up conversations to continue gathering inputs and leads for the development of the projects.

Next steps

Working in co-creation with the field is an important part of the LAND-at-scale program, and RVO is always open for feedback and input for the current plans under development. As the country projects for Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan and Uganda develop, this input will be incorporated in the project plans. More information about the projects will become available as soon as the projects have moved from the formulation phase to the development phase. During the development phase, parties to implement the projects will be identified (through tenders or otherwise) and contracted. After this, the projects will be implemented. To stay informed about these processes, please sign up for the LAND-at-scale newsletter or check the RVO website and the LAND-at-scale page on the Land Portal regularly for updates.

RVO would like to thank all participants of the Roundtable for their time and valuable inputs.

LAND-at-scale roundtable

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